The Academic Program

The college's emphasis on the liberal arts and sciences is grounded both in sound educational principles and by the test of long experience. The broad knowledge achieved in a liberal education gives women and men a realistic understanding of the complexity of their world and prepares them for lives satisfying to themselves and useful to others.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences

At Bates, liberal learning is fundamentally concerned with personal growth in its intellectual and moral dimensions. Educated persons welcome the hard academic work that is the price of discovery; they are stimulated by ideas, artistic expression, good talk, and great books; and they avow a continuing commitment to the search for truth in the methods of the sciences, the patterns of logic and language, and the meaning of art. The first obligation of a student is to cultivate robust and sophisticated habits of mind; the first duty of a liberal arts college is to develop, encourage, and direct that process.

With intellectual development comes a deepening moral awareness. A Bates student should have the ability to lead as well as a willingness to cooperate. Comprehension of life's complexities should inspire a sympathetic understanding of others and a generosity in response to them. A Bates student should develop a sense of social and civic responsibility, and integrity should guide every action.

The curriculum establishes the expectations for learning that form the foundation of the college's commitment to the liberal arts and sciences. Committees of faculty members and students review the educational policies and the specific curricular offerings of the college. New fields of scholarship are introduced by the faculty, and the most recent advances in technology and pedagogy are incorporated into the various disciplines. The college promotes the development of critical-thinking and writing skills through all its curricular offerings, from the first-year seminar to the senior thesis. The college encourages students to pursue their own original research as an extension of their regular course work and offers opportunities and financial support to facilitate such research during the academic year and the summer months. Recognizing the fundamental role the liberal arts play in the development of social responsibility and good citizenship, the college encourages students to integrate community engagement into their academic work and provides opportunities for community-based learning and research.

The Academic Calendar

The calendar is framed by two semesters and a Short Term. The first semester ends in mid-December and the second ends in mid-April. A five-week Short Term usually concludes at the end of May. First-year and all other new students must be present for their matriculation at new-student orientation at the end of August. Although new students register for courses prior to their arrival, they may adjust their registrations during the orientation period. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors register during designated periods in each prior semester.

Short Term. The Short Term provides an unusual opportunity for a variety of educational programs, including those off campus, that cannot be offered in the regular semesters. These include marine biology and geology fieldwork on the coast of Maine; immigration studies on the U.S.-Mexico border; and art, theater, and music studies in New York City. The Short Term allows time for archaeological investigations by students in history and anthropology; field projects for students in economics, environmental studies, and sociology; social-service internships associated with academic departments and programs; and immersion in studio art practice, dance, theater, and laboratory science. Short Term offers an opportunity for pedagogical innovation, including practioner-led courses taught by experts in a variety of fields and curricular redesign courses, in which students help faculty reimagine their course offerings. The term also enables faculty to teach courses in other countries. Recent off-campus Short Term courses have focused on public health in Chile; environmental conservation in Russia; art, economics, and environmental studies in China; art and culture in Vietnam; literature and culture in Cuba; culture in Romania; politics in Turkey; narratives of reconciliation in Rwanda; and film and theater in Hungary.

Students may register for only one course per Short Term, and must be enrolled at Bates in either the preceding fall or winter semester in order to enroll in a Short Term course in that academic year. Students must successfully complete two Short Term courses in order to fulfill the degree requirements. A third Short Term course is optional. Students wishing to register for a third Short Term course receive a lower registration priority than students registering for their first or second course. An exception to this ranking is made for students participating in the three-year program (see below), who are required to complete three Short Term courses. The ranking does not apply to courses requiring permission of the instructor to register. Short Term grades are calculated in the cumulative GPA. Students on disciplinary probation may not participate in Short Term courses with time off-campus.

Three-Year Program Option. The three-year option is designed for the especially qualified student who may benefit from an accelerated undergraduate program that allows for earlier admission to graduate school or for career placement. The accelerating student earns five course credits each semester and attends every Short Term, completing the degree requirement of 30 credits, 3 Short Term credits and 66 quality points in three consecutive years. Students must apply for entry into the three-year program through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students early in their Bates career.

Student Enrollment

All students at Bates are full-time students and, in order to make normal progress toward the degree, are expected to register for courses that earn no fewer than 4 credits each semester. Students may not take courses that earn fewer than 3 credits per semester without approval from the Committee on Academic Standing. Students may not take courses that earn more than 5.5 credits in a semsester without approval from the Committee on Academic Standing. Students on a leave of absence are not considered "enrolled" during the period of the leave.

No extra tuition charge is levied upon students who register for courses that earn more than 4 credits. Similarly, no reduction in tuition is granted to students who choose to register for courses that earn fewer than 4 credits during any of their semesters at Bates.

Academic Advising

Each Bates student has one or more academic advisors during the college years who provide advice in planning a curriculum to meet the student's particular needs. New students are assigned academic advisors from among members of the faculty, usually the student's first-year seminar instructor. The advisor holds individual conferences with a student during the student's first week on campus and continues to counsel the student until a major is declared. The major department or program assumes the advising responsibility once a student has declared a major — no later than 1 March of the second year. The student and the advisor meet during registration periods and on an informal basis whenever the student seeks advice about the curriculum, course selection, General Education, the major program, the thesis or senior project, progress toward the degree, graduate school, or other academic concerns. While faculty members provide academic advice, final responsibility for course selection and the completion of degree requirements rests with the student. The Office of the Registrar provides students and advisors an online audit to evaluate student progress toward the degree and is available for General Education and degree requirement advising. Student support advisors in the Office of Student Affairs also provide advice on General Education and academic matters.

In addition to the academic advisor, faculty committees and the Bates Career Development Center can provide guidance on graduate and professional schools. The Committee on Graduate Fellowships provides general information and supervises the selection process for various graduate fellowships and grants. Students planning professional careers in health fields are aided by the Committee on Medical Studies. Students interested in graduate or professional schools are encouraged to contact these committees and the Career Development Center's counseling staff early in their college career so that a curriculum and a series of related internships and work experiences can be planned to meet their professional goals.

The First-Year Seminar Program

Each first-year student takes a first-year seminar, a limited-enrollment course specifically designed for first-year students. Topics vary from year to year, but they always represent a broad range of interdisciplinary issues and questions addressed within the tradition of the liberal arts. First-year seminars enable entering students to work with faculty and other students in a small class; they provide closely supervised training in techniques of reasoning, writing, and research; and they foster an attitude of active participation in the educational process. First-year seminars carry course credit toward the baccalaureate degree and are offered only in the fall semester. All first-year seminars fulfill the first-level writing requirement [W1], and may fulfill other General Education, major, or minor requirements. Usually a student's first-year seminar instructor is also the academic advisor. Descriptions of first-year seminars are found in the Courses of Instruction section of this catalog.

General Education

Throughout the college's history, the faculty has expected all students to pursue certain common patterns of study in the liberal arts as well as complete a major, a concentrated focus of study. The faculty believes that there are areas of knowledge and understanding, modes of appreciation, and kinds of skills that are of general and lasting significance to the life of the mind. General Education provides a critical perspective on the ideas, values, expressions, and experiences that constitute our culture. General Education also encourages respect for the integrity of thought, judgment, creativity, and tradition beyond the culture of contemporary America. In addition, the faculty encourages each student to pursue some study in a language other than English.

The General Education requirements honor the tradition of breadth and depth of intellectual experience while placing emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration and exploration. The requirements are an integral and focal component of a Bates education, which also features study in a major and optional minor, and a senior thesis or other capstone experience.

