Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Grades and Transcripts
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- How/when will I receive my grades?
- After each semester, the Office of the Registrar sends students an email stating when grades will be available for viewing in Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/) under the Grade Report tab. No paper grade reports are sent. Students who need an official report of their grades are welcome to request an official transcript (see question below).
Degree progress items—including distribution requirements, advanced placement, and international baccalaureate—are updated in a separate process within two weeks after grades are posted.
- What is the Credit/D/Fail grading option?
- A student may choose to take a limited number of courses on a Credit/D/Fail basis, as opposed to a graded basis. If a student chooses this option, credit (CR) is given if the student produces work at a level of C- or above, a grade of D is given if the student produces work at a D level, and a grade of F is given otherwise.
Students must pay careful attention to the particular circumstances under which they may or may not elect the Credit/D/Fail grading option. Review the details of the Credit/D/Fail policy (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/creditdf.shtml).
- Under what circumstances may I elect the Credit/D/Fail grading option?
- The Credit/D/Fail policy defines the circumstances under which a course may or may not be taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option. Students need to be mindful of the following, as they may affect how the policy applies:
Review the details of the Credit/D/Fail policy (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/creditdf.shtml).
- the total number of credits in the student’s semester schedule
- the number of courses for which the student has already elected (or plans to elect) the Credit/D/Fail grading option
- the deadline for requesting the Credit/D/Fail grading option
- whether or not a course taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option will count toward a major or minor in a particular department
- whether or not a course is a first-year seminar, independent study, or honors project; or one needed to fulfill a distribution or division requirement
- If I disagree with a grade I received, what are my options?
- Once reported, no grade is changed (with the exception of clerical errors) without the approval of the Recording Committee. Grades cannot be changed on the basis of additional student work without prior approval of the Recording Committee. If students are dissatisfied with a grade received in a course, they should discuss the matter with the instructor. If the matter is not resolved in this manner, the student may consult with the chair of the department and, if necessary, with a dean, who will consult with the department as needed. The student may request a final review of the grade by the Recording Committee (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/recording-committee/).
- How may I request a transcript?
- Transcript requests must be in writing and include your signature. Requests may be made in person at the Office of the Registrar (on the first floor of the Moulton Union), by email with a scanned signature (email@example.com), or by mail (Office of the Registrar, Bowdoin College, 4500 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011-8436). See "Important Information Regarding Transcript Requests" (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/transcript.shtml) for more information and a copy of the transcript request form.
Transcript requests may take up to five business days to process. There is no fee for transcripts. Upon request, overnight delivery is available by Federal Express for a fee of $20 per address. Note that a request for overnight shipping does not speed up the normal processing time; transcript requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
- How is my GPA calculated?
- Points Assigned to Compute the Average:
Courses that earned a CR grade are not counted in the GPA. Also, courses taken off campus are not counted in the GPA.
Divide the sum of points by the sum of credit values for courses that were assigned points.
Half-credit courses are weighted as one half of a course. This figures in the computation of the GPA in two ways: 1) An A in a half-credit course is worth 2 points, a B is worth 1.5 points, and so on; 2) If you took five full-credit courses (example: earned straight Bs) and one half-credit course (example: earned an A), you divide the total of 17 points (example: 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2) by 5.5 courses (not 6).
If you earned grades under the old "H" grade policy, use the following:
||4.0 (the equivalent of an A)
||3.0 (the equivalent of a B)
||2.0 (the equivalent of a C)
- How may I determine my GPA for my major?
- Use the same point assignments as those used for your cumulative GPA (see question immediately above) but only assign points to courses that count toward the major. Divide this sum by the number of courses assigned points (number of courses counting toward your major).
- How may I find out if my AP/IB scores have arrived?
- You will receive a letter from the Registrar’s Office in your first-year packet. If your letter states that we do not have AP credits for you or if there are certain scores missing, you will want to contact the College Board and request that they be sent to Bowdoin. Bowdoin’s school code with the College Board is 3089. If you request that an AP report be sent to the Registrar’s Office after the start of the term, a letter will be sent to you after receipt of your scores.
- When will my AP/IB credit be added to my academic record?
- Once semester grades have been posted to Bearings, AP/IB credit will be posted within two weeks. AP/IB credit is posted manually and, therefore, is not posted immediately as distribution/division credits are.
- How may I find out if my off-campus study transcript has arrived?
