Dickey Center Great Issues Scholars in Residence

The Great Issues Scholars program is a Dickey Center program with residential and non-residential cohorts.

About the Community

Great Issues Scholarsparticipate in a year-long series of interactive events aimed at enhancing understanding of the world and the many challenges we face. It is an unparalleled opportunity to connect with faculty, visiting experts, and other students around complex global issues. No prior experience is necessary, but applicants should be:

  • curious about the world and interested in raising their global awareness.
  • ready to have fun and learn alongside their peers.
  • Committed to attending Great Issues Scholars events each term

Participant Expectations

Scholars work and learn together while they gather for small-group events around specific themes such as global health, climate change, gender in politics, international development, and regional security challenges.

Selected students are expected to attend Great Issues Scholars events over the course of the year. You do not have to attend all events, but regular participation ensures that you see a variety of viewpoints and hear differing approaches/opinions. It also means you have more opportunity to get to know your fellow Scholars. We take attendance at each scheduled event and hope to see everyone engaged as much as possible!

Many athletes participate in the program. So do students with campus jobs and other out-of-class commitments. We vary the event days/times so that you can pick events that work with your schedule. Our schedule allows flexibility for your other commitments. Again, giving COVID-19 safety measures, most events will be online, and some will be recorded for you to see at a later date.

GIS is not a class and you do not receive academic credit for participating. However, it is designed to complement the academic experience of a first-year student. Most Scholars find that GIS helps shape their academic trajectory at Dartmouth either confirming that they are on the right major/minor path or opening up new pathways for exploration.

At the end of your GIS experience, you get a very cool certificate and a pin — but more importantly, you will have built a network of peers, mentors, and faculty in areas of shared interest and you can add the experience to your resume.

Applying to the Program

Students are eligible for the program only in their first year of undergraduate study at Dartmouth. Students interested in participating in the Great Issues Scholars [Via the LLC) in Residence must apply to the program via the Housing StarPortal in Banner Student. Students interested in participating in the non-residential cohort (Outside of the LLC) can apply later in the fall term through the Dickey Center.

Each year approximately 15-20 percent of the first-year class apply – that's about 175-200 students. We never know until applications are submitted how many students will want to participate. We are accepting 80 Scholars in total this year, about half of whom will join us via the LLC option. 

We welcome all applications. We look for a mix of participants from around the world with diverse backgrounds and with various levels of prior experience or study of international issues. We are all here to learn together!


Some residents of this learning community will have the opportunity to live co-located together in one of our residence halls to allow for a maximum level program immersion. As space is limited, we will also offer the opportunity for students assigned to live in residence halls around campus to participate in programming through our hybrid model.