Government and Legal Studies Major

The major consists of nine courses.

  • no more than two courses taken at Level A, no more than one of these a first-year seminar
  • a field of concentration, selected from the list of subfields, in which at least four courses including one Level C course and no more than one Level A course are taken
  • at least one course taken in each of the three subfields outside the field of concentration

Government and Legal Studies Minor

The minor consists of five courses from at least three of the departmental subfields.

  • no more than two courses taken at Level A, no more than one of these a first-year seminar

Additional Information and Department Policies

  • To fulfill major or minor requirements, a grade of C- or better must be earned in a course. Courses used to fulfill major or minor requirements must be taken for regular letter grades (not Credit/D/Fail).
  • A total of two credits from outside Bowdoin can normally be applied to the government major or minor. Only one credit can be applied (as a Level B course) to the four-course major concentration requirement. The Level C concentration requirement must be completed at Bowdoin.
  • The following courses, while not fulfilling the requirement for any of the four fields of concentration, may be counted toward the total number of courses required for the major or minor: Government 1046–1049, 2900–2969, 2990–2999, 3900–3999, 4020–4029.
  • Students who received a minimum score of four on the US Government AP exam or the Comparative Government AP exam are eligible to receive up to one general credit toward the degree after completing a Level B course in government and legal studies in the same subfield as the AP exam and earning a minimum grade of B-. If a student has scores for more than one exam, only one total credit will be awarded. In order to receive credit for AP work, students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin.

Honors Projects and Independent Study

Students seeking to graduate with honors in government and legal studies must petition the department. Interested students should contact the honors director for specific details. Students must prepare an honors paper, which is normally the product of two semesters of advanced independent study work, and have that paper approved by the department.

Only one semester of independent study work, at any level (intermediate or advanced), may count toward the major or minor. Therefore, graduation with honors normally requires a student to complete at least ten courses in the department. An advanced independent study or honors project may be used to fulfill the Level C major concentration requirement.

This is an excerpt from the official Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. View the Catalogue