Office of the Registrar
Campus Address
Hanover, NH
Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2022-23

Standard Departmental or Program Major

The Standard Department or Program Major consists of eight to ten courses in the major subject in addition to those courses prerequisite to the major. (With the agreement of the major department/program at least some of the ‘prerequisite’ courses may be taken after declaring the major.) Prerequisite courses, unlike those that are part of the major, may be taken under the Non-Recording Option and, with the special approval of the department or program, need not necessarily be passed. Every course counted as an actual part of the major must be passed with a recorded letter grade or previously authorized CT; courses completed with standings of NC, NR, and E are not included.

The major must be a unified and coherent whole, not a series of relatively unrelated courses. When appropriate, however, courses from other departments or programs may be substituted for one or more in the area of the major. For instance, an English major often includes as one of the courses a comparative literature offering, or Chemistry, a physics course. However, such courses must serve in satisfaction of the major (not simply as a prerequisite to the major) in the other department or program unless a course has been specifically approved and listed in this Catalog as suitable for the major credit in the department or program of the student’s major. Courses within the major, or offered by the major department or program, satisfy whatever Distributive, World Culture, or Interdisciplinary credits are normally attached to those courses. In other words, these requirements are completely independent of choice of major.

The Department or Program may set a minimum grade average for admission to and/or completion of the major. It may also impose the requirement of a thesis, comprehensive examination, etc.

When a student finishes a standard major as outlined here, the Department or Program determines whether the student has adequately completed (i.e., passing, or reaching an announced minimum average) the courses of the major declared as part of the program plan, along with other specified requirements. If so, the Department or Program notifies the Registrar of the completion of the major and, accordingly, satisfaction of this requirement for graduation. On graduation, the student’s record indicates completion of the major in, for example, Comparative Literature or Physics. No form of Honors or Distinction in the major is allowable unless the student has undertaken an Honors Program (see the next paragraph), although the student may receive overall (Latin) honors, e.g., Magna cum Laude, as the result of grade point average for all courses taken at Dartmouth.

Students with appropriate grade averages and the desire to do so may apply to do an Honors Program in the major (i.e., Honors Major). By so doing they may on graduation achieve Honors or High Honors in the major; please see The Honors Program and Honors in the Major.

The procedures for declaring a major are outlined under Working Rules and Regulations in the Catalog and on the Registrar's website. After a student declares a major and if it is approved or denied by the department or program, the student may make updates by consulting the authorized major adviser and submitting a revised major plan.