Students not seeking a degree but who are interested in pursuing coursework at the graduate level may apply for admission as Special Students. Many individuals enter departments of the Graduate School in this status either to explore the seriousness of their interest in studying for an advanced degree or to strengthen their credentials for possible later application for degree study.
Applicants must then contact the prospective academic department to inform them of non-degree application submission.
Special Students may only take courses in the department and for the term into which they have been admitted. Departmental permission is required in order to continue beyond that term.
Applicants are not eligible for University financial aid or any financial aid that requires matriculation in a degree program.
Admission does not guarantee subsequent admission for degree candidacy. Individuals admitted as Special Students, who subsequently wish to apply for degree study, must file additional application documents and be accepted for degree study. The number of credits earned that may be applied toward the requirements of a degree is determined by the department to which one applies in accordance with GSAS regulations.
Special Student applicants should submit the following after receiving instructor permission from the intended course:
Click each box to learn more about the application process
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.
University/college transcripts are required from all previous post-secondary education institutions attended. Unofficial transcripts may be submitted through the online application form for review purposes during the application process, however, official copies of all transcripts reviewed for admission must be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation no later than June 15. Transcripts are required to complete your application, whether submitted electronically or sent in hard copy. Hard copy official transcripts must be submitted to the office address noted at the top of this page or received from official academic sources (i.e. school registrars) in signed/sealed envelopes from each institution. 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.
International students please note: Only official copies of your transcript will fulfill the language proficiency requirement on your application. Visit the International Applicants page for more information.
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.