Alternative to a traditional major
Dartmouth students have many options when deciding on a major course of study. Standard majors have specific requirements but also allow students to choose courses based on their specific interests. Some departments and programs offer modified majors which allow for even more flexibility. In rare cases, students may also apply for a special major.
The Senior Fellowship provides an alternative to all of these major paths. Senior Fellows are not required to complete a major, although they may do so if they choose. The Senior Fellowship project title is listed as a major on the transcript. The program is a good option for students who have the background and interest to pursue a large-scale project during senior year. Senior Fellows earn 4-6 credits for their projects so are able to enroll in fewer classes. This opens up time for in depth work on a project as well as opportunities to be away from campus doing field research or other fellowship-related work. Because Senior Fellowships are the equivalent of a major and students earn academic credit, projects must be primarily academic in nature.
The Senior Fellowship program is overseen by the Committee on Senior Fellowships, which is a standing committee in Arts & Sciences. As the Senior Fellowship is an academic major, the Committee on Senior Fellowships is the de facto major department for the program. Senior Fellowship projects are analogous to senior honors theses, and Senior Fellows therefore are eligible for honors based on an evaluation of the projects they submit. Each Senior Fellow has one primary faculty advisor who is responsible for mentoring the Senior Fellow throughout the fellowship year. Senior Fellows may have additional secondary faculty advisors for the project, and the roles of the faculty advisors are detailed below. The Committee on Senior Fellowships interviews applicants, and the President of the College selects the Senior Fellows based on the recommendation of the Committee. The Committee is responsible for determining requirements and guidelines for individual Fellows and their projects, monitoring the Fellows' progress throughout the fellowship year, and deciding on honors at the end of the year.