- Check Bearings to see if credit has been awarded for your study off campus. If not, the Office of the Registrar has not received your transcript. If you receive a transcript from your off-campus study institution and the Registrar’s Office was sent one at the same time, credit may not be posted immediately. Transfer credit is evaluated once every two weeks. Once transcripts are reviewed and credit is awarded, students are sent an email notification by the Associate Registrar. Credits are viewable in Bearings 24 hours after they are posted.
- How does my off-campus study credit appear on my Bowdoin transcript?
- The Bowdoin official transcript will reflect: 1) the semester in which an off-campus course was taken, 2) the college/university attended, and 3) the number of credits received. See illustrations/examples on the Web (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/ocstranscript.shtml). Course titles and grades are not listed on the Bowdoin official transcript for courses earned off campus. Courses taken off campus are not counted when calculating a student's GPA. Bearings will list courses with “Transfer Credit received” for advising purposes only. Copies of your off-campus study transcript are sent to major/minor departments. Copies of off-campus study transcripts may not be given to students.
- Why don't my off-campus study and transfer credits appear under the departments in my academic record?
- When courses were taken at other institutions, Bearings cannot determine under what departments those courses may count. Major/minor departments review a student’s entire academic record when determining if requirements have been met.
- Does Bowdoin have a Dean's List?
- The Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar awards (see question immediately below) represent Bowdoin’s “Dean’s List.”
- How are the Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar awards determined?
- The Sarah and James Bowdoin scholarships, carrying no stipend, are awarded in the fall on the basis of work completed the previous academic year. The award is given to the 20% of students with the highest grade point averages (GPAs). Eligible students are those who completed the equivalent of eight full-credit Bowdoin courses during the academic year, six credits of which were graded, and seven credits of which were graded or non-elective Credit/D/Fail. In other words, among the eight required full-credit courses or the equivalent, a maximum of two credits may be taken Credit/D/Fail, but only one credit may be for a course the student chose to take Credit/D/Fail. Grades for courses taken in excess of eight credits are included in the GPA.
A book, bearing a replica of the early College bookplate serving to distinguish the James Bowdoin Collection in the library, is presented to every Sarah and James Bowdoin scholar who has earned a GPA of 4.00.
Note: It is Bowdoin's policy not to disclose the cutoffs for the Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar award.
- What criteria are used to award Latin Honors?
- General honors (or Latin honors) are awarded with the degree on the basis of an average of all grades earned at Bowdoin, with a minimum of 16 credits required for the computation. To compute the average, an A is assigned four points; a B, three points; a C, two points; a D, one point; and an F, zero points. Plus (+) or minus (-) modifiers add or subtract three-tenths of a point (0.3). Half-credit courses are weighted as one-half course. Credit (CR) grades are omitted from the computation, but a D or F grade received in a course taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis does count. In the case of a course taken at Bowdoin one or more times, only the first grade will be included. The resulting grade point average (GPA) is not rounded. A degree summa cum laude is awarded to students whose GPAs are in the top 2% of the graduating class; a degree magna cum laude is awarded to students whose GPAs are in the rest of the top 8% of the graduating class; and a degree cum laude is awarded to students whose GPAs are in the rest of the top 20% of the graduating class.
The criteria for awarding Latin Honors for previous class years are explained online (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/latin-honors.shtml).
Note: It is Bowdoin's policy not to disclose the cutoffs for Latin Honors.
Course Information and Course Registration
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- How do I register for classes?
- Registration for continuing students occurs during the prior semester, generally about three or four weeks before final examinations. Registration for new students occurs during orientation. Specific instructions for participating in Phase I and Phase II registration are emailed to students and posted on the home page of the Office of the Registrar (under Announcements) during those times of the year that they apply.
Registration for students who are currently studying off campus takes place through email and web forms. Specific instructions are sent to off-campus students through email.
Enrollment in courses is complete only when a student submits the Enrollment Form, which must be submitted by the end of the first week of classes. This form verifies that a student is on campus and attending classes.
Once classes begin, students may adjust their course schedules by submitting a completed add/drop card to the Office of the Registrar. All students have two weeks to add courses. Returning students have two weeks to drop courses; students in their first semester at Bowdoin have six weeks to drop courses. Specific instructions for adding and dropping courses during the add/drop period are emailed to students and posted on the home page of the Office of the Registrar (under Announcements) during the add/drop period.
- How do I register for an independent study or honors project?
- A student first finds a faculty member who agrees to serve as project director for the independent study or honors project. The independent study or honors project is then added to the course registration card or add/drop card, and the project director signs the course block on the card indicating his/her permission.
