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Fellowships and Scholarships


By vote of the Board of Trustees, each year there is selected from the junior class a group of students (usually no more than ten, but in exceptional circumstances a maximum of twelve) to be Senior Fellows during the following year. The Senior Fellows are chosen from among students of such intellectual caliber, indepen­dence of character, and imaginative curiosity that they have become interested in some personal project of study that will contribute to their own intellectual growth. Every Senior Fellowship must involve a project in which the intellectual scope and breadth of imagination goes beyond that which can be accomplished by taking courses offered in the existing curriculum. These students are permitted all the freedom they are capable of using profitably within the framework of the undergraduate college. The Senior Fellowships constitute a recognition of the existence within the College of the kind of responsible individualism that must ever be a part of education in a free, democratic society, and provide exceptional opportunity for self-education for those who are best able to use it.

Selection of the Fellows is made by the President on the recommendation of the Faculty Committee on Senior Fellowships consisting of the Dean of the College and two members from each of the Divisions of the Faculty. The regulations gov­erning the selection of these Fellows are as follows:

1. Basis and Method of Selection of Senior Fellows: The Committee on Senior Fellowships shall determine the number of Fellowships to be awarded and select each year from the list of applicants those candidates who are to receive the Fel­lowships.

2. Regulations Concerning the Application for Appointment to a Senior Fellow­ship: Members of the junior class may become candidates for Senior Fellowships by individual application, or on nomination by any member or members of the undergraduate body, of the Faculty, or of the Administration.

Each candidate must file an application with the Chair of the Committee on Senior Fellowships not later than the end of the fourth week of the term, two terms before the Senior Fellowship is to begin. Included in the application shall be the name of the faculty member who has consented to be the principal adviser and a detailed description of the project: what the candidate proposes to do, the reasons for doing it, and plans for achieving the goals. The candidate will be required to have a personal interview with the Senior Fellowship Committee. If the candidate will be off-campus in the term during which the application is filed, he or she should arrange to come to Hanover for an interview, or if that is impossible, arrange with the Chair of the Senior Fellowship Committee to have an interview in a prior term in which he or she is on-campus. Applicants must plan ahead and discuss their projects with their prospective adviser and the Chair of the Senior Fellowship Committee before the term during which their application will be sub­mitted.

The potential adviser shall submit to the Committee on Senior Fellowships, in support of the candidate’s application, a comprehensive written statement in which the merit and feasibility of the project, the qualifications of the applicant, and the commitment of the adviser are fully discussed.

3. Requirements for Senior Fellows: The Fellowship year comprises three terms of registered enrollment, at least one of which must be spent primarily in resi­dence. Fellows are enrolled for two Senior Fellow courses in each term of the Fel­lowship. The courses are graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Supervised independent research away from campus will count as an R-term. All Fellows must have their schedules approved by the Senior Fellowship Committee.

Senior Fellows are required to complete a total of thirty-five courses before the end of their Fellowship year. They shall take such courses as the Committee on Senior Fellowships may prescribe.

Students applying for Senior Fellowships must have a minimum College grade point average of 3.0 at the time of application. The Committee on Instruction is empowered to make small downward adjustments of this requirement when the Committee on Senior Fellowships strongly supports the application of a candidate who does not quite qualify.

Fellows shall not be required to complete a major, but may do so if they so desire; they do not receive any reduction in the requirements for a major. No part of the Senior Fellowship work may be submitted for departmental major honors.

Fellows must complete all distributive and related requirements by the end of the second term of the Fellowship.

In the planning and execution of this program a Fellow shall be responsible to some member of the Faculty who shall act as adviser. No member of the Faculty will be expected to act as principal adviser for more than one Senior Fellow during an academic year. In the exceptional case where two or more students collaborate on a senior fellowship, each student must have a separate principal adviser. If the principal adviser is not a tenure-track member of the Dartmouth faculty, one of the secondary advisers must meet that criterion. The Committee on Senior Fellow-ships shall exercise general supervision over all programs.

The Fellowship appointment is provisional for one term. Continuation for the remaining two terms requires the Committee on Senior Fellowship’s approval of a Fellow’s accomplishments and rate of progress during the first term. In making its determination, the Committee on Senior Fellowships shall evaluate a written report from the student, a detailed analysis and recommendation of the principal adviser, and such additional information as may be required.

In consultation with the faculty adviser at the time the Senior Fellowship is awarded, the Committee will name two or more examiners, in addition to the fac­ulty adviser, to the Examining Committee. The membership of the Examining Committee may change during the course of the Fellow’s tenure. Except in special circumstances, at least one of the members is expected to be from outside the Col­lege.

The Fellow must submit a draft of the project and make an oral presentation of the work to the Examining Committee by the end of the third week of the final term of the fellowship.

The student’s Senior Fellowship project must be completed and submitted two weeks before the beginning of the final examination period in the third term of the fellowship.

Upon the recommendation of the Examining Committee, the Committee on Senior Fellowships will notify the Registrar that the student has completed the Senior Fellowship or has completed the Fellowship “with Honors” or “with High Honors”. This standing shall become part of the Fellow’s permanent record.

The Committee on Senior Fellowships may declare failing a Senior Fellow whose work has not been of satisfactory quality. The Committee shall in such cases specify the requirements to be fulfilled before the degree is granted.

