How to get into Dartmouth—General Information
Dartmouth College is a private Ivy League research university located in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was founded in 1769, making it the ninth-oldest higher education institution in the United States. This liberal arts college is home to over 40 academic departments and over 4,000 undergraduate students.
In this How to Get Into Dartmouth guide, we’ll cover:
- Dartmouth average GPA
- Optimal Dartmouth SAT scores
- Dartmouth acceptance rate
- Dartmouth application deadline
- Details on Dartmouth Early Decision
- Tips for Dartmouth supplemental essays
- Dartmouth interview, and more.
If you’re wondering how to get into Dartmouth, the answer is: submit a strong application. While there are no guarantees in the admissions process, creating an application that showcases who you are at your best and what you’d bring to Dartmouth will give you your best shot.
We know there are many things to consider during the application process, including the Dartmouth average GPA, Dartmouth SAT scores, the Dartmouth supplemental essays, and the Dartmouth interview. If you’re not sure where to start, our How to Get Into Dartmouth guide will give you stats like the Dartmouth acceptance rate, information about Dartmouth Early Decision, important dates like the Dartmouth application deadline, and tips on everything you need to do to be a strong candidate.
Figuring out how to get into Dartmouth takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Dartmouth graduates. Want to maximize your Dartmouth admissions odds? Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.
How do I get into Dartmouth?
When thinking about how to get into Dartmouth, know that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Admissions looks for more than students who will boost the Dartmouth average GPA or fall into the average Dartmouth SAT scores. Instead, they want students who will contribute something unique to their campus, whether that be their passion, background, or perspective.
So, don’t get caught up in trying to be the perfect candidate—the perfect candidate doesn’t exist. Your greatest asset in the application process is your ability to use each part of your application to tell your story (and don’t forget to submit your application by the Dartmouth application deadline!).
How hard is it to get into Dartmouth College?
The Dartmouth acceptance rate is 9%, ranking it among the most selective schools in the U.S.
Because Dartmouth went test-optional for the last admissions cycle, their standardized testing data is based on the Class of 2024. The mid 50% range of Dartmouth SAT scores was 710-770 for SAT Critical Reading and 730-790 for SAT Math. That means the range of composite Dartmouth SAT scores was 1440-1560. The mid 50% range of Dartmouth ACT scores was 32-35.
If you want to know how to get into Dartmouth, keep in mind that Ivy League schools should be considered “reach” schools for any student. Even if you meet the Dartmouth average GPA or the Dartmouth SAT scores, most other applicants will have similar credentials.
As with other Ivy League schools, the admissions process is extremely competitive. Give yourself plenty of time ahead of the Dartmouth application deadline to familiarize yourself with Dartmouth Admissions and understand how you can stand out.
What is the average GPA for Dartmouth College?
When researching the Dartmouth average GPA, you may find some conflicting numbers. Admissions does not report the Dartmouth average GPA of their admitted students. However, 95% of Dartmouth students from high schools that report class rankings were in the top 10% of their class. So, we can assume the Dartmouth average GPA is quite high.
While there is no minimum GPA required to be admitted to Dartmouth, a strong GPA shows that you’ve worked hard and done well in your high school courses. It, therefore, indicates that you will continue to be successful in college.
By the time you start thinking about how to get into Dartmouth, your GPA might already be well established. If your GPA doesn’t align with the Dartmouth average GPA, strong test scores will help round out your application. If your GPA is lower due to challenging courses, Admissions will take into consideration the rigor of your courses and general trends in your grades. Additionally, if you’ve struggled with your grades due to extenuating circumstances, you can share this in the “Additional Information” section of your application.
What does the Dartmouth College application look like?
When researching how to get into Dartmouth, make sure you take time to learn about the application requirements well before the Dartmouth application deadline.
If you are applying through Regular Decision, the Dartmouth application deadline is January 3rd. However, if Dartmouth is your first choice, you should consider applying by the Dartmouth Early Decision deadline on November 1st.
