We, the graduate students in the philosophy department at Boston College, have put together some user-friendly information about Boston and the BC philosophy department to help make your transition as a BC graduate student as smooth as possible.

Current Representatives

  • 1st Year Ph.D. Representative:
  • 2nd Year Ph.D. Representative: Margaret Turnbull
  • 3rd Year Ph.D. Representative: Melissa Fitzpatrick
  • 4th Year Ph.D. Representative: Tyler Viale (Chairperson)
  • 5th + Year Ph.D. Representative: Matthew Ray
  • Treasurer/Representative-at-large: Christopher Berger


Apartment Listings
The Office of Residential Life—Off-Campus Housing Office located in Maloney Hall, Suite 220, maintains a list of available housing generally within a five mile radius of BC. The list is updated daily and is an invaluable aid to those seeking housing. Each listing includes the proximity to BC, parking availability, rent, and if public transportation is close. Many BC students live in Brighton, near Cleveland Circle, because this area is close to the BC Shuttle Service, and three public transportation MBTA lines, the B, C, D lines. Grad students also live in Newton and Brookline. To submit questions send email. A BC username and password are required; however, incoming and perspective students may use an online request form to receive a special temporary ticket that provides them access. The rental market in Boston can be very competitive, and rental agents charge a standard one month “commission fee” to the tenant, equal to one month's rent.

The Off-Campus Roommate Finder allows you to list yourself as a “prospective roommate” and also browse through the list of prospective roommates. In addition, you can place a “seeking roommate” ad if you have a vacancy in your apartment, or search for leased apartments where students are seeking roommates. If you place an ad, please make sure to complete the ‘comment’ box at the bottom of the page before you submit your information.

Another off-campus housing link directs you to a listing of local apartments, houses, and rooms for rent in private homes.

Questions, please contact our office at 617-552-4723 or send us an email.

Summer Guest House Accommodations
Should you require an overnight stay, a limited number of suite-style guest accommodations are available in one of the Chestnut Hill campus residence halls. Only adults over 18 years of age may stay at BC. The room rate is $114.00 for one or two guests per bedroom, per night, for a maximum of four consecutive nights. Rooms have AC and high-speed internet access. Additional information and for reservations.

The Summer Guest House office will accept reservations beginning on June 3, 2013. You may also review the “Local Area Information” on our website for a current listing of bed and breakfasts, inns, hotels, and motels that are in close proximity to BC. Contact Off-campus Housing for more information.

If you are interested in finding a roommate situation with other philosophy graduate students, you may email RoseMarie DeLeo, Graduate Program Assistant, and she will notify you of current BC students looking for roommates for next year, or other incoming students.


BC Shuttle
BC provides its students with a free ride to school. Please see map with the Shuttle Route outlined. Note: Many real estate agents do not know what the BC Shuttle is, so if you mention it to them they will think you are talking about the T, Boston’s public transportation system.

T Service
The T service which serves the areas west of the city of Boston is the green line. There are four branches of the green line: B, C, D and E. The B Green Line, which runs down Commonwealth Avenue runs directly to BC. The C line runs the length of Beacon Street to Cleveland Circle. Most BC students take the B, C and D lines. Refer to the MBTA map on their website to see where they are located. The MBTA website lists subway, bus, commuter rail, and boat schedules, along with reduced fare programs including the Charlie Card. If you want to go downtown the D line is fastest and the BC shuttle will drop you off at the Reservoir station. The B and C lines are more accessible but they stop more often than the D line. If you want to go to places between Brighton and Boston proper, selec the B or C lines. The T usually runs every ten minutes, although especially on the D line, on weekends it can be less frequent.

The Bus 
The 86 Bus is the most convenient way to get from BC to Harvard Square which is filled with interesting stores, coffee shops and bookstores of great quality (both new and used). You can catch the bus at the Reservoir T-stop, accessible by the BC shuttle. The 86 goes through Brighton to Harvard Square and takes about 20 minutes. The bus usually runs every 20 to 30 minutes, but on the weekends it can be as infrequent as every hour and 20 minutes. Bus schedules can be obtained occassionally on the busses, or at various T stops (Park Street for instance).

Many students do not have cars because parking at Boston College and also in the residential areas is extremely difficult.  Students who have access to a car find it easier to live further away from Boston College where street parking is not as difficult to find as it is in the Brighton area. Students living in the Brighton/Brookline area often have to rent a parking space for $100-$150 a month. Newton is a popular area for graduate students with cars. The Boston College shuttle also goes to the Newton campus, so it is possible to live in Newton and take the shuttle into school, but Newton is further from downtown Boston and not as easily accessible by T. In order to park a car on campus, a parking sticker is required. Stickers cost $321 per year for parking 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and $150 per year to park from 3:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. and are issued by the ID and Parking Office in Lyons Hall.  Identification and vehicle registration are required to receive a sticker. There is no overnight parking allowed on campus.

The First Few Days

Before you embark on your journey to the many bureaucratic BC offices, stop by the philosophy department, located on the third floor of Stokes Hall 617-552-3847 and give your new address and phone number to RoseMarie DeLeo so she can get you on the department mailing list.

ID Cards
All BC students must have an Identification Card to use the school’s facilities. To obtain a photo ID, go to the Office of Student Services located in Lyons Hall. It is important to do this early as you will not be able to check books out of the library or pick up loan checks without it. The BC ID also provides free admission to many Boston area museums including the Museum of Fine Arts.

