The material on this page is from the 2002-03 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.

The Admission of Students 

The admission requirements and procedures are designed to help the College select, from among the men and women applying, those best-qualified to profit from the educational opportunities at Bates. As the emphasis is on the liberal arts and sciences, the secondary school record should assure success in these fields. Applicants must present evidence of intellectual interest, good character, and thorough scholastic preparation. The College values liveliness, thoughtfulness, and curiosity; it seeks in its student body a range of intellectual, extracurricular, and personal energies. Each applicant is considered individually, and the dean of admissions may make exceptions to any requirement.

Admission Requirements

1. Application Form. Bates uses the Common Application as well as a supplement. In addition to biographical data, the application requests information concerning the applicant's academic and extracurricular interests. The required essay gives the applicant the opportunity to write on a suggested topic or one of personal choice. Additional writing samples or other evidence of creative ability are encouraged.

2. Record in Secondary School. The secondary-school record should consist of courses of a substantial college-preparatory nature. Individual cases may vary, but it is recommended that a student have taken four years of English, at least three of mathematics, three of a foreign language, three of social science, and at least two of a laboratory science.

3. Recommendations. The College receives recommendations from school officials and references named by the applicant. It should be understood that when the student waives the right to inspect that information, it is kept in strict confidence and is available only to appropriate College officers.

4. Standardized Test Scores. The submission of standardized testing (the SAT I, SAT II, and the ACT) is optional for admission. Independent of the admissions process and solely for the purpose of the College's research, students who have taken the standardized tests must submit the official results of these tests upon matriculation.

5. Results of a Personal Interview. The applicant should seek an interview with a member of the College's admissions staff or a designated alumni representative in the home area. Candidates without an interview may be placing themselves at a disadvantage in the evaluation process.

Admission Procedures

Early in the senior year (in any event not later than 15 January) a student should submit the application for admission. A nonrefundable fee of $60 must accompany the application. Students for whom the fee would be a financial hardship may have their guidance counselor submit a College Board "Request for Fee Waiver" with their application. Application forms may be secured by writing to the Dean of Admissions, Bates College, 23 Campus Avenue, Lewiston ME 04240. Application forms are also available on the Admissions Web site (

The Admissions Office reaches its decision only after it has received the completed application form, essay, and all the data in support of an application: the transcript of the secondary-school record and recommendations from the guidance counselor and from two teachers.

As a general rule, applicants are notified of decisions in late March. An accepted student is asked to respond with a payment, upon acceptance, of $300 postmarked by the candidates' reply date of 1 May. Part of this payment is credited to the student's annual charge. Students usually enter the College at the beginning of the academic year, in September, although the College accepts a limited number of students for January matriculation.

Early Decision

Candidates who are certain that Bates is their first choice are encouraged to apply for Early Decision (ED). Applicants for ED must fill in the written request for consideration on the application and assure the College that they will enroll if admitted. Regular applications may be submitted to other colleges with the understanding that the candidate will withdraw these applications if he or she is accepted at Bates under ED.

Students who file an ED application and whose credentials are complete by 15 November (Round I) receive a decision by 20 December. The application deadline for ED Round II is 1 January, and students receive a decision by 15 February.

Deferred Admission

For some students college is a richer and more relevant experience if they take a year to engage in some nonacademic pursuit between high school and college. For this reason the College will grant deferred admission to candidates who are accepted in the normal competition. An applicant should indicate in the application that he or she is a candidate for deferred admission. If qualifications warrant it, acceptance is granted and matriculation is postponed until either January or September of the following year.

Early Admission

Extremely capable students may be ready for college before they have completed the normal four-year secondary-school program. The College welcomes inquiries from those who think they are prepared scholastically, and are sufficiently mature personally and socially, to undertake college work.

Advanced Standing for Entering First-Year Students

Of the total number of course credits required of students who enter as first-year students, at least twenty-four must be Bates credits. Up to eight non-Bates credits may be applied toward the degree. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, A-Level Examination, and transfer credits are all considered non-Bates credits and students may therefore be awarded no more than eight total.

