Frequently Asked Questions
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Which high school courses do you recommend to make me more competitive in the application process?
While specific courses are not required, the Undergraduate Admission Office recommends that students pursue a strong college preparatory program, including four units of English, mathematics, foreign language, laboratory science, and social science. The Committee on Admission also looks at the rigor of your high school program. Students challenging themselves with Honors, AP, IB, and/or college-level courses tend to be more competitive in the admission process.
Does Boston College award credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses or for college courses that I took while in high school?
Generally speaking, at Boston College, Advanced Placement exams and college courses taken on a college campus during high school are used to fulfill University Core requirements and do not earn actual course credit. With an AP exam score of 4 or 5 or a college course grade of B or better, students receive "University Core equivalencies" and are exempt from the Boston College Core requirement in that academic area.
Students must still take 38 courses as an undergraduate. Students who have taken multiple AP examinations and have earned the equivalent of 8 or more Boston College courses may apply for advanced standing. If advanced standing is granted, credit for these courses would be applied to the student's transcript, accelerating his/her date of graduation by one year. Students who accept this option must graduate in three years. Advanced-standing decisions will be made after completion the student's first semester at Boston College. More…
Does Boston College offer admission under an Early Action or Early Decision policy?
Boston College offers Restrictive Early Action as an option to applicants. Restrictive Early Action at Boston College is a non-binding process and is intended only for outstanding candidates who view Boston College as a top choice for their undergraduate education, and who wish to learn of their admission early in their senior year.
Boston College does not permit students to apply under our Early Action program if they are applying to a binding Early Decision program at another college. Students are free to apply to other Early Action and Regular Decision programs.
The University aims to fill no more than 30% of the Freshman class through the Early Action process. Therefore, Early Action at Boston College is more selective than Regular Decision. Students interested in applying Early Action must submit all required application credentials no later than November 1st of their senior year. Students will be notified of our decision before December 25th and have until May 1st, the Candidate's Reply Date, to decide where they will enroll.
Are there any restrictions to your Early Action program?
Yes. Students who apply to a binding Early Decision program at another college or university may not apply Early Action to Boston College.
If I am not admitted through Early Action, can I reapply through Regular Decision?
The majority of students not admitted during the Early Action review process will be deferred to the Regular Decision review process. These students will automatically be reconsidered during the Regular Admission evaluation and notified of their decisions in April. These students should forward new grades and test scores as they become available. Approximately 20% of candidates deferred at Early Action are admitted during the Regular Decision process.
Early Action applicants whose records do not meet Boston College's standards will be denied. These students may not reapply during the Regular Admission process.
Is there a foreign-language requirement once a student arrives at Boston College?
To graduate from Boston College, students in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Carroll School of Management must show proficiency in a foreign language. Students may fulfill this proficiency by earning a score of 3 or better on a language AP examination (French, German, or Spanish) or by earning a score of 550 or better on the language SAT II examination in French, German, Spanish, or Italian (600 or better in Latin or Greek). Students wishing to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than those listed above, and those for whom English is not their first language, should consult their class dean. Otherwise, students must pass the intermediate level of a Boston College foreign-language course. Students in the Carroll School of Management who have had four years of a foreign language in high school have fulfilled the requirement.
How are students selected for the Honors Program, and what does membership entail?
Admission to the Honors Program is by invitation only. In recent years, admission has been offered to approximately the top 5% of admitted students. Each of the four undergraduate schools (College of Arts & Sciences, Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, and Lynch School of Education) offers its own Honors Program. While they differ in requirements and coursework, each provides extraordinary challenges: small classes, close attention from instructors, and a classroom community of highly focused students. Students take part in Honors courses throughout the first three years and finish the program in their Senior year by completing an independent project or Honors thesis with the guidance of a faculty member.
Is campus housing guaranteed to entering freshman students?
All admitted freshman applicants are guaranteed at least three years of on-campus housing, and half are guaranteed four years of on-campus housing. Boston College is unique in that our students choose to live off campus in their Junior year and return to campus in their Senior year. In fact, nearly 99% of Juniors living off-campus last year returned to campus for their final year.
Boston College's Office of Residential Life works with sophomore students to assist them in locating off-campus apartments for the upcoming year. The University informs students about every aspect of living off campus and hosts apartment fairs where students not only learn about various apartment locations, styles, and rent prices, but also meet with real estate agents and landlords. Students generally live within a one-mile radius of campus. A Boston College bus shuttle services these areas throughout the academic year.
