We take every aspect of your personal profile into consideration when calculating your admissions chances.
Optional: Navigating Through Differences
Bowdoin believes that only through building a more diverse and inclusive campus community will the College best prepare graduates to be contributing and useful citizens of the world.
Every graduate of this institution should be confident in their preparation to be able to navigate through differences and in all sorts of situations.
A Bowdoin education does not guarantee these skills, but it does impart a set of tools necessary to bravely enter unfamiliar conditions with the confidence to deal effectively with ambiguity.
If you wish, you may use this space to share anything about your personal background not otherwise captured in your application or your experience navigating through difference.
Generations of students have found connection and meaning in Bowdoin‘s “The Offer of the College,” written in 1906 by Bowdoin President William DeWitt Hyde.
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.
Which line from The Offer resonates most with you?*
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
Optional: The Offer represents Bowdoin’s values. Please reflect on the line you selected and how it has meaning to you.
The essay demonstrates your ability to write clearly and concisely on a selected topic and helps you distinguish yourself in your own voice. What do you want the readers of your application to know about you apart from courses, grades, and test scores? Choose the option that best helps you answer that question and write an essay of no more than 650 words, using the prompt to inspire and structure your response. Remember: 650 words is your limit, not your goal. Use the full range if you need it, but don‘t feel obligated to do so.
Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you‘ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.