Why Dartmouth?

The advantages of the Debate Institutes at Dartmouth include:

  • Small Classes Our classes are capped at 24 students with a 1:8 teacher-student ratio or better. Every member of the teaching staff is in class every day.
  • Highly Qualified Staff Our entire teaching staff is comprised of college graduates who have dedicated their careers to teaching and coaching. You’ll have a chance to work with the coaches of many of the best college debate programs in the country.
  • Argument Diversity We have instructors that specialize in policy, critical, and non-traditional arguments. Students can choose arguments that interest them to research and practice at the institute tournament.
  • You Choose Our elective system allows us to choose classes that best fit your needs and ensures you have access to all members of the teaching staff
  • Skills and Strategy The DDI’s unique competitive lab structure promotes constant strategizing against other labs’ arguments before and during the tournament. This year, we’re adding even more early and structured skills practice with immediate feedback.
  • Fun and Friendships for Life Any alum will testify to our uniquely close-knit and collaborative community. Year after year, students leave our institute with a lifetime of memories and a close network of friends.


In the words of former students:

“…hands down the best debate camp I attended. The small lab size allowed for me to get more attention from my lab leaders than my friends who attended other camps. By having lots of practice debates against some of the best debaters in the country and doing vast amounts of research, I could truly master the topic for the coming year. Electives were a helpful way to improve in areas of my choosing and let me get insight from instructors of all sorts of debate backgrounds. The lessons I learned from my 8 weeks at Dartmouth gave me the foundation for a successful senior year. I would highly recommend the DDI for any debater who wants to work with some of the best debate minds in the country and have a competitive edge in the year to come.”

-Will Caplan, Chattahoochee High School (GA) and the University of Georgia


“With a collaborative working environment, and an individual skills centered approach, DDI provided me with the opportunity to grow exponentially for my last year of debate. My ability to spend commensurate time with a variety of instructors who actually cared about my personal success as a debater and person gave me multiple perspectives and indispensable insight. Moreover, in addition to sixteen guaranteed debates, DDI offers a unique, season style tournament with eight preliminary rounds. The tournament acts as an amazing launching point into the season by replicating the structure, competition, and atmosphere of prestigious national tournaments during the year. Even before the tournament and beneficial practice debates, I had the opportunity to do rebuttal redo’s every night as lab leaders were always stationed nearby. I would be blatantly lying if I said four weeks of thought provoking lab discussions, intensive research, and multiple competitive lab debates did not contribute to my win column this season. DDI not only helped me craft my own debating style, it helped me craft my lifestyle. ”

– Sullivan McCormick, Jesuit College Prep (TX)

“The Dartmouth Debate Institute didn’t just teach me how to debate, it taught me how to think about debate. With a focus on intellectual innovation and rigorous standards of evidence production, the DDI represents the very best summer experience a debater can have. Instead of working in a large group with relatively few lab leaders, the DDI allows for one-on-one engagement with instructors who care deeply about helping you succeed.”

-Michael Suo, Lexington High School (MA) and Harvard University

“The DDI was one of the most influential experiences contributing to my growth as a debater. The decision to attend the DDI this summer was definitely the best decision I have made given the level of hands-on skill development and practice that is unparalleled to that of any other debate camp one can attend. Not only were all of the lab leaders incredible, but the level of competition and intellectual discussion drastically increased my knowledge and performance as a debater.”

-Andrew Barron, Hendrickson High School (TX)