Welcome from the Dean

Jen Scanlon

As dean for academic affairs, I am delighted to welcome you to these pages highlighting Bowdoin’s academic program.

As you explore our website, I hope these pages will offer a glimpse of Bowdoin’s vibrant educational community. At the heart of the Bowdoin experience is the opportunity for a diverse group of exceptional students to work closely with a talented faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists who are dedicated and inspiring teachers. In state-of-the-art facilities and the intimate setting of small classes on our beautiful historic New England campus, students engage the full range of the liberal arts. Here you will find inspirational faculty passionate about what they teach. Indeed, generations of Bowdoin students describe their relationships with faculty members as among the most important of their lives.

Beyond the classroom and laboratory, curricular and co-curricular work extends to our field stations, museums, libraries, theaters, art and dance studios, and recital hall. And the state of Maine serves as a stunningly beautiful setting for students to immerse themselves in the culture and region and to enjoy extraordinary opportunities for community- and place-based courses and research.

Dedicated professionals — in the Center for Learning and Teaching, the offices of Off-Campus Study, International ProgramsHealth Professions Advising, and Student Fellowships and Research — join with our faculty to support and advise students as they navigate their journey through Bowdoin and prepare themselves for opportunities beyond the campus.

For over 200 years, Bowdoin has recognized the importance of a commitment to the common good. This, along with William Dewitt Hyde’s Offer of the College, has served as the cornerstone of our educational mission. Intensive faculty discussion has shaped Bowdoin’s curriculum, with distribution requirements that encourage exploration and broaden students’ capacities to view and interpret the world from a variety of perspectives in an interpretation of what the “Offer of the College” means for the twenty-first century. With more than forty majors to choose from, students uncover their passion and the intellectual satisfaction of pursuing a topic in depth.

To learn more about a Bowdoin education, I invite you to read Bowdoin’s Statement on a Liberal Education and to spend time exploring this website. Through an emphasis on intellectual inquiry based on creativity, reason, and inspiration, a Bowdoin education prepares students to appreciate, apply, and generate knowledge, and to embrace and shape the future - in short, to be leaders in all walks of life.

Jen Scanlon
Interim Dean for Academic Affairs and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies