These policies and procedures are most applicable to advising students in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences across all four class years.
For a full list of undergraduate academic policies and procedures, visit the University Catalog.
Students with qualifying scores on AP, IB, or other accepted exams will be granted advanced placement. Advanced placement units may fulfill Core, major, or minor requirements, but generally are not awarded as credit toward graduation. For a full list of accepted exams and qualifying scores, please see the Advanced Placement guidelines.
Beginning with the Class of 2024, students who earned a total of 30 Advanced Placement units may be eligible for Advanced Standing and have the option to complete their undergraduate studies in three years. Students interested in this option should make an appointment with their Associate Dean after completing their first semester; no decisions on Advanced Standing will be made prior to that time. A decision to activate Advanced Standing should be made no later than the spring of Sophomore year.
Students seeking Advanced Standing should be prepared to show their Associate Dean a detailed plan to complete all degree requirements by the proposed graduation date. Approval for Advanced Standing by their Associate Dean must be granted before the start of their third year of undergraduate study.
After being in residence for at least three semesters and no later than the end of the drop/add period in the seventh semester, full-time undergraduate students may apply to their Associate Dean to accelerate their degree program by one semester. The following conditions apply:
Summer courses intended for acceleration must be taken at Boston College.
Any credits over 15 in a semester used for acceleration are charged the per credit rate for the semester they are taken. Financial aid will not cover these additional charges.
Students transferring into Boston College with first-semester sophomore status or above are not eligible to accelerate their program of study.
Students who have elected to take Advanced Standing are not eligible to accelerate their graduation further.
Undergraduate students may not audit a course in any semester of study.
Students typically cannot enroll in closed or restricted courses. A student who wishes to enroll in a course that is closed or restricted by school, degree, or major should contact the department offering the course to request approval. The department will either decline the request, add the course to the student’s schedule, or have the student complete an override form.
Enrollment status is based on credits rather than courses. To be considered full time, students must be registered for at least 12 credits per semester, and at least nine of those credits must be in courses of three credits or more. Ordinarily, students should average 15 credits per semester with a target of completing 30 credits each academic year.
Students who fail to complete at least 15 credits per semester will incur credit deficiencies and may be required to make up credits before being allowed to continue. To make up for a credit deficiency, students may take summer courses at an accredited four-year college or take summer courses offered at Boston College.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors can overload and take a sixth course the following semester to make up for a credit deficiency. In order to be eligible to overload, you must have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a 3.0 GPA in the semester immediately prior to the one for which you seek an overload.
In order to be eligible for graduation, Morrissey College students must complete at least 120 credits, 96 of which must be MCAS credits, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 1.667. Students must satisfy all Core, major, and minor requirements through coursework, transfer credits, or qualifying AP scores.
The grading system at Boston College consists of 12 categories: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F. A is excellent; B is good; C is satisfactory; D is passing but unsatisfactory; F is failure.
In computing grade point averages, the following numerical equivalents for the 12 letter grades are used:
Students who withdraw from a course after the extended drop deadline will receive a grade of W. The grade of W isn't included in the calculation of the grade point average. Grades are posted through on the Agora Portal at the end of each semester. If you think there is a grade discrepancy, resolve the issue within the first six weeks of the following semester.
A student’s cumulative grade point average includes courses taken at Boston College and those specifically approved by their Associate Dean. The cumulative average doesn't include courses accepted in transfer, including courses taken through the Woods College of Advancing Studies. If you fail a course and then repeat it with a passing grade, both the F and the passing grade are computed into your grade point average.
In order to remain in good standing in the Morrissey College, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.667 or higher. If you fall below the 1.667 GPA requirement, you will be academically withdrawn from the College beginning the semester immediately following the one in which you failed to meet the requirement.
Students who are academically withdrawn from the College will have the option to submit an appeal in writing to their Associate Dean.
Students with questions of interpretation or petitions for exception from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Regulations, apart from those specified in the University's academic integrity policy, may submit them to the Associate Deans.
A student should always attempt to resolve problems concerning the manner in which grades have been awarded or the academic practices of an instructor by direct contact with the instructor. In the rare case of an unresolved question the student should first refer the matter to the Chairperson or Director of the relevant department or program.
A formal appeal of a course grade, which ought not be entered lightly by a student nor lightly dismissed by an instructor, should be made no later than the sixth week of the following semester. In making a formal appeal, a student files a written statement with the Dean for his or her class. The Dean will then request written responses from both the instructor and Chairperson and submit the case to the Appeals Committee of the Educational Policy Committee. The committee will review the case thoroughly and make a recommendation on resolution to the Dean of the College. The Dean's decision will be final.
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 taken in the fall or spring semester or is absent from the course examination in either semester can, with adequate reason and at the discretion of the instructor, receive a temporary grade of Incomplete (I). All such "I" grades will automatically be changed to "F" on March 1 for the fall, August 1 for the spring, and October 1 for the summer. After that time, no further grade change will be allowed.