Advanced Placement. Bates participates in the Advanced Placement (AP) Program of the College Entrance Examination Board. A student who achieves a score of four or five on an Advanced Placement examination given by the Educational Testing Service may be granted two course credits, or one course credit in the case of Advanced Placement courses covering the equivalent of one semester of college work. A student achieving a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of two semesters of college work may be granted one course credit, upon approval of the chair of the appropriate department. No credit is granted for a score of three on an examination covering the equivalent of one semester of college work.

Individual departments and programs decide whether an Advanced Placement examination covers the equivalent of one or of two semesters of college work, whether any Advanced Placement credit permits exemption from their particular courses or major requirements, and whether Advanced Placement credits in their discipline provide exemption from any General Education requirements.

International Baccalaureate. Credit is awarded only upon receipt of the official International Baccalaureate (IB) transcript with the examination scores. The IB subjects must be equivalent to subjects taught at Bates, with "English" accepted only if the focus was on literature rather than language instruction. For courses taken in the "Higher Level Subjects" category, one Bates course credit may be awarded for each IB course with an examination grade of 5. Two Bates course credits may be awarded for each IB course with examination grades of 6 or 7. For courses taken in the "Standard Level Subjects" category, one course credit may be awarded for each course with an examination grade of 6 or 7. A maximum of eight International Baccalaureate credits may be applied to the Bates academic record.

A-Level Examination. Credit is awarded for successful scores on A-Level (Advanced Level) examinations only, and not for O-Level (Ordinary Level) or AS (Advanced Subsidiary) examinations. Credit is awarded upon receipt of the official copy of examination grades presented on the General Certificate of Education. No credit may be granted for English-language examinations or the general paper. Two Bates course credits may be awarded for each A-Level examination graded A or B (one course credit for a B in mathematics). One Bates course credit may be awarded for a grade of C. Individual departments and programs establish course equivalencies as appropriate. The equivalency may be applied toward General Education, major, and degree requirements according to the department's or program's established policy for awarding AP credit. A maximum of eight A-Level credits may be applied to the Bates academic record.

Other Advanced Standing Programs. Not all students have access to Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level examinations, but it is not possible to evaluate fairly all of the many other advanced standing programs currently available. Course credit is awarded therefore only to successful scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and A-Level examinations. Course work undertaken in other advanced standing programs, however, may be used to place into higher-level Bates courses; students should consult with the appropriate department or program chair.

Advanced Standing for Transfer Students

The College welcomes applications from students who wish to transfer to Bates from other institutions. Bates will transfer courses completed at accredited colleges and universities under guidelines established by the faculty. The College's transfer credit policy is described in detail on page 33 of the printed catalog.

A student must complete thirty-two courses (one course being equal to one course credit at Bates) and two Short Term units in order to graduate. A transfer student must attend a minimum of four semesters and earn a minimum of sixteen course credits and two Short Term units at Bates to earn a Bates degree. While students may have earned more than sixteen transferable credits, they must choose which sixteen they wish to apply to their Bates record at the time of transfer.

The following credentials are due in the Office of Admissions by 1 March (15 January for international students) for fall semester consideration and 1 November for winter semester consideration: the application and fee; official secondary school and college transcripts; a college catalog describing courses completed and those in progress; a statement of good standing from a college official; three letters of recommendation (two from faculty, one from a personal source); and an essay concerning the applicant's motivation to transfer. Submission of standardized testing results is optional. An interview is strongly recommended.

International Students

The College encourages international candidates with superior academic and personal qualifications to apply for admission to Bates. Non-United States citizens must submit the following: an application form, official or certified copies of secondary-school transcripts, a school profile and/or explanation of the school's marking system if available, letters of recommendation, certificates of completion and national examinations (if applicable), and the Bates Financial Statement for International Students, which may be obtained from the Admissions Office.