General Education Requirements:
1. Two Concentrations.
In addition to their major, students successfully complete two General Education concentrations (GECs), declared at the same time as the major. A concentration consists of four courses chosen from a faculty-designed menu that is structured around a clearly articulated organizing principle. Some concentrations also include relevant co-curricular experiences such as significant community service, musical ensembles, summer research, or volunteer work that may be used in lieu of a course toward fulfillment of the concentration. Most co-curricular experiences, though counting toward a concentration, may not be counted toward the total credits needed for graduation. Some concentrations allow the use of one or two non-Bates courses if they are preapproved by the concentration coordinator as comparable to the Bates courses in the concentration.

Concentrations are of two basic types: 1) concentrations focusing on a particular issue or topic or area of inquiry identified by self-constituted groups of faculty in different disciplines; 2) concentrations within a single discipline.

Alternatively, each concentration requirement may be fulfilled by completing a second major or a minor. Students' concentrations appear on their transcripts and are a permanent part of their academic records.

Note: There are no restrictions on "double-dipping" (using one course to fulfill both a GEC and a major, minor, or second GEC). However, several GECs are not available to certain majors, minors, or other GECs whose work is deemed too close to the content of the GEC. These exclusions are detailed in the  GEC descriptions.

2. Three Writing-Attentive Courses. Students successfully complete three writing-attentive courses, one in their first year at the first level [W1], a second [W2] in the sophomore year or later and before the W3, and a third course [W3] during the senior year. First-level courses [W1] are typically first-year seminars. The third-level writing-attentive requirement [W3] is usually fulfilled by completing a senior thesis. When appropriate, writing-attentive courses may also be used to fulfill any other degree requirements at Bates. All three writing-attentive courses must be taken at Bates.

3. Scientific Reasoning, Laboratory Experience, and Quantitative Literacy. Students successfully complete three distinct courses: 1) one course that requires scientific reasoning [S], which may or may not have a laboratory component; 2) one course that includes a regularly scheduled laboratory component in the laboratory or in the field [L]; 3) one course in quantitative literacy [Q].

No double-dipping is allowed among S, L, and Q courses; these requirements must be met by three distinct courses. However, when appropriate, S, L, and Q courses may be used to fulfill other degree requirements. A non-Bates course may be applied toward these requirements with prior approval of the appropriate department/program chair and the chair of the committee that oversees these requirements.

4. Pass/Fail and General Education. Courses taken pass/fail do not count toward General Education requirements.

Major Fields of Study

While the faculty believes that each student should be essentially familiar with many fields of liberal learning, it also believes that a student must choose a field of special concentration — a major — to gain the advantages that come from studying one academic subject more extensively. This major field occupies a quarter to a third of the student's college work and may be related to an intended career following graduation.

Students may declare one or two majors. Completion of more than one major requires fulfillment of all major requirements, including the thesis, senior project, and/or the comprehensive examination, in each academic department or program. Students who seek to declare three majors must obtain permission of the chair of each of the departments or programs in which they plan to major as well as permission of the Committee on Academic Standing prior to declaration of the third major.

Departmental Majors. Majors may be taken in fields established within the academic departments: anthropology, art and visual culture, biological chemistry, biology, chemistry, dance, economics, English, French and Francophone studies, geology, German, history, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, politics, psychology, religious studies, rhetoric, sociology, Spanish, and theater. The specific requirements for each major are explained in the introduction to the department's courses of instruction in the catalog.

Interdisciplinary Program Majors. The faculty has established interdisciplinary programs in which students may major: African American studies; American cultural studies; Asian studies, including majors in East Asian studies, Chinese, and Japanese; classical and medieval studies; environmental studies; European studies; Latin American studies; neuroscience; and women and gender studies. A new interdisciplinary program in digital and computational studies was established in 2015-2016, and a major is planned for 2018-2019. The programs are administered by committees of faculty members from the programs and from different departments. Major requirements for these programs are explained in the introduction to each program's courses of instruction in the catalog.

Individual Interdisciplinary Majors. In addition to established departmental and program majors, a student may propose an individual interdisciplinary major, should that student discover a well-defined intellectual interest that crosses one or more boundaries of the established fields of concentration. An interdisciplinary major involves a detailed program of study with courses drawn from at least two departments or programs but only one senior thesis and/or comprehensive examination.

Guidelines and an application for the individual interdisciplinary major are available from the registrar's office. Proposals for interdisciplinary majors must be submitted to the registrar for approval by the Committee on Curriculum Review by 1 March in the sophomore year. Proposals must include a faculty advisory board of at least three faculty members who have agreed collectively to act as major advisor. One of these faculty members also serves as thesis advisor unless the student's program includes a comprehensive examination instead of a thesis. The student provides a list of appropriate courses to be included in the major. The student with an individual interdisciplinary major graduates with a degree in interdisciplinary studies.

Engineering Major. Students interested in aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, mechanical, mineral, or nuclear engineering may participate in the college's Liberal Arts-Engineering Dual Degree Program, in which three or four years at Bates are typically followed by two years at an affiliated engineering school. Recommended course sequences vary according to each student's particular engineering interests; curricular guidelines are available from the Dual Degree Program faculty advisor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Dual Degree Program majors complete all General Education requirements except the third-level writing requirement [W3].

Upon completion of the five-year Dual Degree Program, students receive an undergraduate degree from Bates in engineering and a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the engineering-school affiliate.

The Senior Thesis

One of the most distinctive features of the Bates curriculum is the senior thesis, which is offered in all departments and programs and required by most. The faculty believes that a Bates student is well educated and well prepared to undertake a significant research, performance, or studio project in the final year of study in the major. The traditional senior thesis involves one or two semesters of original research and writing, culminating in a substantial paper on a research topic of the student's design. Such an effort requires that the student possess an excellent understanding of the subject area, its theoretical underpinnings, and its research methodology. The student must also be able to think critically and comprehensively about the topic, and must be able to advance a well-formulated argument. Conducting a senior thesis draws on a student's past academic experience and requires considerable independent thinking and creativity, self-discipline, and effective time management.

The student is guided in this process by the thesis advisor. Many departments and programs bring thesis students together in seminar courses or colloquia in which they meet regularly to discuss current literature, research methodologies, and their own progress. Many departments and programs require students to deliver formal presentations of their thesis work.

Some departments and programs offer or require thesis work that includes theatrical or musical performance, film and video production, curriculum development, community-based research, or studio art work and exhibition. Rarely, qualified students undertake a joint thesis in which two students collaborate on one project.

In some departments and programs a senior may culminate a career at Bates with an alternative senior project. Portfolios, comprehensive examinations, or capstone research seminars are thesis alternatives in several major fields. Specific information on the work required of seniors in the major fields is detailed in the introductions to the courses of instruction for each department and program in the catalog.

The Honors Program

The college's Honors Program promotes, develops, and recognizes work of higher quality than ordinarily required for the baccalaureate degree. The program encourages students to achieve mastery of a specific topic within the context of a major through extensive independent study and research. Honors study proceeds throughout fall and winter semesters of the senior year under the guidance of a faculty advisor; some students begin honors research in the summer preceding the senior year.

The Honors Program consists of a substantial written thesis and an oral examination on the thesis. In an alternative offered by some departments, eligible students elect a program consisting of a performance or a project in the creative arts, a written statement based on the project, and an oral examination on the project. Oral-examination committees include the thesis advisor, members of the major department or program, at least one faculty member from a different department or program, and an examiner who specializes in the field of study and is from another institution.

