Great Issues Scholars


Great Issues Scholars participate in a year-long series of 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, alumni and fellow students around complex global issues.

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

GIS is not a class and you do not receive academic credit for participating. However, it is designed to complement the academic experience of a first-year student. Most Scholars find that GIS helps shape their academic trajectory at Dartmouth either confirming they are on the right major/minor path, or opening up new pathways for exploration.


GIS has two application cycles: One for Great Issues Scholars LLC, selected from the Global Village Living Learning Community as well as non-residential Scholars. All scholars selected to join the program in each app cycle have the same access to all GIS related events. The only difference between the app cycles is that some members of GIS will be living on the same dorm or floor togehter (GIS LLC)

  • Students interested in participating in the Great Issues Scholars LLC 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 Sunday, September 12 at 11:59pm

Throughout the year Scholars meet together for regular programming ( weekly lunch and dinner conversations with guests) and other special events such as a book discussion of a shared reading with an author, connecting with GIS alum to learn more about their carear paths, field trips, simulations, and more!

Peer Mentors, former Scholars now in their sophomore, junior or senior years, 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 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 as many Great Issues Scholars events over the course of the year as they can and attendance will be taking at each event.

You do not have to attend all events. But regular participation (at least 4 per term) 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. We take attendance at each scheduled event and track completion of the attendance requirement.

Many athletes participate in the program. So do students with campus jobs and other out-of-class commitments. We vary the event days/times so that you can pick events that work in your schedule. We plan 8-10 events per term, but the attendance requirement is a minimum of 4 per term or 12 in the year. This allows flexibility for other commitments such as classes and extra curriculars.

How to Apply

Applications to the 2021-22 non-residential cohort will be due Sunday, September 12 at 11:59pm


Each year approximately 15-20% of the first year class apply. We never know until applications are submitted exactly how many will want to participate. We are accepting between 90-100 Scholars this year. We look for a mix of participants from around the world and diverse backgrounds, and with various levels of prior experience or study and interest of international issues. We are all here to learn together!

For more information contact Peter Jenkinson.