Equality: All students at Bowdoin participate equally in course registration. For that reason, course registration happens in rounds so that all students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, have ample opportunity to create their optimal schedule. Each round lasts for several days and no priority is given based on the timing of participation. Students may adjust their selections as many times as desired before the deadline for each round.
Process: During the first two rounds, all students request classes for which they meet the eligibility requirements, regardless of class size. For example, an introductory course may have an enrollment limit of 50, but there might be over 100 requests for the course by the end of Round 1. At the end of those rounds, all requests are processed together and students receive seats in classes based on the registration preferences established by the faculty. That information can be found in the Class Finder along with other pertinent details, e.g. course description, prerequisites. If there are more requests than available seats, not every student who requests the class will register into it. Any student shut out of a course because there were more requests than available seats will have a bump within their priority grouped during registration for a future semester. All students are notified when the results of Rounds 1 and 2 are available and should check the "My Courses" section of Polaris to see which of their requests resulted in registrations.
Round 1: Students may request up to four 1.0 credit classes and two additional 0.5 credit classes. If, for any reason, the request does not process successfully after hitting submit, read the error message 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.
Advisor Hold: The Advisor Hold is in place to help ensure that students are consulting with their faculty advisors about their curricular plans and potential class schedule. In order for Round 1 course requests to be processed, every student's faculty advisor must release the Advisor Hold in Polaris.
Round 2: This round is designed to allow all students the chance to register for a full schedule of four credits. Students only participate if they have room left in their schedule, e.g. they are registered for fewer than four credits or five credits if they chose to request two additional 0.5 credits during Round 1. No classes for which a student registered into during Round 1 can be dropped during Round 2. If a course filled to capacity during Round 1, it will be marked as "full" in the Class Finder and should not be requested in Round 2 as that will not result in a registration or a future bump in priority for being shut out.
Add/Drop: After the close of Round 2, there are two more rounds of schedule changes: Add/Drop I and Add/Drop II. During Add/Drop rounds, students can drop classes without permission and add classes for which they have obtained permission of the instructor. Instructor Permission, given in Polaris, is required to add any class or lab even if there are seats available. Changes made during Add/Drop rounds are processed immediately. Add/Drop I happens the week following the end of Round 2. Add/Drop II occurs during the first two weeks of the semester.
Extended Drop: During weeks three through six of the semester, students may elect to use one of two extended drops available to them over the course of their Bowdoin career. This is a serious decision which can impact progress to the degree and a student considering this option should meet with their faculty advisor. After the end of the sixth week of the semester, students must petition the Recording Committee to make any other adjustments to their course schedule.
Overrides: At their discretion, Bowdoin faculty are able to override certain course requirements. If students receive an error message for one of the following reasons, they should reach out to the instructor to inquire about the possibility of receiving an override: instructor permission, missing a prerequisite or co-requisite, a course exclusion, a major/minor restriction, a class standing, or the class size. Not all overrides are available during all rounds of registration. An override does not guarantee registration nor grant preferential treatment; it simply forces the system to view the student as equally qualified to registration as other students who already meet those course rules. Once the faculty member submits the override you will see it in the Registration Status tab in Polaris and may then submit a request for the class.
Deadlines: The times which each round of registration open and close are final and normally no exceptions are made. Students are strongly encouraged to check the "My Courses" section of Polaris before the close of each round of registration to make sure their selections are displaying correctly.