Bowdoin College

Brunswick, Maine
www.bowdoin.edu/ 255 Maine Street, Brunswick, ME, 04011
A+ Overall Grade
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  • B Athletics
  • A Campus
  • A Diversity
  • A+ Value
  • B Party Scene

Bowdoin College Admissions

Bowdoin Acceptance Rate

College acceptance rates can help you understand your chances of being accepted to your schools of choice. However, college acceptance rates, including the Bowdoin College acceptance rate, are not always straightforward. Therefore, it’s most important to understand what they mean

The Bowdoin acceptance rate can give you more insight into Bowdoin admissions and your chances of making the Bowdoin enrollment. However, before you research the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College, make sure you know what college acceptance rates are, and how you should use college acceptance rates. 

Also, be sure to find out how the Bowdoin acceptance rate affects the Bowdoin admissions process. This will help you craft a strong application and make the Bowdoin enrollment. 

What is the Bowdoin College acceptance rate?

Bowdoin College is a prestigious school, and the Bowdoin acceptance rate undoubtedly reflects this. Indeed, the Bowdoin College acceptance rate for the class of 2025 was just 8.8%. Bowdoin admissions received a total of 9,325 applicants and ultimately admitted 822 students. While Bowdoin admissions accepted 822 students, just 517 students chose to be one of the Bowdoin enrollment.

U.S. News considers the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College ‘most selective’.

The Bowdoin College acceptance rate, like many college acceptance rates, can vary from year to year. Over the past five years, the Bowdoin acceptance rate has continually decreased. In 2018, the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College was 10.3%. Then, the following year the Bowdoin acceptance rate was 9.1%, bringing the Bowdoin College acceptance rate down to single digits. However, while the Bowdoin acceptance rate has changed, Bowdoin enrollment has not changed much at all.  

Many liberal arts colleges have a similar acceptance rate to the Bowdoin College acceptance rate. Selective schools with smaller student populations are more likely to have lower college acceptance rates. Similarly, liberal arts colleges pride themselves on having an intimate intellectual community which also leads to a lower college acceptance rate. Therefore, the Bowdoin enrollment figures reflect both small colleges and liberal arts colleges.

The Bowdoin acceptance rate is impacted by increasing numbers of applications to Bowdoin admissions. Furthermore, the Bowdoin admissions team takes a traditional liberal arts approach to Bowdoin enrollment management. 

Similarly to college acceptance rates across the country, the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College dropped during the pandemic. Check out our webinar on low college acceptance rates to learn more.

Understanding college acceptance rates

The Bowdoin admissions team looks at applications holistically. Bowdoin admissions consider several different factors when choosing the Bowdoin enrollment. Further, not all of these factors are quantifiable. It is important to realize that the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College is affected by far more than just your GPA.

In addition to GPA and test scores, colleges consider many other elements of your application. Writing samples, a teacher recommendation, community involvement and personal character are also important. To make the Bowdoin enrollment despite the Bowdoin acceptance rate, you should demonstrate strong leadership skills and good character.

Without a doubt, the acceptance rate for Bowdoin College can intimidate students. However, there are many things you can do to improve your chances of making the Bowdoin enrollment. To learn more about preparing a strategy for Bowdoin admissions, check out this article.

What is a good college acceptance rate? 

In the first place, it’s important to realize there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” acceptance rate. The acceptance rate for Bowdoin college doesn’t make it a good school. Many families can assume that low college acceptance rates to mean higher quality education.  However, this is a mistake. College acceptance rates can only tell you so much about a school’s value. 

Factors like campus size, institutional type, number of applications, and housing availability can all influence a college acceptance rate. For example, the Bowdoin acceptance rate is very low, but Bowdoin enrollment hovers just under 2,000 students in any given year.

Therefore, as you build your college list, use many other factors alongside the college acceptance rates to pick your schools. 

Bowdoin Acceptance Rate vs. Yale Acceptance Rate

Both Bowdoin College and Yale University are ‘most selective’ schools. The Bowdoin acceptance rate is just 2% higher than Yale, which had an acceptance rate  of 6.3% for the Class of 2026. However, the Yale and Bowdoin acceptance rates tell two completely different stories.

Bowdoin admissions receives just over 9,000 first year applications. Meanwhile, Yale University receives over 50,000! While the college acceptance rate at each school is similar, compared to Yale, the Bowdoin enrollment is small! 

Bowdoin acceptance rate and their admissions process

College acceptance rates affect admissions. The low Bowdoin College acceptance rate means that the Bowdoin admissions process is rigorous

Bowdoin admissions has three deadlines: Early Decision I, Early Decision II and Regular Decision. To complete your Bowdoin College application, you must submit the following documents before your Bowdoin admissions deadline: 

  • An official high school transcript
  • Counselor recommendation
  • Teachers’ recommendation
  • Other recommendation
  • Mid-year transcript
  • Optional materials, including SAT/ACT scores, video response, supplemental essays, and an arts supplement.

