Off Campus Study Guidelines

First Steps

Although you do not have to study abroad to complete the Biochemistry major, some choose to do so. If you are interested in studying off-campus, you should first speak with your advisor. The Biochemistry major is incredibly rigorous and you should begin planning out when you will be fulfilling the various requirements. Your advisor will help you navigate the process and help you plan out courses before and during your off-campus study.

Receiving Credit

Study Away courses typically count towards general college credit. However, as an added bonus, some courses can count towards the Biochemistry major.

You can get preliminary approval from your advisor before studying abroad, however this approval does not automatically translate to a commitment for credit towards the major.

In addition to receiving approval, students must come back to campus with a portfolio from the class (syllabi, completed papers, exams, laboratory reports, and other coursework) to receive credit. A committee will consider your coursework before signing off on a course counting toward the major.

Related Offices
The seminar course (3000-level) and biochemistry core courses (Chem 2320 and Biol 2124) must be taken at Bowdoin. The 2000-level electives, or prerequisite courses in physics or math, could be considered for study away courses.


Here is a list of criteria the committee is looking for in study away courses. These criteria are intended to help you gauge the likelihood that away courses would count toward the major:

  • Courses that map most closely onto our existing electives or prerequisites are most likely to count toward the major. Ask the professor who offers the class at Bowdoin for a sample syllabus for comparison.
  • Courses that do not map onto our current Bowdoin course offerings but that are biochemistry-relevant will be looked upon favorably.
  • Number of contact hours and the presence of a laboratory should match our course offerings. For courses that do not have a laboratory component, a substantial foray into primary literature with substantial writing assignments rooted in the primary literature is optimal.