Procedures and Regulations

Students would do well to familiarize themselves with the General Regulations of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, which are found in the Boston College Catalog. The Graduate School Office is located in Gasson Hall. The Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Candace Hetzner, is ready to be of assistance to graduate students.


You will be assigned to an academic advisor over the summer so that you may see that advisor about courses for the Fall as well as other issues when you arrive in September. Please fill out the enclosed form about your background, interests and goals so that we may assign you to an appropriate advisor. Should you desire a particular faculty member, please request that person on the form. We cannot guarantee you will be assigned to that person but we will do our best to match your interests with that of an advisor.


Students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences register either over the telephone or on line using Agora, the U-Dial system or the U-View Plus system. Instructions for using Agora, U-Dial and U-View Plus are found in the publications Schedule of Courses and Graduate Registration Materials. The latter includes all necessary information concerning procedures for registration, payment, deadlines, and the like. The U-View system permits graduate students to pre-register for courses. If necessary the department will approve overrides for graduate students who desire to register for courses marked “Closed.” Regular graduate student registration continues through the fifth day of classes; after that date students have to follow the procedures for late registration set forth in the Graduate Registration Materials. It is the responsibility of students to identify and correct any errors in their registrations.

Tuition Remission

Students who receive tuition remission are expected to notify the department and the graduate school immediately if they drop a course for which they have applied tuition remission. Students may take intensive summer language courses at Boston College at a reduced rate of tuition. To take advantage of this reduction please consult RoseMarie DeLeo.

Course Selection

Near-final listings of course offerings are available from the department in April (for the following fall) and November (for the following spring). More detailed information concerning courses can be found in the University's CoRSS Bulletin, or on the department’s web page. Students are asked to pre-register for courses but are encouraged to attend initial meetings of any number of courses in which they might be interested before making a final determination before the end of the first week of classes. Late entrance into courses can be disruptive, especially in the case of once-a-week and seminar courses. While graduate students' course selection does not require departmental approval, it is prudent to consult with a faculty advisor before finalizing one's selections.

Reading and Research Courses

Graduate students may ask faculty to offer Reading and Research Courses (PL799) on an individual or small group basis on topics not covered in current course offerings. Such requests are more likely to elicit positive responses if they are made well in advance and if they advance the faculty member's own research interests. The student should begin by securing the agreement of the faculty member in question, and then approach Peggy Bakalo, who will create a section number and an index number for the course.

Cross Registration

Besides the courses listed as philosophy courses, graduate students have access to a variety of other courses, such as the “UN” or Perspectives courses, and in general to courses relevant to philosophy offered in other departments, e.g., Political Science, Theology. The Consortial Arrangement makes it possible for graduate students from Boston College to take courses at Boston University, Brandeis, and Tufts. Please see the Boston College Bulletin for more information. For information on the Boston Theological Institute consortium, please see the graduate director. The necessary forms for cross registration can be picked up from the Office of Student Services in Lyons Hall.

Transfer of Credit

Students who have completed one full semester of graduate work may request transfer of not more than six graduate transfer credits, i.e., two courses. Only courses in which a student has received a grade of B or better, and which have not been applied to a prior degree, will be accepted. Credits received for courses completed more than ten years prior to a student's admission to his or her current degree program are not acceptable for transfer. Transfer of Credit forms, which are available in the department office, should be submitted to the department for approval, together with an official transcript.


All required work in any course must be completed by the date set for the course examination. A student who has not completed the research or written work for a course may, with adequate reason and at the discretion of the faculty member, receive an Incomplete (I). Incompletes are expected to be completed by the sixth week of the following semester. By the decision of the Educational Policy Committee of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, an Incomplete that is not completed by the sixth week of the following semester will be automatically changed to an F, unless the faculty member involved assigns another grade. Students with three or more F’s will be barred from registration for further courses. Delay in the completion of Incompletes may be taken as an indication that a student is not maintaining satisfactory progress in the graduate program and may jeopardize a student's financial aid and standing in the program.


To graduate, a student has to sign up for graduation. Students can sign up on line through U-View, or complete a Graduation Form, which is available in the department office.