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 an Off-Campus or Exchange Program.

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" (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

Off-campus programs include credit-carrying programs (LSA, LSA+, FSP, DSP).

The "Off-Campus Program" term represents one of Dartmouth's unique opportunities: during their first year, students should think about the possibilities for their off-campus program term(s).

  • Once students have completed their first-year requirements, they may participate in a Dartmouth-sponsored Off-Campus Program in the United States or abroad and earn a term of academic credit.
  • Most application deadlines for 2023-2024 OFF-CAMPUS programs will be in February 2023.
  • If you qualify for financial aid, that aid can be applied to an Off-Campus Program.
  • Please be advised: you are limited to participating in three (3) Off-Campus Programs.
  • For more information, visit The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education.

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

Participating in a Language Study Abroad provides an opportunity to:

  • fulfill the language requirement
  • earn three credits
  • receive one or more credits toward the distributive and world culture requirements
  • all while studying in Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Peru, Russia or Spain.

Questions about prerequisites and application may be directed to The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education at 44 North College Street or 603.646.1202 or by email.

Domestic or Foreign Study Programs (DSP or FSP)

There are varied opportunities for supervised study in academic disciplines in the United States or at foreign study centers. 

Application is open to all undergraduates in good standing, regardless of major, who plan to complete the necessary prerequisite course(s).

Learn more at The Frank J. Guarini Institute for International Education.

X = Exchange Programs

Exchange terms are academic terms on a Dartmouth Exchange Program. Dartmouth offers special exchange programs at 29 institutions worldwide.

  • Please note: you may transfer a maximum of four Dartmouth equivalent credits, including any pre-matriculation transfer credits, during your Dartmouth career.
  • Please be advised: Exchange Credit requires prior approval from the Dartmouth academic department/program and the Registrar.
  • Students on an F-1 visa will require additional approval from OVIS in order to keep their visa status active.  Please contact OVIS for further information.

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 DartBoard to schedule.
  • Begin looking for Summer 2022 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 Jobnet 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 authorizaiton.

More about Internships and Research with Dartmouth Faculty (UGAR)

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 authorizaiton.

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