Term By Term: A How-To Guide

On/Residence (R) = In Residence

During On/Residence (R) terms, you are in residence in Hanover and taking courses, or studying for Dartmouth credit on a Faculty-Directed Off-Campus Program ("O" term) or an Exchange Program ("X" term).  

You are REQUIRED to be "IN RESIDENCE" for one summer term* AND all three terms of your first year as well as two terms of your senior year.

  • As you think about which other Residence terms to select, you will want to consider both academic and non-academic factors.
  • Students undecided on a major may wish to be in Residence throughout the sophomore year in order to explore the curriculum broadly and consult with faculty.
  • Students who have decided on a major may need to examine major requirements with a department or program advisor and design a Residence pattern ("R" terms) built around specific courses.
  • Some decisions may be driven by extra-curricular commitments or one's taste in climate. For example, Dartmouth's seasons (as you are learning) are highly variable and your fondness for winter sports or summer leisure may be of some importance!

When you submit your D-Plan in April, if you plan to take an "O" (Faculty-Directed Off-Campus Program) term and/or an "X" (Dartmouth Exchange Program) term, enter them as "On/R" terms. Once your "O" and "X" programs have been approved, the Registrar will update your D-Plan with those designations.

* See the ORC for information regarding the sophomore summer requirement. Students with an F-1 visa should contact OVIS for clarification on this requirement.


O = Off-Campus Program

Faculty-Directed Off-Campus Programs are Dartmouth's term length, credit carrying, study away programs. These are cohort programs where a group of Dartmouth students will live, travel, and study under the direction of a Dartmouth faculty member who helps to facilitate the program. There are many options for Faculty-Directed programs:

Language Study Abroad (LSA) and Advanced Language Study Abroad (LSA+)

LSAs are designed for students that have intermediate or beginner language skills, completing an LSA can satisfy Dartmouth's language requirement. LSA+s are designed for students who have satisfied the language requirement and are prepared for a more advanced language study abroad experience.

Foreign Study Programs (FSP)

FSPs provide opportunities to closely study other cultures and disciplines as well as to gain new perspectives on society. While most FSPs are taught in English, FSPs in the language departments offer advanced study of the country's language as compared to LSAs.

Domestic Study Programs (DSP)

DSPs allow students to closely study U.S. based cultures, environments, industries, and disciplines and are taught in English.

Fall + Programs (Fall+)

Fall+ programs are distinguished by their interdisciplinary approach. Fall+ qualifies for one Dartmouth course credit and serve as a student's fourth course for the fall term. Fall+ will begin with two or more meetings of the course during the fall term. Then, the program is delivered off-campus for about three weeks during Dartmouth's winter interim period.

X = Exchange Programs

Dartmouth-sponsored exchange programs involve direct enrollment with a host institution to create a university experience like that of a matriculated student. Students either participate independently or with a small number of other Dartmouth students. Students choose their courses based on available offerings at the host institution and apply to earn transfer credit to count toward their Dartmouth diploma. The length of exchange programs vary and can last for a trimester, a semester, or an academic year.

There are over 30 active exchange programs in both international and domestic destinations. These programs are sponsored by many different many departments and include several interdisciplinary options.

  • Please note: Students may transfer a maximum of four Dartmouth equivalent credits, including any pre-matriculation transfer credits, during their Dartmouth career. The exception to this is for students who participate on a yearlong exchange program, in that case students may transfer up to 9 credits.
  • Please be advised: Credit earned on exchange programs is considered transfer credit. Transfer credit requires prior approval from the Dartmouth academic department/program and the Registrar.

"O" and "X" Terms

"O" and "X" terms represent some of Dartmouth's unique opportunities: during their first year students should think about the possibilities for academic, study away programs.

  • Once students have completed their first-year requirements, they may participate in a Dartmouth-sponsored study away program. Students can apply to programs in advance of completing the requirements.
  • All undergraduates in good standing, regardless of major, who plan to complete the necessary prerequisite course(s) are eligible to apply.
  • Applications to study away in the following academic year are due to the Guarini Institute by February 1st.  
  • You can study away for up to 3 terms during your Dartmouth career.
  • Students are encouraged to apply to more than one program as acceptance is not guaranteed.
  • If you qualify for financial aid, that aid will apply to both faculty-directed and exchange programs.

Please contact the following offices for more information:


Off/Leave (L) = Leave Terms

Leave terms are periods of time during which you are away from campus for employment, time-off, internship, or transfer term.

On the D-Plan you submit, you are REQUIRED to take THREE leave terms. ONE leave term must be in the FALL or SPRING of either sophomore, junior, or senior year.

  • While Dartmouth does not give academic credit for internships, an internship during a leave term can help you gain skills and experience, and explore careers.

When you submit your D-Plan choices, you will list a "T" term (Transfer) as an "Off/L" term, like those terms on "Leave," when you are away from campus for employment, time-off, or internship.

Internships and Jobs through The Center for Professional Development

The Center for Professional Development (CPD) prepares students for postgraduate success through individual advising appointments, FaceTimes, and workshops focused on skill/competency development and life skills. CPD offers resume and cover letter review, interview coaching, internship listings, networking resources, and more.

  • For an appointment with a Career Advisor, log into HandShake to schedule.
  • Begin looking for Summer 2024 internships now.
  • See our section titled "More about Internships and Research" below.

Campus or Work Study Jobs

Student Employment and Leave-Term Work-Study opportunities are also available for eligible students interested in working for an on-campus employer or at a participating local community service agency during a leave term. Search JobX each term to see what positions are available and how to apply. Contact Student Employment at 603.646.3641 with additional questions.  Students on an F-1 visa may require special work authorization and must consult their OVIS advisor one term in advance of any intended off-campus activity to discuss any required work authorization.

More about Internships and Research with Dartmouth Faculty

Many students opt to maximize their "leave terms" either by securing an internship off campus or by conducting research with Dartmouth faculty. Students on an F-1 visa may require special work authorization and must consult their OVIS advisor one term in advance of any intended off-campus activity to discuss any required work authorization.

  • While many internships are paid, some are not. There are several offices on campus that provide funding for unpaid internships.

Students who are interested in leave term research with Dartmouth faculty (on or off campus) should be aware that there is funding as well as other resources available through the Office of Undergraduate Advising & Research.

T = Transfer Credits from Another Institution

It is possible to enroll in courses at another accredited four-year liberal arts institution for Dartmouth credit.

  • Critical information can be found on the Registrar's website.
  • See your Undergraduate Dean about how your plans for Transfer Credit align with your academic goals and program.
  • Please be advised: Transfer Credit requires review and approval by a sub-committee of the Committee on Instruction, the Registrar, and the Departments/Programs accepting transfer of the courses.
  • Students on an F-1 visa will require additional approval from OVIS in order to keep their visa status active during a Transfer term.
  • Additional fees are assessed when applying to transfer credit back to Dartmouth after a transfer term. For more information, visit the Registrar's website