Matriculated MCAS students wishing to transfer to another undergraduate college within Boston College will be eligible to apply after completing two semesters. Transferring internally is not guaranteed, and selectivity varies by college. Interested students should complete the Internal Transfer Form found on the Academic Forms page and contact the Academic Dean’s Office for which admission is sought. For more information, please visit the individual college websites.
Matriculated students wishing to transfer into the Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences from another undergraduate college are eligible to apply after completing one semester in their current college within the University. Interested students should complete the Internal Transfer Form found on the Academic Forms page and contact the MCAS Dean's Office in Stokes South S140 or via email: CASDean@bc.edu.
The foundation of a Boston College degree is rooted in our tradition as a Catholic and Jesuit university. The core curriculum is founded on Ignatian education and based on the Ratio Studiorum—a developmental plan for humanistic instruction. An appreciation and understanding of the modern and classical languages are central to this form of education that has spanned over 450 years across the globe.
All students in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences must demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a foreign or classical language in order to graduate. You can demonstrate proficiency in any of the following three ways:
AP Test scores: You can demonstrate proficiency by receiving a qualifying score on an accepted exam, including Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.
Completion of coursework: You must complete the second semester of an intermediate-level modern or classical language course or complete one modern or classical language course beyond the intermediate level. You can't take foreign language courses on a pass/fail basis until you have completed the University’s language proficiency requirement. Language courses count as MCAS electives
Native proficiency: Students seeking to satisfy the language requirement by documentation of native proficiency should do so no later than fall semester of sophomore year. Postponement can result in a delayed graduation. Documentation of native proficiency ordinarily assumes evidence of post-elementary school education in the native language. Refer to the MCAS Language Proficiency - External Testing page for detailed information.
Student on leaves of absence can't take courses to advance their status at Boston College without obtaining prior approval from their Associate Dean in the MCAS Dean's Office. Students may not participate in extracurricular activities while on leaves of absence. Students taking leaves will have their graduation term adjusted to reflect their new anticipated graduation date. Normally, a student returning from a leave of absence may not regain their original graduation year.
A student who has taken a Personal Leave of Absence must submit a Readmission Form no fewer than four weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they wish to return. Personal leaves of absence will be extended for no more than one year, although a petition for renewal is possible.
A student who takes a Medical Leave of Absence will be provided with specific conditions for readmission upon taking their leave. A student wishing to return must submit a Readmission Form no fewer than four weeks prior to the start of the semester in which they wish to return. University Health Services or University Counseling Services will review relevant documentation before making a recommendation for readmission to the Associate Dean. All required forms will be provided to the student at the time the leave is granted.
An overload is defined as enrolling in a sixth course of three or more credits in any given semester. Students can add a sixth course only during the add/drop period each semester (see Academic Calendar for each semester's deadline).
Freshmen aren't permitted to overload during their first semester at Boston College. Second-semester freshmen who wish to overload with a sixth course of three or more credits must have completed 15 credits and received a 3.0 GPA during their first semester. They may take their sixth course on a pass/fail basis, in which case the course may not be used to fulfill a major, minor, Core requirement, or corequisites.
Students are eligible to overload if they have earned at least a 3.0 overall cumulative GPA or a 3.0 GPA in the semester immediately prior to the one for which they seek an overload. If they are eligible, they can register online for the sixth course of three or more credits and a maximum of 24 credits, including labs and other one and two credit courses during the add/drop period only (first day of classes until the published add/drop deadline).
Students with an overall cumulative GPA between 2.0 and 3.0 can, under exceptional circumstances, be allowed by their Associate Dean to enroll in a sixth course. Students should visit the MCAS Dean's Office to complete and submit a Course Overload Approval Form for review by their Associate Dean.
First-semester freshmen can't take any course as pass/fail—with the exception of First-Year Topic Seminars, which are one-credit seminars offered in the fall semester.
Second-semester freshmen who are eligible to overload a sixth course of three credits or more can take that course on a pass/fail basis, in which case the course can't be used to fulfill a major, minor, Core requirement, or corequisites. They can designate a course pass/fail and register for a sixth course online only during the add/drop period (first day of classes until the published add/drop deadline).
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may elect to take a course as pass/fail during the first seven class days of the semester. Only electives can be taken as pass/fail, and students can't take more than one course (three or more credits) as pass/fail each semester. Students can take up to six pass/fail courses of three or more credits toward a degree.
Courses in the Carroll School of Management and the Woods College may not be taken on a pass/fail basis.
A passing grade in order to receive credit for Core requirements in the Morrissey College is a D-.
If you are academically withdrawn from the University, you can submit an appeal to your Associate Dean. In the event that your appeal is granted and you are reinstated, you will be placed on academic probation for one semester. During your probationary semester, you will no longer be in good standing with the University.
Students on academic probation must demonstrate their ability to continue in MCAS by successfully completing at least 12 credits in graded MCAS day courses within the semester (i.e., you can't have any Incompletes or missing grades) and achieving a GPA of at least 2.0 (equivalent grades of C) for those 12 credits.