Honors theses become a part of the archives of the college, held on SCARAB, Bates' online repository for publications. More information on the Honors Program is available on the program's website (


In addition to completing a major, a student may elect to complete a minor in a number of disciplines. Minor requirements vary and are detailed in the introductions to the courses of instruction of the relevant departments or programs in this catalog. Minors are offered in African American studies, anthropology, Asian studies, chemistry, Chinese, dance, educational studies, French and Francophone studies, geology, German, Greek, history, Japanese, Latin, mathematics, music, philosophy, physics, religious studies, rhetoric, Russian, Spanish, teacher education, theater, and women and gender studies.

Independent Study

Independent study courses allow students to pursue individually a course of study or research not offered in the Bates curriculum during the semester (courses designated 360) or the Short Term (s50). The student designs and plans the independent study in consultation with a faculty member. The work must be approved by a Bates department or program, supervised by a Bates faculty member who is responsible for evaluation of the work and submission of a grade, and completed during the semester or Short Term for which the student has registered for the course. Faculty members advise independent studies voluntarily and may decline to advise an independent study course.

Independent study course work is undertaken during the academic year, and it may reflect upon summer activities. Credit, however, is awarded for work done during the academic year and the student must register for a fall independent study during the spring before the activity takes place when a summer learning experience is a substantial component of the independent study. The student must be in residence and may not complete an independent study away from campus. Students may not receive credit for employment unless there is a clearly defined academic component to the work. Academic credit is not granted for work completed under Bates summer research grant programs. Students may register for no more than one independent study course during any given semester. A student may complete a total of only one Short Term independent study course during their Bates career. For more information, students may consult the Independent Study Registration Form, available from the registrar.

Requirements for the Baccalaureate Degree

The Course Credit System. A student's progress toward the baccalaureate degree is measured by course credits. Courses offered in the fall and winter semesters carry one course credit, with the exception of studio dance, music ensembles, theater production, applied music, and science fellows program courses, which are half-credit courses. Short Term courses carry one Short Term credit.

Candidates for the baccalaureate degree must earn

32 credits and
2 Short Term credits

Candidates in the three-year degree baccalaureate program must earn:

30 credits and
3 Short Term credits

Grades. The faculty of the college assesses student academic performance by assigning the following grades: A, B, C, D, and plus and minus for each; and F. Quality-point equivalents for these grades are described below. A temporary grade of DEF indicates that a student has secured, through a faculty member and the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, a formal deferral for incomplete course work. Incomplete work for which deferred grades are given must be completed in a specific period of time as determined on the deferral form. The deferred grade becomes an F# grade if the work is not completed on time or when a faculty member does not submit a grade. The F# grade is administrative and is computed in the GPA as zero quality points. The final grade, if previously deferred, includes an asterisk (*) when posted on the transcript. In cases in which the due date for course work is extended beyond the end of the semester as part of a pre-approved accommodation for a documented disability or learning difference, the final grade is not differentiated on the transcript from the grades for courses completed in the normal time frame. A grade of W indicates that a student was granted permission to withdraw from the course after the official drop date. The Office of Student Affairs or the Committee on Academic Standing may grant such withdrawals. Faculty members may choose to use Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U) grades to assess the work of all of their students in any given Short Term course.

Repeating Courses. Students may repeat a course only if they have received a grade of F for the course or have withdrawn and received a grade of W, with the exception of certain courses that may be taken more than once for credit, as determined by the Committee on Curriculum Review. The F grade remains in the student's grade point average, however, even if the course is repeated.

Pass/Fail Option. Over the course of their Bates career, students may elect to take a total of two Bates courses in the fall or winter semester on a pass/fail basis, with a maximum of one per semester. Students may not elect to take a Short Term course pass/fail. The following conditions apply:

1. Students may declare or change a pass/fail option until the final day to add a course. Students may change from a pass/fail option to a letter grade option until the final day to drop a course.

2. Students taking a course pass/fail are not identified as such on class rosters. Faculty members submit a regular letter grade (A, B, C, D, F) to the registrar, who converts the letter grade to a pass or a fail. A grade of D-minus or above is considered a passing grade. Unless the student chooses to inform the instructor, only the student, the student's advisor, and the registrar know the grading mode for the course.

3. Departments and programs decide whether a course taken pass/fail can be used to satisfy major and minor requirements. This information appears in the paragraphs introducing the courses of instruction for each department and program in this catalog.

4. Courses taken pass/fail are not computed in the student's grade point average, and do not count toward General Education requirements. A pass is equivalent to two quality points.

Grade Reports. At the end of each semester and Short Term, grade reports are available for viewing on the Bates Garnet Gateway, the secure online records system ( Paper copies of grade reports may be sent to students upon request to the registrar. The faculty has developed policies governing academic standing.

Course Evaluations. At the end of each semester and Short Term students are required to complete an evaluation of each course taken. Students have a limited amount of time in which to complete a web-based course evaluation, available on the Garnet Gateway. Students' grade reports are not immediately released if this requirement has not been fulfilled.

Dean's List. Based on semester grade point averages, at the conclusion of each fall and winter semester approximately the top 25 percent of students are named to the Dean's List. To be eligible, students must have completed all course work by the end of the semester and received letter grades in at least three Bates courses. At the start of each academic year, an appropriate GPA threshold is determined for placing students on the Dean's List for the ensuing year. This GPA level is computed as the minimum of the top 25 percent of the semester GPAs of all full-time students during the preceding three years. In 2016–2017 a student must earn a GPA of 3.75 or higher to be named to the Dean's List.

Degree Requirements

Students may pursue courses leading to the degree of either bachelor of arts or bachelor of science. Upon matriculation, all students are initially assigned to the bachelor of arts program and must declare the bachelor of science degree program with the registrar's office if pursuing that degree.

When determining graduation eligibility, students are held to the curriculum and degree requirements listed in the catalog for the year in which they matriculated at Bates. If officially withdrawn and readmitted, students are held to the curriculum and degree requirements listed in the catalog in the year in which they are readmitted, or as determined by the Committee on Academic Standing upon readmission. Each student is solely responsible for completing all of these requirements.

Each candidate for graduation must complete the following requirements:

1. Either

a) 32 course credits
2 Short Term credits
68 quality points

b) available only to students who graduate in the three-year program:
30 course credits
3 Short Term credits
66 quality points

The following values are used to compute quality points:

GPA Table
A+ = 4.0 B+ = 3.3 C+ = 2.3 D+ = 1.3 F = 0 ON = 0
A = 4.0 B = 3.0 C = 2.0 D = 1.0 F# = 0 W = 0
A- = 3.7 B- = 2.7 C- = 1.7 D- = 0.7 DEF = 0 P = 2

2. A major field of study. Students successfully complete all prescribed work in a major, including a senior thesis or senior project, as determined by the major department or program. Students may complete a maximum of two majors. Students who wish to pursue three majors must petition the Committee on Academic Standing for permission to do so. This petition must include justification for the exception to the rule not allowing more than two majors and written support from the chairs of each of the three departments or programs in which the student intends to major.

3. Registration in each regular semester for courses that earn no fewer than 3 or no greater than 5.5 academic credits.

4. Enrollment in courses at Bates for the final semester of the senior year. Senior work in the major field must be completed in residence.

5. Physical education activity credits. The physical education requirement may be satisfied by completing two ten-week physical education activity courses. Students may also meet the requirement through department-approved participation in intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and activity courses, or any combination. This requirement should be completed by the end of the first year in residence.

