Course Registration

At Bowdoin, we do course registration in rounds allowing all students ample opportunity to craft their ideal schedule in conjunction with their faculty advisor.

Returning students may participate in Round 1, Round 2, Add/Drop I, and Add/Drop II. There are also dedicated periods of registration for re-enrolled students for fall and spring semesters as well as first year and transfer students for fall semesters.

The Registrar's Calendar details all the dates and deadlines for course registration!

Classfinder is Bowdoin's official source of the classes on offer each semester. It can be accessed by faculty, students, and staff from within Polaris. Classfinder is also available to the public.

How to Navigate the Classfinder

Are you eligible to participate?  Any student with an enrollment status of "Here/Matric" for the upcoming semester who has no registration holds, other than the advisor hold, is eligible to participate in course registration. 

  • Enrollment status can be found in the "My Status" section of Polaris.
  • What is "matric"? It's short for "matriculated" and refers to students enrolled in courses and working towards earning their bachelor's degree from Bowdoin.
  • If incorrect, contact your student dean or Off-Campus Study to update your enrollment status and become eligible to register.

Polaris is Bowdoin's official student and course information system and is where the majority of course registration occurs. 

Which registrations happen outside of Polaris? Students register for independent studies and honors projects through an online form every semester, even if the project is continuing from the previous semester, and students use an extended course drop through an online form submitted by their advisor. 

Students ON campus MUST connect to the Bowdoin Network (not Bowdoin guest) to access Polaris registration. 

Students OFF campus MUST connect to VPN to access Polaris registration. (VPN instructions here)


Fall semester registration occurs in April (Round 1 and Round 2) and May (Add/Drop I), pauses for summer break, then reopens in August for re-enrolled, transfer, and first-year students. Once classes start in late August, all students may participate in a final, two-week change period (Add/Drop II). 

Spring semester registration occurs in November (Round 1 and Round 2) and December (Add/Drop I), pauses for winter break, then reopens in January for re-enrolled students. Once classes start, in the third week of January, all students may participate in a final, two-week change period (Add/Drop II). 

All dates and deadlines are listed in the Registrar's Calendar

All students eligible to register have an advisor hold at the beginning of the course registration cycle to ensure they plan their schedules in conjunction with their faculty advisors. Students may submit course requests before the advisor hold is lifted, but it must be released for the requests to be processed.

Registration hold details are in the "My Academic Profile - Holds" section of Polaris.

  • Examples of registration holds include: failure to submit a mandatory form or not paying your tuition bill. Health Services, the Bursar (bill collector), and Student Aid (financial aid) are usually the offices who place these holds and students should work with them directly to resolve.