How to Apply
graduate school of arts and sciences
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences application is self-managed; therefore, we do not contact applicants regarding missing application materials. As potential graduate students, applicants are responsible for collecting and submitting all department requirements by the designated deadline.
Please note: Only the Application form, Abstract of Courses form and Application fee may be submitted online; All remaining application materials must be submitted in hard copy or received from official academic sources (i.e. ETS for test scores, school registrars for transcripts, etc.)
Applicants should submit their online application form once available to create a file.
Do not wait to submit the online form until all supporting documents have been obtained.
|Supporting materials must be mailed to the following address:|
|Boston College Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Admissions Processing Center
PO Box 229
Randolph, MA 02368-9998
|For those applicants who are sending materials via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or any carrier who will not ship to a PO Box, please use the following address:|
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Gasson Hall 108
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Detailed information about each component of the application is provided:
- GSAS Application Form
- Application Fee ($75 non-refundable)
- Abstract of Courses
- Official Transcript
- Letter of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose
- Writing Sample
- Official GRE Scores
- Official TOEFL Scores (international students only)
- Complete applications received by the deadline will be treated with priority. Admission committees may choose not to review incomplete applications.
- Application materials cannot be returned to a student.
- If you have applied to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in a prior admission cycle and are reapplying, you must submit a new application form and new supporting documents. Materials are not retained after each admission cycle concludes.
- Do not submit materials to the department to which you are applying. Sending materials to the department will only delay the process.
- Non- Degree Options are available to those interested in pursuing coursework at the graduate level but not looking to enter a degree program.
Please read these instructions completely prior to opening the form.
It is preferable to submit the application form online, which allows you to submit the payment online as well.
The online form should be submitted with either Internet Explorer or Firefox.
This is a time sensitive document since it contains personal information. Therefore, the document will time out if left open for longer then 30 minutes. You will receive a blank page and the form will need to be submitted again.
This form asks you to provide a Social Security Number, if you have a valid one through the U.S. government; otherwise, leave the field blank. Do not create a number.
After submitting the form you should receive a confirmation page indicating that your submission was successful. If a confirmation page does not immediately appear, please contact the Admissions Office 617-552-3265 to verify that the form was successfully submitted. Do not resubmit the form.
We recommend you print a copy for your records as well. If you experience trouble submitting online please see Technical Support or print the form and mail a copy to the Admissions Office by the deadline.
Applying to Two Programs 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.
There is a $75 non-refundable, required application fee that is used to process your application. You have the option to pay this online after you submit the application form. If you choose to wait to pay the fee, you will have the option to pay the fee through the Portal. Alternatively, you may send a $75 non-refundable check or money order, made payable to Trustees of Boston College to the processing center or directly to the admissions office.
The application fee is waived for current BC students, McNair Scholars, IRT participants and active 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.
Although the Abstract of Courses form may duplicate information available on your transcript(s), it is essential that the admissions committee has available an orderly summary of your courses.
Official university/college transcripts bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the registrar are required for all previous post-secondary education. Certified copies are acceptable, plain photocopies are not. One copy of each transcript is sufficient. If you have previously attended BC you must request complete transcripts of your work from the Office of Student Services. All documents, in languages other than English, should include a certified English translation, in addition to the original language document.
Students who file applications prior to the completion of their undergraduate work are expected to file a final transcript showing all coursework, degree granted, and the date the degree will be awarded. The same procedure is required of applicants currently engaged in graduate study at other institutions. This is necessary for final confirmation of the Graduate School's offer of admission. Your final transcript should be sent to us as soon as you have completed your present course of study.
All departments of the Graduate School require or recommend that applicants submit letters of recommendation.
The letters cannot be submitted online; rather, they must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office.
Please print out the Letter of Recommendation form and have your writers attach the form to their letter. Three letters of recommendation should accompany a doctoral application. Unless otherwise instructed by a department, two letters should be sufficient for a Masters application. Review the department requirements for particulars. Photocopies of letters are not acceptable.
Generally, letters should be from people who have most recently taught you in the field in which you expect to study. If you are now or have for some time been out of school, one letter should be from your employer, supervisor, or another person familiar with your recent professional activities. If you are currently enrolled in or have been enrolled in another graduate school, at least one letter must be from the graduate instructor most familiar with your work.
Letters on file with university placement offices are acceptable, if sent directly by the university and signed by a placement official. Request that the recommendations be mailed with a signature across the envelope flap. If BC receives a recommendation with a broken seal, the application may be disqualified. As indicated on the recommendation form, a recommender may prefer to mail his/her recommendation directly to us. If this is the case, you should take whatever steps are necessary to verify that the recommendation has been sent to BC.
The statement of purpose cannot be submitted online. It must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office. Most departments require a brief (1-2 pages) personal statement in which applicants should discuss their preparation, motivation, and goals for their proposed courses of study. If you have any questions about the statement please contact the department in which you plan to study.
The writing sample cannot be submitted online. It must be submitted directly to the Admissions Office. Some departments require a sample of an applicant’s best work related to the field of study. Please check with the department for further information about their requirements. When submitting a writing sample be sure to submit an unbound copy of the work, as opposed to a bound book or pamphlet.
GRE scores are only official when submitted directly from ETS. Most departments in the Graduate School require or recommend that you present scores of the general and/or subject tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Applicants who have not taken the GREs within the last five years should contact their intended department to see if more recent scores are required. View department requirements. The Graduate School recommends that you register for the GREs early so that the scores will be available when applying. For information regarding test dates, etc., contact:
The Graduate Record Examination
Princeton, New Jersey
Note: If you have personal score reports available from earlier examinations you may include them with your application. However, you must request ETS to send official score reports to the Graduate School directly: Boston College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Code 3083.
** Effective August 1, 2011, the GRE General Test will be revised. Score reports from the revised exam will not be available from ETS until November. Scores from both the Revised General Test and exams taken prior to August 1, 2011 will be accepted. All GRE test scores are valid for five years from the date taken.**
TOEFL scores are only official when submitted directly from ETS. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences code is 3083. Students who speak a native language other than English must provide evidence of English proficiency. The Graduate School will only accept the TOEFL test as evidence. A score of 600 on the paper-based test, or 100 on the iBT test (internet-based test) or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required. Remember to enter the Boston College School Code 3083 to ensure we receive your score report. Student copies or photocopies of TOEFL scores are not accepted.
You can get application forms and information about testing dates for the TOEFL from many U.S. consulates, USIA Centers, and TOEFL centers overseas by writing to: TOEFL Registration CN 6152 Princeton, New Jersey 08541 USA, or www.toefl.org.
The TOEFL score is not required if:
- You are a citizen of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Guyana, an Anglophone country of Africa, or an English-speaking country of the Caribbean.
- You earned your prior college or university degree in the U.S. or one of the countries listed above.
- You are currently enrolled as a full-time student in a U.S. degree-granting program or at an American or English-speaking school in one of the countries listed above and will have completed two academic years of college/university work before beginning your studies at BC.
If you submitted the application form online, you should receive an email from BC containing a user name and password, to log into the Agora Portal. Through Agora you can check the status of your application by clicking on the Application Status tab. You must choose the correct school to which you applied. If you applied to a number of BC Graduate Schools, you will only receive one email containing the above information.
If you did not receive an email with credentials, you can access the Web Application Status Check here. You will be asked to provide your assigned ID number or confirmation number you received from submitting the application form online.
Note: If you are submitting additional application items beyond a department-specified requirement (i.e. Official transcripts from more than one institution or an extra letter of recommendation) please contact the GSAS Admissions Office to ensure receipt of all items.