FAQ for Current Students

Last updated: April 6, 2020

  • New content: Academic Credit and Course Registration Q2

We know you have questions. We hope many of them are answered below, but we recognize these FAQs may not address all of your concerns. Please know that we will be updating this page frequently as more information becomes available.

Visit the Student Affairs Support and Resources page for details on remote programming and support.

Remote LearningSpring 2020 Grading | Academic Credit and Course Registration | Support | Other

Remote Learning

1. Are fully-accessible options for remote learning be available, and how should I learn about those?
We are committed to ensuring that all students will be able to successfully complete their courses. Lesley Levy (Director of Student Accessibility) is available to work with individual students who need to adjust their existing accommodations and students who are not currently receiving accommodations but may now need them due to new teaching/testing formats.

2. What if I am worried about internet access and doing academic work remotely?
If you are worried about internet access, you should contact the Office of the Dean of Students (207-725-3149).

3. What remote learning resources are available to students?
Information Technology (Academic Technology & Consulting) and The Baldwin Center for Learning and Teaching have created a Keep Learning resource page for students. This page offers guidance for the technologies students can expect to use in their classes, tips for learning in this new environment, and other resources. Among these resources is a Remote Readiness Checklist that will help students assess and learn what they need to do to be prepared. In addition, when classes resume, Baldwin CLT staff, Q tutors, and Writing Assistants will offer support for students via the Baldwin CLT website and Microsoft Teams. This support will be available daily through finals. 

4. What is happening with course schedules?
Because we are moving to remote teaching, and because our students will now be around the world in different time zones, we are recommending that the majority of course work be asynchronous. We are working on the most flexible, least disruptive way to do that, while still ensuring that students do not have time conflicts or unreasonable meeting times, given their time zones. Faculty will communicate with students in their classes about expectations around synchronous meeting times.

Spring 2020 Grading

1. What is happening with grading this semester?
For this spring semester only, the College will adopt a grading policy of Credit/No Credit (CRD/NCR), with no option for letter grades. A Credit (CRD) grade will indicate that a student has successfully satisfied learning expectations of a course through meaningful engagement; a grade of No Credit (NCR) will indicate that a student has not. Individual instructors have the agency to determine the specific requirements for Credit or No Credit in their course. Students will earn distribution, division, major, and minor credit with a “CRD” grade. Any course completed with “CRD” in Spring 2020 will not count against their Bowdoin career limit of four CR/D/F courses.

2. Will this semester's grades count in my cumulative GPA?

3. Can I petition to have my courses graded for letter grades?
No, the College has adopted a CRD-NCR grading model for the Spring 2020 semester. 

4. If I am currently on academic probation, how does the revised CRD-NCR policy impact me?
Normally students on academic probation must enroll in and successfully complete four full-credit courses graded with regular letter grades. Spring 2020 semester students with this status can expect the following:

  • Students will not be held to the rule to carry four full-credit classes; if they need to petition to drop a course, they can.
  • Students not carrying a full load (4 full credits) in Spring 2020 will remain on Academic Probation in the Fall so they can have the safety net of oversight that the student deans and advisors provide, and so they can have the chance to prove their ability to successfully complete four full-credit graded classes.
If students fulfill four full-credit courses successfully in Spring 2020, (along with any other expectations) their probation will be lifted.

5. Will NCR be considered a D or an F for the purposes of accumulating points towards a future probation, suspension or dismissal?
No, Spring 2020 semester CRD/NCR designations will not contribute to a student earning points (as they normally would for D's or F's) towards future probation, suspension or dismissal determinations. CRD will signify that a student has earned academic credit by meeting the learning expectations for the course, whereas NCR will signify that a student has not earned that credit.

6. Will there be notation on the transcript regarding the CRD-NCR policy for Spring 2020?
Yes, your transcript will indicate that due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Spring 2020 semester had a mandatory credit/no-credit policy for all courses.  All Spring 2020 courses will be listed on your transcript with their CRD or NCR designation.

7. How will Latin Honors be calculated for this year’s senior class?
We will exclude spring 2020 semester, just as we are for Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholars calculation for academic year 2019-2020.

8. I am currently pursuing department honors. Will I get a letter grade?
The first semester of your project will receive a letter grade, but the second semester will be designated CRD/NCR.

9. If I earn CRD in a course, will it count as a prerequisite for a future course?

10. If I was already taking a course Credit/D/F, will it be switched to CRD/NCR?
Yes, it will be switched. It will NOT count against your limit of four Credit/D/F courses and it WILL count toward division, distribution, and major/minor credit.

11. With the switch to remote instruction, I am encountering new disability-related barriers. How do I request accommodations?
You may be seeking accommodation(s) for the first time since departing campus or due to the change to remote instruction.
  • If you are NOT currently registered as a student with a disability with the Student Accessibility Office, please follow the instructions on the SAO website.
  • If you are already registered with the Student Accessibility Office and need to discuss any necessary adjustments to your existing accommodations, please contact Lesley Levy (llevy@bowdoin.edu).

12. Who do I contact if I have more questions about the CRD/NCR grading policy for the spring 2020 semester?
Please email the registrar's office with any questions.

