Bowdoin College
5000 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8441
(207) 725-3100
Accrediting Agency:
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

In 1794, Bowdoin College was chartered by the General Court of Massachusetts, and the college’s first class — a mere eight students — matriculated in 1802. Today, Bowdoin College is a highly-selective liberal arts college dedicated to educating leaders from a variety of backgrounds. Its current enrollment sits at approximately 1,730 students. Bowdoin is known for its inclusive, close-knit community, fostered by both its small size and its House System, which links first-year students with the houses of upperclassmen. The college also sets itself apart by encouraging service learning through its Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Bowdoin College and its faculty attracted $4.3 million in grants and institutional support from almost 30 organizations, including foundations, corporations, and government agencies.

Programs Offered

Bowdoin College’s liberal arts programs take an interdisciplinary approach in the bachelor’s degrees offered, showing the interconnectedness between philosophy and politics, art and social change, and other subjects. Students can choose their majors and minors from 33 academic departments, and have six distinct options: departmental major, double major, coordinate major, interdisciplinary major, student-designed major, or any of these coupled with a departmental minor. Bowdoin is unique in that more than 60% of students pursue independent studies, designing their own topics of study in conjunction with faculty. Academic programs are diverse, and include majors and minors such as Africana studies, chemistry, computer science, gender and women’s studies, neuroscience, classics, music, psychology, romance languages, and more.


Bowdoin College is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission of Institutions of Higher Education. The college has maintained this accreditation since 1929.


Prospective students apply to Bowdoin using the five-page Common Application, and by completing the Bowdoin Supplement. This supplement requires applicants to use up to 300 words to answer an essay question on one of three topics. Other supplements should be completed by students who meet certain criteria, e.g., the Arts Supplement, the Home-Schooled Supplement, and the International Student Supplement. Bowdoin evaluates a student’s high school transcripts and GPA, but takes an alternative approach to standardized test scores, allowing students to opt out of including such scores if they wish. A personal statement, two teacher recommendations, the application fee, and a secondary school report form (to be filled out by your college adviser or guidance counselor) must be included in the application materials with your high school transcript. Bowdoin College also requires a mid-year school report form. A personal interview is strongly encouraged, but not required, for admission. By far, the most important factor considered at this highly-selective school is an applicant’s overall academic record.

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