4. Tuition Reduction for Senior Fellows: All Senior Fellows are entitled to attend their final term at Dartmouth College tuition-free. Since this provision may have differing effects on individual students, a Senior Fellow has three options:

a) Attending the final term without paying tuition; or

b) Electing to receive a graduate fellowship equal to one term’s tuition; or

c) Electing, by a financial aid student, to have the self-help package reduced by the equivalent of one term’s tuition.


The Presidential Scholars Program was initiated under the auspices of the Fac-ulty of Arts and Sciences in 1988 to encourage and facilitate the attainment of intellectual and artistic excellence among Dartmouth undergraduates. Presidential Scholar Research Assistantships offer students the opportunity to serve as research assistants to individual members of the faculty. This venture in student-faculty col-laboration introduces Juniors to approaches and methods of research that may prove useful in their own future scholarship. By working closely on a project with individual faculty mentors, juniors receive apprenticeship training in research that may facilitate the writing of an Honors thesis or pursuit of a Senior Fellowship.

The assistantships are two terms in length. Normally the two terms will be sequential, although the terms may be split by mutual agreement of the student and directing faculty member. As assistants, juniors are expected to work seven to twelve hours per week and will receive an honorarium. If the second term’s work is deemed worthy of academic credit as Independent Study by the directing faculty member (subject to departmental criteria), one course credit may be given if the student so requests. Assistantships for which Independent Study credit is to be granted will involve a greater commitment of time than non-credit Assistantships. Students who do not elect or qualify for this option will receive the honorarium for the second term of their Assistantships. (Students may not receive both hono­rarium and credit for the same work.)

Upon completion of two terms of research, the student’s transcript will carry the notation Presidential Scholar Research Assistant.   To be designated a Presidential Scholar at Commencement, students designated Presidential Scholar Research Assistants must successfully complete the honors program in their major depart­ment or the project for which they were appointed a Senior Fellow.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

 (1) A grade point average at the end of the fall term that would have placed a student in the top 40% of the previous year’s sophomore class.

(2) The Assistantship must fall within the student’s major or a closely related program or field. The general criterion for judging exceptions to this second pro-vision will be the same as that applied in the case of modified majors: intellectual coherence.

There are normally more faculty projects and student applicants than matches. The majority of applications will be approved based simply on the faculty mem-ber’s request and the student’s qualifications. Should the number of matches exceed the maximum allowed, selections will normally be made on the basis of academic standing.

Students may interview for Assistantships during the last two weeks of winter term and during the first two weeks of spring term. Students can obtain further information in the Dean of the Faculty Office, 114 Wentworth Hall.


In addition to national and international fellowships, and awards by graduate schools in the United States, Dartmouth College fellowships are awarded each year to seniors (and in some cases recent graduates of the College) who have done academic work of distinction and who are qualified to proceed to advanced study in graduate school at home or who may be pursuing a project abroad.

Appointments to the fellowships are made by the President of the College on the recommendation of the Committee on Graduate Fellowships. Application forms and other information are obtainable from Scholarship Advising. Normally appli-cations for the Reynolds Scholarships must be completed in early January, and for other awards by April 1.

The James B. Reynolds Scholarships for Foreign Study are based on a fund given by James B. Reynolds of the Class of 1890, and are awarded annually for projects or study abroad to Dartmouth seniors and graduates who are United States citizens, or to those who have made application for first citizenship papers in the United States. The awards are based on the intellectual ability and character of the applicants and on the value to the community of their program of study. The Scholarships may be used for study in any field in any foreign country, normally in affiliation with a recognized educational institution, and in any case in confor-mity with a definite program of study approved by the Committee on Graduate Fellowships. In unusual cases programs of scholarly investigation or creative activity to be pursued independently abroad may be approved. The award is for one year only, for a sum of approximately $10,000.

Dartmouth General Fellowships are awarded with consideration of the financial need of the applicant as well as of her or his academic merit. Most awards are for up to one year of study or research in the United States or abroad. Grants may also be used for short term post-graduate projects. The funds are awarded in varying amounts, normally not exceeding $3,000. The amount granted depends on the need of the candidate, taking into account other available sources, including fel-lowships and assistantships at graduate schools.

The Paul L.’83 and Neil T. McGorrian Fellowship is awarded each year to a graduating senior whose proposal for foreign travel or study reflects the spirit that motivated the lives of Paul’83 and Neil McGorrian: a desire to learn about the world and to communicate that knowledge to other Americans, a passion for the truth, and the courage to face challenges. Paul died tragically while pursuing a career as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan, only months after the untimely death of his younger brother, Neil. Applicants must be United States citizens or permanent residents. Students who plan careers in some aspect of foreign affairs and cultures, including such fields as journalism, the arts, education, diplomacy, preservation of indigenous cultures, environmental work, humanitarian relief, and economic development, are encouraged to apply. The award of approximately $1,000 is for a period of two months to one year and is not renewable.

The William Hill Memorial Loan Fund has been established to provide financial aid for graduating seniors and recent graduates who are well qualified for graduate work and in need of financial assistance. Under its conditions, a student may apply to the Committee on Graduate Fellowships for a low-interest loan from this Fund.

Dartmouth graduates accepted into any graduate program at Harvard University, but needing financial assistance beyond the amount available from Harvard, may apply for the Alfred K. Priest Fellowship. Normally one Fellow will be named yearly and awarded a stipend, not to exceed $5,000, which may be renewed annu-ally until the completion of the advanced degree, not exceeding five years.

A description of fellowships and the list of awards for each completed academic year are published in Fellowships, Prizes, Honors, and Degrees, available from the Publications Office.