bowdoin college arts supplement

By | 09.08.2018

Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College

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A liberal arts education at Bowdoin isn’t about being small and safe.

It’s about having the support to take surprising risks. Students undertake this journey with professors who are scholars and artists of distinction who actively shape their fields. From their first-year seminar through their senior year, students are immersed in subjects with teachers who illuminate learning with passion for their disciplines. Faculty and students work together in small classes, labs, performance halls, and conduct real-world research in the field. Bowdoin is a community of diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. We are interested in students who respect and welcome the challenges associated with such diversity. 


The Bowdoin curriculum offers a realization of the Offer of the College  for the twenty-first century. The College requires students to seek breadth and depth in their education. This style of education encourages principled and thoughtful engagement with the world around  us, both during and after your four years here. Bowdoin students go on to be  leaders in all walks of life .

The Common Good

Since its opening in 1802, Bowdoin has understood the responsibility to direct higher education toward the common good . The college’s first president, Joseph McKeen, emphasized that Bowdoin students have a particular obligation to exert their talents for the greater benefit of society. In the 21st century, that obligation is stronger than ever. Bowdoin challenges students to consider the implications of a shared natural world and human heritage through community engagement on local, national, and global levels .

Bowdoin at a Glance

Bowdoin College is a highly selective liberal arts college on the coast of Maine. We are need-blind in the admissions process and meet full demonstrated financial need of admitted students with no-loan financial aid awards. 

Student Background for the Enrolling Class of 2021

  • 501 entering first-years

  • 49% men, 51% women 

  • 62% from outside of New England 
  • 34% students of color
  • 10% from outside the US
  • 9% Maine residents
  • 16% first generation to attend college
  • 13 states with ten or more students:
    CA, CT, FL, IL, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, OH,
    PA, WA

Contact Us

Admissions Website
(207) 725-3100
[email protected]
List of Admissions Staff

Discover More About Bowdoin

prepare for the future at bowdoin

Admissions Website Request Information
Academics Ask a Current Bowdoin Student


Deadline Information

Early Decision I
Application Due Date: November 15
Admission Decision By: Mid December

Early Decision II
Application Due Date: January 1
Admission Decision By: Mid February

Regular Decision
Application Due Date: January 1
Admission Decision By: Early April
Student Reply Date: May 1

Required Application Materials

Bowdoin accepts the Coalition Application, the Common Application, and/or the QuestBridge Application. All applications are treated equally, regardless of source. 

In addition to the application, all students are required to submit:

  • $65 Application Fee or Fee Waiver
  • Bowdoin Supplemental Questions
  • One Counselor Recommendation
  • Two Teacher Evaluations
  • Secondary School Report
  • Secondary School Transcript
  • Mid-Year Transcript

Optional application materials include:

  • Standardized Test Results
  • Bowdoin Supplemental Essay
  • Arts Supplement
  • On- or Off-Campus Interview

Bowdoin does not require most applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for the purposes of admission. The College has been test optional since 1969. This policy allows applicants to decide for themselves whether or not their test results accurately reflect their academic ability and potential.

If you are either a student applying for financial aid, or a first generation college student (neither parent graduated from a four-year college), you automatically qualify for a Bowdoin College Fee Waiver .

Complete List of Application Requirements and Deadlines

Financial Aid

Bowdoin is committed to affordability. We are need-blind in the admissions process and meet 100% of demonstrated financial need.  There are no loans in Bowdoin’s financial aid packages. Nearly half of enrolled students receive grant assistance from Bowdoin, and the average total grant is approximately $40,000. At Bowdoin, a family’s ability to pay is not a barrier to admission. We can ensure that nothing stands between you and success as a college student – we seek excellence of all types and believe in equal opportunity regardless of finances.

  • Quick Cost Calculator
  • Net Price Estimator
  • 45 percent of the Class of 2020 received a need-based aid award
  • Total Cost of Attendance – $63,500
  • Average Bowdoin Grant – $42,165
  • Loan Amount in a Bowdoin Aid Package – $0 (No, that’s not a typo!)



Applying at Bowdoin

Selection Process

Selection Process

Bowdoin manages a holistic selection process based on individual review. Successful applicants to Bowdoin are bright and engaged community members who demonstrate curiosity and a willingness to take intellectual risks.

Learn more »

Early Decision

Early Decision

If Bowdoin is your first choice college, applying under an Early Decision (ED) program is something you’ll want to consider seriously.

Learn more »

Test Optional Policy

Test Optional Policy

Bowdoin doesn’t require the submission of SAT or ACT scores for admission. It hasn’t since 1969. Under this “test optional” policy, you’re able to decide for yourself whether or not your scores reflect your ability.

Learn more »



Bowdoin is committed to affordability. Nearly half of enrolled students receive grant assistance from Bowdoin, and the College stands firm in its decision to eliminate student loans from financial aid packages.

Learn more »



Bowdoin partners with Questbridge – a non-profit organization that matches high-achieving, low-income students with opportunities in higher education.

Learn more »


Undocumented/DACA Students

We welcome all undergraduate applicants regardless of citizenship status.  Undocumented students, with or without Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), who apply to Bowdoin should follow the same application procedure for domestic applicants. 

Learn more »


Application Deadlines *

Program:Admissions:Fin Aid:Notification:
Early Decision INov. 15Nov. 15Mid-December
Early Decision IIJan. 1Jan. 1Mid-February
Regular DecisionJan. 1Feb. 15Early April
Transfer AdmissionsMar. 1Mar. 1Early May

*Learn about our accommodations for students from hurricane-impacted areas

Information for:

·  Application Fee Waiver
· ED Applicants
·  Home School Students
· International
·  NESCAC Statement
·  QuestBridge
· Special Students
·  Transfer Students
·  Veterans

Apply Now

Apply Online
Bowdoin accepts BOTH the  Common Application  or the  Coalition Application . All applications are treated equally, regardless of source.

Application Fees and Waivers
Application fees (non-refundable) are accepted online via credit card. Bowdoin offers application fee waivers  for students applying for financial aid and first-generation-to-college students. 

Learn about accommodations for students from hurricane-impacted areas .

Bowdoin Supplemental Question

Bowdoin’s seventh president wrote “The Offer of the College” in 1906. Generations of Bowdoin alumni have found connection and meaning in “The Offer” as it represents the impact Bowdoin graduates make.

To be at home in all lands and all ages;
To count Nature a familiar acquaintance,
And Art an intimate friend;
To gain a standard for the appreciation of others’ work
And the criticism of your own;
To carry the keys of the world’s library in your pocket,
And feel its resources behind you in whatever task you undertake;
To make hosts of friends…
Who are to be leaders in all walks of life;
To lose yourself in generous enthusiasms
And cooperate with others for common ends –
This is the offer of the college for the best four years of your life.

Bowdoin graduates around the globe are translating “The Offer” in thousands of ways—their own ways. Applicants will need to read Bowdoin’s “Offer of the College” and select the line that most resonates with them. As an option, applicants can take the opportunity to reflect on why they have selected that particular line and how it has meaning to them.

Bowdoin College complies with applicable provisions of federal and state laws that prohibit unlawful discrimination in employment, admission, or access to its educational or extracurricular programs, activities, or facilities based on race, color, ethnicity, ancestry and national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, age, marital status, place of birth, genetic predisposition, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with physical or mental disabilities on the basis of disability, or any other legally protected statuses.