All documents must be presented in English; original documents must accompany all certified translations. Applicants living abroad are advised to make copies of their applications and to mail them well in advance of the deadlines.

Students who speak English as a second language, regardless of where they live, must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an equivalent form of testing. The College will accept only official score reports. Submission of SAT I, SAT II, or ACT results is optional for all students.

Need-based financial aid is available for international students. All non-U.S. citizens must complete the Financial Statement for International Students.

Visiting Students

Bates welcomes applications from students attending other colleges who wish to enroll for a limited time as nondegree, visiting students. Enrollment on a visiting basis can be for one semester or a year. While enrolled, visiting students pay the same tuition, room, and board fees and have the same privileges and obligations as regular degree candidates. They are not, however, eligible to receive financial aid or to play an NCAA-sanctioned varsity sport. At the end of the term of study, a transcript of the visiting student's course work is sent to the home institution upon request.

To apply, the student should file the regular application for admission, indicating visiting student status, and submit the following credentials: an official college transcript, two letters of recommendation from college faculty, a letter of recommendation from a dean or advisor, a statement of good standing from a college official, and an essay explaining the student's interest in Bates and in becoming a visiting student. An interview is strongly recommended.

High School Students

Under a program arranged in conjunction with the guidance offices at local high schools, a limited number of qualified high school seniors may enroll in a Bates course each semester free of charge. Application is made through the high school guidance office to the Bates Admissions Office. Students receive a transcript following successful completion of each course. Each student is limited to one course per semester for a total of two courses under this program.

Special Students

Each semester, as space within courses permits, Bates admits special students who are not degree candidates. No more than two courses may be taken each semester; the fee per course for 2003-2004 is $1,000. No financial aid is available for special students and they are responsible for any additional fees associated with a course. A special-student transcript is produced showing completion of each course. Special students are not degree-seeking candidates and are limited to a maximum of four courses as special students at Bates. College employees, spouses or domestic partners, and dependents seeking special-student status should refer to the Bates Employee Handbook for more information about the special-student program for employees.

Interested applicants should submit the special-student application form with a $25 application fee to the registrar one month prior to the beginning of the semester, and meet with the dean of students. Entry into courses is on a space-available basis. Special students may not enroll in Short Term units.

Special students who later wish to matriculate must meet admissions requirements and will be subject to decisions made by the dean of admissions and the registrar concerning the credits toward a degree, which may include consideration of courses completed as a special student.

Auditing Students

Application to audit a course is made with the registrar in consultation with the instructor of the course. Permission to audit a course will be withheld if, in the judgment of the registrar or the instructor, it is not appropriate to audit the course or too many applications to audit are received.

Members of the College staff, their spouses or partners, and their dependents may apply to audit courses with permission from the Office of Human Resources.

The auditing fee for nonmatriculated students in 2003-2004 is $150. No credit is earned; the audit is not recorded on a permanent record. An auditor should not expect to have papers and exams graded; therefore, auditing is seldom permitted in courses where the method of instruction involves significant individual attention and guidance or extensive use of equipment. Matriculated Bates students may audit courses with prior permission of their advisor, the instructor of the course, and the registrar. An audited course may not be converted to a course taken for credit at a later date. Entry into courses is on a space-available basis. Auditing students may not enroll in Short Term units.

Student Enrollment

The following definitions of enrollment apply. Students taking courses at Bates as degree-seeking students or who participate in a Bates-approved off-campus study program are considered "enrolled." Students on a leave of absence are not considered "enrolled" during the period of the leave.

Student Retention and Graduation

The federal Student Right to Know Act requires institutions of higher education to make available graduation rates. Bates has calculated an 89 percent graduation rate for first-time students entering in September 1997, using the guidelines published in the 10 July 1992 Federal Register. This calculation does not include students who have transferred into the College from other institutions.

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Last Modified: 7/10/03 by tins