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The Academic Advising Center

Academic Policies

Undergraduate course work in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston College is guided by the following academic policies. For more information, please contact the Office of Academic Advising.

Advanced Placement

Advanced placement units can help you place out of Core Curriculum requirements, but generally are not awarded as credit toward graduation.

Boston College offers a number of ways to earn advanced placement units, including qualifying scores on College Board Advanced Placement (AP) exams, International Baccalaureate exams, British A Level exams, French Baccalaureate exams, and college courses, as well as results from the German Arbitur, the Swiss Maturité, and the Italian Maturità.

In general, advanced placement is awarded to students with AP exam scores of 4 or 5 (and in some cases, a score of 3).

Official results from all testing should sent to the Office of Transfer Admission for evaluation. For more information, please see the Advanced Placement guidelines.

Closed and Restricted Courses

If you wish to enroll in a course that is restricted by school, degree, or major, contact the department offering the course. The department will either decline the request, add the course to your schedule, or give you an override form to be processed in the Office of Student Services.

Credit Deficiency

Beginning with the class of 2014, enrollment status is based on credits rather than courses. To be considered full time, you must be registered for at least 12 credits per semester, and at least nine of those credits must be in courses of three credits or more. Ordinarily, students should average 15 credits per semester with a target of completing 30 credits each academic year.

If you fail to complete at least 15 credits per semester, you incur credit deficiencies and may be required to make up credits before being allowed to continue. To make up a deficiency, you may take summer courses at an accredited four-year college. All summer courses must be pre-approved by your Academic Dean. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may overload with six courses if the previous semester GPA is 3.0 or higher.

Grading Scale

In computing averages, the following numerical equivalents for the 12 letter grades are used:

  • A 4.00
  • A- 3.67
  • B+ 3.33
  • B 3.00
  • B- 2.67
  • C+ 2.33
  • C 2.00
  • C- 1.67
  • D+ 1.33
  • D 1.00
  • D- 0.67
  • F 0.00
  • P No effect on GPA

GPA Determination

The grading system at Boston College consists of 12 categories, as follows: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F. A is excellent; B is good; C is satisfactory; D is passing but unsatisfactory; F is failure.

Students who withdraw from a course after the drop/add period will receive a grade of W. The grade of W is not included in the calculation of the grade point average.

Your cumulative grade point average includes courses taken at Boston College or specifically approved by the associate dean. The cumulative average does not include courses accepted in transfer, including courses taken through the Woods College of Advancing Studies. If you fail a course and then repeat it with a passing grade, both the F and the passing grade are computed into the grade point average.

Grades are posted through your Agora Portal account at the end of each semester. If you think there is a grade discrepancy, you should resolve the issue within the first six weeks of the following semester.

Internal Transfer

Matriculated students wishing to transfer from one undergraduate college to another within Boston College should contact the office of the associate dean of the school to which admission is sought. To apply for internal transfer, you should be in good academic standing (some schools may require a 3.0 GPA), and you must complete at least three (four in CSON and LSOE) semesters of full-time study after the transfer. Applications are normally submitted to the associate dean by the last class day of the previous semester.

Registration Changes After Freshman Orientation

Before you make any changes to your schedule, contact the Academic Advising Center to discuss your plans. Don’t drop a class before making sure that there’s an opening in the class that you plan to add. And be sure to check the academic calendar for the drop/add deadline at the beginning of each semester.

When registering for spring semester, you must meet with your advisor.

Summer Courses

You may be able to take summer courses for enrichment or to make up for a past failure, withdrawal, or underload. To take a summer course, including BC Summer School and International Study courses, you must get prior approval from the associate dean using the course approval form. You will also need departmental approval if you want your summer course to fulfill a Core, language, major, or minor requirement.

You may take a maximum of three courses per summer. No more than eight summer or part-time courses may be credited toward an Arts & Sciences degree. You must earn a grade of C- or better on a summer course to receive course credit.

You may take summer courses at Boston College or at any accredited four-year college or university in the United States. For courses taken outside of Boston College, you must provide adequate documentation on the program and on the course(s) (such as catalog course descriptions, semester credit value, class schedule, and syllabi).

Students receive degree credit for courses taken to make up deficiencies incurred through failure, withdrawal, or underload. Other summer courses will receive enrichment credit only: They may satisfy Core or major requirements with department permission, but will not count toward the 38 courses or 120 credits required for the degree. Courses, grades, and credits will be listed on the transcript but will not be calculated into the GPA. With the approval of the dean, students who incur deficiencies may in limited cases use enrichment courses in previous summers to make up for deficiencies incurred subsequently.

As of summer 2010, one summer course taken through the Boston College Office of International Programs may be counted toward degree requirements if a grade of C- or higher is earned. However, the grade will not be included in the GPA.

Students are responsible for ensuring that sealed, official copies of transcripts from summer courses taken outside BC are delivered to the office of their class dean or to Student Services. Only courses for which a transcript grade of C- or higher is earned and for which a Course Approval Form has been properly completed and approved will be eligible for posting to the student's record.

Taking a Sixth Course

Students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher may take six courses starting in the spring of freshman year.

Withdrawing from a Course or from the University

Boston College undergraduates may drop and/or add courses online during the first seven days of the semester.

After the first seven days of the semester, you may only drop a course by going in person to your Associate Dean’s office. The deadline for dropping a course in person without penalty is four weeks after the start the semester. If you withdraw from a course after this extended drop period, a “W” will be recorded in the grade column of your academic record.

The final deadline to withdraw officially from a course or from the University is about the Monday after Thanksgiving for the fall semester and mid-April for the spring semester.