Course Descriptions

Course descriptions that appear in the Bowdoin College Catalogue will be edited for length and consistent Bowdoin and Catalogue styles. Please assist us by following these guidelines:

Course descriptions…

  • Should not exceed 700 characters
  • Will not include “This course will,” “We will,” etc.
  • May use phrases, rather than full sentences
  • Should provide a content summary, but not rationale or intended goals
  • May include special requirements
  • Are not meant to serve as a syllabus
  • Should avoid asking rhetorical questions
  • Do not need to include background on course subject matter
  • May include lists of works to be read/viewed, but should offer only a sampling and list authors, etc., by last name


Below are examples of course descriptions that follow these guidelines well:

Biology of Marine Organisms.
The study of the biology and ecology of marine mammals, seabirds, fish, intertidal and subtidal invertebrates, algae, and plankton. Also considers the biogeographic consequences of global and local ocean currents on the evolution and ecology of marine organisms. Laboratories, field trips, and research projects emphasize natural history, functional morphology, and ecology. Lectures and three hours of laboratory or field trip per week. One weekend field trip included.

Introduction to Drama.
Traces the development of dramatic form, character, and style from classical Greece through the Renaissance and Enlightenment to contemporary America and Africa. Explores the evolution of plot design, with special attention to the politics of playing, the shifting strategies of representing human agency, and contemporary relationships between the theater and a variety of forms of mass media. Authors may include Sophocles, Aristophanes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Dryden, Ibsen, Wilde, Beckett, Mamet, and Churchill.