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woods college of advancing studies

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Woods College of Advancing Studies

The James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies offers both full and part-time study to undergraduate and graduate students from widely differing backgrounds and preparations who wish to maximize their experiences and master the skills necessary to advance their future.

Boston College fosters in its students rigorous intellectual development coupled with religious, ethical and personal formation in order to prepare them for citizenship, service and leadership in a global society.

Within the context of the Boston College environment, James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies promotes the care and attention to the human person that is the hallmark of Jesuit education while faculty and students engage in significant scholarship that enriches the culture and addresses important societal needs.


Undergraduate Programs

The James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies offers the atmosphere of a small college within the environment of a large university. The professional staff at the James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies has experience helping students arrange a realistic schedule, one that combines full-time work responsibilities with educational goals. Students receive personal attention while enjoying access to the many resources of Boston College. A flexible admission process coupled with academic advising allows a student to select the most appropriate program based on their individual needs. Courses are scheduled ordinarily from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. during the fall, spring and summer.

Undergraduate program options and admissions information for each program is provided below:

Bachelor of Arts Program

The Bachelor of Arts Program prepares students to address and master the challenges of a rapidly changing and increasingly complex world. A flexible, broad-based liberal arts curriculum which includes core requirements permits registrants to choose courses and tracks of study reflecting their individual interests and varied career objectives. The curriculum offers intensive work and a degree of disciplined mastery in a major area. Courses are offered in the areas of communications, corporate systems, criminal and social justice, information technology, the humanities and the social sciences.


Degree Requirements:

A distinguishing characteristic of liberal arts education is a required core curriculum. All bachelor programs require seventeen core courses in humanities, social sciences, mathematics and sciences.

Humanities courses develop communication strengths, explore diverse cultures, and introduce the kinds of thinking that relate learning to the moral significance and practical direction of life. The nine course requirement comprises Introductory College Writing, Literary Works, and an English elective; two foreign literature in English translation or two intermediate foreign language courses; Problems in Philosophy and a philosophy elective; and two theology electives.

Social Sciences courses provide a better understanding of how people develop, think and interact; how they adapt and change the environment. Required are two history courses and three additional courses selected from the following areas: economics, history, political science, psychology, or sociology.

Mathematics and Sciences courses enhance content knowledge and its impact on individuals, communities, societies and the global environment. A computer course and two courses in either mathematics or science comprise the three course requirement. Degree candidates complete a minimum of thirty courses with at least a C- cumulative average.

Admission to advanced standing may be granted to students who have pursued prior studies in fully accredited liberal arts colleges and wish to transfer into a degree program. Courses equivalent in content and quality to those offered by Boston College and in which the applicant has received grades of at least a C will be considered. Students must submit at the time of application all official transcripts from prior institutions attended for consideration of transfer of course credit. Once a transfer student has enrolled in a degree program all remaining courses must be completed at Boston College to be eligible to receive a degree.

For students in the degree program, the maximum course load is three per semester. Authorization for one additional course will be given only if a student has completed these courses, each with a grade of B- or above, in the previous semester. Degree candidates may register for either day or evening classes.


Undergraduate Admission Programs

The admissions process is designed to respond to the strengths and needs of talented applicants from all walks of life. All are unique, yet all share much in common, not the least of which is the desire to continue their education. Advancing Studies students are accepted, not for where they are, but where they want to go and what they might become. Entrance requirements are flexible, the applicant's motivation, interest, and present seriousness of purpose are criteria for admission. No entrance examinations are required. Prospective students can view the catalog of program offerings at

Degree applicants are required to complete the following steps:

Complete the application for admission which can be found at:

Submit an official copy of a high school transcript or equivalent documentation of prior learning or experience. Interested applicants may participate in CLEP, the College Level Examination Program, which evaluates non-traditional college learning such as self-directed study and job related experiences. On the basis of CLEP scores submitted when applying, applicants may be awarded college credits.

Students seeking to transfer from another college and/or university must submit at the time of application official transcripts from all prior institutions attended in order to have them considered for credit towards the degree program.

When an applicant's file is complete, a personal interview is scheduled with an academic advisor at the James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies. Assistance in the selection of courses is provided based on the applicant's interests and career goals.


Special Students

Special students are individuals interested in taking evening undergraduate courses for academic credit, but not in applying for a degree. Such students enroll during the fall, spring or summer registration periods with no prior application required.


Visiting Students

Individuals wishing to attend during the day as special undergraduate students are required to apply for Visiting Student status at the James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies.  Qualified applicants are admitted to specific courses on an individual basis.

More specific application instructions for those interested in applying for Visiting Student status can be found at:


Professional Studies Certificate

The Professional Studies Certificate is an end in itself for some students. For others, it may be applied toward completion of a bachelor's degree. Whatever one's ultimate goal, whether to qualify for promotion, initiate a career change, or earn an undergraduate degree; professional studies can help achieve that objective. The number of courses required to complete a Professional Studies Certificate varies with the area of study, but in every instance courses must be completed at Boston College. Certificate requirements include the following:

Students must receive at least a grade of C for each course credited toward the certificate.

Certificate requirements should be completed within two years of initial enrollment; courses are permanently retained on the student record

A request to receive a formal certificate must be made to the James A. Woods, S.J. College of Advancing Studies the semester the certificate requirements are completed.

A Professional Studies Certificate may be obtained in the following areas; Accounting, Communications, Criminal and Social Justice, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Management and Marketing.


Contact Information and Office Location

Course catalog and program information can be found at:


Office of the Dean
The James A. Woods, S.J., College of Advancing Studies
McGuinn Hall
100 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA 02467