There are normally two kinds of independent study and each should be registered for under the appropriate course number. A directed reading course—designed to allow a student to explore a subject not currently offered within the curriculum—shall be numbered 291 or higher. An independent study that will culminate in substantial and original research; or in a fine arts, music, or creative writing project; or that is part of a departmental honors program shall be numbered 401 or higher.
Independent study may not be taken on a Credit/D/Fail basis.
- From whom may I receive advice about which courses to take?
- Incoming students are matched with a pre-major academic advisor. All pre-major academic advisors are familiar with the curriculum and the distribution requirements, and are able to help students complete the requirements of the general program before declaring a major.
Bowdoin students retain their pre-major academic advisors until they declare a major in their fourth semester. After a student selects a major, the advising responsibility shifts to the major department or program. Major academic advisors are familiar with the requirements necessary to complete a major program in a given area.
- How may I change my advisor?
- In unusual situations, students are able to switch pre-major academic advisors. Students wishing to do so should consult with their current advisor or their dean. Once a new advisor has been identified, the student should complete a pre-major advisor change form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/studentaffairs/pdf/premajoradvisorchange.pdf) in the office of the Dean of Student Affairs (on the second floor of Moulton Union).
When a student’s advisor is away for a semester on sabbatical, the student should work with the dean’s office or their major department to identify an interim advisor.
- Will an off campus/transfer course fulfill a Bowdoin prerequisite?
- If you believe you meet a prerequisite with a course that you took during off-campus study, you will need to get the instructor's permission (usually his/her signature on the course registration card) to override the prerequisite. The registration system cannot determine if a course you took elsewhere is equivalent to a Bowdoin course. (This will continue to be true in future semesters as well because any faculty permission you receive is good for one course and one semester only. Any time you want a course you took off campus to count for a prerequisite, you will need the instructor's permission to register for a course that requires it.)
- How may I view my official schedule?
- Log into Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/) and click the “Class Sched” tab. This is your official Bowdoin schedule. Confirm that your classes, sections and labs (determine by checking meeting days and times), and grading-option choices are accurate—especially before the end of the add/drop period. (The classes you see in Blackboard are not necessarily the courses in which you are officially enrolled; Bearings is the only place to check for your official schedule.)
- How may I change a class--during the add/drop period?
- Once classes begin, students may adjust their course schedules by submitting a completed add/drop card to the Office of the Registrar. All students have two weeks to add courses. Returning students have two weeks to drop courses; students in their first semester at Bowdoin have six weeks to drop courses. Specific instructions for adding and dropping courses during the add/drop period are emailed to students and posted on the home page of the Office of the Registrar (under Announcements) during the add/drop period.
- How may I change a class--after the add/drop period?
- Changes to students’ schedules are made after the add/drop period only with the approval of the Recording Committee. Information about the Recording Committee and the process for submitting a petition to the committee may be found online at http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/recording-committee/process.shtml.
One of the most common petitions to the Recording Committee is a petition to drop a class after the drop deadline. Some petitions are approved and others denied. The circumstances of the individual student’s petition are what guide the decision. Generally, if there's an extreme medical or personal circumstance, something beyond the student's control, drop petitions are approved. They are not approved if a student is simply trying to avoid a disappointing grade.
- May I audit a course?
- Bowdoin alumni, students, employees, community members, and Friends of Bowdoin may audit a Bowdoin class with verbal permission from the instructor. There is no official record kept and no grade given for an audited class. Auditors will not appear on official class lists. With the advice of the instructor, auditors may elect to receive electronic services from the College, which would include access to e-reserves and electronic materials and inclusion on the class email list. An auditor’s request for electronic services form (available at the Office of the Registrar and at http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/auditform.pdf) must be signed by the instructor and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The fee for electronic services is waived for alumni, students, and employees. The fee for electronic services for community members is $50.00 per course; for Friends of Bowdoin the fee is $30.00 per course.
- I am a high school student. May I audit a Bowdoin course?
- A high-school student may audit a Bowdoin class when permission is granted by the course instructor in consultation with the student’s high school guidance department. There is no official Bowdoin College record kept. Auditors will not appear on official class lists. The instructor informs the student’s high-school guidance counselor of the student’s grade at the end of the semester. At the suggestion of the instructor, auditors may elect to receive electronic services from the College, which would include access to e-reserves and electronic materials and inclusion on the class email list. An auditor’s request for electronic services form (available at the Office of the Registrar and at http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/auditform.pdf) must be signed by the instructor and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The fee for electronic services is waived for high-school students.
