Auditing a Course

Bowdoin alumni, students, and employees; community members; and Friends of Bowdoin may audit a Bowdoin class with permission from the instructor. People wishing to audit a class should be aware of the following:

  • There is no official record kept and no grade given for an audited class. Auditors will be included on a class email list if they are receiving electronic services. (See below.)
  • Auditors may elect whether or not to receive electronic services from the College. These services include things such as access to e-reserves and electronic course materials, and inclusion on the class email list. A fee of $50 per course is normally charged for this service. This fee is waived for Bowdoin employees, students, and alumni; high school students; and students from Bates, Colby, the Maine College of Art, and USM. Friends of Bowdoin pay a reduced fee of $30. Electronic services will cease on the tenth day of the month following the last day of classes (January 10 or June 10).
  • Procedure for Requesting Electronic Services:
    1. The auditor picks up a form in the Office of the Registrar (on the first floor of Moulton Union) or accesses it online at and fills it in.
    2. The auditor asks the instructor (and lab instructor, if applicable) to sign the form.
    3. The auditor returns the form to the Office of the Registrar in Moulton Union (no sooner than the first day of classes) and pays the fee. A Friend of Bowdoin must show an ID card to pay the reduced fee. The Office of the Registrar will give the auditor a username, password, and instructions for accessing electronic course materials. The auditor account will become active 24 hours later.
    4. If the auditor experiences any problems accessing electronic course materials, s/he should call the Information Technology Help Desk at 725-3030.
  • An auditor who chooses not to receive electronic services only has to obtain verbal permission from the instructor to audit a course.
  • Auditors may check out non-electronic library reserves with a College ID or a Guest Borrower card. See the Library's Information for Guest Patrons if appropriate.
  • The final decision about the appropriateness of admitting an auditor and about the character of course participation appropriate for an auditor rests with the faculty member. Auditors are generally not permitted in full courses. The College reserves the right to limit the number of courses audited by any one person, to limit the total number of auditors on campus at a particular time, and to change this policy.
  • Teaching assistants and tutors are given access to online materials for a course separately from auditors. A course instructor who wishes to request access to electronic course materials for a teaching assistant or tutor should submit this online form. Questions about or problems with this process should be directed to the IT Help Desk at x3030.