Location: Brunswick, MEFunding: PrivateSize: 1,805Percent Women: 49.7%Tuition: $59,568Most Popular Majors: Enviornmental Studies, Political Science and Government, Economics, Mathematics, HistoryGreek Life: NoAcceptance Rate: 14%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit Bowdoin College's website at http://www.bowdoin.edu/admissions/.
Why Choose Bowdoin?
"Bowdoin students are so passionate about what they do! That's really what sets accepted students apart from the overall applicant pool, and what sets Bowdoin apart as a school. What people care about is incredibly diverse (and sometimes conflicting), but everyone here has something that they throw their all into. Bowdoin students do amazing things every day, and being part of it all is such an amazing privilege!"
"You will find friends with whom you can spend all kinds of time, and when you do, Bowdoin will become a home."
"I love being able to walk around campus and immediately see someone I know. The best part is that they always stop and have a real conversation with you rather than just having those quick casual greetings and walking away. Polar bears care!"
"Everyone's goal is to help each other, not to step on people to be more successful. It's hard, but instead of competing, we're all in it together."
"I can stroll into the dining hall wearing a bear onesie and no one will judge me for it. The people here are truly awesome."
"What makes Bowdoin special to me is that everyone here is excited about what they're doing! And even if they don't feel that way, they are still doing amazing things!"
"The food here is to die for. I just had roasted garlic french fries, margherita pizza, and New England clam chowder for dinner. Bowdoin's food is so good that non-Bowdoin people visit the dining hall like it was a restaurant."
"The Lobster Bake is absolutely the best. On one of the first nights back, the whole school goes to the fields for a lobster dinner. It's so warm and sunny, and everyone dresses up. It's literally one of the best nights of the year."
"There are plenty of opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty members. Whether it be an independent study, an honors project, or summer research, Bowdoin is really good about providing options for students interest in research."
"Winter is surprisingly enjoyable in Maine. The snow is really pretty, and there's plenty to do at Bowdoin or around the area. The only downside is that it's really cold."
"The Outing Club is fantastic! Students are constantly leading weekend trips to go kayaking, rafting, hiking, skiing, etc. It's awesome to have so many opportunities to explore Maine."
Photo credit: Bowdoin Outing Club
"The student body is really really ridiculously good looking!"
"You can really get involved in classes. The class sizes are pretty small, and professors try to make themselves available to students."
"The weather can be a drag. It’s a very long winter."
"The parking on campus is awful! All the parking lots are for visitors and faculty, and students get ticketed all the time for not parking in the 'appropriate' spots. When you pair that with Brunswick's parking bans during the winter, having a car is a nightmare."
"It would be nice to have guest swipes on the meal plan."
"The Wi-Fi could be improved."
"Some buildings on campus are kind of ugly. The library, Searles [Science Building], and the theater are all kind of off-putting."
New Collegiette on Campus
“Most freshmen become good friends with their roommates or floormates, but you also meet people in sports teams, classes, and other random places. While most freshmen may stick together, especially at the beginning of the year, it’s really helpful to make friends with upperclassmen—it feels good to have another circle of friends to hang out with.”
“Floorcest is a no-no! Explore different floors in your dorm – you get to meet tons of new people that way”
“Join clubs at the beginning of the year to meet people, but don’t feel obligated to keep with them. Stick with the activities you really enjoy.”
“Freshman tradition: stay up all night long with your friends and get donuts from Frosty’s at 4am.”
“One of the best parts: having random, spur of the moment dance parties in your room with your roommates and friends.”
“Become great friends with your proctor and RA!”
All About Academics
"I've had only really positive experiences with the academics here. The classes are challenging and require commitment and a lot of out-of-class work, but everything is manageable. Also, I've found that I work hard for my own benefit and am competitive with myself, but the general atmosphere amongst students lacks cutthroat competition. The learning environment is very supportive and collaborative, which I love."
"I couldn't ask for a better place academically - one that I'm both challenged in but also confident to grow in."
"I love the professors and classes at Bowdoin. I have learned to be a better writer, student, and speaker at Bowdoin and have had very few negative academic experiences."
"Attending Bowdoin has allowed me to achieve a more heightened sensibility about the world around me, both through my education and my peers. For example, while I heard about climate change in high school, it wasn’t until I came to college that I fully understood the idea. Going to class lectures and listening to my peers allowed me to pick up on the concepts and science behind it, as well as what I could do to help offset environmental changes."
"I would say that if you have a chance definitely take a senior seminar. It’s probably some of the most engaged you’ll ever be in an academic setting. You can discuss really cool topics with your professors and classmates and you can get to know them a lot better because its such a small setting. It’ll be in subject matter you're really invested in because it’s in your major and there’ll be good academic discussion that will really further your interests."
