Off-Campus Study Guidelines

Off-campus study in a demanding academic program can contribute substantially to a major in sociology.
Programs with a well supervised fieldwork component may be especially valuable. Ordinarily students are advised to plan study away for the junior year.
Related Offices

Getting Started

Choosing Courses

The quality of a study-away experience depends in large measure on preparation for it before departure and on integration of it into coursework upon return. For these reasons, students are advised to complete either the sociology or anthropology research methods course before studying away. These courses will fulfill the department's major and minor requirements, while also preparing students for study abroad.

The department expects students to take advantage of sociology courses offered elsewhere which are not available at Bowdoin. When applicable, courses should be planned before departure that provide instruction about the culture, history, and/or language of the area in which one will study.

Meeting with Faculty

All students who wish to substitute courses taken at other colleges and universities for courses offered in the Department of Sociology must first receive provisional approval from the department. To obtain provisional approval, the student must supply:

  • a description of the course; and
  • a reading list and information about the organization of the course.

Receiving Credit

Students must request final approval upon return from study away. Students must submit a syllabus and reading list (or list of texts) and completed assignments (e.g., papers, exams, field notebooks, etc.) to a department faculty member (typically your advisor) at the time that final approval is requested. Normally, the course should be taught by a sociologist to receive credit in the respective major.

Final approval will be given by the department chair upon completion of the course or courses and will not be given if the course content, assignments, or instructor do not meet department standards.

Upon return from study away students should consider designing academic programs that build on that experience.