Registration Instructions

Important Dates
Before You Begin
        Verify Your Status
        Resolve Registration Holds
Registration Information
Tips for Preventing Registration Problems

Important Dates

Round 1 Registration: Begins at 9:00 am on Monday, 6 November 2017. Ends at 5:00pm on Monday, 13 November 2017.
Round 1 Results in Polaris: 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 14 November 2017. Round 1 is used to submit top-choice course requests.

Round 2 Registration: Begins at 9:00am on Wednesday, 15 November 2017. Ends at 5:00pm on Friday, 17 November 2017.
Round 2 Results in Polaris: 5:00 pm on Monday, 20 November 2017. Round 2 is used to submit alternate/additional course choices.

Add/Drop I: Begins at 9:00am on Tuesday, 28 November 2017. Ends at 5:00 pm on Friday, 8 December 2017.  All course registrations are final until Add/Drop II which begins Monday, 22 January 2018.

Add/Drop II: Begins at 9:00 am on Monday, 22 January 2018. Ends at 5:00 pm on Friday, 2 February 2018--the last day to add classes and the last day to drop classes without using an extended drop. Results in Polaris: immediately. Instructor permission required to add any course.

Extended Drop: Begins at 5:01 pm on Friday, 2 February 2018. Ends at 5:00 pm on Friday, 2 March 2018. Friday, 2 March 2018 will be the last day to drop classes without petitioning the Recording Committee. Course changes approved by the Recording Committee will require payment of a $50 late fee per change, unless the change is made for reasons outside the control of the student.

Before you Begin the Registration Process:

Verify your status for next term BEFORE you begin registration.

  • Log into Polaris.
  • Click on Show All in the Status portlet.
  • In the term column of the chart, find Spring 2018.
  • Make sure that your Enrollment Status says Here/Matric.

If your status for next term is not listed as "here," have your status corrected through the Off-Campus Study Office or through the Dean of Student Affairs office before attempting to register for courses.

If you will be studying off campus next semester, you will not be allowed to register for courses.

Resolve all issues related to registration holds BEFORE you begin registration.

  • Log into Polaris.
  • Click on the Holds tab in the Academic Profile portlet.
  • Active holds are listed with the office that placed the hold.

All holds that appear as a "Registration Hold" must be resolved with the office that placed the hold before you will be allowed to submit registration requests for courses.

Note: the Advisor Hold will not prevent you from submitting course requests. However, you must discuss your course selection plan with your advisor (or email with your advisor if you are registering from off campus), and your advisor must release this hold in order for your requests to be processed. Advisor holds must be released by the end of Round 1.

Registration Information

  • Information about classes is available in the Class Finder in Polaris.
    • Spring 2018 classes will be available in Polaris by Thursday, 2 November 2017.
    • In the Class Finder, choose Spring 2018.
    • Search for and view courses by number, subject, CRN, day and time, instructor, curricular categories, college requirements, and available seats.
  • Meet with your advisor to review your course requests so they may release the Advisor Hold by the Round 1 deadline. (Students registering from off campus should consult with their advisors through email.)
    • You may enter class requests while your Advisor Hold is on, but your requests will only be processed if your Advisor Hold is released.
  • Round 1 is used to submit top-choice course requests; Round 2 is used to submit alternate/additional course choices.
  • Follow the specific, step-by-step instructions provided for submitting your course requests through Polaris.
  • Things to keep in mind:
    • Class information is continuously updated. Check the Class Finder in Polaris regularly. The most current course information is in the online Class Finder and the complete Schedule of Course Offerings.
    • First-year students may request a second first-year seminar as one of their four full-credit courses.
    • It is recommended that you complete your division and distribution requirements by the end of your sophomore year. Remember that you may not meet these requirements with transfer credit from another institution.

