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Undergraduate Programs

morrissey college of arts and sciences

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences

The Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest and largest of the undergraduate colleges of the University. It offers either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, depending upon the major discipline, and prepares its graduates for careers in a broad range of fields as well as graduate training in both professional and academic disciplines.

In the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences a student's program consists of required Core courses, intensive study in a major field, and a choice of individual electives reflecting a student's personal interests.

Core—A modern version of the traditional Jesuit Ratio Studiorum, the Core in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences provides an introductory exposure to the various disciplines that define a liberally educated individual in today's world as well as to the philosophical and theological ideas that help integrate these different areas of knowledge into a student's own intellectual perspective. All Morrissey College of Arts and Science students must complete the University Core requirements in the Arts, Cultural Diversity, History, Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Theology, Writing, as well as a Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement.

Major—All students in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences must select a major field of study from the 36 majors offered in the college. Work in the major is not necessarily directly related to career training, but it is meant to develop critical and analytical thinking, professional and presentational skills, and an appreciation for the complexity of an area of study beyond the introductory level. A major generally consists of at least 30 credits (ten to twelve focused courses) in a field, some of which are sequentially organized required courses. Some of the courses are more narrowly focused major electives. A list of majors is available at

Electives—Electives in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences are designed to challenge students to help define their own individual education. Students may use electives to pursue intensive work in another field with a second major or minor; to study fields that bridge traditional disciplines through organized interdisciplinary minors; to pursue professional interests in management, education, or nursing; or to explore their own individualized personal, intellectual, and artistic interests.

Thus, the purpose of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences is to produce broadly-educated, as well as highly-skilled graduates.

To ensure a coherent, well-developed program, students must meet with their faculty advisors before registration for each semester. They should also consult with other faculty, students, the Deans, the Premedical and Prelaw advisors, the Counseling Office, and the Career Center.

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Special Academic Programs

Scholar of the College

Scholar of the College is a designation given at Commencement to exceptional students (those with overall GPAs of 3.700 or higher) who have done independent work of the highest quality for a significant part of their senior year under the supervision of scholars in their major fields. The program is administered by the Dean's Office. Students apply through their major departments and ordinarily complete Advanced Independent Research projects within that department. Interdisciplinary projects require the approval of all of the relevant departments, one of which must be the student's major department.

Normally, the Advanced Independent Research that qualifies for Scholar of the College recognition will consist of 12 academic credits, 6 each in the fall and spring of senior year, although occasionally a 3-credit senior thesis in the fall may develop into a 6-credit Advanced Independent Research in the spring. Students who successfully complete Advanced Independent Research projects with grades of A- or better and maintain cumulative GPAs of 3.700 or higher may be nominated for Scholar of the College recognition at Commencement.

To be considered for Scholar of the College recognition, finished projects, along with the evaluations of the faculty advisor and a department-appointed second and independent reader, must be submitted to the Office of the Dean in mid-April. Student should consult the Dean’s office for the exact deadline for the current year. All projects nominated for the McCarthy Prize will be reviewed by a faculty committee appointed by the Dean. The Scholars of the College will be selected from among the nominated student authors.

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Departmental Honors

The designation of departmental honors is reserved for above average students who have demonstrated academic achievement in additional or more difficult courses, or by successfully undertaking an approved research project, as determined by each department.

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Departmental Minors

A departmental minor consists of at least 18 credits (typically six, 3-credit courses). These must include one introductory-level course and at least one upper-level course or seminar. Students choose courses for the minor in consultation with the director of the department's minor program. The following restrictions apply:

  • No more than two Core courses may be used toward a minor.
  • Core courses that do not count toward a departmental major will not count toward a departmental minor.
  • Students may not major and minor in the same department unless that department offers more than one major.
  • Students must have at least 15 credits in the minor program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor.

Minors are available in Arabic Studies, Art History, Biology, Chemistry, Chinese, Computer Science, Economics, English, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, French, Geological Sciences, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, History, Irish Studies, Italian, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Russian, Sociology, Studio Art, Theatre, and Theology. Information regarding specific requirements is available in the departments.

