Students are encouraged to broaden and enrich their education through participation in semester- and year-long programs of off-campus study. Whether off-campus study occurs abroad or in the United States, the College regards it as an extension of the on-campus educational experience and expects the courses in which students earn credit toward the degree to be in a field of study characteristic of the liberal arts and to be academically engaging and complementary to their studies at Bowdoin.
A student who wishes to count academic credit earned in an off-campus study program toward the Bowdoin degree is required to obtain approval, in advance, from the Office of Off-Campus Study. If the student wishes to count credits earned in the program toward the major, the approval of the major department is required as well. Students contemplating off-campus study should consult the online Guidelines for Off-Campus Study published by the Office of Off-Campus Study; they are urged to begin planning early in the academic year before that in which they hope to study away, and must complete both a preliminary application in November and a full application in February to request permission to study away. Separately, students apply directly to the university or program they wish to attend. (Application deadlines for individual programs vary considerably; it is the responsibility of the student to determine these deadlines and ensure that they are met.) To be approved for Bowdoin degree credit, the proposed program of study away should satisfy the College’s academic standards and form an integral part of a student’s overall academic plan. Approval of individual requests may also be affected by the College’s concern to maintain a balance between the number of students away during the fall and spring terms.
Students are expected to carry a full course-load in any off-campus study program. Credit earned is not formally transferred until the Office of the Registrar has received and reviewed appropriate documentation from the program. In some cases, it may be required that the appropriate Bowdoin department review the student’s completed work.
Bowdoin charges an off-campus study fee. Financial aid normally continues to be available for students who qualify.
Depending on their academic needs, students normally are expected to select from the options list of approximately one hundred programs and universities kept by the Office of Off-Campus Study, which may be found at bowdoin.edu/ocs/program-locations/index.shtml.