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Excellent Programs

In addition to the recommendations outlined above under the sections related to students, the academic program, and faculty, several supplementary initiatives will strengthen our core academic programs still further.

Arts and Sciences

Undergraduate education forms the historic core of the institution and is firmly rooted in the liberal arts. The Arts and Sciences also includes selective graduate programs that add intellectual vitality to the academic program. Undergraduate and graduate students participate actively in an unsurpassed learning experience that transforms them intellectually and encourages critical thinking and analysis. Faculty inspire students in the classroom, the studio, and the laboratory, as well as by working with them individually and in small groups. We must preserve and enhance the special character and quality of our undergraduate experience, which is among the finest available anywhere in the world.


  • We must build on and develop the strength of academic departments and programs across the Arts and Sciences to provide our students with the best possible liberal arts education.

  • We must provide additional support for interdisciplinary courses, the culminating experience, and off-campus programs. These programs play a critical role in the learning experience and are a particular strength at Dartmouth.

  • We must look for ways to extend our first-year writing program into a multi-year program that teaches writing within a student’s major in conjunction with discipline-specific research skills and techniques. There are few skills more important than writing and research and such a program would provide our students with a firm foundation for future learning.

  • We must strengthen the Life Sciences and encourage further collaboration with the Medical School among the faculty enriching significantly the experience of students. Undergraduate and graduate students will benefit from additional research and service learning opportunities, as well as from the Human Biology Program for non-science majors.

Dartmouth Medical School

The Dartmouth Medical School, in partnership with the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, provides a premier medical education to its students. Facilitated by Dartmouth’s scale, a distinguished faculty work collaboratively with their counterparts in the Arts and Sciences, Thayer School, and the Tuck School. Recent years have seen the expansion of graduate programs in a number of areas, including new Ph.D. programs in genetics and microbiology and immunology and a masters program in public health.


  • As mentioned above, we must further the collaboration in the Life Sciences between the Arts and Sciences and the Medical School. Graduate students will see a strengthened M.D./Ph.D. program as well as the development of other combined graduate programs. We must also further collaboration among faculty at the Medical School and colleagues and students at the Tuck School and the Thayer School.

  • We must continue to build on the strong basic science programs at the Medical School, including the new program in genetics and the expanded program in the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences.

  • We must expand the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, one of only 37 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. This expansion involves the addition of four new floors to the Barbara E. Rubin building at the Lebanon campus, including research laboratories.

Thayer School of Engineering

Thayer School provides a distinctive interdisciplinary engineering program rooted in the liberal arts for undergraduates. Graduate programs include masters and doctoral programs as well as a Masters of Engineering Management program offered jointly with the Tuck School. Engineering faculty and students work closely with their counterparts in the Arts and Sciences, the Tuck School, and the Medical School on a range of research interests, including bioengineering, computer science and security technology studies, materials science, and engineering management.


  • We must attract the best undergraduate and graduate students and provide them with the best possible education in the scientific and professional aspects of engineering and engineering management.

  • To keep up with the technological revolution of our time, we must provide all students with an understanding of the consequential role of technology in modern society.

Tuck School of Business Administration

The Tuck School is recognized as one of the finest business schools in the world with a particular focus on the full-time residential Master of Business Administration program. The school has implemented an innovative core curriculum that is relevant and responsive to changes in the business world, and it has forged mutually beneficial partnerships with leading business organizations and business schools around the world. The Tuck School has five research centers that encourage collaboration across the school.


  • We must continue to focus on and expand the MBA program so as to compete with other top business schools.

  • We must further strengthen the Executive Education, Business Bridge, and Online Bridge programs, and continue to forge strong partnerships with the corporate world. These programs provide important connections among corporate leaders, faculty and students.

  • We must strengthen the research centers through appropriate staffing and facilities and the creation of advisory boards.

Graduate Programs

In addition to the professional degree programs, Dartmouth has 24 Ph.D. and masters programs in the Arts and Sciences, the Dartmouth Medical School, and Thayer School. These programs range from the world-recognized masters program in Electro-Acoustic Music to the newly created Ph.D. programs in Genetics and Public Health. Although small, these programs compete exceedingly well with our peer institutions for the most talented students. Graduate students contribute in vital ways to the creation of a rich learning environment across the institution as they interact with undergraduates, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty. The graduate programs successfully prepare their students to pursue both academic and non-academic careers.


  • We must look judiciously for ways to expand our existing graduate programs. Such expansion will provide the critical mass of students that characterize the best programs. We should introduce new programs only where Dartmouth can assume a leadership role.

  • We must provide better research support and graduate fellowship support for students to enable Dartmouth to continue to attract the most talented students.

Interdisciplinary Programs and Academic Centers

At a time when new knowledge is often created at the overlap of disciplines, Dartmouth is perhaps uniquely advantaged through our size and location to bridge the Arts and Sciences and the professional schools. Our faculty have the opportunity through collaboration to transform and revolutionize whole fields of study. We need to maximize this important potential strength.

The Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences, the Dickey Center for International Understanding, the Ethics Institute, the Leslie Center for the Humanities — as well as the centers initiated at the Tuck School, the Thayer School, and the Dartmouth Medical School — have all helped to galvanize and energize interdisciplinarity at Dartmouth. These centers play a critical role in attracting teacher-scholars to Dartmouth and in forging connections across departments, divisions, and schools.


  • We must provide further support for interdisciplinary programs and centers as they seek to engage faculty and students in these emerging areas of inquiry and as they facilitate faculty and student research.

  • We must work harder as an institution to remove any barriers that stand in the way of collaboration across departments, divisions, and schools.

International Programs

We must provide greater support and opportunities for international and global studies. Dartmouth has excellent off-campus and area studies programs. We send more students abroad on our own programs than any of our peer institutions, and few today would deny the importance of these experiences in furthering our students’ understanding of the world. Dartmouth has an obligation to develop these programs and take fuller advantage of them on campus.


  • We must encourage academic centers like the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Rockefeller Center for the Social Sciences, as well as the Tucker Foundation, to develop and strengthen their own off-campus research and internship opportunities.

  • We must cultivate new programs in those areas where they will add significantly to the educational experience we offer. These could include new programs that provide students with research or independent study experiences around the world.

  • We must continue to forge international partnerships, such as those at the Tuck School with universities in Europe and Asia, and those at the Dartmouth Medical School with Pristina University in Bosnia.

  • We must look for ways to increase connections between our undergraduate off-campus and on-campus academic programs. Modern technology can enable the further integration of off-campus programs with our on-campus courses and activities. Off-campus students can communicate effectively with their peers and faculty on campus and can further enrich the campus environment.

  • We must provide further administrative support to our undergraduate off-campus programs to meet the increasing administrative, legal, and logistical needs of these programs.

  • We must continue to attract international students and faculty by offering attractive and competitive financial aid and scholarship packages.

August 2002

© 2002 Trustees of Dartmouth College