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Interdisciplinary Programs

In addition to the areas of major study offered by individual departments, a variety of special programs are available. All of them are designed to provide a coherent grouping of courses drawn from various disciplines and focused around a specific theme. Through such programs, a student can integrate or enrich an academic program through completing a minor or developing an independent major.

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Independent Major

Under usual circumstances, students are advised to follow the formal educational programs offered by departments. In rare instances, for students with special interests that cannot be satisfied in a regular major, double major, or a combined major and minor, the Educational Policy Committee will approve an interdisciplinary Independent Major. Students who wish to apply for an Independent Major must normally have achieved a minimum 3.5 GPA. The student must plan, with the aid of a faculty advisor, a program of 36 credits (ordinarily twelve courses), thirty of which must be in upper-division courses. These will extend over no more than three departments and will be selected in accordance with a clearly defined unifying principle. This program should be equal in depth and coherence to a typical departmental major and should include a plan for a final project or paper that demonstrates the intellectual coherence of the Independent Major and for ongoing assessment of the program by the student and the advisor. Each proposed major should be submitted to the Dean's Office before March 1 of the student's sophomore year. The Dean will then present it to the Educational Policy Committee for approval. An Independent Major will ordinarily be the student's only major.

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Interdisciplinary Minors

An interdisciplinary minor in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences must consist of at least 18 credits (typically six, 3-credit courses) and must include either a required introductory course or a concluding seminar or project. (Note: some programs require both.) The minor should aim for a coherent form appropriate to the subject matter and offer courses that give students a definite sense of movement—from a beginning to a middle and an end, from introductory to advanced levels, or from general to specialized treatments.

Students must select at least three of the courses from three different Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences departments. With the approval of the program, students may use one Core course or one course from their major toward the minor (not both). In addition, at least 15 credits used for the minor cannot be used toward any other major or minor. For specific program requirements see the individual program descriptions below. Students carrying a double major are advised not to minor.

Each minor will be administered by a coordinating committee, consisting of a Director appointed by the Dean and at least two additional members who represent departments included in the minor. One important function of this committee is the advising of students enrolled in the minor.

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African and African Diaspora Studies

The African and African Diaspora Studies Program (AADS) considers the history, culture, and politics of Africans on the continent and African-descended peoples in the U.S., the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Covering vast historical periods and geographies, African and African Diaspora Studies acquaints students with the multiplicity and diversity of the African Diaspora and the world in which we all live. Using an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, the program draws on a broad range of methodologies in Literature, History, Sociology, Philosophy, Theology, and Communication.

Central Themes

To get the most out of an AADS minor, students are encouraged to organize their courses around the central themes of globalization, intersectionality, or social justice.

Globalization: Globalization is as old as the trade in African slaves. Patterns of travel, labor, trade, commerce, and resource extraction have shaped the experiences of African-descended peoples and the peoples they have encountered. Selected courses explore the connections between various geographic regions, cultural traditions, and historical developments that have defined globalization.

Intersectionality: Race is defined by various identity categories and social locations such as gender, class, color, ethnicity, region, nation, age, sexuality, political ideals, and spiritual beliefs. Intersectionality reminds us that race is not a monolithic or homogenous category of human experience.

Social Justice: The history of African and African-descended peoples has been defined by the struggle for social justice: the fight for human equality, the fight against racism, sexism, homophobia, and class exploitation. In resisting enslavement, segregation, patriarchy, imperialism, and colonialism, by striving to overturn discrimination in housing, healthcare, employment, religious institutions, and families, African and African Diasporic peoples have undertaken drives for social emancipation that have expanded the meaning of democratic ideals.

Minor Requirements—18 credits (or more)

Required Courses:

  • AADS1110 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies—3 credits
  • AADS6600 Senior Seminar (or the equivalent)—4 credits
  • Four additional courses (clustered around a theme)—we recommend that minors take at least two courses of 3 or 4 credits before taking AADS6600 Senior Seminar

AADS1110 Introduction to African Diaspora Studies familiarizes students with the major issues and methodologies involved in studying the African Diaspora. AADS6600 Senior Seminar is an intensive reading and writing course designed to assist students in synthesizing their minor experience.

