Following a liberal arts curriculum, the university provides undergraduate instruction in 40 academic departments and interdisciplinary programs including 57 majors in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering, and enables students to design specialized concentrations or engage in dual degree programs. Dartmouth comprises five constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, the Tuck School of Business, and the Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The university also has affiliations with the Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, the Rockefeller Institute for Public Policy, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts. With a student enrollment of about 6,400, Dartmouth is the smallest university in the Ivy League. Undergraduate admissions is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of 8.7% for the Class of 2022.
Situated on a hill above the Connecticut River, Dartmouth's 269-acre main campus is in the rural Upper Valley region of New England. The university functions on a quarter system, operating year-round on four ten-week academic terms. Dartmouth is known for its undergraduate focus, strong Greek culture, and wide array of enduring campus traditions. Its 34 varsity sports teams compete intercollegiately in the Ivy League conference of the NCAA Division I.
Dartmouth is consistently included among the highest-ranked universities in the United States by several institutional rankings, and has been cited as a leading university for undergraduate teaching and research by U.S. News & World Report. In 2018, the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education listed Dartmouth as the only "majority-undergraduate," "arts-and-sciences focused," "doctoral university" in the country that has "some graduate coexistence" and "very high research activity." In a New York Times corporate study, Dartmouth graduates were shown to be among the most sought-after and valued in the world.
The university has produced many prominent alumni, including 170 members of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, 24 U.S. governors, 10 billionaire alumni, 10 U.S. Cabinet secretaries, 3 Nobel Prize laureates, 2 U.S. Supreme Court justices, and a U.S. vice president. Other notable alumni include 79 Rhodes Scholars, 26 Marshall Scholarship recipients, 13 Pulitzer Prize winners, and numerous MacArthur Genius fellows, Fulbright Scholars, CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 corporations, high-ranking U.S. diplomats, scholars in academia, literary and media figures, professional athletes, and Olympic medalists.
Dartmouth was founded by Eleazar Wheelock, a Congregational minister from Columbia, Connecticut, who had sought to establish a school to train Native Americans as Christian missionaries. Wheelock's ostensible inspiration for such an establishment resulted from his relationship with Mohegan Indian Samson Occom. Occom became an ordained minister after studying under Wheelock from 1743 to 1747, and later moved to Long Island to preach to the Montauks.