General Scholarship

Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars (Dean's List): 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 top 20 percent of students, as calculated by grade point average (GPA). Eligible students are those who completed the equivalent of eight full-credit Bowdoin courses during the academic year, six credits of which were graded with regular letter grades and seven credits of which were graded with regular letter grades or non-elective Credit/D/Fail grades. In other words, among the eight required full-credit courses or the equivalent, a maximum of two credits may be graded Credit/D/Fail, but only one credit may be for a course(s) the student elected to take with the Credit/D/Fail grading option. Grades for courses taken in excess of eight credits are included in the GPA. For further information on the College’s method for computing GPA, consult the section on General Honors.

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.

It is Bowdoin’s policy not to disclose the GPA ranges that determine Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars, as they can shift.

Brooks-Nixon Prize Fund: The annual income of a fund established by Percy Willis Brooks 1890 and Mary Marshall Brooks is awarded each year as a prize to the best Bowdoin candidate for selection as a Rhodes scholar. (1975)

Dorothy Haythorn Collins Award: This award, given by Dorothy Haythorn Collins and her family to the Society of Bowdoin Women, is used to honor a student "who has achieved academic and general excellence in his or her chosen major" at the end of the junior year. Each year the society selects a department from the sciences, social studies, and/or humanities. The selected departments choose a student to honor by purchasing books and placing them with a nameplate in the department library. The student also receives a book and certificate of merit. (1985)

Almon Goodwin Phi Beta Kappa Prize Fund: This fund was established by Mrs. Maud Wilder Goodwin in memory of her husband, Almon Goodwin, Class of 1862. The annual income is awarded to a member of Phi Beta Kappa chosen by vote of the Board of Trustees of the College at the end of the recipient's junior year. (1906)

George Wood McArthur Prize: This fund was bequeathed by Almira L. McArthur, of Saco, in memory of her husband, George Wood McArthur, Class of 1893. The annual income is awarded as a prize to that member of the graduating class who, coming to Bowdoin as the recipient of a prematriculation scholarship, shall have attained the highest academic standing among such recipients within the class. (1950)

Phi Beta Kappa: The Phi Beta Kappa Society is the nation’s most prestigious honor society. Since its founding in 1776, PBK has promoted education in the liberal arts and sciences, fostered freedom of thought, and recognized academic excellence. The Bowdoin chapter (Alpha of Maine) was the sixth to be established in 1825. Election to Phi Beta Kappa recognizes students’ academic distinction, intellectual curiosity, desire to experience the world from multiple viewpoints, and personal integrity. Election is based primarily on scholarly achievement with consideration given to the breadth and depth of a student’s engagement in the liberal arts and sciences. The student's entire college record is considered, and candidates must have completed at least twenty-four semester courses of college work, including at least sixteen courses at Bowdoin. Students who have studied away are expected to have a total academic record, as well as a Bowdoin record, that meets the standards for election. Students elected to Phi Beta Kappa also are expected to be persons of good moral character. Typically, nominations are made twice a year, in November and March. The total number of students selected in any year does not normally exceed 10 percent of the number of students graduating in May. Students receive a lifetime membership to Phi Beta Kappa.

Leonard A. Pierce Memorial Prize: This prize, established by friends and associates of Leonard A. Pierce, Class of 1905, A.M. H'30, LL.D. '55, is awarded annually to that member of the graduating class who is continuing his or her education in an accredited law school and who attained the highest scholastic average during his or her years in college. It is paid to the recipient upon enrollment in law school. (1960)