6. General Education requirements. A full description of General Education requirements can be found above.

7. Bachelor of science requirements. Candidates for the bachelor of science degree must complete CHEM 107A; CHEM 108A; MATH 106 or 206; PHYS 108 or FYS 274. Students with Advanced Placement credit, International Baccalaureate credit, A-Level credit, or approved transfer credit may fulfill the requirement for one or more of these courses. Students must declare their intention to earn the B.S. degree no later than the end of the first semester of their senior year. Pass/fail may not apply to courses for the B.S. requirements.

8. Liberal Arts-Engineering Dual Degree Plan. After three or four years (depending on the engineering program) of full-time study at Bates, qualified students may enroll in a two-year engineering program at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Case Western Reserve University, or Washington University in St. Louis. Dual Degree Program majors complete all General Education requirements except the third-level writing requirement [W3]. Upon completion of this five- or six-year program, students receive both an undergraduate degree from Bates College and a bachelor of science from the engineering school affiliate. Students who wish to pursue this line of study should consult with the faculty advisor for the Dual Degree Plan within the first two weeks of their undergraduate career.

9. Academic honors. The College recognizes academic achievement though three kinds of honors: general honors, major-field honors, and Dean's List.

There are three levels of general honors, based upon cumulative grade point average: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude.

General honors are calculated as follows: By the start of each academic year, the registrar computes the minimum cumulative grade point average necessary to rank students in the top 2 percent, 8 percent, and 15 percent of the combined last three graduating classes. In 2016–2017, students with GPAs of 3.94 or higher earn the distinction of summa cum laude; GPAs of 3.85 to 3.93, magna cum laude; and GPAs of 3.77 to 3.84, cum laude.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Federal law requires the college to establish standards of satisfactory progress toward the degree and to monitor each recipient of federal aid to insure that the student is making satisfactory progress according to those standards. The concept of satisfactory progress mandates the monitoring of both grade point average (GPA) — qualitative progress — and the number of credits completed — quantitative progress. The Committee on Academic Standing is responsible for evaluation of the student's progress, reviews the student's academic standing each semester, and evaluates petitions for exceptions to these standards. In addition, the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students may authorize exceptions for serious illnesses or personal emergencies. The college has established these standards:

Qualitative Standards. All Bates course grades are included in a student's GPA. Student academic standing is determined as follows:

For students in good academic standing:

  • If the semester GPA is below 1.0: dismissal
  • If the semester GPA is above 1.0 but the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0: probation
  • If the semester GPA is above 1.0 and the cumulative GPA is equal to or greater than 2.0: good academic standing

For students on academic probation:

  • If the semester and cumulative GPA are below 2.0: dismissal
  • If the semester GPA is equal to or greater than than 2.0 but but the cumulative GPA is less than 2.0: probation
  • If the cumulative GPA is greater than or equal to 2.0: good academic standing

Final semester seniors:

  • Students graduate if the normal degree requirements, including courses, Short Term courses, and total grade point averages, are met. This applies to students on academic probation from the prior semester, even if they do not fulfill the normal probationary requirements for good academic standing in the second senior semester.

Student affairs staff inform students and their advisors about changes in academic standing. Parents are informed when students are placed on probation or are dismissed. Students may petition the Committee on Academic Standing to have the standard of academic dismissal waived after consulting with the student support advisor.

Quantitative Standards. A student's progress toward the baccalaureate degree is measured by course credits. Students usually follow a four-year track; however, some students complete the academic program in three years.

Normally, students in the four-year program successfully earn 8 credits by the end of their first year, 16 credits by the end of their second year, 24 credits and 1 Short Term course by the end of their third year, and 32 credits (not including Short Term courses) and 2 Short Term courses by the end of their fourth year.

To comply with the satisfactory-progress policy, each candidate in the four-year program must successfully earn the following minimum numbers of semester course and Short Term course credits: no fewer than 6 credits earned from Bates courses by the end of the first year; no fewer than 14 credits by the end of the second year; no fewer than 22 credits and 1 Short Term course by the end of the third year; and 32 credits (not including Short Term credits) and 2 Short Term credits by the end of the fourth year.

Normally, students in the three-year program successfully earn 10 credits and 1 Short Term course by the end of the first year, 20 credits and 2 Short Term courses by the end of the second year, and 30 credits and 3 Short Term courses by the end of the third year.

To comply with the satisfactory-progress policy, each candidate in the three-year program must successfully earn the following minimum numbers of course credits: no fewer than 8 semester credits and 1 Short Term course by the end of the first year; no fewer than 18 semester credits and 2 Short Term courses by the end of the second year; and no fewer than 30 credits and 3 Short Term courses by the end of the third year.

Maximum Time Frame. All students, with the exception of transfer students, are expected to complete the degree in eight semesters; students are eligible to continue enrollment and receive financial aid for eight full-time semesters. Any student not meeting the standards of satisfactory progress is ineligible to return to Bates or receive federal student aid. The registrar notifies students if they have not met the quantitative standards. Students are considered withdrawn until satisfactory progress is reestablished.

Reestablishing Eligibility. Written notice is given to students whose status makes them ineligible to return for the next semester, or whose financial aid eligibility is rescinded for lack of academic progress. If denied aid or permission to return because of failure to meet the satisfactory-progress policy standards, students may reestablish eligibility for federal aid by subsequently meeting the standards. The Committee on Academic Standing may also readmit to the college students who petition the committee for readmission when there are exceptional or extenuating circumstances. A student who has reestablished eligibility may be considered for aid for upcoming periods but not for periods during which standards were not met. The student support advisor, the academic advisor, and the registrar can consult with students seeking to rectify deficiencies in grades or earned credits.

Appeals for Financial Aid. A student who is ineligible for financial aid due to lack of satisfactory progress or exceeding the eight-semester time limit, and who believes that exceptional or extenuating circumstances caused this ineligibility, may request a review by the director of student financial services and the dean of admission and financial aid.

Additional Information. Students who fail to make satisfactory academic progress do not receive the following types of financial aid: federal Pell Grant; federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant; Federal College Work-Study; federal Perkins Loan; federal Stafford Loan; federal PLUS Loan; or Bates College scholarships, grants, loans, or employment. Students on probationary status are still eligible to receive financial aid; students dismissed are ineligible. Students who receive approval from the Committee on Academic Standing to reduce their course load below 3 credits are required to repay the appropriate financial assistance. Students participating in the Federal College Work-Study Program are subject to termination of employment. The grades of F and DEF are not considered as successful completion of a course. A student who is suspended for unsatisfactory scholarship, or for disciplinary or financial reasons, is denied permission to continue to attend classes, to enroll in subsequent terms, to reside in college housing, to receive Bates-funded financial aid, and to participate in Bates-sponsored extracurricular activities or use facilities in ways that are not also open to the general public.

Reinstatement after Withdrawal or Dismissal

A student in good academic standing who withdraws from the college may be reinstated at the discretion of the associate dean of students for student support and community standards or a designee, if the reinstatement is within two years of the withdrawal and there are no outstanding financial obligations to the college. In no cases are students readmitted when they have outstanding financial obligations to the college or are past due in federal student loan repayments. A student in good standing who has withdrawn for more than two years, a student not in good standing, or a student who has been dismissed from the college must apply for readmission to the Committee on Academic Standing through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Students not in good standing or dismissed must be separated from the college for at least one full semester, and must provide evidence of serious purpose and of academic or professional involvement. Candidates for readmission for the fall semester must submit their credentials by 1 May. Those seeking readmission for the winter semester must submit their credentials by 15 November.

