Frequently Asked Questions
graduate school of arts and sciences
- What is the 2014/2015 rate-per-credit? answer
- What is the 2014/2015 application fee? answer
- Can my application fee be waived? answer
- May I apply to more than one program? answer
- I applied to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences last year but did not get in. Can I reuse my application materials if I reapply for this year? answer
- May I apply for admission in any academic quarter? answer
- Can I take graduate-level classes at Boston College if I'm not interested in pursuing a degree at this time? answer
- Can I apply directly to a Ph.D program or must I apply to study toward a Master's degree first? answer
- What do I need to do to be considered for departmental financial aid? answer
- My former school will not send me the transcripts in sealed envelopes, to be enclosed with my self-managed application. answer
- I took one course during the summer from another university. Do you need the course transcript? answer
- If my transcripts are in a foreign language do I have to send the original copy of my transcripts, as well as the English translation? answer
- May I send my supplemental materials to BC before submitting my online application? answer
- Will I receive confirmation once I submit my application materials to the Graduate School? answer
- I have been out of school for several years and there is no one who can write an academic recommendation for me. May my employer write one? answer
- What is the GRE Institutional Code for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences? answer
- If I take the GRE in November will my scores arrive before the deadline? answer
- I sent my GRE score to BC with the wrong code. Can you retrieve my scores from the other school? answer
- My name has changed since taking a required test for admission. answer
- I asked ETS to send official GRE scores four weeks ago but the Graduate School hasn't received them. answer
- My TOEFL score is more than two years old so ETS will not send official scores to you. Will you accept a photocopy? answer
- I am a foreign student who attended a Master's level program in the U.S., although my undergraduate work was taken at a non-English speaking institution abroad. Because I have a U.S. Master's degree, will the TOEFL/IELTS test requirement be waived? answer
- What will happen to my application if I miss the deadline? answer
- If I meet the required deadlines, when can I expect to receive a decision? answer
As of March 2014, the GSAS rate-per-credit will be $1,398.
A non-refundable $75 application fee is required for each application you submit to GSAS. If you submit the online application form you will be directed to a page where you can pay the application fee by credit card. If you do not pay online immediately after submitting our online form, you have the following options:
- Return to our website after you apply and pay the application fee by credit card. You will need your nine-digit confirmation number.
- Mail us the application in the form of cash or a check, made payable to Boston College. Please include your nine-digit confirmation number on the check. If the check is in another person's name, write the applicant's full name on the check.
The fee is not usually waived; however, the GSAS will waive an application fee for current BC undergraduate students, McNair Scholars, IRT participants, and current JVC members. Current undergraduate applicants, for whom the fee would constitute a serious hardship, may request a waiver. Such requests will be considered only if they are received by the Admissions Office in the form of a letter sent directly from the chief financial aid officer of the applicant's college or university. Applicants may use the application fee waiver form to submit this request. Applicants cannot obtain a fee waiver directly from an academic department.
You may apply to more than one program of study for the same entrance term. If you plan to apply to more than one department within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences please submit an application for one of those departments online. After you submit one form please contact the admissions office directly and inform them of your plan to apply to another department. They will help you create two admissions files. If there are pieces of your application besides the application form and fee that would be the same for multiple applications (transcripts, resume, GRE scores), you can submit one copy, but must notify the Admissions Office so the material can be included in all files.
I applied to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences last year but did not get in. Can I reuse my application materials to reapply for this year?
All students must reapply with new and revised application materials.
Most departments admit students only for the fall term; however, some departments may consider applications to a master's program for the spring.
Non-degree applications may also be filed in the spring. In these cases, contact the Graduate Program Director before filing an application, to confirm the department will review your application.
The Graduate School deadlines only pertain to fall term admission. When applying for spring admission, application materials should be received by December 1.
The Graduate School offers a small number of courses for the summer term. Non-degree summer-study students must submit all application materials by May 1.
Can I take graduate-level classes at Boston College if I'm not interested in pursuing a degree at this time.
Students interested in non-degree coursework may apply to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as Special Student status by submitting the application form, the non-refundable application fee of $75, all transcripts, and a statement of purpose. Admission as a Special Student does not guarantee subsequent admission to a degree program.
Students are admitted for one semester and can only take courses within the department they were admitted. Permission to take courses beyond the semester originally admitted, must be obtained from the Graduate Program Director.
Special Students are not eligible for departmental financial aid. International students will not be considered for Special Student status unless they are currently enrolled full-time at another U.S. institution.
You do not necessarily need a Master's degree to enter into a Ph.D program; however, the faculty will look for the proper coursework, experience, and maturity when admitting applicants into a Ph.D program.
To be considered, your completed application must be submitted to the Graduate School by the appropriate deadline.
My former school will not send me the transcripts in sealed envelopes, to enclose with my self-managed application.
Request that the transcript be sent directly to our Admissions Office. Transcripts arriving before an application will be kept on file.
I took one course during the summer from a different university. Do I need to send the transcript for that course?
You must send transcripts from each institution where you have done coursework, including transcripts containing non-degree coursework and, if applicable, transcripts containing grades from a study-abroad program.
If my transcripts are in a foreign language do I have to send the original copy of my transcripts, as well as the English translation?
You must send both, the official transcript in the foreign language and a certified English translation of the transcript.
If your supplemental materials arrive at the Graduate School before you have filed your application form, we will keep them on file. To ensure miscellaneous documents are matched with your application form, please include the following information on all submitted documents: full name, date of birth, social security number (if applicable), department and program of study, and intended entrance term.
No, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences maintains a self-managed application process. Applicants may monitor receipt of application requirements through the Agora Portal (Application Status Tab) or the Web Application Status Check.
I have been out of school for several years and there is no one left who can write an academic recommendation for me. May my employer write one?
If you have been in the workforce, you are required to have your employer write one of your letters of recommendation. However, the faculty committee reviewing your file is most interested in your intellectual abilities; therefore, you should attempt to have at least one of your recommendations comment on your academic interests and capabilities.
GRE scores usually arrive three weeks after the test date; therefore, November results will most likely arrive prior to the deadline. However, in case of a delay, the Graduate School strongly recommends that you take the GREs as early as possible. And if you know your scores will not reach us by the deadline, please contact us so we can indicate in your file that your scores are the way.
I sent my GRE score to Boston College but the institution code I used was not 3083. Can you retrieve my scores from the other school?
The Graduate Admissions Office is not responsible for tracking down GRE scores. It is up to the applicant to contact whichever school received the scores, to request that the information be forwarded to GSAS via campus mail.
Please alert the Admissions Office of your name change. This would also apply if your name is different on previous collegiate transcripts. You will need to submit documentation proving the name change.
I asked ETS to send official GRE scores four weeks ago and the Graduate School has not received them.
Contact ETS to have them resent. Make sure you use the code 3083.
I am a foreign student. My TOEFL score is more than two years old so ETS will not send official scores to you. Will you accept a photocopy?
TOEFL scores are only valid for two years.
I am a foreign student who attended a Master's level program in the U.S., although my undergraduate work was taken at a non-English speaking institution abroad. Because I have a U.S. Master's degree, will the TOEFL/IELTS test requirement be waived?
TOEFL/IELTS scores can be waived if the student has studied for two years at an institution where English is the language of instruction.
Applications will be held on file for up to one year.
Each department sets its own timeline for admissions review. Official notification from the GSAS Admissions Office will be sent via postal mail before the reply-by deadlines of April 15 and May 31 for Ph.D. and Master's files, respectively.