Bowdoin College is located in Brunswick, Maine and is spread over 200 acres near the shores of Casco Bay and the Androscoggin River (about 30 miles from Portland). The school has about 1,900 undergraduate students, and was recently voted one of the “Most Desirable Small Schools in America” by Newsweek. Founded in 1794, Bowdoin has maintained its reputation for academic excellence.
The school currently offers 43 majors and 51 minors within 24 departments. The most popular areas of study include social sciences; biological/life sciences; area, ethnic and gender studies; and mathematics and statistics. Class sizes remain small, with a student to faculty ratio of nine to one. Just under 63% of classes have less than 20 students. Freshmen are required to take a First-Year Seminar which focuses on writing skills. There are other core classes with one course in each of the following disciplines: Natural Sciences, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual and Performing Arts, International Perspectives, and Exploring Social Differences. Bowdoin is known for its challenging academics and it was also one of the first schools (in 1969 to be exact) to make SAT scores mostly optional for admissions.
Bowdoin College has earned a reputation for having one of the best college campuses in the country. The dining services have been ranked number one for many years. Incoming students are designated a “College House.” The are eight Colleges Houses, known as “bricks,” that were established in 1998. To clarify, students remain loyal to their house throughout their four years. Although Greek organizations were banned in the 1990s, Bowdoin students report feeling a similar affiliation to their residences.
The college has also created a lively social atmosphere. There are more than 120 student organizations on campus. Bowdoin has an impressive legacy for literary pursuits. The student newspaper, “The Bowdoin Orient,” is the longest-running college weekly in the country. Likewise, the literary magazine, “The Quill,” has been around since 1897. Another literary group, called the Peucinian Society, was founded in 1805. One of the most popular organizations among students is the Outing Club, which conducts more than 100 outdoor adventures every year in Maine. Although small in size, Bowdoin does offer a strong athletic presence. With 30 varsity teams, Bowdoin participates in the NCAA Division III and the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC).
Students looking for a small, intimate campus will enjoy Bowdoin’s environment. With strong academic courses and opportunities for internships and study-abroad programs, Bowdoin’s many advantages are hard to pass up. The high rankings the school receives also demonstrate how fond students are of the campus, dorms, and dining services. With devoted professors and small class sizes, Bowdoin helps to create a collaborative atmosphere where students can succeed during their undergraduate years.