First-year Writing Choices

All first-year students are required to fulfill Dartmouth's first-year writing requirement and first-year seminar requirement. Through the first-year writing courses, the College offers entering students a valuable opportunity to develop the thinking, research, writing, and presentation abilities that characterize intellectual work in the academy and in educated public discourse.

On June 1, all entering students will receive notification about the directed self-placement process, a process that all students must complete to choose among the various writing courses that fulfill the first-year writing requirement (see below). The link to begin the directed self-placement process will be found here:  [link to be placed here by June 1] 

First-year Writing Course Choices

The first-year writing requirement at Dartmouth is satisfied by taking any of the following courses:

For further information, please see Differences among First-year Writing Courses.

First-Year Seminar Requirement

The first-year seminar requirement is satisfied, after completion of the first-year writing requirement, with either of these courses:

Students who would like to take Humanities 1-2 should apply to the program by July 24 at this page: Application for Humanities 1-2.  

Please note:  All students must complete the directed self-placement process even if they plan to apply to the Humanities 1-2 program.

For more detailed information about the first-year writing requirement, visit the placement and enrollment policies page.

Choosing Your Writing Course: Directed Self-Placement

Dartmouth uses a process called Directed Self Placement, or DSP, to help students choose their first-year writing courses. Students will receive more information about this process in June and will have three weeks to answer a questionnaire, read a few articles, and compose an essay.  The questionnaire and the essay will then be read by our faculty, who will then make a course recommendation that students will be able to accept or decline.

The purpose of this process is to have students understand the difference among the writing courses, reflect on their writing experiences and abilities, and make a thoughtful choice about which of these writing courses might be best for them. 

More information—including deadlines—can be found here:  FAQs about DSP.