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Degree Progress FAQ's

Grade Symbols
The Registrar's site has information about grade symbols that are used in Degree Progress. If you have any questions, please contact the Registrar's Office.

How do I view my full academic record?
In Degree Progress, you can view all of the courses you have taken along with your grades ordered by semester by clicking on the respective links “Unofficial Academic History by Term” in the main Degree Progress screen. Please remember that this is NOT a transcript and does not represent your official degree progress.

What does @ mean?
Within the Degree Progress tool @ represents any number so AFRS @ would mean any course in Africana Studies.

Why are some courses listed as GENL subject and “XXXX” or "XXX1" as a course number?
Non-Bowdoin credits which were applied to a student’s academic record prior to Fall 2013 will all be reflected as general credit.  “GENL” indicates that the course will not be equivalent to a Bowdoin course during the registration process.   Non-Bowdoin courses which are applied to a student’s record after the start of Fall 2013 may be displayed in one of three ways, depending on how a department has approved the credit on the appropriate approval form prior to a student taking courses elsewhere.

Courses will either be 1) not equal to a particular Bowdoin course but counting towards general requirements as “General Credit” or 2) a direct equivalent to a Bowdoin course or 3) General Credit that the department approves to count for a Major or Minor requirement. For instance, if a student is a History major, and the department has approved a non-Bowdoin course toward the History major but it has no exact Bowdoin equivalent, the department will approve it as “History Unspecified” on the Application for Transfer of Credit form which will then be indicated in Polaris Degree Progress.

What is "Credits Applied" versus "Credits Earned"?
"Credits Earned" are all credits earned in courses completed with a passing grade. "Credits Applied" are all credits applied to your degree progress; credits applied assumes that you will both receive credit for and pass a course in which you are currently enrolled. Should you not receive credit for your work and/or fail your course, it will no longer count towards your degree requirements.

How do I get an unofficial transcript?
Bowdoin does not provide unofficial transcripts. You may print out your unofficial academic history by clicking on the “Unofficial Academic History by Term” and printing from the web browser. If you need an official transcript, you may request one from the Registrar's Office. Please note that you will be redirected to the website for the National Student Clearinghouse where all current and former Bowdoin students submit requests for official transcripts.

How does the Polaris Degree Progress track distribution and division requirements?
Degree Progress assigns courses to meet division and distribution requirements using a "best fit" approach that will be fluid as more courses are taken. Keep checking Degree Progress during Registration rounds and after grades are awarded each semester to see how your progress is developing. If a course has two distribution designations, that course will be applied to only one distribution requirement. For example, if a course is designated as “b - ESD, IP”, the course will meet the social and behavioral sciences (b) division requirement as well as either the exploring social differences (ESD) distribution requirement OR the international perspectives (IP) distribution requirement. At the end of the semester, this course will randomly fall under one of the distributions assigned to it in your Degree Progress on Polaris. Until you take another ESD or IP course, the course will remain under the one which your degree audit randomly selected. Therefore, if your Degree Progress selected this course as fulfilling IP, but you want it to count for ESD, once you take another IP course the first course will then fall under the ESD requirement being met. An important exception: You may not fulfill the VPA distribution requirement and the humanities (c) division requirement with the same course; they must be fulfilled by two separate courses. A course that has “c - VPA” assigned to it will always be used to fulfill the VPA distribution requirement first because there are more humanities (c) courses than visual and performing arts (VPA) courses. 

What do the symbols next to my grades mean?
Certain symbols may be appended to grades. For detailed information see the "Guide to Grades".

Will my major/minor requirements be tracked in Degree Progress?
Yes! The Office of the Registrar and Information Technology worked with all Bowdoin departments and programs to enable the tracking of majors and minors in Degree Progress! Students and advisors can now see the progress towards the entire degree from first-year seminar, through divisions and distributions, to the major/minor program. Although not an official transcript, this incredible tool will enable students to see exactly which degree requirements they have fulfilled and what their options are for fulfilling any outstanding requirements. Questions about the content of a student's audit should be directed first to the major/minor department or program and then to the Office of the Registrar.

What is the What If Function?
Trying to decide whether to change your declared major/minor but not sure if you could fulfill the requirements on time? Then try out the What If function in Degree Progress. Located on the left-hand navigation bar, the What If function allows a student or advisor to assess a student's record against the degree requirements of a department or program. It does not officially change the major or minor; that is done through the Major/Minor Change Form.

Process New
It is best practice to always click on "Process New" before viewing a record in Degree Progress. This will ensure any adjustments made that day are included in the view.

What is “Catalogue Year”?
A student’s Degree Progress requirements are based on the catalogue year in which they matriculate. 

What is the difference between, Class, Class Standing, Anticipated Academic Completion and Commencement year?

  • Class Year never changes.  A student remains with the class which they matriculate with.
  • Class standing for the current semester is based on a combination of credits earned after matriculation and number of semesters enrolled at Bowdoin.
  • Anticipated Academic Completion refers to the date which students anticipate they will complete all academic requirements for the degree.  Students who have taken a leave from the college are responsible for updating the Registrar with a new anticipated academic completion date.
  • Anticipated Commencement is the year which a student intends to participate in commencement.  Students may take part in only one Commencement, and they are normally expected to complete all degree requirements before they participate in graduation exercises. Students with two or fewer credits remaining and who can expect to complete all requirements by the end of the following August may be allowed to participate in Commencement but will not receive a diploma. In such cases, the degree will actually be conferred at the May Commencement following the completion of all requirements, and the diploma will be mailed to the student at that time. 

Visit the Registrar's Frequently Asked Questions for more information.