Student Handbook

The Bowdoin College Student Handbook is web-based. We hope you’ll find the information within accessible, useful, and easy to navigate. Our office urges you to take some time at the beginning of the year to read and familiarize yourself with the information this Handbook contains. This is important for all students to do every year, as some policies may have changed since last year.

The Handbook is your key reference to the policies, procedures, and governance structure of the College. It is your responsibility to be familiar with College policies published within this Handbook and the Bowdoin College Academic Handbook and for abiding by the rules and regulations described. As a web-based Student Handbook, this is a dynamic document with links to various College departments, resources, programs, and services. Some information will change over the course of the year as departments and programs update their sites. While the information contained within the College Policy section is unlikely to change, the College reserves the right to make modifications or changes during the academic year as it deems necessary and appropriate; any such changes would be brought to your attention. 

The Handbook is a resource that exists to assist you in planning, navigating, and—importantly—contributing to the future policies and directions of your College. As is described in the section on College Governance, students are full members of virtually all faculty, College, and trustee committees, and those committees develop the policies of the College. Compared to many other colleges, Bowdoin has an unusually high level of student representation at all levels of governance, and the opportunity to serve and participate can be powerfully educational and meaningful.

Whether you are new to Bowdoin or a returning upperclass student, we encourage you to reflect on the coming year and determine what it is that you would like to accomplish within and beyond the classroom. You may never again find yourself at a time or place in your life that offers such a wonderful opportunity for growth. But to ensure this growth, you’ll need to challenge yourself. Toward that end, we urge you: resist that which is familiar and comfortable to you. You will determine whether these are “the best four years of your life.” Our office hopes that you use your time here to establish a personal standard of intellectual engagement, community involvement and leadership, rich and diverse friendships, and the enjoyment of “generous enthusiasms” that you will sustain and build upon throughout your life.

Our entire office wishes you every success at Bowdoin and stand by to support and to challenge you as you take full advantage of this extraordinary place.

Best wishes for a successful year!

The Dean of Students Office