Learn from the Best
"Professors here truly care about their students, which is very important. They want to help their students succeed. Students are encouraged to meet with professors individually to get academic help, but also to get to know them personally as well."
"Academics are challenging, but with lots of guidance from professors, you will definitely be able to accomplish anything."
"I haven't been disappointed yet by a professor or class or interaction with an administrative office. I think Bowdoin is such a great place because the faculty and staff are so dedicated to helping and educating students, and students are so dedicated to learning and being active on campus."
"My professors are amazingly humble human beings with so much to offer. All of the authority figures on this campus have a generous spirit. I have yet to take a class where I haven't been able to take something valuable away, even if the subject matter was not my favorite."
"Professors are crucial. They can make or break a course, despite the subject matter, so get lots of upperclassman advice."
Interests & Involvement
"There are so many different clubs and organizations you can join. There are a capella groups, social action organizations, cultural clubs, academic clubs, dance groups, etc. I'm constantly impressed by the number and variety of clubs at Bowdoin. You can DJ on Bowdoin's radio station, create your own T.V. program, ride horses, make pottery, do Brazilian Jiu Jisu...the possibilities are endless."
"I like that I can be involved in a large array of activities and academics without feeling pressured to follow a specific path."
"What made Bowdoin special to me is the students' true dedication to service. I wanted an excellent education, but I also wanted to be involved in the community and to give back. I find that most Bowdoin students want to be a part of the Brunswick community and as cliche as it sounds, to make the world a better place. Volunteering and working with kids has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my Bowdoin experience and the dedication to the Common Good really set Bowdoin apart from other schools I was considering four years ago."
"The activities fair is at the beginning of every semester, and it basically allows clubs and teams to advertise themselves to students. Bowdoin has tons of different clubs and organizations to join – some of them are awesome, some are silly, and some are just plain crazy, but to each their own!"
"Students at Bowdoin are very athletic, but you don't necessarily have to be on a team. Lots of people just go to the gym or go running and still consider themselves to be a part of the athlete culture."
"Bowdoin's women's teams are all very good – rugby, field hockey, lacrosse, etc. The men's teams are good, too; but I think the women's teams get most of the glory."
"There's definitely a cultural difference between the athletes and the non-athletes at Bowdoin, but it's very easy to get past those differences. Lots of athletes are friends with non-athletes."
"Participating in athletics is a huge part of Bowdoin, but attending athletic events is not super popular here. People are really busy, and sporting events don't usually have a huge crowd, unless it's homecoming weekend or family weekend."
"Bowdoin is a very athletic campus, something I didn't realize until I got here. Don't be intimidated by the jock culture, though, there is room for athletic participation at all levels. I joined cheerleading – a club sport – for the first time in my life."
“There’s a whole lot of support from females across campus. There’s a women’s resource center that’s always available for students. There are also lots of fantastic courses you can take through the Gender and Women’s Studies department.”
Photo credit: Mattie Daughtry “Generally, I think Bowdoin is very supportive of females. I have no problem voicing my opinion in a classroom. However, in male dominated classes, girls can be a bit more intimidated.”
“I don't want to generalize, but a majority of girls do tend to have this certain style of being put together that I would have to label as somewhat preppy. Even in an 8am class, many girls are dressed in nice sweaters, jeans, boots, and they just look very presentable.”
"Women at Bowdoin are well supported. I love that we have so many female leaders and role models in our student body (and in our faculty)."
“The gender ratio is spot on! I really appreciate a good ratio because I can hear an equal share of perspectives between boys and girls both outside and within the classroom.” “[Girls] can dress kooky one day, and then preppy the next day. No one really judges you based on what you wear, which I really appreciate, because I don’t feel pressured to dress a certain way.”
Food & Drink
"The food at Bowdoin is incredible. I've literally never eaten such delicious food in my life (sorry, mom). The dining buffets are full of wonderful food, and the dining staff is very accomodating of dietary restrictions. Bowdoin has themed-food nights (my favorite is comfort food night), and the Thanksgiving Dinners and Winter Holiday Meals are always favorites with the students."
Photo credit: Bowdoin Dining
“Bowdoin Dining is consistenly ranked number one in the nation for college food, and for good reason! From the personalized eggs you can order at brunch to the salad bar with vegetables grown in Bowdoin’s own organic garden, there's always something for everyone. Some of the student favorites are the Maine apple, sweet onion, & blue cheese flat bread, Szechuan chicken, mussels, Hungarian mushroom soup, chicken parmesan, pumpkin buckle, and of course, the Bowdoin Log.”