Off-Campus Study Programs

The college sponsors a vigorous off-campus study program through which about 70 percent of students study abroad each year. These programs can greatly enrich student academic and personal development with expanded opportunities for academic study, exposure to different cultural and educational settings, and, in many cases, immersion language study. The opportunities include off-campus Short Term courses led by Bates faculty; Fall Semester Abroad programs also led by Bates faculty; study abroad programs in countries across the globe; study at leading foreign universities and exchange programs at Morehouse and Spelman colleges. These programs are overseen by the Office of Off-Campus Study according to policies set by the Committee on Off-Campus Study and the faculty. Students earn Bates credit for courses are taught or overseen by Bates faculty and approved program credit for study on other programs. Students may earn a maximum of four approved-program credits per semester and may apply a maximum of eight approved-program credits toward their Bates degree. Further information on off-campus study opportunities and policies is available on the Office of Off-Campus Study website (

Students interested in studying off campus consult with their faculty advisor, the chair of their major department or program, and advisors in the Office of Off-Campus Study. The application process requires completion of a Bates application submitted in early February of the year before off-campus study is planned. The college requires that the number of applications be balanced between the two semesters at the application deadline in February. If too many students apply to study off campus a given semester, students are selected according to criteria established by the Committee on Off-Campus Study, which are explained in detail on the website (

With the exception of summer courses, matriculated students who wish to receive credit for study outside the United States and for affiliated domestic programs must have the preapproval of the Committee on Off-Campus Study and their major department or program. Students must study in an approved program and complete their studies in accordance with the committee's guidelines. The faculty has established the additional guidelines below to encourage participation that is most supportive of students' overall academic experiences at Bates. When appropriate, a student may petition the Committee on Off-Campus Study for a reduction or exception to these requirements.

Students must have a 2.5 cumulative GPA at the time of application. A student may become ineligible if the GPA drops below 2.5 during the application process or after admission. Registration as a four-year student, including residence at Bates during the sophomore year, is required. Language skills greatly contribute to the academic and social experience in non-English-speaking settings. Therefore, students are required to have completed the equivalent of at least two years of college-level language study prior to study abroad in French-, German-, or Spanish-language settings. In Chinese-, Japanese-, and Russian-language settings, the equivalent of at least one year of college-level study is required. Prior language study is not required elsewhere, but students must include language study, ancient or modern, as part of their course work. Students on disciplinary probation or suspension may not participate in the college's off-campus study programs. This includes programs and courses led by Bates faculty and programs sponsored by academic institutions and study-abroad program providers for which approved program credit is awarded.

Students participating in a Bates Fall Semester Abroad program pay the regular comprehensive fee. Participants in other programs pay the Off-Campus Study Registration Fee, which is 7 percent of the on-campus single fee for each semester of study. All other costs are calculated by the foreign program and are the responsibility of the individual student. However, federal, state, and Bates financial aid is available subject to the student's financial need based on the program expenses. Bates students may enhance their experience with grants provided by the Barlow Endowment for Study Abroad. This endowment provides fellowships, grants for enrichment activities during the program, and grants for thesis research in the individual's study-abroad country.

Academic Leave and Non-Bates Credit for Matriculated Students

Some students expand their Bates experience by attending other U.S. institutions, from which they may receive non-Bates credit according to college policy (see below). Students who take three or more courses elsewhere in the United States during a semester are considered to be taking an academic leave. These students must inform the college in early February of the year preceding the leave. The college requires that the number of students who study off campus each semester be balanced at the time of this February deadline. If too many students apply for a given semester, students are granted leaves according to criteria established by the Committee on Off-Campus Study (see Students on a personal leave and students taking summer courses may take up to two courses without participating in the off-campus study application process. The college guarantees reinstatement to students after their first or second semester of leave. After two semesters, students are officially withdrawn unless they have confirmed their plan to return by registering for courses or have been granted a leave extension by the associate dean of students for student support and community standards.

Types of Credit. Three types of credit can be applied toward a Bates degree: a) Bates credit, earned from courses taught and/or evaluated and graded by Bates faculty; b) approved program credit, earned from courses taken while participating in a Bates-approved program administered by the Committee on Off-Campus Study; and c) non-Bates credit, earned at an institution of higher education other than Bates that meets the established standards for transfer to Bates or credit awarded from the following standardized tests: Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level examination. Only grades awarded by Bates faculty are computed in the student's grade point average.

For students entering in the fall of 2015 and thereafter, degree candidates matriculating as first-year students, either in the fall or winter semester, must earn at least 28 Bates course credits or approved program credits, not including Short Term credits. Students may earn a maximum of 4 approved-program credits per semester and may apply a maximum of 8 toward their Bates degree. Transfer students must earn a minimum of 16 Bates course credits, not including Short Term credits. They may transfer a maximum of 2 non-Bates course credits earned after matriculating at Bates. A transfer student is defined as any student who has previously matriculated as a degree candidate at another institution.

The registrar and the department or program chair are responsible for the evaluation of non-Bates credit, subject to established guidelines. The Committee on Academic Standing may grant exceptions to the established guidelines. All non-Bates course credits awarded are equivalent to either one or one-half Bates course credit, based on their equivalent Bates course, and two quality points toward the graduation requirements.

Non-Bates credit is evaluated based on specific requirements. Credit must be awarded from an official college or university transcript, from an official Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or A-Level test score report, or from an official document considered equivalent to a transcript by the registrar. Courses must be appropriate to a liberal arts and sciences college, comparable in quality to those offered at Bates, and students must achieve a grade of C or better. Courses taken in a college's or university's continuing-education or extension program must be applicable toward the bachelor of arts or the bachelor of science degree being pursued by full-time undergraduate students at that institution. College courses taken prior to secondary school graduation must have been taught on a college or university campus and graded in competition with college students. Credit must be earned at a four-year, regionally accredited institution; however, courses earned in an accredited community or junior college or any nontraditional setting may be transferable with approval of the department or program and the Committee on Academic Standing; matriculated Bates students must obtain these approvals prior to enrolling in the course(s). Courses must be worth at least three semester hours or five quarter-hours to be eligible for transfer. When appropriate, quarter-hours may be added together and multiplied by two-thirds to determine the equivalent total number of semester hours to be used toward unspecified transfer credits. Students may receive credit for a maximum of two courses taken during summer sessions. All credits must be transferred by the beginning of the final semester of the senior year. Credit for Short Term courses may not be transferred from another institution. Students must be enrolled at Bates for the final semester of their senior year.

A student who fails to graduate by the anticipated degree date may transfer credits necessary to graduate for up to two years afterwards. After two years, the student is withdrawn automatically from the college, but may petition the Committee on Academic Standing for readmission and permission to complete the degree.

Approved Program Credit, Non-Bates Credit, and General Education. When credit is awarded as equivalent to a specific Bates course it may be used to fulfill the same scientific reasoning [S], laboratory experience [L], quantitative reasoning [Q] requirement, or General Education concentration requirement that the equivalent Bates course fulfills. Unspecified credit may only count toward the [S], [L], or [Q] requirement with prior approval of the appropriate department/program chair and the chair of the committee overseeing these requirements. To be applied toward a concentration, the course must be judged by the concentration's coordinator to be comparable to a Bates course in the concentration. The writing-attentive courses ([W1], [W2], and [W3]) must be taken at Bates.