No matter whether you decide to apply for Dartmouth Early Decision or stick to the January Dartmouth application deadline, the requirements for your application are the same. Here is a checklist of materials you need to include in your application:
- Application fee or fee waiver
- Common Application
- Dartmouth supplemental essays
- Secondary school report
- Two teacher evaluations
- SAT/ACT (optional)
- Peer recommendation (optional)
It is important to note that sending Dartmouth SAT scores or ACT scores is optional for the Class of 2026. If you choose not to submit your test scores, Admissions may rely more on your GPA and course load to determine your academic fit.
While the peer recommendation is also optional, it is strongly recommended for all applicants. This is a statement of support written by one of your peers (a classmate, teammate, sibling, friend, etc.) who can attest to why you belong at Dartmouth.
What extracurriculars do I need for Dartmouth?
Extracurriculars are a vital part of your application narrative. Quality is more important than quantity when thinking about how to get into Dartmouth. Your extracurriculars show Dartmouth what you care about and who you are outside of the classroom.
If you are a high school junior or senior worried about not having the right extracurriculars, don’t stress yourself out by signing up for activities you don’t like. Admissions wants to see your dedication and growth in a few chosen activities—not a laundry list of low-commitment resume builders.
If there is a club or sport you really enjoy, see if there’s a way for you to take on a leadership role or complete an independent project. Also, remember that your extracurriculars don’t have to be school-related. Playing an instrument, having a job, and teaching yourself a new skill all count as extracurriculars, so long as you dedicate your time to these activities.
What is the acceptance rate for Dartmouth?
When considering how to get into Dartmouth, the first thing that might come to mind is the Dartmouth acceptance rate. The Dartmouth acceptance rate for the Class of 2025 was 6.2%.
Of those accepted students, 46% applied through Dartmouth Early Decision. The 2026 Dartmouth acceptance rate for Dartmouth Early Decision applicants was 21%. Out of 2,633 applicants, 530 students were accepted.
The Dartmouth Early Decision acceptance rate is significantly higher than the Regular Decision Dartmouth acceptance rate. However, it is important to remember that Dartmouth Early Decision applicants include their recruited Division 1 athletes. Most of the other applicants also have excellent GPAs and test scores. So, although the Dartmouth acceptance rate for ED is higher, it is still extremely competitive. However, if Dartmouth is your first choice, applying through Dartmouth Early Decision is the best way to maximize your chances of admission.
Does Dartmouth college require interviews?
When researching how to get into Dartmouth, you may find yourself wondering about the Dartmouth interview process. Dartmouth does not require an interview as part of the application process. Depending on availability, you may be invited to a Dartmouth interview once your application has been received.
If you aren’t offered a Dartmouth interview, don’t panic. Not every student is invited to a Dartmouth interview, and not having one will not hurt you in the admissions process. If you are invited to a Dartmouth interview, check out these Dartmouth interview tips to learn what to expect.
Tips for writing the Dartmouth application essays
One of the most important elements of your “how to get into Dartmouth” strategy is how you complete the Dartmouth supplemental essays. While your GPA, test scores, transcript, and extracurriculars are all important, your Personal Statement and Dartmouth supplemental essays are the only time that Dartmouth gets to hear your voice. This is your opportunity to showcase your personality, passion, humor, curiosity, beliefs, and perspective.
No matter how long or short the Dartmouth supplemental essays are, it is important you take the time to fully answer the prompts. This ensures you give Dartmouth the information they asked for and also shows that you can answer a specific question and remain on topic.
Additionally, it is important you keep your audience in mind. The Dartmouth supplemental essay prompts are designed to help Admissions understand what kind of student you would be at Dartmouth. To prepare, think about everything you might want to share with an alumnus during a Dartmouth interview and put it down on paper.
Check out our Dartmouth Supplemental Essays Guide for a more in-depth look at how to approach the Dartmouth supplemental essay prompts.
How does Dartmouth College review applications?
