Academics

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Academics

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5 College Freshman

Academics: Classes ar challenging but rewarding.

4 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: There is a good variety of courses and the professors are fantastic.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: The academics here are both challenging and worthwhile. The professors are fantastic for the most part; they are approachable and ridiculously smart! The libraries are nice, but there are a bunch of options for places to study that range in noise level, coziness, social level, and food options!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are not celebrities, but are very invested in their research, students, and teaching. The administration is supportive of a teaching college and students generally get a very high quality education that comes in the form of detailed evaluations of papers, well-written exams, and well thought out projects and activities.

Each department has its stars and very rare is it for a student to be wholly or even partially dissatisfied with their academic experience.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Academics: Students choose majors in their sophomore spring.

1 person found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
208
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
27
Total FT Faculty
208
Faculty with Terminal Degree
99%
Average Faculty Salary
$92,759
Full-Time Retention Rate
97%
Graduation Rate
95%
Programs/Majors Offered
41
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
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
  • Economics and Econometrics: 6%
  • History, General: 3%
  • Mathematics, Algebra, and Geometry: 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

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 8 responses

  • 18% Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain - 32nd Maine governor
  • 15% Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - American poet
  • 15% Franklin Pierce - 14th U.S. president
  • 9% Joan Benoit Samuelson - Olympic gold medalist
  • 9% Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • 3% John Brown Russwurm - Bowdoin's first black graduate
  • 3% George Mitchell - former U.S. senator from Maine
  • 3% Paul H. Douglas - former U.S. senator (D-IL)
  • 3% Kenneth Chenault - CEO of American Express
  • 3% Donald B. MacMillan - Arctic explorer
  • 3% Reed Hastings - founder of Netflix
  • 3% Robert E. Peary - Arctic explorer
  • 3% Nathaniel Hawthorne - author
  • 3% Reed Hastings - Co-Founder and CEO of Netflix
  • 3% Peter Buck - Co-Founder of Subway
  • 3% Nathaniel Hawthorne - novelist
  • 0% Sumner T. Pike - former president, Atomic Energy Commission
  • 0% Oliver Otis Howard - founder of Howard University
  • 0% Calvin Stowe - married to Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • 0% William S. Cohen - former secretary of defense

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 27 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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 28 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.

How often do you:    Based on 5 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 5 responses

  • 60% This was my dream school.
  • 40% This was one of my top choices.
  • 0% This was a school I settled for (safety school).

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