The College House System: An Overview

MacMillan House


Established in 1998, today’s eight College Houses are a cornerstone of the Bowdoin residential experience. Sometimes referred to as the “living rooms” of campus, the houses sponsor special meals, study breaks and other events for first-year affiliates.  They also host campus-wide events from lectures and film screenings to apple picking trips and registered parties. 

House Association and Choice

House residents are selected through an application process with input from faculty, deans, students, and staff. Successful selection is based on creative programming ideas and willingness to contribute to an energetic, cooperative team. All House members gain leadership skills that often propel them to other highly visible leadership roles at the College. Once selected into house, students can choose to run for one of the 5 officer positions: President, Vice President, Programming Director, Treasurer or Communications Director. There is no shortage of support for these leaders- the Residential Life directors, deans in the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, and faculty and programming advisors all serve as advisors to the Houses.

All incoming first-year students are affiliated with a House based on their floor in the first-year bricks. As affiliates they have full access and privileges of the House.

If you have any questions about the College House System please contact the Assistant Director of Residential Life: Mariana Centeno at or 725-3301.

2017-2018 House Affiliations

Baxter House: Appleton 3rd, Hyde 3rd, Maine 2nd, Moore 3rd, Osher 1st
Burnett House: Hyde 2nd, Osher 4th, Winthrop 3rd
Helmreich House: Appleton 1st, Maine 1st, Moore 1st, West 3rd
Howell House: Appleton 4th, Coleman 2nd, Maine 4th, Moore 4th, Osher 5th, West 4th, Winthrop 1st
Ladd House: Appleton 2nd, Coleman Basement, Hyde 1st, Moore 2nd
MacMillan House: Coleman 1st, Maine 3rd, West 2nd, Winthrop 4th
Quinby House: Coleman 4th, Osher 3rd, West 1st, Winthrop 2nd
Reed House: Coleman 3rd, Hyde 4th, Osher 2nd, West 5th