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Choosing a Major

Students declare their majors in the spring of the sophomore year. This means they have over three semesters to be exposed to a broad range of courses and experiences before focusing their educational interests.

Students may choose one of six options to satisfy the major requirement at Bowdoin:

  • a departmental major,
  • two departmental majors (a double major),
  • a coordinate major,
  • an interdisciplinary major,
  • a student-designed major, or
  • any of the preceding with a departmental minor.

Students are required to declare their majors before registering for courses for junior year or applying for off-campus programs and they may not change their major after the first semester of their senior year. Students declare a major after they have consulted a faculty member in their major department. To learn more about major and minor requirements in specific departments, visit the departmental web pages.

 Departmental and program majors are offered in the following areas:

Coordinate Major

Interdisciplinary Major

Students may develop an interdisciplinary major by consulting with the chairs of the two major departments. The following interdisciplinary majors already have specified requirements:

Student-designed Majors:

Student who wish to design their own major will work with two faculty members to connect the disciplinary strengths and opportunities offered in at least two departments. A culminating project is required of students designing their own majors.


The following departments and programs offer a minor:

  • Geology
  • German
  • Government and Legal Studies
  • History
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Latin American Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Psychology
  • Religion
  • Romance Languages (French, Italian or Spanish)
  • Russian
  • Sociology
  • Theater
  • Visual Arts

* These programs offer only a minor.