The Messina College curriculum has a foundation in the liberal arts that helps students learn to think critically, to communicate effectively and prepare for the world of work and/or continue into a BA/BS program. Students complete a program of Core Curriculum courses, a concentration in one of 4 areas, and an internship. These policies and procedures are most applicable to advising students in Messina College in both class years.
To graduate from Messina College, students must take at least 60 credits over 4 semesters and 2 summer sessions. Included in the program are 36 credits in the Core Curriculum, usually 18 credits in a major department/concentration, and an internship, public speaking course, and a first-year seminar. Students that complete all requirements with at least a cumulative 3.4 grade point average will be eligible for an internal transfer to one of the four-year undergraduate schools or colleges at Boston College.
Ordinarily, students should average 12 credits per semester in fall and spring and 6 credits each summer with a target of completing 30 credits each academic year. In a student’s first year, the fall semester is based on 9 or 10 credit hours, depending on the program of study.
Given Messina College’s cohort-based model, students are not permitted to overload.
Students who fail to complete the intended credits per semester will incur credit deficiencies and may be required to make up credits before being allowed to continue at Messina College. To make up for a credit deficiency, students may take summer courses offered at Boston College.
In order to remain in good standing in Messina College, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of 1.667 or higher. Students who receive below a 2.0 GPA in a semester will be required to meet with the Associate Dean and make a plan for satisfactory academic progress.
If you fall below the 1.667 GPA requirement, you will be academically withdrawn from the College beginning the semester immediately following the one in which you failed to meet the requirement.
The grading system at Boston College consists of 12 categories:
A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F.
In computing grade point averages, the following numerical equivalents for the 12-letter grades are used:
P No effect on GPA
Students who withdraw from a course after the extended drop deadline will receive a notation of W on the academic record. The notation of W is not included in the calculation of the grade point average. Grades are posted on 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 all courses taken at Messina College and those courses specifically selected in the Undergraduate Day schools and colleges for the respective programs. If a student fails a course and then repeats it with a passing grade, both the F and the passing grade are computed into the grade point average.
Grade changes are normally only made in the case of a clerical error. If a student wishes to file a formal appeal of a course grade, the request 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. The Dean will then request written responses from both the instructor and the Associate Dean and submit the case to the Educational Policy Committee. The committee will review the case thoroughly and make a recommendation on the resolution to the Dean. The Dean’s decision will be final.
Students are strongly encouraged to work with their instructors before beginning this formal process and should reflect on the merits of the case.
Students who are academically withdrawn from Messina College will have the option to submit an appeal in writing to the Dean.
In the event that your appeal is granted and you are reinstated, you will be placed on academic probation for one semester. Students on academic probation must demonstrate their ability to continue by successfully completing at least 6 credits in graded courses during the probationary semester (i.e., you can't have any Incompletes or missing grades) and achieve a GPA of at least 2.0 (equivalent grades of C) for those 6 credits.
A plan for making up the deficient credits will be created with the Associate Dean.
Probationary semesters may count as an extra semester to make up courses and not as a regular semester (one of the required semesters at Messina College). As a result, students on probation may have their graduation date pushed back by one semester.
If students fail to meet the terms of probation, they will be academically withdrawn from Messina College. Probation will not be extended to a second consecutive semester; you cannot have more than two probationary semesters in total.
Students can take summer courses to make up for a past failure or withdrawal. Students can take a maximum of two courses per summer. Students must earn a passing grade (i.e., D-) on a summer course to receive course credit.
Students must take summer courses offered by one of the Undergraduate day schools (Morrissey, Connell, Lynch, Carroll) in order to make up for a failed or withdrawn course. Online courses from one of these schools are accepted. The Dean or Associate Dean of Messina College must pre-approve summer retakes to ensure alignment with a student’s program of study.
If a student wishes to retake a course at another institution, that course must be pre-approved by the Dean.
Students may not audit a course in any semester of study.
Students enrolled in courses designated as “college courses” that are taken at the high school with a high school teacher may only earn advanced placement units if corresponding College Board AP exams are taken, and qualifying scores are earned. A college transcript alone cannot be used to earn advanced placement units for these courses.
In general, a student scoring four or five on the exams will be awarded advanced placement. In some instances, a score of three will make a student eligible for advanced placement. In most cases, students do not earn actual credit. Rather, they fulfill corresponding requirements in the University Core Curriculum. You will still be required to take the full 60 credits necessary for graduation.