Tips for Preventing Problems with Registration

  • To help visualize your potential schedule, please make use of:
  • Meeting with your Advisor: You must have your advisor release your 'Advisor Hold' before the end of Round 1. Plan early in the process to meet with your advisor. Do not wait until the last few days of registration to seek out your advisor, as they may not be on campus then. Students who are registering from off campus should consult with their advisors through email.
  • Class Standing. If a course has more requests than seats available during Rounds 1 and 2, the preferences established by the faculty determine the order in which students are registered. Make sure to check your Class Standing in Polaris before registration begins to confirm that you will be recognized as the correct level of student when preferences are utilized. Note, Class Standing for the current semester is based on a combination of credits earned AFTER matriculation and number of semesters enrolled at Bowdoin. Students may speak with the Associate Registrar about applying for advanced Class Standing AFTER registration has occurred during the semester in which they are a first-semester junior.
  • System Speed and Connection: Submissions of course requests work most consistently and quickly in Polaris when the computer being used is wired with a cable rather than using the wireless network. Students may pick up a network cable at the IT Help Desk in Coles Tower. Another option is to go to an open computer lab to use a computer available there; students who have concerns about the reliability of their personal computers might benefit from this option as well. 
  • Switching Sections or Labs: Polaris will not allow students to drop below 3.0 credits so it is recommended that you both drop and add lab sections in the same transaction to prevent an error message. To swap one lab for another, or to swap one class section for another during Add/Drop I or Add/Drop II, choose "Drop Course or Lab" from the drop-down for the section you wish to drop, enter the CRN for a section with openings to one of the boxes in the registration worksheet, and submit these two things at the same time. Make sure to scroll all the way down and click "submit" button to process your request. If the swap is not successful, carefully read all prompts and messages. You do not need permission to drop but you need permission to add any course during Add/Drop I or Add/Drop II.
  • Credit-Load Limits: Registration is limited to four full-credit courses (and no more than 5.0 credits total) prior to the start of the semester.
  • Plan Well: Use a schedule planning sheet and a weekly calendar worksheet to help you plan.
  • Course Prerequisites: Check the Class Finder in Polaris for course prerequisites that apply to the courses you plan to request. If you do not meet the prerequisite for a course, you will not be allowed to request the course without an override. If an instructor agrees to waive a course prerequisite, ask the instructor to submit an override for you in Polaris. If you believe you meet a prerequisite with a course you took during off-campus study, ask the instructor to submit an override of the prerequisite. Overrides that have been entered for you will be viewable in your Registration page in Polaris (in the Registration Status tab). Keep in mind that any faculty permission you receive is good for one specific course section and one specific semester only. No prerequisite overrides are needed to request labs.
  • Registration Restrictions: If a course has registration restrictions (such as first years only, declared majors/minors only, etc.) they are listed in the Class Finder. These may not be overridden until Add/Drop I.
  • Reserved Seats are held for First Year registration in the fall and will show in the Class Finder on Polaris. Upperclass students are not allowed to take a seat reserved for First Years.
  • Class Exclusions restrict a student from taking a course if they have previously taken a specific course. Exclusions appear in the Class Finder.
  • Independent Study: Submit a paper form signed by the project director for your independent study to the Office of the Registrar. This is required even if you will be continuing to work with a project director for a second semester. An independent study is changed to an honors project only after the project is awarded honors, is graded, and is submitted to the College Library.
  • Permission-Only Course: Ask the instructor to submit this permission/override.
  • An override from an instructor does not guarantee registration nor grant preferential treatment; it simply makes the system view a student as equally qualified to register as other students who already meet those course rules. During Rounds 1 and 2 of course registration, instructors may submit overrides for prerequisites, co-requisites, and class exclusions. During Add/Drop I and II, instructors may also submit overrides for registration limits, major/minor restrictions, and class standing restrictions. Request overrides and permissions from instructors in advance of when you need them. Once an override or permission has been entered for you, you will see that information on your Registration Status page in Polaris, and you will be allowed to submit a request for that course once registration is underway.
  • Courses that filled during Rounds 1 or 2 will remain closed until Add/Drop I. You may wish to contact a course instructor to ask if s/he is keeping a waiting list. Regularly check the Class Finder and the Course Registration Numbers page to see which courses are closed and which still have openings.
  • Any student who did not participate in Round 1 or Round 2 course registration may participate in Add/Drop I once s/he talks with his/her advisor and the advisor notifies the Registrar's Office that the hold can be released.