International Applicants

Bowdoin welcomes interest from international students. Nearly 10% of the student body either carries an international passport or hails from outside of the United States.

Special Announcement:

We understand that there will be a delay in the release of the October SAT scores for applicants from Asia. For applicants applying early decision at Bowdoin, please know that if we receive your scores before December 3, we will still be able to include them in your application. Because Bowdoin is test optional, we can consider your application without receiving your SAT results. After the November 15 early decision deadline, we will send an email with instructions to log into your application portal to review your application checklist.  You may check this as often as necessary to see if your test scores have been received.  If the checklist does not indicate that we have received your scores by December 3, you may ask to move your application from Early  Decision 1 to Early Decision 2. (updated 10/31/14)

Applying as an International Student

An international student is any applicant not holding American citizenship.

For international students, the application process is the same as for domestic, first-year applicants, with a few exceptions:

  • Students whose first language is not English (exceptions below) must submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) by the application deadlines. Applicants should score a minimum of 100 to be competitive for admission. 
  • If English is the language of instruction at your secondary school, and you have been there for three years or longer, you are not required to submit a TOEFL.
  • If you are proficient in English and find it impossible to take the TOEFL, you must submit one or more of the following: IELTS, The Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB), and recommendations from teachers who taught you English who can comment on your ability to speak and write. Applicants should score a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS to be competitive for admission. We do not waive the TOEFL requirement based on a SAT Critical Reading score, SAT Subject Test result or AP Exam result.
  • An official transcript of academic work in the language in which it was prepared and a certified translation into English of the transcript.
  • Contact Carla ( for more information regarding the English language proficiency requirement.

Financial Aid

International students, if admitted to Bowdoin, are considered for Bowdoin institutional financial aid. International applicants should be advised, however, that competition for funding is intense as it is limited.

Applying for financial aid

  • Canadian students, please visit Bowdoin's Student Aid website to locate the filing instructions specific to Canadians.
  • Other international students should visit Bowdoin's Student Aid website to locate filing instructions.
  • Financial aid applications must be completed by November 15 for Early Decision I, January 1 for Early Decision II, and February 15 for Regular Decision.

Is Bowdoin "need aware" for international applicants?

Yes, Bowdoin is aware of a prospective student's family financial situation before rendering a decision on that student's admissions application.

Will I be able to study at an American medical school after Bowdoin?

International students -- those who are not US citizens or permanent residents -- often find that admission to American medical schools is extremely difficult. Some institutions, especially medical schools at state-run universities, do not consider international applicants at all. Private institutions may consider international students for admission, but may also require that international applicants place a significant portion of four years' tuition in escrow prior to medical school enrollment.

While Bowdoin welcomes international students to campus regardless of their post-college academic goals, admission to American medical schools poses a significant challenge to international students, especially those of limited means. Think carefully about your plans and expectations before deciding to enroll at Bowdoin.

How should I communicate with Bowdoin?

We encourage students to use email ( to request information or application materials from Bowdoin.

It might also be helpful to connect with an admissions staff member responsible for your area.

More information about application procedures and the selection process can be found in the Applying to Bowdoin section of our website.

Does Bowdoin have a host family program?

Yes. Learn more about the Bowdoin Host Family Program.