Personal Leave. In unusual circumstances, students may need to interrupt their study at the college for health or personal reasons. In addition, students may take a personal leave of absence to pursue an internship or other nonacademic experience. Accordingly, the college permits students in good standing to apply to the associate dean of students for student support and community standards or a designee for a personal leave of absence for one or two semesters. A leave-of-absence form must be completed by the student. Students must also meet with a representative from the Office of the Registrar and Academic Systems. Students on a personal leave may take up to two courses elsewhere in the United States for Bates credit, subject to the transfer policies outlined above. The college guarantees reinstatement to students after the first or second semester of leave. After two semesters, students are officially withdrawn unless they have confirmed their plan to return by registering for courses or have been granted a leave extension by the associate dean of students for student support and community standards or a designee.

The Bates Learning Associates Program

Central to the strength of a Bates education are the intense and deep relationships formed between faculty and students, and the quality of learning that results from sustained contact between teacher and learner. To complement the focus and depth of intellectual exploration among students and faculty, the college has established the Bates Learning Associates Program, which brings to campus experts in many fields who hail from Maine and around the world. Learning associates help students and faculty by offering new meanings and perspectives to a subject. Learning associates may be on campus for a day, a week, several weeks, or may have a "virtual residence," working with students via e-mail or Skype, critiquing research methodology or results, or reading emerging senior theses. These experts expand the knowledge available to students and faculty, challenge the neatness of discipline-based academic thinking, and provide rich contexts for translating ideas into action in the real world. Each year a variety of learning associates work with students in a range of disciplines. Recent contributors have included a renowned creative dance duo; a scholar in international political economy; a Cuban cultural activist; a Rwandan filmmaker; a studio potter and ceramic artist; and a Penobscot scholar and Wabanaki storyteller.

Student Research

The Bates faculty is dedicated to helping students develop as scholars; therefore, significant emphasis is placed through the curriculum on individual research, including artistic production. In their first year, students participate in a first-year seminar, a small class in which the development of critical thinking, concise writing, and other research skills is emphasized. Methodology courses and advanced seminars offer further research training in a specific discipline. Many students undertake independent study courses in order to explore in depth a subject of particular interest. Each summer, many students undertake research independently or in collaboration with a Bates faculty member. All of these research and writing experiences prepare students for the senior thesis, required in most departments and programs, for the Honors Program, for graduate study, and for careers.

Support for Research during the Academic Year. The college encourages students to pursue research associated with courses, independent studies, and the senior thesis or senior project. Funds are available through competitive grant programs that provide financial assistance for student research. Information and applications are available in the Office of the Dean of the Faculty or on the student research website (

Summer Research Opportunities. Bates faculty members are active in scholarly research and often offer qualified students the opportunity to work with them as research assistants during the summer. These opportunities offer wages rather than academic credit and are available directly from faculty researchers funded through faculty grants. The Office of the Dean of the Faculty also manages a number of student summer research fellowship programs. Other opportunities off campus may be arranged through the college. Funding is available to conduct off-campus fieldwork and to support the work of a student at another research facility. Information on summer research opportunities is available on the student research website (

Presenting Research and the Mount David Summit. Bates students should be able to effectively communicate their scholarship and defend the results of their research. Students are encouraged to present their research at regional, national, and international meetings. They also have many opportunities to present their academic work on campus at events throughout the year. The largest on-campus research forum is the Mount David Summit. Each year near the end of the winter semester, the college community gathers for the this campus-wide event honoring academic and artistic achievement. In concurrent sessions students present research posters; short talks on research or community engagement; and artistic work, including poetry and fiction writing, film, theater, performance art, music, and the visual arts. Students from all class levels and all disciplines are encouraged to take part; the audience includes students, faculty, staff, parents, prospective students, alumni, donors, and the general public. More information on the summit is at the website (

Community-Engaged Learning

At the core of the college's founding mission is the notion that liberal learning, personal growth, and moral development are inseparable from social responsibility and service to others. Civic engagement and community-engaged learning and research not only contribute to a student's academic experience at college, but also enhance community life through the tangible contributions they make to others. Through projects conducted in courses, senior theses, capstone projects, and summer fellowships, students, faculty, and staff enrich academic study by undertaking work in the public sphere in collaboration with community partners. More than half of all students take part in community-engaged learning or research projects during their college years.

The mission of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships is to advance the college's commitment to cultivating informed civic action through reciprocal and sustained partnerships that connect the college and the community. Established in 2002, the center coordinates the college's myriad programs for civic and community engagement, incorporating community-engaged learning programs and community volunteer work as well as the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and Bates College Coastal Center at Shortridge. The Harward Center builds on a legacy of innovative, rigorous community-engaged learning at Bates. It serves as a clearinghouse for faculty, staff, and students interested in community-engaged learning or research projects, and for community organizations, schools, and government agencies that seek to engage the college. It sponsors community projects in areas as diverse as basic social services; education; literacy programs; municipal government; environmental education and advocacy; health and mental health services; public art, music, dance, and other cultural projects; and legal advocacy. The center also coordinates Bates' volunteer opportunities in the Lewiston-Auburn community.

Specific student programs of the Harward Center include the Community Outreach Fellows Program, the Bonner Leader Program, the Bates Civic Action Team, the Short Term Action/Research Team, and the Community-Engaged Research Fellows Program. The center also oversees a number of grant programs for students, faculty, staff, and community partners, during both the academic year and the summer. More information about those opportunities can be found at

Purposeful Work Initiative

The Purposeful Work Initiative helps students identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and acquire the knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and integrity. Purposeful Work helps students align who they are and what they want to do. The more students are able to align their work with their authentic interests and talents, the more work becomes a satifying and meaningful life. Purposeful Work begins with New-Student Orientation, continues through first-year seminars, and spans a student's college career with opportunities to explore, reflect, and build skills. It includes a network of Bates internships and internship funding, skill-specific courses taught by alumni and industry leaders, and a speaker series. Many faculty infuse their teaching with exercises that expose students to diverse types of work, questions of identity and purpose, and consideration of what "work" means. These exercises help students see the connection between academic fields and possible career paths. More information can be found on the Purposeful Work website (

Bates Career Development Center

The Bates Career Development Center helps students become aware of their interests, skills, and values, and how these relate to the career possibilities available after graduation and beyond. The Bates Career Development Center complements academic advising efforts by providing a wealth of resources including individualized and group career counseling and workshops, job shadows, internships, career-interest assessments, employment listings, access to alumni career advisors, graduate and professional school advising, and links to job and career information through the Career Development Center website ( Students are encouraged to use the Career Development Center beginning in their first year at Bates in order to integrate their academic, career, and personal goals into rewarding and purposeful careers.

Academic Resource Commons

The Academic Resource Commons (ARC), the college's learning center, empowers every Bates student to succeed and excel in their studies through tutoring, drop-in labs, workshops, and other learning support programs. ARC services are provided by peer tutors who have been referred by faculty and who have received intensive training on peer-led learning. ARC's location in Ladd Library also provides a place for students to study, do homework, and review course materials in a supported environment. The ultimate goal for every ARC session is for students to develop the skills and learning strategies needed for success both in their time at Bates, and beyond. More information on ARC programming (including hours of operation) is available at

Writing Support. Part of the Academic Resource Commons, the Writing Center (located adjacent to ARC) provides support for students to develop as college writers, language learners, speakers and scholars in their fields of study. In the Writing Center, students generate ideas, discuss prompts, create drafts, write, revise, eidt, and/or discuss their writing and public speaking, often in collaboration with fellow students and student writing tutors. Student writing tutors provide constructive feedback to their peers at various stages of writing. No appointments are necessary. Technical writing assistants (TWAs) also work in the Writing Center. TWAs assist students who are honing their science writing skills, convene writing conferences with biology and geology students preparing lab reports, and may also serve as laboratory teaching assistants. More information on the Writing Center can be found on the Academic Resource Commons website at