- Where will I find the rules governing a course--restrictions, prerequisites, enrollment limits, etc.?
- Course information may be found in the Course Finder side of Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/). The current enrollment and the enrollment limit for a course will appear on the search results screen. Click the triangle image next to Rules to see prerequisites, restrictions, exclusions, and preferences that apply to the course.
- Where will I find a list of courses offered this/next semester?
- Schedules of course offerings may be found on the Registrar's Course Information web page (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/courseinfo/). To view the rules governing a course—prerequisites, restrictions, enrollment limits, etc.—use the Course Finder side of Bearings (see question immediately above). Searching for courses by different criteria is also possible in Bearings.
- How can I tell if a course still has openings?
- The current enrollment and final enrollment limit of a particular course may be found in the Course Finder side of Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/). All of the course enrollments for a semester are shown on a page listed on the Course Information web page (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/courseinfo/).
At certain points during the registration cycle, a course can only be filled to its provisional limit, not its final limit. To understand how provisional and final course limits work, view this explanation online (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/courseinfo/crsenrol.shtml).
- What is the process for getting transfer credit approved?
- Permission to transfer credit from another institution requires advance approval. To obtain prior approval, the student should first provide course information (course description and course syllabus) to both the department chair of the course subject and the major department chair or advisor. Next, the student should submit a signed Application for Transfer of Credit form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/transcredform.pdf) to the Office of the Registrar. This should all be done before enrolling at another institution.
- At what colleges may I take summer courses for transfer credit?
- It is up to the individual student to research colleges/universities in his/her area. Courses taken elsewhere must be from a four-year accredited college or university and should represent a standard of achievement comparable to what is expected at Bowdoin in a field of study characteristic of the liberal arts. Bowdoin College does not grant credit for work completed through professional institutions, vocational institutions, community colleges, correspondence courses (including online courses), or for abbreviated winter terms. Credit is not awarded for courses in which a student has earned a grade below a C- or for courses taken on a credit/fail basis. Courses must be worth four semester hours or six quarter hours to transfer as 1.00 total credit; anything less will transfer as less than 1.00 credit at Bowdoin. Please refer to the Application for Transfer of Credit Form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/transcredform.pdf) for the credit translation table.
A student may transfer a cumulative total of no more than four credits from study in summer school programs.
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- How may I verify my enrollment at Bowdoin--for insurance companies, scholarship managers, etc.?
- Enrollment verifications may be requested from the Office of the Registrar. Requests may be made in person, by phone (207-725-3521), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or by fax (207-725-3338). There is an online Enrollment Verification Request form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/enrolverform.pdf) that may be used to make this request. The Office of the Registrar will complete forms submitted by the student or parent and provide official letters of enrollment; it may take up to two weeks for these forms/letters to be issued. Please note that verifications for each semester are issued after students return to campus and have completed their online enrollment forms. If there is an insurance or scholarship deadline requiring a letter prior to the start of the semester, we will issue a letter indicating that the student is "expected to be enrolled" for the semester but we cannot verify actual enrollment until the semester is underway.
- How may I check that Bowdoin has my correct enrollment status on record?
- You may check your enrollment status in Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/). Log into the Student Information side of Bearings and click the “Status” tab. If more than one status is listed for the current semester, the symbol “*” indicates the active status. If your status is incorrect about where you will be studying (it says “Away” when you know you will be studying on campus, for example), work with the Office of Off-Campus Study to correct your status. If your status is incorrect in any other way (it says “Leave” when you will be on campus, for example) work with your dean in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to have your official status corrected.
- What is the Enrollment Form? When and how often do I need to submit it?
- Every semester, students must submit an online Enrollment Form that verifies their presence on campus, and allows them to update personal and directory information. Enrollment in courses is complete only when a student submits the Enrollment Form, which must be submitted by the end of the first week of classes.
Information about the Enrollment Form is given to new students in their orientation packets; returning students are informed of the form through email.
- If I am thinking about studying off campus, how do I proceed?
- The Office of Off-Campus Study (http://www.bowdoin.edu/ocs/) provides information online and hosts informational sessions for students who are considering studying off campus for a semester or two. Off-campus study applications are submitted to and handled by the Office of Off-Campus Study.
Major advisors may help a student plan how study off campus or abroad may enhance or extend the student’s academic program.
- If I am thinking about taking a leave of absence, how do I proceed?
