How to Apply


Timeline illustrating the pre-decision phase

Who can Apply for an Off-Campus Program?

Applications to the Guarini Institute's off-campus programs are open to all Dartmouth undergraduates who:

  1. anticipate being in good academic standing,
  2. plan to complete the necessary prerequisite course(s) at the time of participation, and 
  3. have completed the First-Year Seminar Requirement. 


Application Tips

Acceptance. Acceptance to an off-campus program is based on fully completing the program application. No applicants are guaranteed acceptance.

Apply to Multiple Programs! Due to varying enrollment limits and the competitiveness of certain programs, applicants are encouraged to apply for more than one program even if it is during the same term. Applying to multiple programs will not affect your chances of acceptance since Faculty Directors only review applications for their own program. However, if you are accepted to two programs within the same term, you may only commit to one program per term.

Application Open Date. Applications for off-campus programs in the following academic year open on October 1st and close on February 1st



Check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page to answer your basic questions and if you don't find an answer, contact 



  • Step 1: Before You Apply
  • Step 2: Create an Application
  • Step 3: Complete the Application & Accompanying Materials
  • Step 3A: Request Recommendations (only applicable to certain programs)
  • Step 4: Submit the Application
  • Step 5: Program Interviews & Decision Date
  • Step 6: Determine Your Status
  • Step 7: Commit to a Program


STEP 1: Before You Apply

Find a Program & Review Program Details

Use the Guarini Institute's program keyword and filters search feature to find and select a program page. Each program has a web page with general program information, as well as academic and financial information.


Review Important Program Details


Meet with Dartmouth Resources

  1. The Office of Financial Aid. Talk with OFA about how they can help during an off-campus program.
  2. Your Undergraduate Dean. Seek advice to find out how an off-campus program fits into your academic goals. Consider a flexible study plan that takes into account when you can fulfill prerequisites, when you will be required to be on-campus, and when you will be required to take leave terms.
  3. Peers and/or Student Alumni Mentors.
  4. The Office of Visa and Immigration Services. It is critical that students on F-1 visas meet with their OVIS advisor before applying and mention a potential term off-campus. Your advisor will check your visa validity and let you know of any issues before they arise. Review the page on Passports and Visas for more information.
  5. The Guarini Institute Staff. Reach out to a Guarini Staff Member with your questions.
  6. The Program Department Contact. Check the program page for the department's contact details.


Request Faculty to be Recommenders

If a recommendation is required (only for a select few programs--see below--and indicated in the application), ask well before the application deadline



Step 2: Create an Application






How to Apply

When you are ready to apply for a program, click the "APPLY TO THIS PROGRAM" button in the left column of a program's page. You will be redirected to the Guarini Institute's application software which may require you to login with your NetID. Once you are in the application software, select an available term and click 'Apply'.


Application Deadline

The Application Deadline is the final day on which students can submit an application to a program. Once the application deadline has passed, all applications will be locked. Applicants will only be allowed to view the application and will receive a message indicating that the deadline has passed and their application is under review.  


Step 3: Complete Application & Accompanying Materials


Terra Dotta Applicant Home Sidebar

1. In the Guarini Institute's application software, you can access your applications by going to your Applicant Home via the left-hand sidebar.


Terra Dotta Application Home Program Title

2. Once in your Applicant Home, you will see a list of the program(s) you have chosen to apply to, along with an indicator of your progress on the application(s). Clicking on a program will take you to its Program Application Page. 


Terra Dotta Program Application Page


3. In the corresponding Program Application Page, you will find the materials that must be completed before the application deadline such as

A) application questionnaires (Here is an example of questions you may find on the application),
B) signature documents (consent forms),
C) academic transcript
(unofficial transcripts are okay)
D) passport upload (important note: you do not need to have a passport to apply. If you do not have a passport, indicate this in the form. Your chances of acceptance will not be affected by not having a passport. Upon your commitment to a program you will be asked to upload passport information again.), and
E) recommendations if applicable (see the list of programs that require recommendations below). More information about recommendations can be found in the "Pre-" and "Post-Decision Phase Instructions" in the program application. Students accepted to these exchange programs will be responsible for providing the exchange partner with any materials they require in order to be eligible for admission by their deadlines.


Step 3A: Request Recommendations

Please note: not all programs require recommendations. See the list below.

Programs that Require Recommendations

Faculty-directed programs that require one recommendation from a Dartmouth faculty who is not the director of the program:

  • Philosophy FSP Edinburgh (University of Edinburgh)
  • Religion FSP Edinburgh (University of Edinburgh)

Exchange partners who require at least one recommendation as part of their institutional application process include:

  • Chulalongkorn University
  • The Federation of German-American Clubs
  • Hebrew University
  • Keble College/ Oxford University exchange (1 recommendation)
  • Keio University
  • University College of London
  • Waseda University


Recommendation Request Process

1. Prior to requesting an online recommendation, undergraduate students must contact each potential recommender directly to ask if they are willing to serve as recommenders. Recommendations cannot come from anyone with a "student" status and should not be the faculty director of the program.

