Transfer Applicants

Bowdoin welcomes applications from students hoping to transfer their enrollment from another college or university.

Transfer applicants should submit the Common Application by the March 1 deadline. Bowdoin requires both high school and college transcripts for admission. We also require the College Report and two academic evaluations from faculty at your current institution.

A personal interview with an Admissions Senior Intern is encouraged for transfer applicants, but not required. A small number of on-campus and Skype interviews will be offered in February. If the calendar does not show any availability, then all of the slots have been claimed.

Register for a Transfer Interview


Selection and Criteria

Transfer admission to Bowdoin is extremely competitive: we are able to admit only a small percentage of those students seeking to transfer. We generally receive between 150-200 transfer applications and we admit between 5-20 candidates. Bowdoin offers a fall transfer program and, on rare occasions, mid-year admission. The March 1 application deadline is the same for fall transfer and for mid-year admission the following spring.

Although Bowdoin sets no cut-off guidelines, successful candidates usually submit college work of honors quality: "B" work or better, or a GPA of no lower than 3.0.

Transfer applications are reviewed in March and April.  Candidates are notified of their admissions decisions in late April or early May.

For more information about transfer admission, please contact Anne Springer in the Admissions Office.

Should I apply as a first-year or as a transfer student?

First-year students are students who have never matriculated at another college or university; that is, they have not enrolled in a degree-granting program.  Any student who has done so must apply as a transfer student.

Students who have taken some college-level work while enrolled in secondary school should apply as first-year candidates.

All applicants, whether first-year or transfer, should submit the Common Application.

Students who have already obtained a bachelor’s degree are normally ineligible for admission to Bowdoin.

Can I submit additional recommendations to supplement those which are required?

Although additional recommendations cannot be submitted in lieu of those required (requirements include a special statement from the dean or advisor at the applicant’s current college or university; and two letters of recommendation from current or recent college professors), the applicant may complement these with letters of reference from alternative sources such as high school teachers, counselors, coaches, or employers.  Such supplemental material is most helpful when it provides new information on you as an applicant.

Faculty at my current institution do not know me well. Can I substitute a recommendation?

You may supply an additional letter of recommendation, but we still require two faculty letters and a completed College Report from your current institution.

Will I receive credit for the courses I have taken at my current institution?

Bowdoin typically accepts transfer credit for liberal arts courses in which a grade of C or higher has been received.  Further, transfer students should understand that although they may expect an estimate regarding class standing upon transferring, official placement is possible only after updated transcripts have arrived at our Office of the Registrar and have been appraised by the Dean of Academic Affairs and appropriate departments.

Is financial aid available to transfer students?

Financial aid is occasionally available for transfer students, but is often limited by the commitment the College has made to assist already enrolled and incoming first-year students. The competition among transfer candidates for financial aid, therefore, is usually quite intense.

All financial aid at Bowdoin is based upon financial need.  We offer no special scholarships based solely on academic, athletic, or artistic achievement.

We have no financial aid for international transfer candidates.

Can transfer students play sports at Bowdoin?

Any student wishing to transfer to Bowdoin who is not currently playing a varsity sport at his or her home institution is eligible to compete on one of Bowdoin’s varsity sports teams.  Any student currently playing a varsity college sport wishing to transfer and continue play at Bowdoin should contact the Athletic Department at (207) 725-3326.

All students transferring to Bowdoin are eligible to play club or intramural sports.

Is housing available for transfer students?

Although we are not able to guarantee housing for transfer students, the Admissions Office and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and Residential Life will assist in any way we can.  Transfer students are placed on a housing waiting list and may be accommodated as openings arise during the year. In addition, transfer students can contact other transfer students through our office in order to seek local housing together.

In the event that a transfer student lives off-campus during his or her first semester, it is quite likely that on-campus housing will be available during the second semester or in subsequent academic years, at which point a transfer student will be entitled to the same housing privileges as already enrolled students of the same standing.

The College House System
Transfer students also have the ability to join a College House.

All transfer students, upon their matriculation to Bowdoin, are randomly assigned an affiliation (and sometimes a room) in one of our eight College Houses. The only exception to this rule is a transfer student who requests an affiliation with the chem-free College House, a voluntary community wherein all activities are kept entirely substance free.

College Houses are non-exclusive social, academic, and community organizations that provide a wide variety of entertainment, programming, and services to the campus community.