Peer writing and speaking assistants (PWSAs) are assigned to first-year seminars and other writing-attentive courses. They provide writing support to students in a specific course with conferencing, in-class workshops, and draft review sessions. The writing program's professional writing specialists, with offices in Coram Library, work with students on discpline-based writing, whether for an introductory course or an advanced seminar. The writing specialists meet one-on-one with students by appointment, focusing on any stage of the writing process, from initial brainstorming to final revisions. They also work with senior thesis writers, both in regularly scheduled individual meetings and in thesis writing groups organized by discipline. In addition, writing specialists offer workshops on writing for both students and faculty. Information on current workshops, hours of operation, and scheduling appointments is available on the writing program website (

Peer-Assisted Learning. Peer-assisted learning (PAL) supoprts student learning and faculty teaching, and provides leadership and teaching opportunities for students. Student peer leaders (PALs) of the program offer regularly scheduled, out-of-class collaborative study sessions to help students master the material in traditionally challenging science and quantitative reasoning courses. Each PAL session integrates study strategies with course content; students and peer leaders compare notes, discuss course material, and apply what they are learning. Sessions are open to all students in the class. More information on Peer-Assisted Learning can be found on the Academic Resource Commons website,

The Mathematics and Statistics Workshop. Dedicated to encouraging quantitative literacy and reasoning, the Mathematics and Statistics Workshop offers a variety of tutoring and help sessions for students seeking assistance with mathematical and quantitative reasoning and comprehension. Throughout the fall and winter semesters, drop-in help sessions are offered Sunday through Friday for students in any introductory-level class with a mathematical component. One-on-one assistance is available for students in any course requiring a command of quantitative or statistical skills, as well as skills with certain mathematical software packages. During Short Term, services are available by appointment. Information on the Math Workshop may be found on the website (

Information and Library Services

Information and Library Services (ILS) supports the mission of the college by planning, developing, implementing, and maintaining reliable and responsive information and technology resources, services, and programs to meet the evolving needs of the college community. ILS helps students, faculty, and staff embrace the continuous change that prevails in technology use, information access, and communications media. Library services are provided in the George and Helen Ladd Library, which address the general curricular and research needs of the college; and in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, which houses the archives, manuscripts, rare books, and other special collections of the college. In addition to a robust technology infrastructure for all manner of academic and administrative work, there are three specialized computer labs: the Imaging and Computing Center in Coram Library which specializes in GIS, 3-D printing, and the visual representation of data; the Digital Media Studios in Pettigrew Hall, supporting multimedia and video production; and the Language Resource Center in Roger Williams Hall, which supports language and other humanities programs. More information on ILS services and staff is available on the website (

The Library. The George and Helen Ladd Library provides books, periodicals, sound and video recordings and other library materials in print and electronic formats, as well as access to online databases and other resources essential for student and faculty research. The library offers a learning environment conducive to individual and group study and research, and provides easy access to information in a variety of formats. The Library includes nearly 900 study spaces, all with wireless network access. More than 450 seats have electric power for charging portable devices. A fully equipped instruction room and staffed reference area are located on the main floor. Group study is encouraged on the two lower floors, in the first floor Academic Resource Commons, and in the third floor Salter Room, which is equipped with a screen-sharing system. Otherwise, the upper two floors are reserved for quiet study.

The Library's website ( provides access to the Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin (CBB) combined library catalog and all electronic resources licensed by Bates. Ladd Library functions as the primary point of service for Information and Library Services, with access, research and computer help desk services centrally located. In addition to individual consultation, research librarians and other ILS professionals provide instruction for classes and other groups of students on research skills and library use as well as use of computing and other information resources.

In all, the library contains some 600,000 cataloged volumes in print and more than 38,000 audio and video recordings. It provides access to thousands of sources of information online, including more than 70,000 periodicals and 700,000 electronic books, sound and video resources. CBB libraries together constitute a combined collection of more than two million volumes. The three college libraries collaborate closely to plan and build these collections, providing faculty, students, and staff the systems to use CBB resources before searching elsewhere. The Bates identification card allows Bates students, faculty, and staff to borrow materials from the Bowdoin and Colby libraries. Through the MaineCat statewide catalog and interlibrary loan, Bates users may initiate loan requests for materials at other academic and public libraries nationwide.

Archives and Special Collections. The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library fosters research and scholarship by encouraging access to Bates College records and other historical materials by students and faculty, as well as scholars from the community at large. These collections enable students from Bates and elsewhere to perform historical research using primary documentary material. The collections have three major divisions:

The Bates College Archives serves as the official repository of records, publications, photographs, honors theses, oral histories, and other materials of permanent administrative, legal, fiscal, and historical value. It documents the history of the college from its founding in 1855 to the present.

The Manuscript Collections contain materials related to the history of Bates College, including papers of faculty members, alumni, and student work. Because of its roots as a Freewill Baptist institution, the library collects pamphlets, letters, diaries, and other materials related to Freewill Baptist organizations and individuals. The Edmund S. Muskie Papers include almost all the extant records documenting the life and work of Edmund S. Muskie (1914–1996), a 1936 Bates graduate who dominated Maine politics from the mid-1950s to 1981. Serving as governor, senator, and Secretary of State, Muskie became a national leader for environmental protection, government reform, and fiscal responsibility. The Library is named in his honor and collects materials related to his work, his associates' work, and the environmental movement he helped create.

The Rare Book Collection includes publications created by and pertaining to the Freewill Baptists in Maine and New England; nineteenth-century French history and literature; fine-press books published in Maine; Judaica;  nineteenth-century books on natural history, particularly ornithology, and publications by Bates faculty and alumni.

Computing Services. Information and Library Services provides a technology-rich environment in support of the mission of the college, which includes hardware, software, consultation, instruction, and information resources to faculty, students, and staff.  ILS also provides many employment opportunities for students in which they can develop or enhance technology, communications and other work skills.  

All faculty, students, and staff are assigned credentials that allow secure access to Bates computers and network services, including wireless and wired ports, on-line services, mail, calendar, printing, network storage, software, videoconferencing and proxy service for access to on-campus services and numerous library research databases from anywhere in the world. All members of the college community must comply with the Bates College Computer Use Policy (

The Garnet Gateway. Bates offers faculty, students, and staff transactional services through a secure online site, the Garnet Gateway. Students use the Garnet Gateway to view their schedule, grades, and transcript; register for courses; view their progress toward completing their degree requirements; view their financial aid award; complete course evaluations; declare their major(s), minor(s) and General Education concentration(s); elect student officers; evaluate study-abroad programs; nominate faculty for teaching awards; obtain enrollment verifications; and request official transcripts.

Faculty members use the Garnet Gateway to view course rosters, report student grades, propose new courses, schedule courses, manage their advising responsibilities, receive student course evaluations, and express preferences for classroom location and equipment. Faculty and staff members, as well as student employees, use the Garnet Gateway to access payroll, tax, and other employee information. The Garnet Gateway is accessed through the Bates website (

Academic Technology. Bates students and faculty members use technology extensively in their learning, research, and teaching. This is made possible by a wide range of services and facilities. There are more than 175 workstations clustered at Carnegie Science Hall, Dana Chemistry Hall, Ladd Library, Hedge Hall, the Imaging Center, Pettengill Hall, Pettigrew Hall, and Roger Williams Hall. All classrooms and the majority of event and meeting spaces have high-speed network connections, computers, and digital projection. Special facilities include interactive classrooms with large video screens for group instruction and videoconferencing, screen-sharing, classroom and presentation capture systems, plotters, 3-D printers, scanners, and digital editing machines for producing broadcast-quality video and audio. Academic technology staff consult closely with faculty and students on designing, building, and supporting a variety of projects for teaching, learning, and scholarship.