Once you’ve sent your Bowdoin admissions materials, the Bowdoin admissions committee begins their official review. Your application at Bowdoin will undergo a rigorous multi-reader review. The competitive Bowdoin college acceptance rate means the committee must be thorough, equitable, and skilled in choosing the strongest possible Bowdoin enrollment. 

To find out more about Bowdoin admissions, check out the school’s news outlet

 CollegeAdvisor has many more resources about Bowdoin and college acceptance rates. From “what is a college major?” to “what is college enrollment?” and “when will my acceptance letter arrive?” Get all your questions answered here

Acceptance Rate 9.06%
Acceptance Deadline January 5
Students Receiving Financial Aid 56.47%

Bowdoin College Cost

Net Price* $23,808
Average Total Aid Awarded $6,307
Students Receiving Financial Aid 56.47%
*Average cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.

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Bowdoin College Academics

Student Faculty Ratio 9:1

Bowdoin College Majors

Bowdoin College Majors

Bowdoin College, a prestigious liberal arts institution ranked #3 in the ‘Best Colleges in Maine’, offers 43 college majors and 45 minors across disciplines to suit each student’s diverse academic interests. College majors at Bowdoin are spread across the social, behavioral and natural sciences, as well as mathematics, humanities, and the fine arts.

Exploring Bowdoin Majors

A college major is any academic field that you choose to specialize in. Choosing a college major can feel daunting, so research your options thoroughly. The best college majors are ones that build on your unique interests.

It’s important to realize that Bowdoin students do not declare a college major until the second semester of their sophomore year. Students often discover their preferred Bowdoin majors through the foundational courses. For the first two years, students complete a first-year writing seminar and at least one course in each of the five foundational subject areas

  • inquiry in the natural sciences
  • mathematical, computational, or statistical reasoning
  • difference, power, and inequity
  • international perspectives
  • visual and performing arts 

In addition to Bowdoin majors, the college also offers minors, concentrations, programs, and special areas of studies. In other words, you can engage with your academic interests in various ways outside of your Bowdoin college major. Bowdoin majors are meant to reflect the interdisciplinary interests of their students. 

Some students may find that even after the sophomore year, their academic interests include more than one discipline. Those students can create student designed Bowdoin majors. Bowdoin college majors allow you great flexibility in pursuing your true academic interests.

What are the best college majors at Bowdoin?

The best Bowdoin college majors depend completely on the student. Some of the most popular Bowdoin college majors include Government and Legal Studies, Economics, Mathematics, Biology, and Computer Science. Bowdoin’s academic strengths are in science and mathematics, so students interested in STEM majors at Bowdoin are in luck.

So, what are the best college majors at Bowdoin? That’s completely up to you. Whether you choose the most popular Bowdoin college majors or a self-designed major, majors at Bowdoin College are intellectually rich and set you up for a fulfilling career. 

Check out our article on the most popular majors for Gen Z here

What to consider when choosing your major at Bowdoin College? 

Bowdoin College majors prepare students to explore their many interests from the first semester of their college career. Therefore, whatever your college major, take full advantage of the many subjects and disciplines you encounter while at Bowdoin. Majors at Bowdoin are thoughtfully designed to build on this interdisciplinary foundation.

Not all college majors will take a single path. College majors at Bowdoin allow you to explore and channel your interests and strengths. Before you choose from the Bowdoin college majors, you’ll take an interdisciplinary foundation. This exposure will help you be open minded when thinking about which Bowdoin majors might suit you best. 

So, what is a college major? It’s any subject that excites you! Bowdoin majors allow you to engage with multiple disciplines while specializing in fields you choose. 

For more on ‘what is a college major?’, click here. Then, check out our webinar on Bowdoin, and our guide to the Bowdoin essays.  Finally, take a look at our guide on successfully applying to Bowdoin.

Most Popular Majors
  • Political Science and Government
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Computer Science
  • History
  • Neuroscience and Neurobiology
  • Environmental Science
  • Research and Experimental Psychology
  • European and Russian Studies

Bowdoin College Online

Offers Online Courses No

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Bowdoin College Students

Full-Time Undergrad Enrollment 1,825
Part-Time Undergraduates 3

Bowdoin College Advisors

Bryce Ervin
Bowdoin College
Experienced admissions professional with more than six years of reading, evaluating, and making decisions on thousands of college applications for highly selective institutions. I deeply value connecting with students, getting to know their strengths and stories, and helping them navigate the college admissions process.

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