How to Apply
graduate school of arts and sciences
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences application form offers online document submission through our web-based application form. Applicants are responsible for collecting and submitting all department requirements by the designated deadline.
Please note: Official test scores and transcripts must be submitted in hard copy or received from official academic sources (i.e. ETS for test scores, school registrars for transcripts, etc.)
Hard copy supporting materials may be mailed to 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)
- Official Transcript
- Letter of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose
- Writing Sample
- Official GRE Scores
- Official TOEFL/IELTS 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 material 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 consult your department's application requirements before beginning the application form. All required documents with the exception of official transcripts and test scores must be submitted before being able to complete the application form and creating an admissions file. You may register your recommenders while completing the application form.
There is a $75 non-refundable, required application fee that is used to process your application. You have the option to pay this online before submitting 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, active JVC members, Americorps volunteers, Teach for America corps members and active duty military. 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 an official verifying qualification for the applicant’s fee waiver. Applicants may use the application fee waiver form* to submit this request.
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. Official transcripts must be submitted in hard copy or received from official academic sources (i.e. school registrars). Certified copies are acceptable, plain photocopies are not. One copy of each transcript is sufficient. Official transcripts submitted via document management services such as Scrip-Safe may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Applicants may register recommenders to submit their letters electronically while completing the application form. Recommendations may also be received in hard copy at the GSAS admissions office, as an alternative.
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. 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.
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.
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. If submitting a hard copy 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.**
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.
Proof of English proficiency 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 or at an institution whose official language of instruction is English. The language proficiency requirement will be waived from your application upon receipt of an official transcript noting degree conferral from said institution.
- 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 or at an institution whose official lanuage of instruction is English and will have completed two academic years of college/university work before beginning your studies at Boston College. The language proficiency requirement will be waived from your application upon receipt of an official transcript noting two years/4 semesters completed at said institution.
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.
*Please note: These files are Adobe Acrobat® (PDF) formatted files. To view them you will need the free Adobe Acrobat file reader.