2. After receiving approval from the faculty member(s), students will need to identify their recommenders in the application system.

3. Each recommender will then receive an e-mail message requesting that a recommendation be completed on the student's behalf along with information about how to complete the recommendation online. 

4. For faculty-directed programs, The Guarini Institute will then send the recommendations to the program's university partner on your behalf.


Tips on Selecting Recommenders

Who knows you well in the academic setting, regardless of their title? 

The most important recommender you can ask is someone who knows you well and can speak to your character, attributes, and abilities in a positive light. Think about the audience of the letter--the faculty director and institution. What are their values in applicants for the program? What do they want to see most in their group cohort? It may help to speak with the faculty director to find out.

The professional title and accolades the recommender has don't matter as much as hearing from someone who knows you. Teachers' assistants are fabulous recommenders as well since they spend the most time with you. And it's even better if the recommender has several years of experience as well; their statements can carry more weight.

Do remember that the recommendation should still be academically focused. If you're unsure of where you stand with a recommender, ask and tell them you appreciate their honesty. It's hard to hear but it's better to weed out any recommenders that won't write a glowing recommendation for you.


Who will be most reliable and actually take the time to write a recommendation?

If you're trying to pick between your high school Spanish teacher whom you worked with for many years or the Senator you worked under for a summer internship, both may be valuable but think about what you're applying for when selecting the right person. That said, you also want to choose someone who not only is a good writer but will take the time to write you a good recommendation. That Senator may be a better fit for your program, but they may not have the time to write one for you, whereas the Spanish teacher might. One letter is better than no letter at all.


Other Considerations

Some additional considerations are to find someone who can write a letter to complement your application and provide a variety of information that shows how well-rounded you are and how much experience you have in the area you're applying to. 



Step 4: Submit Application



Terra Dotta Application Checkmarks

When all of the application elements are checked, your application is considered complete and will be listed as "Pending" until the decision date.

If an applicant has not completed all requirements, the application will be tagged incomplete and will not be considered.


Step 5: Program Interviews & Decision Date


In some cases, an application reviewer may request an interview with a student in order to make a determination. Interviews are either conducted on campus or via web conference. All interviews are scheduled and completed prior to the decision date.


Decision Date (AKA Acceptance Notifications Deadline)

The decision date is when applicants will be permitted to learn if they have been accepted, waitlisted, or not accepted. On the decision date, all applicants will be notified via email that their application status changed and to access the application site for decision results. Decision dates are normally about a month after the application deadline.



Step 6: Determine Your Status

Accepted: Congratulations! Accepted applicants will receive an email and log in to the Guarini Institute Application System to confirm their acceptance status. After confirming their accepted status, applicants must choose whether or not to commit to the program by the commitment deadline stated in the email. Once accepted students confirm their status, they move to the committed stage or withdraw their application from consideration.

Not Accepted: A status of 'Not Accepted' means that the application was not accepted. The applicant is notified of the decision once the decision date is reached.

PendingMost new applications automatically begin in the 'Pending' status. Applications remain in the pending status until an admin changes the status and the decision date is reached.

Waitlisted: Applicants will receive an email if they are waitlisted for a program. Since waitlisted students are preliminarily accepted, it is expected that all waitlisted applicants be ready to participate in the program in the event that a space becomes available; students on the waitlist who have completed all the participation requirements will be accepted into the program. Keep in mind that this happens in some cases on very short notice and that it is impossible for the Guarini Institute to predict whether a waitlisted applicant will be accepted into a program as waitlist rankings are not available. 

Beyond completing the materials, no action is necessary to remain on a program's waitlist. There is no financial commitment, and applicants may remain on the waitlist for as long as they wish or withdraw from the waitlist at any time without penalty



Step 7: Commit to a Program

  1. After applicants confirm acceptance, the program application panel will populate with a Commit button. 
  2. Applicants must decide on the next step before the Commitment Deadline.
  • If an applicant chooses to accept and commit to the program, their application status will be changed from 'Accepted' to 'Committed'. The student then moves on to the "Post-Decision Phase" of the process when preparing to go. From here, it is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all prerequisites and participation requirements are completed before going off-campus. Once students are committed to a program, they can no longer withdraw from a program via the application. 
  • If an applicant chooses to decline their acceptance, their application status is automatically changed to 'Withdrawn'.
  • If an applicant takes no action by the commitment deadline, their application status will be changed to "Withdrawn" and a spot will be offered to a student on the waitlist, if available.