Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College’s 110-acre campus is organized around a central quadrangle, with athletic facilities and additional housing extending beyond. A short walk down Main Street takes you into downtown Brunswick, and the Atlantic Ocean is easily within biking distance. Brunswick, a town of 21,500, offers more than just the basics, but for students in search of a city atmosphere, Portland, Maine’s largest city, is only 30 miles away.

Although it was summer vacation when I visited, the campus still had a friendly feel to it. Almost every person we passed smiled and said hello. The student who conducted the information session I attended spoke very enthusiastically about Bowdoin, explaining that it was the warm, welcoming atmosphere which convinced her to transfer to Bowdoin from a larger city school. Bowdoin’s small size (1,350 students), she explained, makes it a close-knit community.

Bowdoin is one of a few schools which has made the submission of SAT scores optional for its applicants. Our group session leader assured us that not submitting these test results in no way lessens your chances of admission.

The James Bowdoin Library houses 760,000 books, and the college also maintains an art museum, an arctic museum, and an on-campus theatre, including both a regular theatre and an experimental one. There are also extensive academic facilities, including a biological field station that the college operates on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy.

Freshmen have the opportunity to participate in pre-orientation trips the week before school begins. These orientation trips allow students to explore various aspects of the Maine landscape while getting acquainted with some of their new classmates and professors.

Bowdoin offers a variety of housing options. Freshmen generally live in residence halls, but upperclassmen have the opportunity to choose among garden apartments, off-campus apartnents, or the 16-story Coles Tower. Bowdoin schedules a variety of special events on campus all year long to make college life even better. For students looking for a small college with an intimate atmosphere, Bowdoin may be a school to consider.

Reviewed in 1990