College coursework taken on a college campus with a college professor and with other college students either during the academic year or over the summer may be evaluated for advanced placement units. Only courses that are deemed equal in depth and breadth to coursework taught at Boston College and are being used to supplement high school coursework (and not to fulfill high school requirements) will be considered.
For more information about advanced placement or early college courses, please visit the Boston College Admissions Website.
Students at Messina College with a 3.4 GPA can make an internal transfer into any of the Undergraduate Day schools with the approval of both the Dean of Messina College and the receiving Undergraduate Day school deans. Eligibility for transfer does not guarantee admission into all programs of study. In some cases, students will need to apply for admission into a particular program (i.e., Connell School of Nursing) due to capacity limitations.
Taking a leave of absence can be a difficult decision but there may be times – due to personal, medical and/or other reasons – when a student may need or want to take a leave of absence from the University. Students are encouraged to discuss the circumstances leading to a possible leave of absence with the Associate Dean. The Associate Dean will ask questions, discuss options, and be available to refer a student to additional support as needed.
In order to request a leave of absence for personal or medical reasons, students must complete the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form and indicate the type of leave they are taking.
A medical leave of absence may be taken because of a student’s medically documented illness, including physical and/or mental health. The Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form and supporting medical documentation must be submitted no later than the semester’s last date for a withdrawal from the University. Permission for a medical leave after this deadline is rare and would require additional supporting documentation.
To request a medical leave of absence, students must:
A personal leave of absence may be taken for any reason. To request a personal leave of absence, students must complete the Withdrawal/Leave of Absence Form no later than the semester’s last date for withdrawal from the University.
Classes and Tuition
Students who take a personal leave of absence once classes have started will be withdrawn from those classes and receive “W’s” on their transcript for those classes, unless a student takes a leave of absence during the 100% tuition refund period. Students may be eligible for a tuition refund depending on the date of the requested leave of absence.
In some cases, students may not be eligible for the full amount of their financial aid package if they do not complete the semester. Fees are non-refundable. Residential Hall charges and Meal Plans are canceled based on the day students move out in accordance with Residential Life policies. Students taking a leave should also complete a housing cancellation form through Agora.
Registering for classes in future semesters: students cannot register for classes while on a leave of absence. Please refer to the readmission process section.
Students cannot remain in University housing once they have taken a leave of absence and they cannot participate in room selection until they are readmitted. Please see the Residential Life Conditions of Residency for details.
While on a leave of absence, students:
Students on leave of absence must request to be readmitted no later than June 1 for the Messina summer session, August 1 for the fall semester, and December 1 for the spring semester. Students must complete the applicable online forms for readmission on the University Counseling Services site (see Forms for Download) and work with the Dean’s Office to outline the academic plan of study.
For a student to return from a medical leave due to mental health-related concerns: your licensed mental health provider must submit the Readmission from Medical Leave of Absence form to the UCS Director. You must also submit a completed Medical Leave of Absence Return Authorization Release.
For a student to return from a medical leave due to other health-related concerns: your licensed health provider must provide documentation regarding the readiness to return to BC to the Director of UHS. You must also submit a completed Medical Leave of Absence Return Authorization Release.
Housing is not guaranteed beyond two years.
Only the First-Year Discovery Seminar and the Messina Internship are offered as pass/fail. All other courses must be taken for a letter grade.
Any course substitution must be pre-approved by the Dean.
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. When the course is retaken, both the W and the subsequent grade are recorded.
Students should complete a Course Withdrawal Form to be reviewed and approved by the Associate Dean. Students will not be permitted to withdraw from courses after the published deadline.
Withdrawal from a course will automatically place a student in a credit deficiency and under academic probation protocols.
Messina College follows a cohort model for its programs of study. If a student falls outside of their cohort due to medical or personal circumstances, such as an approved leave of absence, the Associate Dean will outline a course of study for completion when possible. Housing, however, cannot be guaranteed outside of the student's intended graduation cohort.
A student unable to complete a program of study in a timely manner (not to exceed three years) despite a revised program of study as outlined by the Dean's Office may be asked to withdraw from the program and advised to transfer to another degree program in the Woods College of Advancing Studies or to an external institution.