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.

2016-17 House Affiliations

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