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School of Theology and Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions

school of theology and ministry

General Questions
Applying to the STM
International Applicant Questions


General Questions and Information

STM Application Fee 2014-2015:  $75

STM Tuition rates per credit 2014-2015: 
STM tuition $946 per credit; STM audit rate $473 per credit; STM Minister-in-the-Vicinity* $100 per credit.  *Students who qualify for the MIV rate are allowed to take one course at this rate per semester.

Can I find you on Twitter or Facebook?

Yes! Like our pages so you can be updated on the latest STM news: 
www.twitter.com/bcstm
www.facebook.com/bcstmadm

Can I visit?
Absolutely. We are a vital community hosting guests throughout the year.  The Admissions Office works to set up visit days that enable you to sit in on a class, engage with students and faculty, and experience life at the school first-hand.  Learn more about setting up a personal visit.

Can I just take a class or two?

Twenty percent of our students are part-time, non-degree seeking students.  You can take up to five classes a semester without having to enroll in a degree program. If you then decide to apply for a degree, these classes can be credited toward your degree. If you would like to sit in on a class without fulfilling the requirements for credit, you can apply as an auditor.

Can I take classes outside of the STM?

Absolutely. Students taking at least one course for credit may do so, through the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), the world’s largest theological consortium. Students can cross-register at local universities that participate in the consortium, such as Harvard University and Boston University. Students may take up to 50% of their course work at a BTI school.

What kind of employment can graduates expect to find?

STM is committed to the theological and spiritual education of lay, religious, and clerical leaders in the context of their vocational goals.  We currently have a 98% job placement rate six months after graduation. 

Graduates serve in many different fields. They are employed as campus ministers, college/university faculty, hospital or hospice chaplains, social workers, school teachers, publishers, healthcare coordinators, and spiritual directors. Some continue graduate education in doctoral programs at leading universities throughout the country. Others choose to subsequently attend medical or law school. STM is committed to the theological and spiritual education of lay, religious, and clerical leaders in the context of their vocational goals.  Our student affairs office aids graduating students as they begin their job search.

I’ve heard that the school has an ecclesiastical faculty. What does that mean?

The School has a canonical or ecclesiastical faculty, meaning that it is empowered by the Vatican to grant ecclesiastical degrees. As an ecclesiastical faculty, we can offer theology degrees that are only available at a few schools in North America. These degrees provide preparation in advanced theological areas, preparing students for teaching in a seminary and Church leadership positions – both lay and religious – in the Catholic Church.


Applying to the STM

Do I need to have a theology major to apply?
All undergraduate majors are considered. While a strong liberal arts background is very helpful, our students come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Only about 40 percent of our students have an undergraduate degree in religion or theology.

Do I need to take the GRE?

The GRE is required for all Ph.D. and S.T.D. applicants, even if you have a previous graduate degree.  A standardized test is required for all other degree applications.  The most commonly submitted test is the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and this is the test we would prefer you to submit as part of your application.  The standardized test requirement may be waived at the discretion of the Admissions Committee for applicants who have previously completed a graduate degree.  This requirement is also applicable for international applicants.

Is a minimum GRE or GPA required?

Applications at the STM are reviewed holistically, taking all elements of your file into consideration.  While your previous coursework and standardized test scores will be part of the review, we do not use them as cut-offs or post minimum score requirements.  If you are concerned with your scores, please contact the Admissions Office so that we can speak with you individually.

Can I defer once I am accepted?

Yes.  Applicants may defer their offer of admission for up to a year.  Applicants who have been accepted into a program should notify the Admissions Office as soon as possible with any changes in their enrollment plans.  Scholarships and other financial aid awards, however, cannot be deferred.

What type of housing and living options are available?

Although the STM does not offer on-campus housing, the city of Boston and its surrounding communities offer an array of housing options.  Boston College is located 6 miles from downtown Boston, so many STM students live closer to campus where rents can be less expensive than in the center of the city.  Learn more about living in Boston here.

What financial aid is available?

Each year, the STM awards scholarships to new students, supporting those candidates who have the strongest academic credentials, ministerial commitment, and greatest financial need.  Most students fund their studies through a combination of tuition scholarship, on-campus work, and federal student loans.  Learn more about funding your studies here. 


International Students

Special information for international applicants

What if I am an international student?
All international students must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if their first language is not English. If accepted, international students must also complete the I-20 application and be able to prove that they can fund their studies during their program at STM.

Can you grant me a Visa as an international student?
If accepted and after meeting the financial certification requirements, you will be issued the Form I-20, which certifies to the U.S. government that you are eligible for F-1 Visa Student Status. It certifies that you have met our admission requirements, have been accepted for a full course of study, and have proven to us that you have enough money to study and live in the United States. I-20 forms are usually mailed 90 days prior to the start of fall classes. The forms are mailed only after you have been accepted, have confirmed your intention to enroll, and have submitted financial certification.

What happens after I receive my I-20 form?
Take your acceptance letter, your I-20 form, your bank statement or financial certification, and passport to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, preferably in your country of citizenship, to obtain your student (F-1) visa. Be prepared to explain to the embassy or consulate officials how your U.S. education will relate to your future in your home country. Once you have your F-1 visa, you will not be admitted to the United States until a date 30 days or less prior to the beginning of your program date, or start date, as given on your I-20 Form. Please consider that date carefully when making your travel plans to the United States