B.A., Applied Liberal Arts

Bachelor of Arts

Applied Liberal Arts (ALA) helps clarify connections between your education and your life, your job, and your future. The critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and cultural literacy skills valued by today’s employers are hallmarks of a liberal arts education. Our program also provides courses in high-demand workplace essentials such as project management, data visualization and analysis, design thinking, and conflict resolution.


You'll pursue a major in Applied Liberal Arts while earning a concentration in one of six areas. You'll complete six major requirements and either five or six courses within a specific concentration.

Major Requirements

Find Your Concentration

ALA Concentration match your criteria

English (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>Learn the narrative and stylistic techniques employed by classic writers of fiction and nonfiction in order to:</p> <ul> <li>Write at an advanced level</li> <li>Distinguish between different periods in American and British literature</li> <li>Interpret literature through the lenses of class, race, gender, and historical context</li> <li>Thoughtfully criticize works of literature</li> <li>Imaginatively inhabit the perspectives of others</li> </ul> <p>In addition to courses in British, American, and World literature, the curriculum requires four additional English electives, as well as two writing courses.</p>
<p>The English concentration builds upon skills that are first introduced in the College Writing and Literary Works core requirements. Honing these technical skills and developing a strong base in the English language will allow you to translate those skills into any future discipline.</p>
Journalist Speech Writer Grant Writer Development Officer Research Analyst Copy Editor Copywriter Public Relations Officer
History (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>Our curriculum encompasses European, American, pre-modern, and non-Western history. As critical thinkers, students apply tools and concepts of historical inquiry and communicate research results clearly and effectively.</p> <p>Major requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Modern History I</li> <li>Modern History II</li> <li>Two American History courses</li> <li>One Pre-Modern History course</li> <li>One Asian, African, Latin American, or Middle Eastern History course</li> <li>Four History electives</li> </ul>
<p>Deepen your understanding of the present through an immersion in the events and cultures of the past. Our curriculum encompasses European, American, Latin American, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian history ranging from premodernity to the present day.</p>
Educator in Elementary and Secondary Schools Researcher in Historical Organizations Archivist Records Manager Law Student
Interdisciplinary Studies (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>This flexible program allows you to choose courses in consultation with your advisor. You’ll graduate with a comprehensive, multifaceted understanding of our contemporary times and be prepared to:</p> <ul> <li>Address a variety of research problems using an interdisciplinary approach</li> <li>Design research projects that respect the ethical boundaries inherent in the study of humans</li> <li>Communicate effectively in writing and orally</li> <li>Collaborate meaningfully with your peers and faculty</li> </ul>
<p>Critically examine our rapidly changing society through this dynamic program.&nbsp;In the Interdisciplinary Studies concentration, you will work with your academic advisor to design a course of study that allows you to draw upon the other disciplines within the ALA major.&nbsp;</p>
Teacher Marketing Manager Education Administrator Human Resource Associate Development Officer Residential Counselor Social Work Student
Philosophy (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>This major is ideal for students who seek to understand the world around them at its deepest level. You'll learn to address fundamental questions about knowledge, goodness, and the nature of human experience in a clear, systematic fashion. With a curriculum anchored in the great works of antiquity and the Enlightenment, this program introduces students to the major fields of philosophical inquiry including political philosophy, the philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of science.</p>
<p>Who are we, and why are we here? What is the nature of knowledge, truth, and justice? This concentration explores these and other enduring questions that form the basis of our shared humanity while sharpening your critical thinking and analytical skills in the process.</p>
Paralegal Nonprofit Administrator Journalist Writer Educator Law Student
Political Science (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>Students graduate from this major with a strong grasp of the intricacies of political life, able to analyze political processes and institutions from a variety of theoretical perspectives.</p> <p>Requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Fundamental Concepts of Politics</li> <li>Social and Political Philosophy</li> <li>Comparative Politics</li> <li>International Relations</li> <li>Research Methods for the Social Sciences</li> <li>Gender Politics</li> <li>Law and Morality</li> <li>Two courses in American Politics</li> <li>Two upper-level Political Science and/or Law electives</li> </ul>
<p>Explore the concepts underpinning the U.S. political system before broadening and applying that knowledge to politics as a whole. You'll be exposed to other forms of political systems found throughout the world while honing your analytical and communications skills.</p>
Public Policy Campaign Worker City Manager Lobbyist Foreign Service Office Paralegal Law Student
Sociology (Applied Liberal Arts B.A.)
<p>This program will introduce you to classical and contemporary sociological theories and challenge you to apply these theories in evaluating social phenomena. By the time you graduate, you’ll have a firm grasp on the complexities of behavior and interaction in modern societies.</p> <p>Requirements:</p> <ul> <li>Introductory Sociology</li> <li>Sociological Theories</li> <li>Research Methods for the Social Sciences</li> <li>Qualitative Methods</li> <li>Class, Power, and Social Change</li> <li>Three upper-level Sociology courses</li> <li>Two upper-level Political Science and/or Psychology electives</li> </ul>
<p>Develop the skills necessary to apply a sociological lens to everyday life in addition to scholarly research. You will learn to analyze and critique social, structural, and cultural factors that influence those experiences with a particular focus on using these skills for the betterment of the human condition.</p>
Social Worker Student Criminologist High School Teacher Policy Analyst Demographer Survey Researcher Statistician




Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 


Fall Enrollment
August 1
Spring Enrollment
December 1
Summer Enrollment
April 15
Rolling Admission
After deadlines, as space permits.


Start Your Application

If you are mailing hard copies of application materials, please send them to:

Boston College
Woods College of Advancing Studies Admissions Office
St. Mary's Hall South
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

*Current Woods College Undergraduate degree students interested in adding a certificate to their plan of study should not use the online application. 

Declare your certificate here

Academic transcripts

Submit the following:

  • Official high school transcript with degree conferral date or official GED
  • Official college transcript(s) from all previously attended colleges or universities

If you have been conferred your associate's degree, you may submit an Attestation Form in lieu of an official high school transcript. The completed form can be sent to wcasadm@bc.edu

Please mail transcripts to:

Boston College
Woods College of Advancing Studies Admissions Office
St. Mary's Hall South
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

If your academic institution provides electronic transcripts please indicate wcasadm@bc.edu as the recipient.

Applicants whose Native language is not English are required to demonstrate English language proficiency, for required scores, visit our International Student page.

International Student page


To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

Please submit two essays by responding to two of the topics listed below.  The essays should be typewritten, double-spaced, and each essay should be limited to 500 – 750 words in length.  The essays are important to the Admissions Committee as they allow the committee to assess your personal goals, your reasons for choosing the program to which you are applying, your commitment to your educational goals, and your writing ability.  The essays must be uploaded as part of your on-line application.

  1. Discuss your reason(s) for applying to the BA program at the Woods College of Advancing Studies at this time. Support your reasons with specific examples.
  2. Discuss your academic goals and how they apply to your planned career and/or life goals.
  3. Describe a life changing experience that had a significant personal impact on you. Please include details about the situation (which could be positive or negative), and what were the lessons learned.

Application Fee

Application fee: $45

  • Paid through online application.


Two Letters of Recommendation

Letters must be sent directly from recommender either through online application portal or directly to Woods College (wcasadm@bc.edu).  We will not accept letters that are not in a sealed envelope mailed directly from recommender or emailed directly from recommender. 

Please note: Letters of recommendations should be provided by professional or academic recommenders.

International Students

1. Demonstrated English Language Proficiency required (minimum TOEFL score of 90-100)

For additional information about scores, visit our International Student page.

2. Interview

For all international students and non-native English speakers, interviews are conducted as part of the application process.

The purpose of the interview is for the admission committee to gain a better sense of an applicant and how the program fits his or her academic and vocational needs. Additionally, the interview provides the committee an opportunity to assess a student’s specific information and to address the unique needs one may have in transitioning to Boston College.  The interview will last no more than 15 minutes.  Interviews will only be scheduled once an application has been submitted.

3. Transcript Evaluation

All students who have, or are currently attending, an institution outside of the United States must provide a detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation indicating the following:

For BA applicants: conferral of a secondary school degree that is equivalent to a U.S. high school’s degree from an accredited institution.

For MS applicants: conferral of an undergraduate degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.

This evaluation is not just an English translation, but a document provided by an accredited evaluating agency that shows all grades, course titles, credit hours, United States degree equivalency, grade-point average (GPA), and date of degree conferral.
This detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation must be submitted to complete the application.

Please request a detailed, course-by-course transcript evaluation for all international institutions where a degree was conferred from one of the following agencies:

Educational Credential Evaluators
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470


Center for Educational Documentation
P.O. Box 170116
Boston, MA 02117


450 Seventh Ave, Suite 804
New York, NY 10123



World Education Services Inc.
P.O. Box 5087
Bowling Green Station
New York, NY 10274-5087



Financial Aid & Scholarships

For Financial Aid and Scholarship information please click the link below

Financial Aid and Scholarship Information



Schedule an appointment with an admissions counselor through our online calendar. 

Online Calendar