Academic Credit and Course Registration

1. Are there any changes to academic credit policies in light of COVID-19?
Yes. The following policy adjustments have been implemented, after consultation with the Curriculum and Educational Policy Committee and others: 
  • All currently enrolled students may have official AP/IB scores sent to Bowdoin through December 31, 2020; the normal deadline of the end of a student’s sophomore year will be suspended to allow students to submit scores they may have previously thought they didn’t need.
  • Students enrolled in courses this semester that would normally “activate” an AP or IB credit for a student will still do so if the student receives a grade of “Credit (CRD)”. For example, if a student who matriculated in Fall 2018 is enrolled in a 2000 level History course this semester, and has a 4 or 5 on the US, European or World History AP test on file at the College receives a CRD, they will also be awarded the AP credit if they haven’t already received it for History.
  • While Bowdoin does not normally accept credit for community college courses, students will be able to request credit for community college courses taken in spring and summer 2020. These courses will need the same approvals that transfer courses generally need (department approval, registrar approval).
  • According to Bowdoin's transfer credit policy, normally Bowdoin Students may transfer a cumulative total of no more than four credits from study in any type of summer school program. Due to the situation we are facing with COVID-19, any transfer credit students seek during this summer to make up credit lost in Spring 2020 due to the public health emergency will not count against this cumulative total of four.

If you have questions about how these might affect you, feel free to contact the registrar’s office.

2. When will course registration take place?
We have decided to delay the process of registering for courses until mid-June. An early summer registration process will benefit faculty members by providing time to adjust course offerings if need be, and will benefit students by allowing for timely information to be available about study away and course options. Details about a revised registration process and schedule will be available soon.


1. I still have questions about what to do. Who can I call?
The Office of the Dean of Students can be reached at 207-725-3149, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also contact your dean directly.

2. I need emotional support. Is Counseling Services available at this time?
Members of the counseling staff will be available for students. Please call 207-725-3145 for assistance. You can also visit the COVID-19 Resources section of the Counseling Services website for tips on managing concerns about COVID-19, how to find a therapist in your community, and more.

3. I am on campus and I don’t feel well. What do I do?
Between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., please call Health Services at  207-725-3770. After 5:00 p.m., please call Security at 207-725-3314.


1. Will the College be refunding room and board charges?
Students who were living on campus or who had a meal plan and left campus due to COVID-19 have received a refund, net of financial aid adjustments, for:

  • the unused portion of the Spring 2020 on-campus housing fee
  • the unused portion of the Spring 2020 meal plan value
  • any unused Polar Points

The minimum credit will be $2,500 for aided students. Students permitted to remain on campus for the semester are not eligible for a refund.

Adjustments were posted to student accounts by Thursday, March 26. Refunds were applied to outstanding balances; for students on a payment plan, refunds will reduce the final installment payment. The remaining balance of your refund was sent on Friday, March 27. If you have worked on campus or if you have received funds by direct deposit in the past, you will receive your room and board refund by direct deposit. Otherwise, you will receive your refund by check. Checks will be sent to your Smith Union mailbox and forwarded to the address you have provided to the mail center. 

2. Will the College be refunding tuition?
Classes are continuing remotely to complete the academic work for the semester. The College will not be making any adjustment to tuition payments.

3. Do I stay on Bowdoin’s health insurance?
Yes, you will remain enrolled and covered under the student health insurance plan through August 14, 2020.

4. What about work-study?
Please visit the FAQ for Student Employees.

5. Are we forwarding mail?
Yes, the Mail Center will be forwarding mail. Connect with the mail center via mailctr@bowdoin.edu if you would like to use a different address than the permanent one you have in Polaris.

6. What about Commencement?
We will not be able to hold Commencement as scheduled in May. We will celebrate Commencement once the virus has passed and we are able to travel safely and gather in large groups again. We are committed to doing everything we can to make sure every one of our seniors has the opportunity to be here for that celebration. As soon as we have a better understanding of when this public health crisis will pass, we will begin to sort out the details for a Commencement ceremony, with participation in the planning by members of the Class of 2020.

7. I volunteer locally; can I continue if I’m in the area?
No. All volunteering, mentoring, and tutoring through Student Affairs and the McKeen Center is suspended. We also ask that you not go to your community partner site or meet in-person with individuals from your community partner organization until further notice. This decision is effective immediately — even if you are currently on campus or in the area. Please contact the McKeen Center if you are interested in staying connected to your community partner remotely. Thank you for your commitment to the common good —both through your past volunteer work and at this time when we all must care for and protect one another.

8. I currently live off-campus or intend to rent short-term for the remainder of the semester. What do I need to be aware of?
Students who elect to remain in Brunswick, in off-campus housing, will not be permitted on-campus until further notice. If you are considering allowing friends to live with you in your off-campus housing, we urge you to review your lease agreement.

9. Can I access PolarFlix and Comcast Xfinity Cable TV from off-campus?
Student Activities, the BSG, and IT have been able to make a few of our on campus services available to you while you are off campus to help you unwind. Polarflix and Comcast Xfinity cable TV are now available to you off campus.

Comcast Xfinity Cable TV

This service is brought to you and paid for by the BSG. You’ll need to download Bowdoin VPN onto your computer in order to access this service. 

How to Access VPN
Although the directions say you need to request access to VPN, you do not need to request access. Directions are below.

10. Does the fact that I am now learning remotely affect how will I be counted in the U.S. 2020 Census?
The U.S. Census Bureau has provided guidance that states, “students living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

  • Students who were living on campus do not need to do anything. Bowdoin will send information to the US Census Bureau so that they are counted in Brunswick for the 2020 Census. You may want to tell the head-of-household where you are residing not to count you when they complete the 2020 Census form.
  • Students living off-campus should be counted at their typical residence near Bowdoin, using the online form or look for a mailing that should be forwarded to them.