Educating Ethical Leaders

What sort of life do you want to lead? How can you manage others and direct organizations ethically? In what ways will you choose to impact the world? How can business be a force for good in the global world?

These questions form the core of our distinctive Portico course—a three-credit entry point for all first-year Carroll School students that examines business from global, multidisciplinary, ethical, and social perspectives.

Portico introduces students to the Carroll School’s rich resources and the breadth of contemporary business—including its evolution, emerging opportunities, and current practice.

The course includes:

  • A shared summer reading that fosters a sense of community
  • Personalized advising
  • Case studies
  • Group projects
  • Talks by influential guest speakers
  • Self-reflections that encourage students to consider how to shape lives of meaning
  • Written work assessing the ability to make connections between business and philosophy
  • Small group discussion on current moral dilemmas facing business

With a strong focus on philosophical reflection, students develop a greater sense of self-awareness and a clearer understanding of their place in the world.

Steadfast Support

Piloted in 2008, Portico now features an interdisciplinary team of six faculty and over 50 teaching assistants. Students meet twice a week in small classes with a professor—who also serves as their first-year advisor—and once a week for a plenary session with influential speakers.

With the help of professors and TAs, students create a practical plan for the rest of their time at Boston College, discerning their interests and outlining which courses they’ll complete to graduate on time.

Be attentive. Be reflective. Be loving.

Those words of advice are not what you’d expect to hear in a typical management class, but they sum up the aims of the Carroll School’s signature Portico course.


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