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international programs


office of international programs

BC Campus


Exchange students often find the U.S. academic system to be quite different from home: class size is usually fairly small; students are required to prepare for each class; there will be exams and written assignments during the semester as well as a final exam; final grades are often computed on the basis of written or oral work, exams, and class participation; and the grading system is different.  Perhaps the greatest difference is that BC students take classes in a broad range of subjects. A typical student will take no more than 2 or 3 classes per semester in only one subject area, even if that is their major subject or specialization; exchange students are expected to do the same.

Accepted exchange students take classes alongside their Boston College counterparts and choose courses from the regular BC offerings in the arts and sciences, business, education, and nursing.  With permission, a few highly qualified students may be allowed to take classes at one of the BC graduate schools.

While every effort is made to enroll exchange students in the courses requested on their applications, no guarantees can be made. Exchange students are urged to be flexible about the subjects and classes they take, and to be certain that they have had any prerequisites required for each requested class. Due to high demand, the Economics Department and Finance Department will allow registration in only one class. In addition, exchange students should not plan to take core classes that are required for graduation at their home institution.

The information sheet How to Find Courses will be helpful in selecting classes.  

Questions about classes should be directed to rather than to individual faculty members or departments.

Most classes are assigned 3 Boston College semester credits and meet for 45 hours per semester.  Full-time undergraduate exchange students must take 4 or 5 classes per semester, for a total of 12 to 15 BC credits per semester, depending upon the requirements of the home university.


Boston College adheres to a strong policy regarding ethical academic behavior.  A full list of polices may be found on the Academic Policy and Procedures website and exchange students are advised to familiarize themselves with it. Students who are found in violation of the academic integrity code will face the same disciplinary implications as regular degree-seeking BC students.

Grading System

The Boston College grading system is alphabetic rather than numerical; however, each letter grade has a numeric equivalent as follows:

Last day to schedule an appointment with an OIP Advisor for regular BC and approved external programs for fall 2016, spring 2017 and full year 2016-17
U.S. Grade Numeric Equivalent
A 4.0
A- 3.7
B+ 3.3
B 3.0
B- 2.7
C+ 2.3
C 2.0
C- 1.7
D+ 1.3
D 1.0
D- 0.7
F 0.0
W Official withdrawal from class