The first time around registration can be a bit of a hassle. You will be sent registration materials over the summer. You may either pre-register or register during the first week of classes. If you haven’t pre-registered or don’t have your materials, you need to visit the first floor of Lyons Hall to acquire a registration booklet and class listing. Graduate students often sit in on classes during the first week of school before making a final decision. Graduate students are allowed to take most 5500-6699 level courses, but should be aware that these classes vary by professor as far as whether they will primarily be directed towards graduate students or advanced undergraduate students. Professors will make this clear in the first days of class. Because of the shopping period faculty understand that just because a graduate student is in their class on the first day does not mean that the student is committed to taking that class, so they do not object if students “drop” their class, however professors do not appreciate it if students try to “add” classes late, especially if it is a class which meets once a week. Many faculty members are open to one-on-one Reading and Research courses, but these usually need to be arranged well before the beginning of the semester. Feel free to ask other graduate students if they have suggestions about which classes to take.

Financial Aid and Employment
Financial Aid is located on the first floor of Lyons Hall. The On and Off-Campus Employment Office is also found on the first floor of Lyons and can be a great resource for finding ways to earn money. They have listings ranging from child- and elder-care to library positions. Loan checks as well as stipend checks are picked up at 129 Lake Street on the Brighton campus. Student ID is necessary to receive your check. Stipend checks are available on the 16th of the month. For loan checks you will receive notification in the mail as to when they will be available. It is different for each person. The Brighton Campus is  where you will fill out tax forms.

Health Services
If you need to get shots for Immunization records, you will find the Health Services located in the 2150 Commonwealth Avenue building 617-552-3225. Immunizations requirements can be found on the Health Services website at bc.edu/health_services.  Massachusetts law requires all full-time students to be covered by Health Insurance in order to be protected in case of hospitalization. For students who do not carry such a policy of their own, Boston College is required by law to provide accessibility to a health insurance policy so that students may comply with the state mandate. The policy is underwritten by Blue Cross/Blue Shield and there is a charge of $1,301 for the Fall semester and $1,612 for the Spring semester or $2,913 for the academic year (August 7, 2016-August 6, 2017). Other rates apply for spouse and children. Graduate students may also be seen during the academic year on a fee-for-service basis at a charge of $95 per primary care clinic visit, or $105 per specialty clinic visit. Contact Health Services 617-552-3225 for more information.

Medical Insurance 
Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Care Elect PPO is offered as the students health insurance plan and is eligible to all BC students. The BCBS Blue Care Elect PPO Plan provides comprehensive health insurance that includes access to their networks and pharmacies nationwide, a fitness benefit, as well as reimbursement for designated weight loss programs and access to their “Living Healthy Naturally” discount savings program. 

International Students
International students are required to register with the Office of International Students and Scholars located at 72 College Road. In order to register with this office you will need both your passport and visa.

There are two main libraries on campus. O'Neill library houses the majority of BC's holdings and has a lot of study space. Bapst library houses the art books and has a special study area reserved for graduate students. The Lonergan Center is located in Bapst library. BC is a member of the Boston Library Consortium, so graduate students are eligible for a Consortium Card. The card gives access to all Consortium libraries, including most of the academic libraries in the Boston area, with the exclusion of Harvard University libraries. A Consortium card can be obtained from the reference desk in O'Neill library.

The Plex
The Plex is BC’s recreation center. One can obtain entrance to the Plex either by paying $10 per visit, or purchasing a membership. Membership fees are $155 per semester, or $340 annual fee.

Computing Services
Students may obtain accounts on the student mail system by signing up at the O'Neill Computing Center. The campus network (Agora), the internet, and the world-wide web can be accessed through the computers in the mailroom or at other locations on campus. Remote access is also possible if you obtain a remote access account and the appropriate software. On-line services offered at BC include local and world-wide news groups, and a site on the world-wide-web. Personal computing services are also available at the O'Neill Computing Center.

Department Functions

Orientation Meeting
Usually within the first week of school the department has a mandatory meeting for the new Master's and Doctoral Students. Here, the Chair and Graduate Director will discuss what the degree requirements are and answer any questions you might have. This is a great place to meet the other new students in the department.

Grad/Faculty Committee
A graduate student committee with faculty liaison was established in Fall 1994 to offer a channel of communication between graduate students and faculty, to provide graduate students with a forum in which to raise and discuss concerns, thus affording graduate students a voice in matters of departmental policy, and giving faculty a means to address the graduate student community. The committee meets at the request of graduate students, more than twice a semester. Committee minutes are posted on the Graduate Student bulletin board.

Department Social
Within the first month of school the department sponsors a party where you can meet the faculty and veteran students of the department in an informal atmosphere.

Social Life

Philosophy Forum
In the Fall of 1992, several students got together and set up a graduate forum called Philosophy Forum. The group gets together every other Friday afternoon and usually one student presents a paper or work in progress to the group. The meeting is usually accompanied by a cocktail hour. Philosophy Forum also has a news group on the internet where students can find out about Philosophy Forum events and participate in electronic philosophical discussions.

Graduate Student Association
GSA is a college-wide organization which sponsors several theme parties throughout the academic year including a barbecue at the beginning of the year. GSA is located in Murray House, located on Hammond Street across from Carney Hall. Murray House is a great place for graduate students from all departments to study, offering several private study rooms, as well as a small computer lab for graduate student use. There is also a kitchen and a lunch room, as well as a pool table, television room, and a deck with tables and chairs.


More Information

If you still have questions about apartment hunting, the workings of BC, or the philosophy department, please call the department 617-552-3847 and RoseMarie will give you the name and phone number of one of your peers who has been around the department for a few years and has volunteered to answer your questions. She will be expecting your calls and will be more than happy to answer any questions she can. There is also a student guide published by BC which is available from the Office of the Dean for Student Development located in Maloney Hall, 21 Campanella Way.

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