Twenty-one percent of classes were at or above capacity by the end of Bowdoin's two-week add/drop period last Friday.
This year 1,043 add/drop cards were received compared to 980 last spring, a 6.4 percent increase. Registrar Jan Brackett said that numbers have not been this high since the spring of 2007, when the Office of the Registrar also coincidentally received 1,043 cards.
Brackett noted that the office was closed for three days during add/drop period last spring due to a storm, which might have caused the slightly lower number.
Archaeology 103: Egyptian Archeology, Classics 101: Classical Mythology, Education 101: Contemporary American Education, and Interdisciplinary 220: Leaders in Leadership were among the most popular courses this year. The Office of Registrar turned down 40, 84, 53, and 138 students respectively in each of the classes.
Classical Mythology, taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Michael Nerdahl, boasts 101 students, 38 more students than the next largest class—Egyptian Archaeology taught by James Higginbotham, associate professor of classics. The original enrollment limit of Nerdahl's class was 50 students, but rose to 90 due to popular demand.
"Got to give him a badge or something," Brackett said. "He certainly was not required to take that many."
Nerdahl said he felt like he owed it to the students to give more of them a chance to take part in the course.
"It's a personal thing," Nerdahl said. "If somebody shows an interest in the classics or mythology or Greek or Latin I want to promote that and encourage it as much as possible."
In the end, Nerdahl still had to turn down more than 40 students on his waiting list.
Although there are few similar cases where a class expanded to more than twice its original size, it is hardly uncommon that professors are willing to go over their enrollment limit.
"A lot of instructors are softies," Brackett said. "They say it's just hard for them to say 'no'."