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FAQ Regarding Graduate Studies

biology department

What is Boston College’s code for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)?
The Boston College GRE Code is: 3083.

Who needs to take the TOEFL/IELTS and does it expire?

Students who speak a native language other than English must provide evidence of English proficiency. A score of 100 or higher on the TOEFL iBT test or 7.0 or higher on the IELTS test is required. TOEFL and IELTS scores are considered valid from exams taken a maximum of two years prior to application program deadlines. Remember to enter the Boston College School Code 3083 when taking the TOEFL exam to ensure GSAS receives your score report; If submitting the IELTS score report, please send results to the GSAS Admissions Office or designate GSAS as your score report recipient.

The TOEFL/IELTS 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 Boston College.

Is there a minimum GRE and GPA score?

There are no minimum GRE or GRA requirements. Each application is reviewed taking into consideration GPA, GRE scores, Statement of Purpose, and Letters of Reference.

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for submitting your application is January 2.

How many international students are accepted?

There are no limits set on the number of international students accepted.

Does Boston College accept applications for the Spring semester?

**Yes, but not often, depending on available funds.

Can I get an M.S.?

Boston College only awards a Masters of Science as a join degree with our undergraduate program in Biology. In other words, in order to obtain an M.S. you must be an undergraduate at Boston College and begin your coursework your senior year.

Am I required to take an elective class during my first semester?
No. In addition to your two core classes, you may want to take another course, but we recommend you take a seminar rather than an elective as the course demands are fewer.

Can I take a 400 level elective class?
You may take a 400 level class but you need special permission from the Graduate Program Director or Chairperson.

I haven't taken Biochemistry during my undergraduate studies. Should I take the Biological Chemistry lecture class in addition to the graduate level Biochemistry class?
Past first year students have either taken the Biological Chemistry lecture class in addition to the core class or purchased a Biochemistry textbook and taught the material to themselves. This decision depends on you and if you choose to take a course, you may take it either from the Chemistry or the Biology Department, depending on your schedule.

Can I take courses from other departments?
You may take relevant courses from other departments with the permission of the Graduate Program Director.

Can I take classes at other schools in the Boston area?
You may take courses at other schools with the permission of the Graduate Program Director and the University Registrar.

Can I choose a lab during my first rotation and avoid doing additional rotations?
No! Rotations, which are required, add to your laboratory experience and training. You will also want to experience more than one lab environment before you make a final decision.

How can I register for classes?
You can register by using Agora, an online system that allows you to access your account. The system is called UView, which is also available by phone or machines around campus. You need your PIN number and username for using your account on Agora.

Where can I get my ID and parking permit?
You should go to Student Services in Lyons Hall.

How many credits do I have to take to be considered a full-time student?
The number of credits does not determine whether you are a full-time student in graduate school. Some semesters you may even take 0 credits and still be considered a full-time student. However, you should always register for each semester.

Where can I obtain a letter confirming that I am a full-time student for deferral of my student loan?
You should go to Student Services in Lyons Hall.

Should I purchase medical insurance? Where can I obtain dental insurance?
All full-time students are required to have medical insurance. Boston College offers medical insurance to all students. You can waive the insurance provided by BC if you are covered by a family insurance plan. However, you need to sign the waiver form to avoid any charges. BC does not provide dental insurance to students.

How many semesters do I have to teach?
You are required to teach two semesters as part of the program. After that requirement is fulfilled, your teaching depends on the financial resources of your research dissertation lab.

Where can I organize my direct deposit?
You need to go to More Hall and fill out all required bank and tax documents before you can receive any payment from BC.