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 as well as the opportunity to apply to live in the house as Upperclassmen.

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

2015-16 House Affiliations

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