Columbia, Caltech, and UMaine 3-2 Programs require that a student complete certain courses at Bowdoin during the first three years of the undergraduate career; students may then apply to transfer to Columbia, Caltech, or UMaine for two years of that institution's engineering program. This step requires the recommendation of the physics department chair and/or the department's 3-2 advisor to ensure that the student is well-prepared and is capable of succeeding in the engineering program. See the Physics Department Handbook for a sample schedule of the three years of study at Bowdoin.
Currently, Caltech invites students of superior academic achievement to apply and transfer into their 3-2 program. Determination of acceptance is decided by the Caltech Upperclass Admissions Committee. Students who take the required Bowdoin courses and maintain a B+ (3.3 GPA) average are eligible to apply to Columbia's 3-2 program.
Upon successful completion of the two years at the engineering school, the student will receive the Bowdoin Bachelor of Arts degree in physics and a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the engineering school. Note that as a transfer student, there is no fixed relationship between the financial aid being received from Bowdoin and any financial aid that may be offered from the engineering school. Students must apply for financial aid from the engineering school.
Lastly, students may also apply as regular transfer students after three years at Bowdoin into any nationally recognized engineering program, earning only a degree from that engineering institution.