Dartmouth uses a holistic application review process. This means no one factor will determine your acceptance to Dartmouth. Although your grades and test scores are all important to your “how to get into Dartmouth” plan, Admissions knows you are more than a collection of numbers, classes, and extracurriculars. Your application is Dartmouth’s chance to understand who you are and what you care about.
Additionally, Dartmouth will consider how you’ve performed in school within the context of your life. This means they’ll consider how factors like your socioeconomic status, the types of courses your school offers, and your school’s grading and ranking practices affect your application. Admissions knows your background and experiences help shape who you are, so they will take them into consideration.
Does Dartmouth look at my social media accounts?
When researching how to get into Dartmouth, you may be wondering if your social media presence is part of the review process. The answer is no, your social media accounts are not part of Dartmouth’s admissions process.
However, it is important to remember that once you post something online, it becomes public information. Although Dartmouth is unlikely to seek out applicants’ social media accounts, anything you post may influence their admissions decisions if something concerning comes to their attention. As a good rule of thumb, don’t post anything online you wouldn’t want a future professor or employer to see.
Is Dartmouth a good school for me?
In order to help Admissions imagine how you’d succeed at Dartmouth, it is important that you can imagine yourself thriving there. Before you build your “how to get into Dartmouth” strategy, you should think about if Dartmouth is a good school for you (especially if you are applying to Dartmouth Early Decision, as it is a binding commitment).
If you are unable to visit Dartmouth in person, don’t worry. Many students apply to colleges without having the opportunity to visit them first. Our Dartmouth College Breakdown not only provides information like the Dartmouth acceptance rate and the Dartmouth application deadline, but also information and an overall grade for academics, athletics, diversity, and value.
Although Dartmouth is a prestigious school, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Choosing a college is a decision only you can make. If you are on the fence about Dartmouth, remember that every current Dartmouth student was once in your shoes. Take some time to visit Dartmouth’s People Places Pines page to hear from current students about their life at Dartmouth and how they navigated the application process.
Additional tips to get into Dartmouth College
1. Connect with your teachers
Besides your Dartmouth supplemental essays and your Common App, you’ll need two teacher evaluations to complete your application. Building relationships with your junior and senior year teachers will not only help you succeed in your classes but will make asking them for a recommendation easier. Make sure your recommenders know you well and have a personal interest in you as a student. Finally, reach out to your recommenders well in advance of the Dartmouth application deadline.
2. Play to your strengths
The application process tests students in a lot of ways. Admissions wants to see how you perform in the classroom, in standardized tests, and in your writing. The holistic review process means Admissions will think big-picture, so make sure you’re shining where you know you can shine. For example, if you don’t think you can reach the average Dartmouth SAT scores, then strive to write amazing Dartmouth supplemental essays that show your other skills. Every part of your application counts, and you never know what might tip the scale in your favor.
3. Start research early
It is never too early to start thinking about your college applications. The Common App goes live on August 1st, five months ahead of the Regular Decision Dartmouth application deadline. If you are someone who procrastinates or needs a longer writing process, start your research early. Rather than fixating on statistics like the Dartmouth average GPA, Dartmouth SAT scores, or the Dartmouth acceptance rate, give yourself time to explore what Dartmouth has to offer, what kind of values they build their education on, and what kind of students are happy there. Before you ask yourself “how to get into Dartmouth,” ask yourself why Dartmouth is the school for you. Then, by the time you start writing your Dartmouth supplemental essays, you’ll know why you’re writing them.
It would be great if the answer to “how to get into Dartmouth” was as simple as submitting your Dartmouth supplemental essays by the Dartmouth application deadline, getting a Dartmouth interview, and you’re in. However, there are no guarantees in college admissions. All you can do is submit the strongest application you can. Don’t stress yourself out comparing your stats to the Dartmouth average GPA or Dartmouth SAT scores. Focus on who you are and put as much of yourself as you can down on paper. Take your time, get a second pair of eyes to look over everything, and good luck!
This guide was written by Stefanie Tedards. If you want to know how to get into Dartmouth, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes Dartmouth graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.