Since its founding in 1863, Boston College has changed dramatically in location, size, academic reputation, financial resources, and complexity. From its early years as a small, commuter, liberal arts college for men in the South End of Boston, it now is a coeducational, national, and increasingly international university enrolling approximately 14,000 students on a main campus of 240 acres. While remaining focused on undergraduates, the liberal arts and sciences, and student formation, Boston College in 2017 also offers selected graduate and professional programs, and has more than 800 faculty engaged not only in teaching but also in research and scholarship.
To thrive in the coming decades, Boston College must remain true to its intellectual and religious roots and seek to be the world’s leading Jesuit, Catholic university. These ambitious goals distinguish Boston College from its peers in higher education worldwide, and reflect its desire to work for the transformation of the world.
Boston College is committed to being:
- a preeminent university, dedicated to serious intellectual inquiry and the pursuit of truth, the discovery and transmission of knowledge in ways appropriate to its mission and resources, and quality teaching, learning, and service;
- a Catholic university, called in a particular way to be a meeting place between faith and culture, especially between Catholicism and contemporary society; and
- a Jesuit university, heir to a spirituality based on the religious experiences of St. Ignatius Loyola that continues to influence Jesuit schools and Catholicism, and the 470-year educational tradition of the Society of Jesus, which stresses the liberal arts, character formation, a rigorous approach to learning, and striving for the greater glory of God.
These commitments reflect the University’s distinctive heritage and will continue to shape its mission and ethos in the future. Specifically, Boston College is an institution and community that welcomes and respects all; that prizes dialogue, exploration, faith, and religious practice; that appreciates the need to care for God’s creation through teaching, scholarship, and sustainable practices; that affirms the value of intercollegiate athletics to its campus community, alumni, and national reputation; and that intends to remain true to its Jesuit, Catholic educational and religious heritage.
Mindful of its traditions, current strengths, and future opportunities and challenges, Boston College will focus in the coming decade on four Strategic Directions.
“Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on the fulfillment and will not disappoint; if it delays wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.”
"We pride ourselves on offering our students a distinctive core curriculum that makes us different from any other university in the country."
— Brian Gareau, Associate Dean for the Core Curriculum, Morrissey College of Arts & Sciences
"I define student formation as a three-part journey—social formation, spiritual formation, and academic formation—and understanding how the three are interrelated, interconnected, and weaved into each other."
— Michael Osaghae '20
Research & Sciences
"One enormous global problem that we're addressing through the Schiller Institute is pollution. Pollution kills 9 million people per year— 92% of them in low- and middle-income countries—so it's totally wrapped up in social injustice."
— Philip Landrigan '63, Director, Global Public Health Program
"We're actually building students to understand the complexity of these global challenges and to become that all-encompassing student who really thinks in nuanced ways about what it means to engage the world and the people who are facing critical challenges."
— Gautam Yadama, Dean, School of Social Work