Dartmouth Medical School


Dartmouth Medical School, located in Hanover, New Hampshire, is the fourth oldest medical school in the United States. Founded in 1797, the school is a component of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. The school is located in the heart of Hanover, approximately 3 miles from the medical center.


The school functions on a four-year plan. The New Directions curriculum is designed to integrate the study of basic and clinical sciences throughout medical school while supporting close working relationships between students and faculty. The first and second years include a course entitled “On Doctoring,” which pairs students with faculty practitioners in local communities and alternates with biweekly, small group tutorials on campus. The first year also emphasizes basic science courses. Students’ third years consist of clerkships in many disciplines; these are scheduled in eight 6-week blocks. Fourth-year students take advanced courses that complete their clerkships in neurology and women’s health, a sub-internship, and fill out their required electives.

The matriculation system used is Honors/High Pass/Pass/Fail. Promotion is determined by faculty vote, and no student will be promoted who has not passed all courses. Taking steps 1 and 2 of the USMLE is required; passing it is not.

Unique Programs

Unique degree programs include a combined MD-PhD program, which is offered in several disciplines. An MD-MBA program is offered in conjunction with Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School. The medical school’s Center for Evaluative Clinical Sciences offers graduate degrees.


Fundamental premedical science courses and a course in calculus are required. There are no residence restrictions, but special consideration is given to applicants from New Hampshire and Maine. Generally, transfer admission is considered only when places are available; preference is given to students from other U.S. schools with compelling needs to be in Hanover. As part of its mission to enhance diversity in the medical sciences, the school actively encourages applications from qualified minority students.


Students have access to a wealth of research materials in every medical discipline. The school is home to the Dana Biomedical Library at the Hanover Campus, as well as the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library at the Medical Center. All campus libraries have printed and digital books and journals, databases, indexes, computer programs, and audiovisual materials.

Graduate housing is available, though most students elect to stay in off-campus housing.

Additional School Information

The primary clinical teaching site at the school is the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The center serves a very large patient population. As a level 1 trauma center, it treats many acute emergency cases. The Medical Center itself is a partnership of four organizations: Dartmouth Medical School, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic, and the VT Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The center is a focal point for transitional “bench to bedside” research and boasts a higher-than-average rate of patient participation in clinical trials. At Norris Cotton Cancer Center, fully 17% of patients enter into clinical trials.

Other facilities and departments include the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, the Spine Center, Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Neurology. The flow of research is enhanced by two major research sites on the Lebanon campus. The Borwell and Rubin Research Buildings are at the nexus of the school’s research program.

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