Brunswick, ME
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Pretty tough academics, but you come out feeling like you know so much more not only about your major, but other things too (benefits of the liberal arts curriculum). The professors are very accessible, and the students are competitive at all, which honestly is for the best because we all study so much that it would be annoying to do it alone/have to worry about your classmates on top of the subject material.

2 people found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Psychology is awesome, and we get to use a lot of the local facilities (i.e. hospitals) for real-world application of the textbook material. Plus, Psych at Bowdoin is actually tough and is respected as a major at Bowdoin, unlike some other schools

1 person found this useful Report
5 Recent Alumnus

Academics: The neuroscience department provides excellent student research opportunities and hands on experience.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Academics: Polaris is a pain, but adore the faculty

5 College Freshman

Academics: Very intense yet useful for your future.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 10th
    Smartest Professors
  • 20th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 21st
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 53rd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 61st
    Most Flexible Curriculums

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Danica Loucks
Hamilton, Mont.
Probably Sociology and German
View all previous student authors

Bowdoin offers its students many liberties with its flexible core requirements. First-year students are required to take a first-year seminar, which essentially allows them to experience an extremely discussion-based course and introduces them to college writing. Additionally, Bowdoin students must fulfill division requirements throughout their four years by taking a class in each of the following categories: Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities and Fine Arts, and Non-Eurocentric Studies. They must also take one class that fulfills each of the distribution requirements in Mathematical, Computational, or Statistical Reasoning; Inquiry in the Natural Sciences; Exploring Social Differences; International Perspectives; and Visual and Performing Arts. This sounds like a lot, but a liberal arts education focuses on just how much everything is related. Students can fulfill these requirements by taking a combination of exploratory courses, major courses, and "just for fun" classes. Bowdoin also urges students to take classes outside of their comfort zones by allowing everyone to take up to four classes as pass/fail over their four years—this allows students to branch out without worrying about it affecting their grades and is indicative of the fact that the College and professors want students to get as much out of their Bowdoin education as possible.

Receiving help and support from the professors 24/7 at Bowdoin is the norm. They are a boundless source of intriguing concepts, constructive criticism, advice, and good stories. Some professors grade very hard, others quite easily, but with either professor, your mind will be challenged and you will be provided valuable knowledge. Professors maintain office hours, but most will make time to meet with you outside of those hours if you have a scheduling conflict. Bowdoin professors are always trying to gain better access to their students, and some invite their pupils to dinner or ice cream at their homes. A few professors have even been known to sign their students on as co-authors in their professional journal writings. The faculty at Bowdoin is made up of long-time professors, as well as new and visiting professors. Bowdoin professors are often invited to speak at bigger universities about their research. Many alumni say that the Bowdoin faculty inspired them to feel empowered to do anything to which they put their minds.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 69%
  • 20 to 49 students: 28%
  • 50 or more students: 3%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
Bachelor's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 4%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 5%
  • History, General: 3%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 7%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • Humanities
  • Mathematics
  • One course in "Exploring Social Differences"
  • One course in "Inquiry in the Natural Sciences"
  • One course in "International Perspectives"
  • One course in "Mathematical, Computational, or Statistical Reasoning"
  • One course in "Visual and Performing Arts"
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • 3-2 or 4-2 engineering degree programs with Dartmouth College, California Institute of Technology, Columbia University and University of Maine - Orono
  • 3-3 legal studies degree program with Columbia University Law School
  • Accelerated program
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Independent study
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Pass/fail grading options available
  • Student-designed major
Online Courses
Bowdoin does not offer online courses.
Best Places to Study
Each students seems to have his/her favorite place to study, but one common favorite is the fifth floor of Hubbard Hall.
Tips to Succeed
  • Do what ultimately makes you happy. Don't do what you think your adviser, coach, or parents want you to do.
  • Eat healthy and drink responsibly.
  • Get a consistent amount of sleep-aim for eight hours.
  • Get involved, whether it is sports, student government, student organizations, cultural clubs, or community service, but don't over-commit yourself.
  • Go to office hours.
  • If you are an international student or live far away, apply to Bowdoin's host family program-having connections with people outside the ages of 18-21 and having a place to go for the holidays is invaluable.
  • Keep your head up, and stay optimistic.
  • Make connections with the community outside the student body.
  • Stay active. Play club, varsity, or IM sports-they're great ways to meet friends.
  • Take classes based on which professors people say are amazing-they almost always are.
Did You Know?
Majors are declared at the end of sophomore year. Students may choose one of the following options: departmental major, double major, coordinate major, interdisciplinary major, student-designed major, or any of the preceding with a minor.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 26 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 27 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.



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