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Choosing Classes

  • The only things you can really do before you get to Dartmouth are think about the types of classes you want to experience in the fall (what subjects you like, and what subjects you might like to experiment with) and take placement tests.
  • Of course, by the time you get this, you will have already taken AP tests and SAT II’s. However, there are additional placement tests available to take during Orientation. The rule of thumb is, of course, to take a placement test for any class that you think you might be able to pass out of. The sacrifice of one night of socializing during Orientation is worth it, believe me.
  • Next, during Orientation, look through the ORC (Dartmouth Organizations, Regulations and Courses guide—a big fat book that you’ll get once you get here) for classes that you might be interested in. Go to subjects you are interested in and look mostly at the entry-level classes. Note any prerequisites and scheduling conflicts…you’ll find it hard to take two classes that are both only offered at the 11 hour.
  • If you aren’t sure about the classes you have selected, or if you need a third class (or even just a back-up), talk to upperclass students…especially your UGA. Older students are always willing to give advice, and one of the best ways to tell if a class will be good or not is their opinion of the professor. The professor can make or break a class. Another great resource for student’s opinions on classes and professors is the Student Assembly Course Review website: http://sa.dartmouth.edu/guide/. This website has reviews about many classes and professors, written solely by students.
  • One resource that many students find helpful is their faculty advisor. You’ll be assigned a faculty advisor according to your academic interests. Basically, this person is there to answer any questions you might have, give you advice, and approve your decisions for fall classes. When you meet with your advisor, make sure to already have thought about your fall term classes—you don’t want to show up empty-handed—but don’t worry if you’re not sure exactly which classes to take. Your advisor is there to help, so use the time you get with them!
  • Once you've decided what to take, you can sign up for classes using the Bannerstudent Website.
  • If you still aren’t sure about your class selection even when classes begin, you can still sit in on classes and decide, after classes start, which ones to take. Sit in on a class, meet the professor, and read the syllabus to see how much work you will have to do. You can add and drop classes during the beginning of the term, but be careful not to fall behind in work as a result.

“No Dartmouth class is a complete breeze and any class that you're not interested in will be tough. It's best to follow your interests; your grades will take care of themselves.”


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