Registration: Add/Drop II

Students eligible to register may choose to participate in Add/Drop II, which starts on the first day of classes each semester and lasts two weeks. The Registrar's Calendar details the exact dates and deadlines for each round of registration. 


Registration is complete only when students submit the ENROLLMENT FORM, which must be submitted by the end of the first week of classes, every semester. This form verifies that a student is on campus and attending classes.

Students need INSTRUCTOR PERMISSION in Polaris to add anything during Add/Drop II, even if there are seats available and they meet all other eligibility requirements. To obtain permission, students should email the instructor directly. Classfinder lists the names of course instructors and students can find their contact information by searching the Bowdoin directory.

Faculty expect these emails and will provide "Instructor Permission" in Polaris for a student to add their class or lab if the student meets the eligibility requirements, e.g., prerequisites, there is room in the class or lab, and the student and instructor have agreed on how missed class material and assignments will be managed.  

Faculty also have the option to override eligibility requirements and the size of their class, and students should request overrides, if needed, when they request permission, explaining why the override is warranted, but should note that faculty are not obligated to override registration restrictions

Any instructor with questions about providing permissions and overrides in Polaris and any student with questions about obtaining permissions and overrides in Polaris should email

As always, students should work closely with their academic advisors before making changes to their course schedule to ensure they will remain on track to complete all degree requirements.

Students are expected to monitor their records in Polaris and bear ultimate responsibility for completing the processes that provide the College with an accurate record of their course schedule. All students should check "My Courses" in Polaris before the end of Add/Drop II to confirm their schedules are correct, and, if applicable, plan to adjust their course schedules as soon as possible during Add/Drop II. Classes are underway, so it becomes challenging to manage missed material and assignments the farther into the semester students wait to register.  

During Add/Drop II, students may take the following actions in Polaris

  • Add/register for classes for which they have obtained "Instructor Permission," and any other needed overrides from the instructor, including a fifth, 1.0 credit class;
  • Drop classes from Round 1, Round 2 and Add/Drop I, no permission needed, as long it will not drop them below 3.0 credits;
  • Swap sections, e.g., labs, if they have "Instructor Permission" for the new one, by selecting "drop" on the existing section, adding the new one, and hitting submit so that the requests process simultaneously - SEE GUIDE FOR SWAPPING

Obtaining "instructor permission" does not automatically register the student; they must do that themselves in Polaris. Students can see all permissions and overrides they've received in the "Preparing for Registration" section of Polaris and should add the class or lab once the permission is available. 

Like Add/Drop I, any changes students make to their schedules are immediate

Any student initially registering for classes during Add/Drop II must have their ADVISOR HOLD released. This situation occurs most often when students change their enrollment status, but it applies to few students each semester.  

Degree Requirementsdetails about general requirements, like divisions and distributions, and major/minor requirements are available in Degree Progress and students are strongly encouraged to review their Degree Progress prior to participating in registration. To access Degree Progress, log into Polaris, and click "Degree Progress" in the "My Academic Profile" section.

Error Messages: if a course request does not process successfully after hitting submit, read the error message that appears at the top right of the screen carefully. Common error messages include a time conflict or a missing requirement. Reach out to the Office of the Registrar before the deadline if you are unable to resolve an error. The best way to reach us is by emailing 

Reserved Seating: in fall semesters only, some faculty choose to reserve seats in their courses for students who will be new to Bowdoin in the fall. Returning students may not register for one of those seats during Round 1, Round 2, or Add/Drop I, but any previously reserved seats that were not filled during new student registration become available to all students in Add/Drop II.

Technical Difficulties: reach out to the IT Service Desk if you experience any issues with system speed or connectivity. They have a myriad of methods by which you can reach them

Textbook Information: the cost of course materials for each class is available in the Classfinder. Click on the 5-digit CRN (course registration number) to expand the details of the class, and click on "Order Books" - located underneath prerequisites. The corresponding ecampus page will launch in a new window and details the full list of course materials and options for obtaining them, e.g., rent or buy.