"Bowdoin has two dining halls, Moulton and Thorne. Moulton is the place to go for a chill and informal meal with friends. Its low ceilings, booths, and darker lighting gives it a cozy and more diner-type feel. Thorne is the dining hall for when you want to see and be seen by others. It is much larger than Moulton, and its soaring high ceilings and wooden tables give it a fancy and classy feel."
“I love Bowdoin Dining. It’s so easy to be a vegetarian here and to just eat healthy in general because there are so many options. Everything is really well labeled, so I always know exactly what ingredients are in the food. The dining staff is also super nice and helpful, and you can always ask them about the ingredients in the food and they will gladly tell you! Bowdoin also gets really creative with the vegetarian options, so it's never boring! Something I always look forward to is the sesame tamari dressing in the salad section. This dressing has made me eat so much more salad, because it’s just that good!”
“The food on campus is terrific, but the town of Brunswick also contains a plethora of cute and homey restaurants, just a few-minutes walk from campus!"
"Ivies weekend is the social event of the year. A bunch of music groups play concerts on campus, and students kind of take the week off to hang out with friends and get involved in all sorts of shenanigans. Friday afternoons on the Brunswick Quad are always fun, and I think professors kind of give students some slack that week."
"It's a small school and social life can get repetitive; but aside from parties, there are lectures, shows, and concerts every weekend. I've found that it's not the endless social house parties that supply the fun to a college experience, but the ability to connect with other people and find supportive and interesting friends. I know that I will be friends with some of the girls I have met here for the rest of my life, and I admire every single one of them for their talent and ambition."
"At a small school like Bowdoin, sometimes the social life might begin to feel cramped. Thankfully, when you begin to feel the pinch, you turn twenty-one and that opens some proverbial doors to expand the horizons."
"Parties are pretty tame here. Just like any other college, students drink, but it doesn't get incredibly rowdy and out of hand. Drug use is also minimal. Bowdoin is pretty safe."
"The big athletic party scene is basically what you’d expect, and social house parties can get pretty repetitive. However, smaller apartment parties can be pretty fun! A lot of it depends on who you know and networking when everyone is like, ‘Oh, what’s going on tonight?’ Sometimes, you just have to make your own scene."
"Bowdoin definitely has great dorm rooms. As a first year, you typically get placed into a quad with two bedrooms and a pretty large living room. Some people end up in a quint (which just means you have to squeeze one extra person into one of the bedrooms), and some people end up in a two room double (one is a bedroom, one is a living area). We're pretty lucky because overall, the rooms are pretty spacious."
"The dorm rooms are pretty big – even freshman housing is awesome, because every freshman room has a common area and a bedroom. It's so much better than living in one room because it gives you more personal space."
"Dorms are awesome at Bowdoin! You also have the option of moving off campus after your first two years at Bowdoin. I actually miss my freshman dorm, because our floor was so cohesive and our proctor was amazing. Dorms are just a great way to meet everyone in your first year at Bowdoin, and the Res Life staff does a really good job of programming events exclusively for first-years."
"Housing is great! It gets better every year [because of the housing lottery]."
"I love the housing options at Bowdoin. The only part that isn't terrific is that sometimes you don't get along with your roommate, but I think Bowdoin does a pretty good job of reassigning you to a different room (especially as a first-year) if you're having major roommate issues."
"Brunswick is such a cute, small town. The population is only about 22,000 people, but there are lots of adorable shops and restaurants. Although Brunswick really doesn't have any notable nightlife hotspots, it has a couple bars that upperclassmen will visit."
"For a small town, Brunswick has an incredible array of delicious options when it comes to off-campus dining. There’s Japanese, Indian, Italian, Thai, Mexican, Vietnamese, Greek, and much more! Some of the most popular places to dine out are Shere Punjab (Indian), Little Tokyo (Japanese), Little Saigon (Vietnamese), and Gelato Fiasoco!"
"I love that Brunswick has such a small-town feel. You can literally walk down Main Street in about 10 minutes and see most of what Brunswick has to offer. It's kind of a double-edged sword, though, because sometimes if you really want to escape the Bowdoin Bubble, just walking into town doesn't do the trick."
"Bowdoin has certain partnerships with businesses in Brunswick, so they'll offer free bowling on Thursday nights or free movies on certain nights. Bowdoin also rents out some restaurants for different events for the senior class, which is pretty neat."
"Brunswick itself doesn't have a ton of stuff to do, but it's only 40 minutes away from Portland, Maine (which has plenty to do). Bowdoin Student Government offers really cheap shuttle rides to Portland over the weekend, which is realy convenient. Also, Boston is only three hours away, so it's pretty easy to visit the city for a weekend getaway."
HC's Complete College Guide: Bowdoin College
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