Probationary semesters count as an extra semester to make up courses and won't count as a regular semester (one of your required eight semesters at Boston College). As a result, students on probation will have their graduation date pushed back by one semester. You can regain your original graduation date only if you make up credits through pre-approved summer study and satisfy all other requirements.
If you fail to meet the terms of their probation, you will be academically withdrawn from the college. Probation will not be extended to a second consecutive semester; you can't have more than two probationary semesters in total.
Students who desire readmission must initiate the process in the MCAS Dean’s Office with their Associate Dean. Applications for readmission should be made at least four weeks before the start of the semester in which the student seeks to resume study. The appropriate Associate Dean will then make the decision about readmission after careful consideration of the best interests of both the student and the University.
In instances where a sustained period of time (more than one year) has elapsed since a student was last enrolled, the Associate Dean in consultation with the appropriate representative of the student’s department or program will identify the academic requirements, if any, the student must complete after readmission and before receiving a degree. Factors that will determine these requirements include the currency of the student’s knowledge in the student’s proposed academic majors; the pertinence of courses completed at Boston College to current degree and licensure requirements; any academic work completed elsewhere that's relevant to degree and licensure requirements; and the length of the student’s absence.
If there have been changes in the Academic Regulations and degree requirements since a student readmitted after sustained leave was last enrolled, the Academic Regulations in effect at the time of the student's readmission to full-time study will apply, unless the Associate Dean specifies otherwise in writing at the time of readmission.
If students retake a course in which they have already received a passing grade, the repeated course is again entered on the transcript and the grade is calculated in the cumulative GPA, but the course is not credited toward the degree. The new grade does not replace or delete the former grade, and both grades will be factored into the student’s GPA.
If a student fails a course, the course is not credited toward the degree, but the failing grade remains on the student’s transcript and a 0.0 is calculated into the student’s cumulative average. A failed course may be retaken for credit, with the new grade added to the GPA, but the original failure remains on the transcript and continues to be counted in the GPA. If a student retakes a failed course and fails it again, the course is again entered on the transcript and the grade is counted in the GPA.
Students can take summer courses for enrichment or to make up for a past failure, withdrawal, or underload. Students can take a maximum of four courses per summer. Students must earn a grade of C- or better on a summer course to receive course credit. No more than 24 credits may be taken at outside institutions toward your MCAS degree.
Students who take summer courses offered by the Morrissey College do not need to complete a Course Pre-Approval Form or need departmental approval as long as they meet any prerequisite requirements for the course. Boston College summer courses will count toward the expected number of courses or credits required for graduation and grades will be calculated into the GPA. Students can take only online courses that have an MCAS department code (e.g., HIST, ECON, or MATH).
Students can also take summer courses at any accredited four-year college or university. Students must provide adequate documentation on the program and on the courses—such as catalog course descriptions, semester credit value, class schedule, and syllabi—and submit a Course Pre-Approval Form prior to registering for the course. In order to request that a course be evaluated to count for major or Core credit, students will need to attach a course description or syllabus with their completed form. Once the form is submitted, the relevant department will review the request before the form is sent to the appropriate Associate Dean for final approval. Online courses will not be accepted.
*Note: For Summer 2021 only, online courses taken outside of Boston College will be accepted with Dean's approval.
Only students who have credit deficiencies previously incurred through failure, withdrawal, underload or transfer will receive credit for pre-approved courses taken outside of Boston College. These courses will count toward the expected number of courses or credits required for graduation, and grades will be calculated into their GPA.
Students who don't have any credit deficiencies will only receive enrichment credit for courses taken outside of Boston College. They can satisfy Core or major requirements with department permission, but the course credits won't count toward the 120 credits required for the degree. Courses, grades, and credits will be listed on the transcript but won't be calculated into the GPA. With the approval of their Associate Dean, students who incur deficiencies can in limited cases use enrichment courses in previous summers to make up for deficiencies incurred subsequently.
Students are responsible for ensuring that sealed, official copies of transcripts from summer courses taken outside BC are delivered to Student Services. Only courses for which a transcript grade of C- or higher is earned and for which a Course Pre-Approval Form has been properly completed and approved will be eligible for posting to the student's record.
After the extended drop period, undergraduates may withdraw from a course by the published deadline each semester. See the Academic Calendar for course withdrawal deadlines.
Students who withdraw from a course will have a W recorded in the grade column of their academic record. A grade of W has no effect on the GPA. A student may retake a course for which a W has been recorded—in which case both the W and the subsequent grade are entered on the academic record.
Students should complete a Course Withdrawal Form to be reviewed and approved by their Associate Dean. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from courses after the published deadline. Students who are still registered at this point will receive a final grade for the semester.
Prior to withdrawing from a course, students are advised to consult with their Financial Aid advisor to discuss how a withdrawal might impact their financial aid package.
Students who wish to withdraw from Boston College must submit a Withdrawal Form. If the student is dismissed for academic or disciplinary reasons, their Associate Dean will process the withdrawal.
Refer to the Academic Calendar for the deadline to withdraw from the University each semester.