Faculty Advisor Resources

All Bowdoin students have a faculty academic advisor to guide them through their curricular pathway to graduation. All faculty advisors have access to advisee records in Degree Works and that information is protected by FERPA

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

  • Faculty/ADCs submit this form to authorize a declared major or minor only to use a non-standard method for fulfilling a major/minor requirement

Faculty Advising in the First Year:

"Tip Sheets" for advising first-year students are located in the Catalogue. Navigate to the "Additional Information" tab for each department/program and you'll find the details at the bottom of the page under "Information for Incoming Students." A convenient list of all the direct links is available here.

Course Registration Process 

How Students Register in Polaris
How to Navigate the Classfinder
About Course Registration at Bowdoin

Registration holds: the advisor and the student can view all registration holds in the "My Academic Profile" section on the "Holds" tab. Note: any hold listed other than the advisor hold will prevent the student from submitting course requests. Polaris will indicate which office placed the hold so the student knows who to follow up with to get it released. 

How students complete distribution and division requirements:

The Recording Committee is a standing committee of the College composed of faculty, students, and staff whose purpose is to address matters pertaining to the academic standing of individual students and to consider exceptions to the policies and procedures governing academic life.

Faculty with advisees interested in pursuring such an exception should advise the student to connect with their student dean to discuss the possibility of submitting a petition for consideration.


The Advisor Hold

To underscore the importance of the role of the faculty academic advisor in the choices students make during registration, all students eligible to register have an "advisor hold" during Round 1 of course registration each semester.

Students may submit course requests beforehand, but no requests are processed if the official pre-major or major academic advisor does not release the advisor hold in Polaris (minor advisors do not have access to lift these holds).

It is the student's responsibility to reach out to their advisor to arrange a conversation around their course choices, but advisors should inform their advisees of their availability and preferred method for arranging those discussions. The course schedule is normally released 3-4 days in advance of the opening of Round 1 of course registration and students and advisors should plan to meet after the schedule is available to make selections from the courses being offered.


How to release an advisor hold:

Advisors log into Polaris and select the appropriate advisee from their drop-down of advisee names in the student lookup section. Tip: select "Unreleased Holds" to view the list of advisees with remaininng holds.

The course requests students submit are available in the "My Courses" section at the top right of the screen on the "Next Term" tab. After reviewing the choices, the advisor goes to the "Current Term" tab and clicks on the grey "Release Hold" button and the red "Advisor Hold" banner will turn green to indicate that the advisor hold has been lifted.

Releasing the advisor hold signifies that the advisor has reviewed and supports the student's choices. If a student has more than one advisor, only one needs to release the advisor hold, but the student should discuss their plans with all advisors. Advisors should not release holds if the student has not met with them to discuss their plans. Email before the close of Round 1 that the hold will remain active and no requests should be processed.