International Applicants

Bowdoin welcomes interest from international students. Nearly 10% of the student body either carries an international passport or hails from outside of the United States.

Applying as an International Student

An international student is any applicant not holding American citizenship.

For international students, the application process is the same as for domestic, first-year applicants, with a few exceptions:

  • Students whose first language is not English must submit official results from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or from IELTS by the application deadlines. Applicants should score a minimum of 100 on the TOEFL and a minimum of 7 on the IELTS to be competitive for admission. 
  • We will waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement for applicants who have been taught exclusively in English for four years of high school or secondary school.
  • We do not waive the TOEFL or IELTS requirement based on a SAT Critical Reading score, SAT Subject Test result or AP Exam result.
  • We require an official transcript of academic work in the language in which it was prepared and a certified translation into English of the transcript.
  • Students from countries with national university entrance exams (such as WASSCE, EGSE, KCSE, CAPE, IGCSE, ISC, SLC) are required to submit official results. Applicants in an A-Level curriculum must submit O-Level/IGCSE results and predicted A-Level results. Students in an IB curriculum are expected to submit predicted IB exam results.
  • Contact Carla ( for more information regarding the English language proficiency requirement.

A Note to Chinese Applicants

Bowdoin accepts independent interviews from vendors, such as Initialview, from our Chinese applicants. These interviews will provide you with an opportunity to display your communication and reasoning abilities, as well as your enthusiasm for becoming a successful student at Bowdoin.  Following this conversation, a report and video of your interview will be sent directly to Bowdoin from the vendor.  Please note that any interview for Bowdoin is optional and not a required component of the application; in lieu of an interview, you are welcome to submit one additional letter of recommendation.

We recommend registering early for these opportunities as soon as possible to ensure that your materials arrive in our office before the application deadline.

If this option is a financial burden for you and your family, please utilize the off-campus interview request form, found here: You are eligible for an alumni interview only once you have submitted your application to Bowdoin. Due to the volume of requests, we cannot guarantee the availability of an alumni interview; however, following receipt of your application to Bowdoin, we will make every effort to accommodate your interview request.

Financial Aid

International students, if admitted to Bowdoin, are considered for Bowdoin institutional financial aid. International applicants should be advised, however, that competition for funding is intense as it is limited.

Applying for financial aid

  • Canadian students, please visit Bowdoin's Student Aid website to locate the filing instructions specific to Canadians.
  • Other international students should visit Bowdoin's Student Aid website to locate filing instructions.
  • Financial aid applications must be completed by November 15 for Early Decision I, January 1 for Early Decision II, and February 15 for Regular Decision.

Is Bowdoin "need aware" for international applicants?

Yes, Bowdoin is aware of a prospective student's family financial situation before rendering a decision on that student's admissions application.

Will I be able to study at an American medical school after Bowdoin?

International students -- those who are not US citizens or permanent residents -- often find that admission to American medical schools is extremely difficult. Some institutions, especially medical schools at state-run universities, do not consider international applicants at all. Private institutions may consider international students for admission, but may also require that international applicants place a significant portion of four years' tuition in escrow prior to medical school enrollment.

While Bowdoin welcomes international students to campus regardless of their post-college academic goals, admission to American medical schools poses a significant challenge to international students, especially those of limited means. Think carefully about your plans and expectations before deciding to enroll at Bowdoin.

How should I communicate with Bowdoin?

We encourage students to use email ( to request information or application materials from Bowdoin.

It might also be helpful to connect with an admissions staff member responsible for your area.

More information about application procedures and the selection process can be found in the Applying to Bowdoin section of our website.

Does Bowdoin have a host family program?

Yes. Learn more about the Bowdoin Host Family Program.