Great Issues Scholars

Spend your first year on campus exploring the vital international issues of the day with visiting dignitaries, Dartmouth experts, and your fellow students.

First year Great Issues Scholars get to know each other when they meet at the beginning of the year for an off-campus retreat. See more pictures here!

Students examine 200-year-old ice cores to see first-hand how ice recovered from Polar Regions holds clues to the history of the earth’s climate. 

Madeleine Albright

Discuss international issues with visiting dignitaries such as former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. 

Scholars examine special collections at the HOOD museum to discuss how artists have used their work as a platform for activism or raising awareness about important issues.

Does the food you eat have consequences for the planet?  Students visit Dartmouth's Organic Farm to learn how diet and climate change are related. 


Great Issues Scholars participate in a year-long series of highly interactive events aimed at enhancing their understanding of the world and current international events. The program is a unique opportunity to connect with faculty, visiting experts, and fellow students around complex global issues. 

Scholars work and learn together while they gather for presentations, simulations, lunch and dinner discussions and other small group events around specific themes such as global health, climate change, gender in politics, international development, and regional security challenges.  Scholars also learn about various academic and career paths. 


GIS comprises two cohorts: “Great Issues Scholars-in-Residence, selected from the Global Village Living Learning Community as well as non-residential Scholars.

  • Students interested in participating in the Great Issues Scholars-in-Residence must apply to the program via the Housing StarPortal in Banner Student by writing the application for the Global Village and indicating an interest in this program.
  • Applications for non-residential Scholars will be due in September following new-student orientation. 

All selected Scholars start the year with a weekend retreat to build friendships, understand the program, and work and learn together. Throughout the year Scholars meet together for regular programming and special events such as receptions or discussion of a shared reading with an author.

Peer Mentors, former Scholars now in their sophomore year, help organize small group discussions, socials, and receptions with visitors and faculty. They also provide insights into the many ways Scholars can link the Great Issues Scholars program to their larger Dartmouth experience.


Regular participation in GIS ensures that you see the term's theme from a variety of viewpoints and hear differing approaches/opinions. It also means you have more opportunity to get to know your fellow Scholars.

Scholars are expected to attend a minimum of twelve (12) Great Issues Scholars events over the course of the year (at least 4 per term).

We take attendance at each scheduled event and track completion of the attendance requirement.

How to Apply

Applications to the 2019-20 program due by Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 11:59pm.

For more information, take a look at our FAQ page or contact Casey Aldrich.


Apply to become a Great Issues Scholar!

The John Sloan Dickey Center