Although the College offers no special curriculum leading to graduate study in architecture and no major in architecture, students can combine art and architecture studio courses with others in art history, environmental studies, physics, and other related disciplines to prepare for architectural study. The architecture studio course is intended to develop the ability to conceive and communicate architectural and spatial concepts in two and three dimensions. Interested students should speak with members of the Visual Arts Division of the Department of Art, with members of the Environmental Studies Program, or with members of Bowdoin Career Planning staff as early in their Bowdoin careers as possible.
A concentration in Arctic studies, offered through a variety of departments including the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Department of Earth and Oceanographic Science, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center, provides students with opportunities to explore artistic, cultural, social, and environmental issues involving Arctic lands and peoples. Students interested in the Arctic are encouraged to consult with the director of the Arctic Studies Center in order to plan an appropriate interdisciplinary program involving course work and field work at Bowdoin, in study abroad programs, and in the North. Work-study and internship opportunities at the Arctic Museum complement the academic program.
The College’s location on the coast of Maine affords distinct opportunities for students to study the complexities of coastal landscapes and seascapes. While the College does not offer a formal curriculum devoted to coastal studies, students can take courses focused on coastal issues in a variety of departments and programs including biology, earth and oceanographic science, government, economics, English, visual arts, sociology, anthropology, and environmental studies. Many of the courses take advantage of facilities located at the Coastal Studies Center on Orr’s Island (located twelve miles from campus), the Bowdoin Scientific Station (located on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy), and a variety of other coastal locations in Maine. A number of coastal studies summer research fellowships are available annually to students. Interested students should speak with members of the Coastal Studies Faculty Advisory Committee and Rosemary Armstrong, the Coastal Studies Program coordinator, for guidance in selecting courses with a coastal component and for more information about summer research fellowships.
Engineering (3-2 Option; 4-2 Option)
Bowdoin College arranges shared studies programs with the University of Maine at Orono, the School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University, the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College, and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Qualified students in the shared studies program may transfer into the third year of the engineering program at Columbia or the University of Maine after three years at Bowdoin. Columbia also offers a 4-2 option, which may be of interest to some students.
Dartmouth offers a number of options, including taking the junior year at the Dartmouth engineering program, senior year at Bowdoin, and fifth year at Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering.
Caltech invites students of superior academic achievement from a select group of liberal arts colleges to apply to their 3-2 Program. Determination of acceptance is decided by the Caltech Upperclass Admissions Committee for students to transfer upon completion of their junior year.
All students must take Physics 103, 104, 223, 229, and Physics 300 or Mathematics 224; Chemistry 102 or 109; Mathematics 161, 171, and 181; and Computer Science 101. They are also expected to have completed at least ten semester courses outside of mathematics and science, one of which should be in economics. Some programs at the University of Maine have additional course requirements in mathematics and science, and interested students should contact the engineering advisor for more information. These courses, together with the engineering courses, substitute for the major requirements in physics for 3-2 students. The successful student earns a bachelor of science degree from the engineering school after completing the two years of the engineering program and earns a bachelor of arts degree from Bowdoin at the end of their fifth year for all programs except Dartmouth’s. For the Dartmouth program, the engineering courses are used as transfer credits to complete the Bowdoin degree in physics, conferred after the senior year. The Dartmouth engineering degree is conferred upon successful completion of a fifth year in engineering at Dartmouth. Finally, students may also apply as regular transfer students into any nationally recognized engineering program, earning only a degree from that engineering institution.
These programs are coordinated by Professor Dale Syphers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. It is important for students to get advising about the program early in their career at Bowdoin. Students interested in the program, and those seeking advising, should first contact Gary Miers in the Department of Physics and Astronomy.
The purpose of the first-year seminar program is to introduce students to college-level disciplines and to lead students to understand the ways in which a specific discipline may relate to other areas in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Each seminar places an emphasis upon the improvement of students’ skills—their ability to read texts effectively and to write prose that is carefully organized, concise, and firmly based upon evidence.
A complete listing of first-year seminars being offered in the 2011–2012 academic year can be found in the First-Year Seminar section.
Students considering the study of law may consult with Scheherazade Mason at Bowdoin Career Planning. Bowdoin applicants from every major and department have been successful applicants to highly competitive law schools. Students will be provided guidance and assistance on all aspects of the application process. It is best to begin planning for law school by the beginning of junior year. Bowdoin Career Planning can introduce students to alumni attending law school or practicing law. In addition, the Career Planning library has excellent written and online resources about law schools and careers in the legal field. Bowdoin Career Planning also supports and assists Bowdoin alumni with the law school application process if they choose to apply in the years following graduation.
Bowdoin participates with Columbia University in an accelerated interdisciplinary program in legal education. Under the terms of this program, Bowdoin students may apply to begin the study of law after three years at Bowdoin. Students who successfully complete the requirements for the J.D. at Columbia also receive an A.B. from Bowdoin. Students interested in the Columbia program should meet with Professor Richard E. Morgan during their first year at Bowdoin.
Students interested in teaching in schools or enrolling in graduate programs in education should discuss their plans with personnel in the Department of Education. Because courses in education, along with a concentration in a core secondary school subject area (English, foreign language, life science, mathematics, physical science, or social studies) is necessary for certification, it is wise to begin planning early so that schedules can be accommodated. (More information on the Bowdoin Teacher Scholars program can be found in the Education section.) An extensive resource library in Bowdoin Career Planning contains information about graduate programs, summer and academic year internships, volunteer opportunities with youth, and public and private school openings. Career advising and credential file services are also available.