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Undergraduate Advising and Research
Parker House, HB 6201
Hanover, NH
Phone:  603.646.3690
Fax:  603.646.8190

James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars

The James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars Program was initiated in 1988 and provides opportunities for juniors to work as research assistants with Dartmouth faculty. These opportunities are intended to prepare students for undertaking senior honors theses. In 1997, the Program was endowed by John (Launny) L. Steffens, Dartmouth '63. The program was renamed in January of 2007 in honor of James O. Freedman, 16th President of Dartmouth College, in recognition of his commitment to undergraduate teaching and scholarship.


For the classes of 2016 and later:

  • Term 1: $850 (for 7-12 hours of work per week).
  • Term 2: $850 OR academic credit as Independent Study.

Stipend payments for international students (non-resident aliens) are subject to a 14% tax.

** Independent Study credit must be arranged through the faculty advisor for the James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar project and approved by that professor's department.  Some departments have specific requirements and pre-requisites for approval of research for credit, and students must satisfy these requirements in order to be eligible for independent study credit.  If the independent study is approved by the department, students must register for the course through the Registrar's office.  Note that students may not receive both a stipend and independent study credit for their second term of Presidential Scholar research.  Independent study credit is not an option for the first term of the scholarship.


  • Available only to rising juniors who have attained a GPA in the top 40% of the class at the end of fall term of sophomore year.
    • GPA cut-off for the class of 2019 is 3.58 (based on grades through the end of fall 2016)
  • Eligible students will be notified winter term of sophomore year and can interview for the assistantships during winter and spring terms of sophomore year.
  • Students participating in the Presidential Scholars program are not eligible to participate in the Junior Research Scholars program.
  • Students may not participate in other campus research programs (e.g. Neukom Scholars, Human Development Fellowships) in the same terms as they are engaging in Presidential Scholar research.  There is one exception: students may participate in the Stamps Scholars program (DCAL's experiential learning program) and the Presidential Scholar program in the same academic year.
  • Students who have received funding through another UGAR program must be in good standing in that program in order to participate in this program (e.g. submitted all required paperwork and final reports).

Program Information

  • Assistantships can be done during any two academic terms of junior year (agreed on by you and your faculty mentor). 
    • Assistantships can begin in "sophomore summer" but not before that.
    • Students who cannot complete both terms of the assistantship during junior year will be discontinued from the program.
    • Students must complete both terms with the same faculty mentor (as specified on the initial application).
  • If you choose an assistantship with a faculty member outside your major department, you may not be able to continue this research as a senior honors thesis.
  • If you choose an assistantship outside of Arts & Sciences (for example, at Geisel School of Medicine), you may not be eligible for independent study credit in the second term and you may not be able to continue the research as a senior honors thesis.  Check with your major department for specific information on the department's policy.
  • Transcripts of students who successfully complete both terms of the assistantship will carry the notation James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar Research Assistant.
  • Students who satisfactorily complete the assistantship and successfully complete the honors program in their major department/program will be designated James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars at Commencement and on their transcripts. The Presidential Scholarship and the honors program are not required to be in the same subject or department.
  • Ownership of intellectual property created by James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars as part of their research assistantships shall be determined in accordance with the patent and copyright policies of Dartmouth College.

Senior Honors Thesis Fund

  • Available to undergraduates who have successfully completed both terms of a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar assistantship and who have departmental approval to do a senior honors thesis.
  • Funds up to $300 for expenses directly related to honors thesis research. 
  • To apply for this fund:  Senior Honors Thesis Funding Application (46K PDF File)

How to apply for a Presidential Scholarship

Last Updated: 1/27/17