- Students may, with the approval of a dean and in consultation with their academic advisor, interrupt their Bowdoin education and take a leave of absence to pursue nonacademic interests for one or two semesters. In unusual circumstances, a student may take a medical leave of absence. The regulations and processes governing leaves of absence are detailed in the Academic Standards and Regulations section of the College Catalogue.
A student considering a leave of absence should start by discussing the matter with his/her dean. A Leave of Absence form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/studentaffairs/pdf/leaveofabsence.pdf) may be found on the web site of the office of the Dean of Student Affairs.
- What do I do if I think Bowdoin has the wrong enrollment status on record for me?
- Check your official enrollment status in Bearings (http://bearings.bowdoin.edu/). Log into the Student Information side of Bearings and click the “Status” tab. If more than one status is listed for the current semester, the symbol “*” indicates the active status. If your status is incorrect about where you will be studying (it says “Away” when you know you will be studying on campus, for example), work with the Office of Off-Campus Study to correct your status. If your status is incorrect in any other way (it says “Leave” when you will be on campus, for example) work with your dean in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs to have your official status corrected.
Earning a Bowdoin Degree
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- How/when will I declare a major and/or minor?
- Students may not declare a major until they are in their fourth semester. Students are required to declare their majors before registering for courses for the junior year or applying to participate in an off-campus study program. Students declare their majors only after consultation with a major academic advisor(s). The Office of the Registrar sends major declaration cards to each student who is eligible to declare. Mailing and due dates for major declaration cards may be viewed on the Office of the Registrar’s calendar (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/calendar.shtml) for the spring semester.
- How do I change my major?
- Students may change a major (or minor) by completing a Major/Minor Change Form (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/pdf/majorminorchange.pdf) after consultation with the relevant departments. Students may not declare a new major or minor after the first semester of their senior year.
- What are the academic requirements for my degree?
- The academic requirements that apply to any given student are the ones that were in effect when s/he began at Bowdoin, and were published in the College Catalogue at that time.
Students should use the Degree Progress Review Forms that are available online (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/degree-progress.shtml) or in the Office of the Registrar to track their own progress towards meeting academic requirements; the particular form that applies is dependent on a student’s class year.
Any student with questions about academic requirements should contact his/her academic advisor or Julie Bedard in the Office of the Registrar (x3872, email@example.com).
- What are distribution and division requirements?
- Distribution and division requirements encourage exploration and broaden students’ capacities to view and interpret the world from a variety of perspectives. Distribution and division requirements are detailed on the Degree Progress Review Forms (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/degree-progress.shtml); the particular form that applies is dependent on a student’s class year. Students should attempt to complete their distribution and division requirements by the end of their fourth semester. These requirements may not be met by Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate credits, and may ONLY be satisfied with courses taken at Bowdoin.
Bowdoin details its distribution and division requirements in its annual Catalogue. The most recent digital version of the College Catalogue is available online.
Students in the class of 2012 and beyond will NOT receive distribution nor division requirement credit for courses taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option. Students in the class of 2011 and prior are grandfathered under their matriculation catalogue year and WILL receive distribution or division requirement credit for courses taken with the Credit/D/Fail grading option.
- Is it possible for one course to satisfy two different distribution requirements?
- No. Even if a course has two distribution designations, it will fulfill only one distribution requirement. When a student completes a course with two distribution designations, the distributions are held in “pending” status until another course fulfills one of the distribution requirements. For example, if a student takes a course with ESD and IP distribution designations, those distributions are held in pending status for that student. If that student subsequently completes a course with an ESD distribution designation, this second course will fulfill the ESD distribution requirement and the first course will fulfill the IP distribution requirement.
- May one course satisfy both a distribution and a division requirement?
- Yes, in most cases. The only exception is with the humanities “c” division requirement if the course also has a VPA distribution designation. In this instance, the course would count for either the division or the distribution requirement, and would be determined after the student takes a second course that fulfills one of the two requirements.
- What are the requirements of my major?
- Each department or program specifies the requirements for its majors and minors, and determines when those requirements have been met. Major and minor requirements are described under each department and program in the College Catalogue. Students with questions about how courses will count towards a major or minor should consult with the particular department(s).
- How is progress towards earning my degree tracked?
- Students are responsible for tracking their own degree progress at Bowdoin. It is recommended that students review their progress toward their degree requirements at the start of every semester. Degree Progress Review Forms are available online (http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/degree-progress.shtml) or in the Office of the Registrar; the particular form that applies is dependent on a student’s class year.
Students should review their degree progress regularly with their academic advisors.
- What are the College's academic standards and regulations?
