Information for students, faculty, and staff about Bowdoin's plan for the fall 2020 semester.

Fall 2020 at Bowdoin

President Rose announced Bowdoin’s plan for the fall semester on June 22. The plan was developed with insights and advice from experts in medicine, science, and public health and with input from Bowdoin faculty, staff, students, parents, the Committee on Governance and Faculty Affairs, the senior staff, and the board of trustees. Additionally, a comprehensive report produced by the Return to Campus Group was essential to informing the plan.


  • First and foremost,  the health and safety  of students, faculty, staff, and our neighbors in the Brunswick community; 

  • Providing  an excellent Bowdoin education  to every student; 

  • Strengthening the bonds  of our community; and 

  • Being  good stewards of our financial resources.  


  • About 40 percent of our students will be back in the fall, including: 
    • new first-year and transfer students; 

    • students who have home situations that make online learning nearly impossible; 

    • a small number of senior honors students who cannot pursue their preapproved projects online and who require access to physical spaces on campus (and can do so under health and safety protocols); and 

    • student residential life staff. 

  • All other sophomores, juniors, and seniors will remain off campus for the fall semester and will take their courses online. The College is planning to have our seniors, juniors, and sophomores on campus for the spring semester, with priority given to seniors. We anticipate that first-year and transfer students will study remotely in the spring. 

  • In order to provide the best learning experience possible, nearly all classes, including for those on campus, will be taught online. The exception to the online learning model is that many first-year writing seminars will be taught in person or have in-person components. 
  • The campus will remain closed to the public for the fall semester in order to protect the health of Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff and the broader Brunswick community.