Off Campus Studies

The Biology Department encourages students to take advantage of intellectual and cultural experiences not normally available at Bowdoin.

Planning for Off-Campus Study

1.  The Biology Department encourages students to take advantage of intellectual and cultural experiences not normally available at Bowdoin.  For example, larger institutions often offer advanced seminars and a wider variety of courses in Biology.  Students also have an opportunity to meet undergraduates, graduate students and faculty with different perspectives and backgrounds.  However, for someone who intends to complete a major in Biology, the decision to study away demands careful planning in advance.

2.  None of the specific courses required for a major in Biology have to be taken at Bowdoin, although the requirements of the major must be satisfied by courses listed in the college catalogue or by equivalent courses at other institutions.

3.  Students who do not continue their core curriculum in Biology while away sometimes have problems completing their major on their return.  Students planning to study away should begin consulting with their advisor and at least one member of the Biology faculty as early as possible, preferably during their sophomore year.

4.  Careful planning is particularly important for students considering honors thesis research during the senior year.  Such students should consult with prospective thesis advisors before studying away.

5.  Students studying away should be aware of the need to complete prerequisites before taking upper-level courses, and not that some courses in the Biology Department are offered only in  alternate years.

6.  Three-credit courses of appropriate level and content are generally accepted as equivalent to single courses at Bowdoin (the actual Bowdoin credit equivalent is determined by the Registrar's office).  Final decisions about awarding credit toward the major for courses taken at other institutions will be made following a careful review of the course content and the student's performance in the course. 

7.  Students should obtain sufficient documentation about the proposed courses well in advance of studying away, and seek provisional approval of the planned program of study from Pam Bryer (Hatch 206B), the Biology Department Off Campus Study Advisor. Courses that are too narrow in focus or taken strictly in the lab or field are unlikely to be acceptable substitutes for Bowdoin core courses, although they may earn credit to satisfy the requirement for additional courses at the 1100 or 2500+ level.

8.  Upon return to Bowdoin, students should see Pam Bryer to confirm final approval for courses taken while off campus.