- Bowdoin details its academic standards and regulations in its annual Catalogue. The most recent digital version of the College Catalogue is available online.
- What are Bowdoin's approved majors and minors?
- See the web page, Choosing a Major (http://www.bowdoin.edu/academics/curriculum/choosing-a-major.shtml). Bowdoin’s program of majors is also detailed in the College’s annual Catalogue. The most recent digital version of the College Catalogue is available online.
- How would I propose a student-designed major?
- A student-designed major may be considered by a student if s/he is interested in pursuing a major that does not fit the pattern of either a departmental major or an interdisciplinary major. Students must submit student-designed major proposals to the Curriculum Implementation Committee by December 1 of their sophomore year. The Guidelines for Student Designed Majors may be found online at http://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/student-designed-major.shtml. Proposals must specifically state the goals to be achieved through the student-designed major program and explain why these goals cannot be met with standard major options.
- What are the requirements for completing an honors project?
- The degree with a level of honors in a major subject is awarded to students who have distinguished themselves in coursework in the subject and in an honors project. The award is made by the faculty upon recommendation of the department or program. The honors project offers seniors the opportunity to engage in original work under the supervision of a faculty member in their major department or program. It allows qualified seniors to build a bridge from their coursework to advanced scholarship in their field of study through original, substantial, and sustained independent research. The honors project can be the culmination of a student’s academic experience at Bowdoin and offers an unparalleled chance for intellectual and personal development. Students who have attained a specified level of academic achievement in their field of study by their senior year are encouraged to petition their department or program to pursue an honors project carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The honors project usually takes place over the course of two semesters; some departments allow single-semester honors projects. The honors project results in a written thesis and/or oral defense, artistic performance, or showing, depending on the student’s field of study. Students receive a grade for each semester’s work on the honors project and may be awarded a level of honors in their department or program, as distinct from general honors. The honors project process differs across departments and programs in terms of qualification criteria, requirements for completion, the level of honors awarded, and the use of honors project credits to fulfill major course requirements. In general, each semester’s work on an honors project will be considered an independent study numbered 401 or higher until the honors project is completed. Students must complete an honors project to be eligible for departmental or program honors. If students do not fulfill the requirements for completion of the honors project but carry out satisfactory work for an independent study, they will receive independent study credit for one or two semesters. All written work in independent study accepted as fulfilling the requirements for departmental honors will be deposited in the College Library. See more Honors Project information online.
- May I count one course toward two majors, or toward a major and a minor?
- Each department or program specifies the requirements for its majors and minors, and determines when those requirements have been met. Students with questions about how courses will count towards a major or minor, or if courses may count for more than one major or minor, should consult with the particular department(s).
- When will the Registrar notify me if I have/have not met my degree requirements?
- Students are responsible for tracking their own degree progress at Bowdoin. The Office of the Registrar reviews degree progress after course registration for a student’s last semester is finalized. No student should wait until the last minute to review his/her degree progress with an academic advisor because additional coursework may be required. Students will generally receive written notice by May 1 in their last spring semester that they have been given preliminary clearance to graduate. Final clearance is determined after final grades for the spring semester have been received and all academic work has been completed.
- Must I complete all requirements before participating 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. Speakers at Commencement and other students playing visible leadership roles in the ceremony must have completed all requirements for graduation.
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- How do I let Bowdoin know that my address or other personal information has changed?
- Every semester, students must submit an online Enrollment Form by the end of the first week of classes. This form allows students to update personal and directory information.
If changes to personal or directory information need to be made after the Enrollment Form has been submitted, students should use the online Address/Contact Change Request form (https://www.bowdoin.edu/registrar/forms/protected/address-change/index.shtml).
- What are my privacy rights?
- Federal legislation has established guidelines governing the way in which colleges maintain and supervise students’ educational records. Refer to Student Privacy Rights Policies in the student handbook (http://www.bowdoin.edu/studentaffairs/student-handbook/college-policies/student-privacy-rights-policies.shtml) to learn about students’ rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, and to learn about Bowdoin’s privacy policies.
Do you have a question for our office that you don't see answered here?
See our links to policies, forms, and procedures for students.
Contact our front office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-725-3521.
If you have questions about enrollment verifications or transcripts, contact Shannon Gilmore Alsobrook (email@example.com, 207-725-3731).
If you have questions about degree requirements, transfer credit, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or a student's status, contact Julie Bedard (firstname.lastname@example.org, 207-725-3872).
If you have questions about course registration, the grading process, or the Registrar's website, contact Jan Brackett (email@example.com, 207-725-3142).