Digital Media Studios

The Digital Media Studios, located in the ground floor of Pettigrew Hall, comprise a suite of specialized studio and lab spaces with an expert staff to help students and faculty explore creative uses and production of traditional and emerging digital media. The studios include three private video editing suites, a radio interview studio, a flexible studio space, and an instructional lab. Additional resources allow for live broadcasts and remote recordings. The tools and facilities within the Digital Media Studios are used across academic disciplines, and are designed to encourage, emphasize, and explore the collaborative connections between teaching, learning, storytelling, the arts, and interpersonal communication in a modern digital world.

The Imaging and Computing Center

The Imaging and Computing Center, located in Coram Library, houses optical and computer equipment for the capture, generation, interpretation, and analysis of information in visual formats. The center's imaging lab houses optical microscopes, computational workstations, and a photography studio. An adjoining makerspace gallery and a computer lab provide exhibition and instructional space. The imaging and computing center has full-time staff with capabilities applicable across the disciplines, including computation, visualization, microscopy, GIS analysis, and the production of works of art.


Laboratories and studios for student and faculty use are located throughout the campus. Chemistry and biochemistry laboratories and instruments are situated in Dana Chemistry Hall. Biology, environmental studies, geology, neuroscience, and physics laboratories are housed in Carnegie and Hedge halls. Astronomy students and faculty use the Stephens Observatory with its 0.32-meter reflecting telescope and the Spitz A-3 planetarium projector, also located in Carnegie. Archaeology and psychology laboratories are housed in Pettengill Hall.

The departments of French and Francophone Studies, German and Russian Studies, Spanish, and the Program in Asian Studies make extensive use of the Language Resource Center in Roger Williams Hall. The center is equipped with computers, a document camera, and multi-region players with video projection for classroom instruction. The lab is also outfitted with cameras and video recording equipment for capturing activities in the context of courses.

Resources for the Arts

Schaeffer Theatre, a 300-seat proscenium-style space, is the mainstage venue for the Department of Theater and Dance, and the summer home of the Bates Dance Festival. The Department of Theater and Dance also presents student work and offers studio courses in the more intimate facilities of the Gannett Theater and the Black Box Theater. The Marcy Plavin Dance Studios are located in Merrill Gymnasium.

The Olin Arts Center houses art studios for painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and ceramics. It provides the Department of Music with music studios and rehearsal rooms for individuals and groups, as well as laboratories for computer-based composition. An acoustically exceptional 300-seat concert hall in the building is the site of performances year-round, ranging from student thesis recitals and concerts by Bates musicians to special appearances by internationally known musicians.

The Bates College Museum of Art

The Bates College Museum of Art is an integral part of the intellectual and cultural life of the college and the region. The Museum of Art brings a world of ideas to Bates, Lewiston-Auburn, and Maine through exhibitions ranging from work by artists of national and international prominence to the annual Senior Thesis Exhibition. Through the permanent collection, programming, supporting publications and education programs, the Museum of Art serves as a laboratory for deep exploration, intellectual study, and creative discovery.

From in-depth solo exhibitions to compelling thematic group shows, temporary exhibitions are integrated into academic disciplines across the liberal arts. The Museum of Art and its exhibitions also provide opportunities for co-curricular engagement and the integration of art into the social life of the college and region. The permanent collection provides students and visiting scholars opportunities for longer term study and close examination of works of art. Each year, a lively programming series including lectures and gallery talks, visiting artists and scholars, and a film series compliments exhibitions. Education and outreach programs connect exhibitions and collections to area school children, developed to support area school curriculum with teaching writing skills and visual literacy.

Exhibition and public programs are free and open to the public. More information can be found on the museum website: (

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area and the Shortridge Coastal Center

Bates manages nearly 600 acres of undeveloped Maine coastline for conservation, education and research purposes. Lying between two tidal rivers near the end of the Phippsburg peninsula, the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area (BMMCA) includes salt marshes, barrier dunes, mature spruce-fir forest, and a globally rare pitch pine forest. Granite ledge outcrops offer panoramic views of the Gulf of Maine.

The college conducts educational programs, scientific research, and literary study consistent with conserving the ecological and aesthetic values of the property. Current and ongoing research led by Bates faculty is focused on salt marsh responses to sea level rise, carbon cycling and methane in marsh systems, sediment dynamics in coastal systems and forest ecology. Visiting scientists study salt marsh nesting birds in the context of sea level rise. Public visitation is also permitted. The area serves well over 20,000 visitors annually, and is open year-round during daylight hours.

The Shortridge Coastal Center is located within two miles of the conservation area and serves a number of functions, all of which benefit from the natural assets of the nearby Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area. The center provides housing for researchers, students and artists during the summer months, and offers opportunities for course work and student and staff retreats during the academic year. The center sits on seventy-acres of large granite outcrops and forested wetlands, including a large freshwater pond.

Both the Shortridge Coastal Center and BCMMA provide a base of operations for community-engaged research projects and other partnership activities between the college and state agencies, environmental groups, and the Phippsburg community. Partnerships with Phippsburg include educational programs with the Phippsburg Elementary School, collaborative work on climate adaptation with town officials, and a grant program, financed by the summer residents of Small Point, to support ongoing geology research by Bates faculty and students. The BMMCA and the Shortridge Coastal Center are administered by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships.

Confidentiality of Education Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include the following:

1. FERPA affords the right to inspect and review the student's education records within forty-five days of the day the college receives a request for access. A form to request access to records is available from the Office of the Registrar and Academic Systems. The registrar makes arrangements for access and notifies the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

2. FERPA affords the right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. A student may ask the college to amend a record that is believed to be inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the request to the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. The registrar consults with the appropriate college official, and if the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college notifies the student of the decision and advises the student of the student's right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is provided when the student is notified of the right of hearing.

3. FERPA affords the right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information (PII) contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to college officials, or officials of institutions with which the college has consortial agreements, with legitimate educational interests. A college official is a person employed by Bates in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support-staff position (including Security and Health Center staff); a volunteer or contractor outside of the college who performs an institutional service or function for which the college would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the college with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as the Committee on Student Conduct, or assisting another college official in performing administrative tasks. A college official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill the official's professional responsibility.

4. FERPA affords the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-5901.

Bates reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect those records excluded from the FERPA definition of education records and to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA if the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the college or if there is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student. Fees are not assessed for search and retrieval of the records, but there may be a charge for copying and postage.

FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use. As of 3 January 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records including Social Security number, grades, or other private information may be accessed without student consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities may allow access to records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is "principally engaged in the provision of education," such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to education records and PII without student consent to researchers performing certain types of studies. Federal and state authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without student consent PII from education records, and they may track student participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development and migrant student record systems.

The Office of the Registrar and Academic Systems makes available copies of the federal regulations and the institutional policy on educational records as well as additional information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.

Directory Information. At its discretion, Bates may provide "directory information" in accordance with the provisions of FERPA. Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Bates identifies the following as directory information: name; Bates identification (ID) number; class; address (campus, home, and e-mail); username; telephone listings; major and minor fields of study; participation in officially recognized sports, extracurricular activities, and off-campus study programs; dates of attendance; degrees, honors, and awards received from the college; and individually identifiable photographs and electronic images of the student solicited or maintained directly by Bates as part of the educational record.

Students wishing to block the disclosure of directory information should contact the Office of the Registrar for additional information.