Start of Semester Information

The deadline for returning faculty to submit new course proposals/revisions to the Curriculum Implementation Committee for fall 2024 is Friday, February 2.


Spring 2024 class rosters are available in Polaris in the "My Classes" area of the "Faculty" section. The Class List link opens a class list that can be downloaded, and the Class Email link allows an instructor to email to the entire class. A student who adds a class will not show up on the class list until the system refreshes overnight after the request to add or drop has been processed. Faculty are notified via email when their class emails are active each semester. 

An instructor may give the class email address to students so they may send an email to everyone in the class. The instructor always receives a copy of messages sent to the list. An instructor who has a problem sending an email to a class should forward the error message to


The Bowdoin College Catalogue and Academic Handbook is available online and includes academic policies, requirements of the degree, and all courses taught in the last four academic years.

Classes may be searched for in the Class Finder. You may search for classes based on subject, day, time, and other criteria such as divisions and distribution designations. 


Add/Drop II begins the first day of classes, Monday, January 22.

Students have until Monday, February 5 to add a course (with permission of the instructor in Polaris) or drop a course without the permission of their academic advisor. During Add/Drop rounds, students add or drop courses online through Polaris except for independent studies and honors projects which require submission of an online form. More information can be found on the independent study/honors project pages of our website.


Unlike registration Rounds 1 and 2 when an instructor can only override course prerequisites on Polaris, an instructor can override course prerequisites, course restrictions, and the size of the class during Add/Drop rounds. Please note, ALL students must obtain "Instructor Permission" in Polaris to add ANY course during Add/Drop rounds, even if the course isn't full. As it is a serious decision which can impact their academic success, students seeking a time conflict override should consult with their advisors and deans and email for further instructions after those conversations.  


First-year students who wish to register for fewer than 4.0 credits need the permission of their dean and their pre-major advisor, usually obtained via email, in their first and second semesters. Any student who wants to take more than 5.0 credits needs the permission of their dean and advisor, usually obtained via email. Any student who wants to drop below 3.0 credits must petition the Recording Committee.  Each of these decisions can have a tremendous impact on a student's progress to the degree and should be discussed in detail with the advisor before proceeding with approvals.  


All students have from Monday, February 5 (after Add/Drop II closes at 5:00 pm) until Friday, March 8 to drop a course with the permission of their academic advisor (via Extended Drop). Returning students may only "extended drop" a course from weeks three through seven twice in their Bowdoin career after their first semester. New students may "extended drop" a course during their first semester, with the permissions of their pre-major advisor and student dean, and it does not count towards the career limit of two extended drops. Any student interested in this process should contact their academic advisor to discuss possibilities as this option can impact their progress to the degree because it usually requires them to "make-up" the credit. 


Students may choose to take a limited number of courses with the elective Credit/D/Fail grading option as opposed to earning standard letter grades. This opportunity is available to students in Polaris during the first seven weeks of the semester: Monday, January 22 until Friday, March 8. 


If the course is officially, completely full before the first day of class, the instructor may choose to drop students from the course who do NOT attend the first class meeting. (Keep in mind potential exceptions made for students observing religious holidays or travel delays. If you are unsure, please contact the student's dean). An instructor who chooses to exercise this option should email the names of the students to be dropped to within 24 hours of the first official class meeting. This is the only circumstance under which an instructor may directly change a student's registration for a course. In all other cases, the student must change their own registration in Polaris or, after the close of registration, by submitting a petition to the Recording Committee.



An instructor who would like to give a teaching assistant or tutor access to electronic course material should submit the request form. Staff in Information Technology will then give this person access to the Canvas account for the course and forward email sent to the class list to the person's regular Bowdoin email account.