Start-of-the-Semester Information for Students - Fall 2016




ROUND ONE Course Registration for First-Year Students:

Monday, 29 August 2016, first-year students will meet in a group with advisors from 9:15-9:45am.  Then they will meet individually with their advisors between 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm to complete their top-choice course registration requests- including First-Year Seminars. (First years should bring their laptops to these meetings, if they have one.Students must submit their registration requests and have Advisors remove their Advisor Holds in Polaris by the 5:00 pm deadline. During this round of registration, students must request a First-Year Seminar and may request no more than four full-credit courses (including the First-Year Seminar). All course requests submitted during Round One will be processed together after the 5:00 pm deadline (not on a first-come, first-served basis). When requesting courses, First-Year students and pre-major advisors should keep in mind that all students are strongly recommended to complete their division and distribution requirements before the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin. The Academic Fair will also take place between 10:00 and 11:30am.

  • First-year students must also submit the online Enrollment Form before 5:00 pm on Monday, 29 August, 2016.
  • First-year students may view the results of Round One registration in Polaris on Tuesday, 30 August, at 8:00am.

ROUND TWO Course Registration for First-Year Students:

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 from 8:00 am-11:00 am, students will meet with their pre-major advisors again to make additional course requests. All course requests submitted during Round Two will be processed together after the 11:00 am deadline (not on a first-come, first-served basis). Courses received during Round One registration may not be dropped at this time.

  • First-year students may view the results of Round Two registration in Polaris on Tuesday, 30 August, at 1:30 pm.

ADD/DROP Course Registration for First-Year Students:

7:30 pm on Tuesday, 30 August through 7:00 am on Wednesday, 31 August: First-year students may add courses and drop courses received during Rounds One and Two- without instructor permission. Beginning Wednesday, 31 August, all students will be able to add and drop courses but will have to have instructor permission to add at that time. First-Year Add/Drop is the only time when First-Year students can add a course without the perimssion of the instructor. Add/Drop operates on a first-come, first-served basis and changes are available instantly.  First Year Add/Drop advising will also take place between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm on Tuesday, 30 August.  During this period faculty will be availalbe in Moulton Union to consult with students, and advisors will be encouraged to communicate with students over email or in their offices.


New transfer students will register for courses on Sunday afternoon, 28August 2016, in the Office of the Registrar, after they have participated in an advising meeting with a Dean.


Any student who has not yet registered for courses should do so through Polaris beginning 31 August 2016 once Add/Drop II opens at 9 am. If a student's initial course registration is received after 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 6 September 2016, a late fee of $50 will be billed to their account.

All students may adjust their course schedules by participating in the add/drop registration process.


First-year students must submit their enrollment forms by 5 pm on Monday, 29 August 2016.  ALL students must submit their Enrollment Forms by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 6 September 2016. Directions and the form are online; the form may only be submitted from a computer on campus. This form allows students to update important address and parent information. It also verifies who is on campus. Any student who does not submit the Enrollment Form by the deadline will be dropped from all classes because we will assume they are not on campus. Students will be assessed a $50 late fee in order to re-enroll.  In order to re-enroll you will need to participate in Add/Drop II. This means that you will not have access to Blackboard and will not receive email from your professors regarding your courses until you re-enroll. If the Enrollment Form is still not received by 8:30 A.M. on Monday, September 12, a block will be put on your ID card functions, including a block on your residence hall, dining service privileges, and library privileges. On Monday, September 19 at 8:30 A.M., any student who has not submitted an Enrollment Form will be put on an involuntary leave of absence and asked to leave the College.


A student may view their course schedule and the meeting locations of classes in their My Classes portlet in Polaris. A student who stops attending a course but fails to drop the course through Polaris will still be officially registered for the course and risks receiving an F grade for the course. A student who attends a course all semester but never adds the course through Polaris risks receiving no grade for the course.

Students should attend the first class meetings of all courses. (Classes begin on Wednesday, 31 August, 2016) Instructors have the option of dropping students who do not attend the first class meeting in order to accommodate students from a waiting list.

The Bowdoin Course Guide and the Academic Handbook are available online. The Office of the Registrar no longer distributes paper copies of the Catalogue. 

A complete Schedule of Course Offerings is available online. There is also a separate Schedule of Course Offerings for First-Year Students. These can be found by clicking on Course Information and Reports. The schedules are updated overnight when changes have been made.

Courses may be searched in the Class Finder in Polaris. You may search for classes based on subject, day, time and other criteria such as divisions and distributions. Additional, useful registration reports are available on the Course Information page.

There is a Schedule Planning Sheet and a weekly calendar worksheet available (in PDF and Word formats) to help with schedule planning.


Add/Drop II begins the first day of class, 31 August 2016.

Students have until Tuesday, 13 September to add a course or drop a course without the permission of their academic advisor; all students have until Wednesday, 12 October 2016 to drop a course with the permission of their academic advisor. (New students, those for whom the Fall 2016 semester is their first semester, will also need permission from their Student Dean.) Returning students may only drop a course from weeks three through six twice in their Bowdoin career after their first semester.  Students Add or Drop courses online through Polaris except for independent studies and honors projects which require a paper form complete with signatures from the project director and the student's academic advisor. These forms are available online and at the Registrar's Office in Moulton Union. Students who want to register for more than 5.0 credits also need the permission of their Student Dean. First-Year students who wish to register for less than 4.0 credits need the permission of their Student Dean and their pre-major advisor. Any student who wants to drop below 3.0 credits must petition the Recording Committee.

See complete add/drop instructions online as well as the Extended Drop policy.

Unlike during registration Rounds One and Two when an instructor can only override course prerequisites on Polaris, an instructor can override course prerequisites, course restrictions, registration limits, and time conflicts during Add/Drop I and II. 


Students may change the grading option for a course from graded to Credit/D/Fail (or vice versa) until Wednesday, 12 October, 2016 online through Polaris. It is important that students read the entire Credit/D/Fail policy to ensure full understanding of the circumstances under which the Credit/D/Fail grading option may be elected for a course. Classes that students elect to take with the Credit/D/Fail grading option will not satisfy the requirement for a first-year seminar or division and distribution requirements.