Bowdoin College - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges

Bowdoin College

#6 in National Liberal Arts Colleges (tie) • Brunswick, ME

Brunswick, ME

Bowdoin College is a private institution that was founded in 1794. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,951 (fall 2021), its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 215 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Bowdoin College's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, #6. Its tuition and fees are $61,528.

Bowdoin College is located in the coastal New England town of Brunswick, Maine. The Bowdoin Polar Bears compete in 30 varsity sports in the NCAA Division III New England Small College Athletic Conference. Bowdoin has more than 100 student organizations. One of the largest and most active groups is the Outing Club, which offers around 150 excursions each year. Peucinian Society, founded in 1805, is one of the oldest literary and intellectual societies in the country, with alumni including poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Bowdoin abolished fraternities in 1997 and replaced them with a system of college-owned social houses. Freshmen are required to live on campus and are assigned to a college house that provides residential social activities.

Bowdoin was a men’s college until 1971, when the school admitted its first female students. It was also the first school to make the SAT and ACT optional on its application in 1969. More than half of Bowdoin students study abroad for a semester through more than 100 affiliated academic programs. Notable alumni include Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, activist and educator Geoffrey Canada, former U.S. President Franklin Pierce and investigative correspondent at NBC News Cynthia McFadden.


General Information

School Type

Private, Coed

Year Founded


Religious Affiliation


Academic Calendar





(207) 725-3000

School Website

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Bowdoin College's 2022-2023 Rankings

Bowdoin College is ranked #6 out of 210 National Liberal Arts Colleges. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

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Bowdoin College Alumni Starting Salaries

Below are the median starting salaries by major for alumni of Bowdoin College.

Data provided by Last updated 2021.

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Bowdoin College Admissions

Bowdoin College admissions is most selective with an acceptance rate of 9%. Half the applicants admitted to Bowdoin College have an SAT score between 1320 and 1520 or an ACT score of 31 and 34. However, one quarter of admitted applicants achieved scores above these ranges and one quarter scored below these ranges. The application deadline is Jan. 5 and the application fee at Bowdoin College is $65.

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Academic Life at Bowdoin College

The student-faculty ratio at Bowdoin College is 9:1, and the school has 63.6% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Bowdoin College include: Political Science and Government, General; Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; Mathematics, General; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Biochemistry; English Language and Literature, General; Neuroscience; Sociology, General; Computer Science; and Research and Experimental Psychology, Other. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 95%.

Class Sizes:

Classes with fewer than 20 students63.6%
50 or more1.4%

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Student Life at Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 1,951 (fall 2021), with a gender distribution of 49% male students and 51% female students. At this school, 93% of the students live in college-owned, -operated or -affiliated housing and 7% of students live off campus. In sports, Bowdoin College is part of the NCAA III.

Student Gender Distribution:


Full-time degree-seeking students

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Bowdoin College Tuition & Financial Aid

At Bowdoin College, 48% of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid, and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $55,010.

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Applied for need-based aid

Need was fully met

Received need-based financial aid

Received need-based self-help aid

Average percent of need met

Minimum credits per term a student can take for full-time tuition price

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Campus Safety

Campus safety data were reported by the institution to the U.S. Department of Education and have not been independently verified. The numbers for criminal offenses reflect reports of alleged offenses to campus security and/or law enforcement authorities, not necessarily prosecutions or convictions. Experts advise prospective students and their families to do their own research to evaluate the safety of a campus as well as the surrounding area.

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Bowdoin College Campus

Bowdoin College offers a number of student services, including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, health insurance. Bowdoin College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc.). Of the students at Bowdoin College, 19% have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Bowdoin College.

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Bowdoin College User Reviews and Ratings

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