How can I set up an interview with an admission counselor?
Interviews are not offered at Boston College. We do, however, understand the importance of prospective students making a connection with the University. We have many such opportunities available.
Boston College's Eagle Eye Sessions, which are offered daily throughout the academic year and during the summer (check Campus Visits and Tours for dates and times), are conducted by Admission staff members and include a panel of undergraduate students offering their views of academic and student life at Boston College. Current undergraduate students are available in our reception area each day to greet visitors and speak about their experiences at Boston College. Staff members are also available throughout the day to answer individual questions that you may have. Prospective students may also spend an actual class day with a student.
The Day Visit Program matches Freshman and Transfer applicants with a current Boston College student for the morning, including classes and an informal tour of the campus. For more information, or to schedule a Day Visit, please contact the Day Visit Coordinator at least two weeks prior to your desired visiting date at (617) 552-3378. The office is open Monday–Friday from 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m. during the academic year.
Does Boston College offer merit scholarships?
Boston College is committed to need-based financial aid and, therefore, offers very little merit money. The Presidential Scholars Program offers our only merit-based scholarship, and is awarded to the top 15 students each year. Presidential Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship regardless of financial need. There is no separate application required to be considered for the scholarship. To be eligible, students must simply apply through the Early Action application process. Scholars are selected by the Committee on Admission based on academic excellence, demonstrated leadership ability, significant community service involvement, and potential. Boston College awards all other money (more than $60 million in 2008) through need-based financial aid.
Can I be involved in ROTC at Boston College?
Yes. Army, Navy, and Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) programs offer substantial financial aid opportunities for qualified and selected individuals.
Army ROTC has an Extension Center on the Boston College campus and offers full-tuition scholarships with additional BC incentives. More information can be found at bc.edu/rotc or 617-552-2580.
Navy ROTC (617-353-0474), providing full-tuition scholarships, and Air Force ROTC (617-353-4705), providing partial scholarships, are based/hosted at Boston University. You can find more information about this program at www.bu.edu/navyrotc
Which standardized tests are required for admission, and what are the minimum scores required on the examinations?
Students have two options through which to complete the standardized testing requirement for admission to Boston College — the SAT I & SAT Subject Tests, or the ACT. For students whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is also required. All standardized tests are used for evaluation in the admission process and applicants are required to submit all standardized examinations by the required application deadline.
It is important to note that standardized tests are only one portion of the application process. Students should not assume that scoring within or above the ranges found below will automatically result in a positive admission decision. Conversely, students with scores below these ranges should not necessarily assume a negative decision. (More specific details are found below.)
Students must select one of the following two options for standardized testing:
- The first option is for the applicant to complete the SAT I test and two SAT Subject Tests, both administered by the College Entrance Examination Board. For the SAT Subject Tests, students are encouraged to choose two exams in subjects they have enjoyed and highlight their particular academic strengths.
- As a second option, in place of both the SAT I and SAT Subject Tests, applicants may take the American College Test (ACT). Students who choose this option MUST also take the optional ACT Writing examination.
The TOEFL examination is required of all international applicants whose primary native language is not English, even if the student studies at an English-speaking school.
There are three different TOEFL examinations an applicant could submit: the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), the Computer-Based TOEFL (CBT), or the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT). Minimum scores of 600 on the PBT, 250 on the CBT, or 100 on the iBT are recommended. Institutional TOEFL examinations are not accepted; the examinations must be taken at an official TOEFL testing center. Boston College's Institutional TOEFL Testing Code is 3083. The Department Code is 00.
Many international students request to have this examination waived. The results of the TOEFL examination are used by the Committee on Admission to better understand your written and spoken English ability. Because the SAT was originally written with U.S. domestic students in mind, we realize that many international students do not score as well on the SAT Verbal portion as do U.S. students. Therefore, in most cases, a strong TOEFL score will enhance the strength of an international student's application. This requirement will be waived only if a student has earned an SAT Verbal score of 600 or better.
If I already have a Bachelor's Degree from another college or university, may I apply go Boston College for a second Bachelor's Degree?
Students who already hold a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent from another university are only eligible to apply if they are seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Applications for second bachelor degrees in any other undergraduate division are not permitted. Rather, these students should pursue studies in a graduate program by contacting the Graduate Office of Admission at Boston College.