Off-Campus Study Guidelines

These guidelines are for students studying off-campus during the academic year. Students seeking Government major and minor credit for study away should take courses that focus on government and politics.

Major Credit 

Students may transfer a maximum of 2 credits to their major.  

Courses taken off-campus can replace the following major requirements:

  • No more than one concentration requirement (in one of the four subfields)
  • Elective course(s)

Minor Credit 

Students may transfer a maximum of 2 credits to their minor.  

Courses taken off-campus replace the following minor requirements:

  • Any course eligible for minor credit

Courses Students Must Take at Bowdoin 

The 3000-level (Level C) requirement in the major must be taken at Bowdoin.

What Students Must Do Prior to Studying Off-Campus 

Students must discuss their plans with a faculty member and get faculty approval on the requisite OCS forms. The more information about the program and proposed class(es) they have ahead of time, the easier it is for a faculty member to assess the suitability of a given course of study and how/whether it will transfer into the major.

What Students Need to Do Upon Return to Campus 

When students return from studying off-campus, they must confirm the rigor and subject matter of the class(es) by providing syllabi, assignments, papers, exams, etc., as requested by a faculty member. In general, it is advisable to keep all class-related paperwork generated while studying off-campus.


Students may speak with any faculty member in the department to discuss these questions and requirements.

Peace Monument, Washington D.C.

Peace Monument, Washington, DC

Washington Semester Program

Bowdoin participates in a semester-long study away program run by American University at their Tenley campus in Washington, DC. The program offers students an ideal opportunity to pursue their studies at the seat of the US government. Courses are taught by American University faculty on a variety of topics, including American politics (national government and public law), economic policy, foreign policy, international environment and development, justice, and peace and conflict resolution.

Bowdoin students normally participate their junior year. Participating students will be required to sign the "transfer of credit" form before embarking on their program. The form can be obtained from the Washington semester coordinator.

Students are expected to complete a research project in order to receive any course credit at Bowdoin. Students must give a copy of their research project to the Washington semester coordinator for approval upon return. 

Interested students should consult with the Washington semester coordinator for program details.

Washington Semester Coordinator: Professor Janet Martin