Advising

General Advising Resources

Bowdoin faculty advisors have access to the records of their pre-major, major, and minor advisees in Polaris and Degree Progress. Please click here to log in to Polaris, navigate to Student Look-Up, and enter the last name, first name, or ID of the advisee to access their information. Bear in mind that all student information is protected by FERPA, click here for more information.

Watch: Faculty Advising in the First Year



Watch: Distribution and Division Requirements



Course Registration Process

Fall 2021 Registration Instructions and Timeline

All students are given an "Advisor Hold" at the beginning of the first round of course registration each semester. Although students may input their course requests beforehand, no requests will be processed until the academic advisor releases the hold in Polaris. The release of the Advisor Hold signifies that the student and the academic advisor have discussed the course selections for the upcoming semester. It is the student's responsibility to reach out to their advisor to arrange a conversation around their course choices. It is strongly recommended that students contact their advisors well in advance of the opening of registration.


Completing the Degree

The requirements of the degree and all governing academic policies can be found in the Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook. Students should refer to the edition of the Catalogue published in the fall of the year they matriculated.

Degree Progress, Bowdoin's online advising tool, is available via Polaris.

Major/Minor Declarations and Changes

Students should have ample time to be exposed to a broad range of courses and experiences before focusing their educational interests and so do not declare their majors until the fourth semester of their college enrollment. Normally, students are required to declare their majors before registering for courses for the junior year or applying to participate in junior- or senior-year off-campus study programs. Students declare their majors only after consultation with a major academic advisor(s). Since some departments have courses that must be passed or criteria that must be met before a student will be accepted as a major, students are encouraged to think well in advance about possible majors and to speak with faculty about their educational interests.

Students who want to add a new major/minor should email a tenure track faculty member in the department/program, discuss their goals, and request that the faculty member email registrar@bowdoin.edu with their approval. The faculty member will not have access to the student's course information until declared, so the student will need to outline the courses they have already taken. Students who only want to drop a major or minor with no additions, can email registar@bowdoin.edu (no approval is required).  The Registrar’s Office will processes major/minor change requests on a rolling basis and notifies the department coordinators when students make changes so that major/minor advisor assignments can be adjusted. 

Students may change their majors and minor until the last day of the semester before they intend to graduate. For example, if a student plans to graduate in spring 2025, then they have until the last day of the fall 2024 semester to adjust their major(s)/minor.