Undergraduate Research at Dartmouth

General information for faculty that may be helpful for external grant applications or for determining how best to engage undergraduates in research


Dartmouth College provides opportunities for undergraduates to engage in faculty-mentored research, scholarship and creative projects outside the classroom. Students acquire first-hand experience in an academic field while developing skills such as critical thinking, information processing, and effective communication. Because of Dartmouth’s quarter system and the requirement that students take at least one leave term during the traditional academic year, students can engage in research in a variety of ways at different points during their years at Dartmouth. Each year, U.S. News & World Report publishes a list of institutions of higher education that have stellar records in undergraduate research and creative projects, and Dartmouth is consistently on that list. 

Criteria for Undergraduate Research

Meaningful student participation in faculty-mentored scholarly or creative activity intended to make an original contribution to one or more disciplines.

  • The research must contribute to the student's academic development.
    • The student's role cannot primarily consist of rote tasks or be clerical or administrative. 
    • Projects focused on curricular and/or course development are not eligible for funding.
  • The student must have a faculty mentor who is affiliated with Dartmouth College (including the medical, engineering, and business schools).
  • The research can be part-time while taking classes or full-time during a leave term.
  • Some programs involve working as a research assistant on a faculty project, and others provide funding for self-generated projects completed under the supervision of a faculty mentor.
    • Check the requirements of specific programs to ensure that your role in the project meets the program guidelines.

How undergraduates engage in research

There are multiple ways to engage in research, scholarship and creative projects with a Dartmouth faculty mentor (which includes faculty in the Arts & Sciences as well as in Geisel School of Medicine, Thayer School of Engineering, and Tuck School of Business):

  • For academic credit:
    • Independent research 
    • Senior honors thesis research
    • Senior Fellowships (large-scale independent projects that are conducted in lieu of a traditional major)
  • Not for academic credit:
    • Part-time research assistantships
    • Full-time research during a leave term
    • Hired directly by faculty and paid hourly wages