To affirm and specify our minors’ selected Central Theme, we suggest that their four additional courses reflect a particular thematic focus. Some possible themes are:

  • Cities and Urban Life
  • Economics of Inequality
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Globalization and Development
  • Intellectual and Philosophical Traditions
  • Migration and Immigration
  • Music and the Performing Arts
  • Political Systems and Grassroots Protest
  • Popular Culture and New Media
  • Spirituality and Social Protest

Though suggested, these themes are not required; additionally, students may devise their own thematic focus, in consultation with the AADS Director or their AADS Adviser.

Contact the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at 617-552-3238 or visit their website at

Core Offerings

The Program offers several courses that satisfy the Core requirement in Cultural Diversity and one course that satisfies the requirement in Social Sciences.

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American Studies

American Studies is an interdisciplinary program that brings together faculty from several departments to teach a wide range of approaches to American culture past and present. Thematic emphases include race and ethnicity; gender, sexuality, and culture; the cultures of cities; subcultures and society; popular culture and media; law, politics, and culture; and America and the world.

Participating faculty come from English, History, Art History, Sociology, African and African Diaspora Studies, and Psychology, among other departments.

Courses used for fulfilling the minor must come from outside the student’s major and from at least two different departments. Eighteen credits are required for the minor. Nine of these credits must be clustered in a common area of concentration chosen by the student in consultation with the director of American Studies. During senior year each student must take the elective designated as the American Studies senior seminar. Also, ENGL2277 Introduction to American Studies is required for all students registering for the minor.

For further information on the American Studies minor, contact Professor Carlo Rotella in the English Department,, 617-552-3191, or visit the American Studies website at

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Ancient Civilization

The minor in Ancient Civilization aims at providing students the opportunity to study, in a systematic way, aspects of the ancient Greek and Roman world without the requirement of learning the Latin or Greek languages. Students learn about the history, literature, art and culture of antiquity in courses that emphasize the study of primary texts in English translation. Each student will design his/her own program in consultation with the faculty. A program will consist of a coherent blend of 18 credits chosen from two groups:

  • 3 credits in Greek History or Civilization and 3 credits in Roman History or Civilization, drawn from the following list. These general courses, offered every other year, serve as a general overview of the field and an introduction to the minor.
    CLAS1186 Greek Civilization
    CLAS2205/HIST2201 Greek History
    CLAS2262/ARTH2262 The City of Rome
    CLAS2206/HIST2205 Roman History
  • 12 other credits, chosen after consultation with the director, from available offerings in Classics and other departments in the areas of literature, philosophy, religion, art and archaeology, history, and linguistics.

A list of the courses that are available each semester from the various departments and that can count for the minor will be published at registration time. Interested students should contact Professor Mark Thatcher of the Classical Studies Department, Stokes Hall 245S, 617-552-1807, or visit the Classical Studies website at

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Asian Studies

The Asian Studies program offers students a rich curriculum in the arts and literatures, history, philosophy and religion, and contemporary affairs of East Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia. It rests on three pillars:

  • an emphasis on regional and transnational relations
  • the integration of different disciplinary approaches
  • language study

Students take a minimum of 18 credits to fulfill the minor, 15 of which may not simultaneously be counted towards the Core or other major/minor requirements. The minor begins with an introductory survey course on Asia as a world region from the vantage point of a particular discipline (such as art, literature, history, or philosophy), and concludes with a senior capstone course that approaches a particular topic relevant to the study of Asia from an interdisciplinary perspective. Along the way, students have ample opportunity to hone their interdisciplinary skills and global outlook through a wide range of lower and upper level electives involving different departments. Although no more than an intermediate proficiency in an Asian language is required (the same as the University Core requirement), further language study is encouraged. All minors must meet with the Director when they declare their minor, typically in their sophomore year. They must also meet with the Director prior to choosing the senior capstone course.

Summary of minimum requirements (18 credits):

  1. Introductory course on Asia as a world region (3 credits)
  2. Intermediate proficiency in an Asian language (3 credits)
  3. Two to four electives (6–12 credits) from the list provided
  4. Senior capstone course (3 credits)

Students are invited to take full advantage of the Distinguished Lectures Series in Asian Studies as well as other Asian Studies-sponsored campus events and are encouraged to study abroad in Asia. Our faculty provide many different resources related to advising, scholarships, and internship opportunities.

For further information, consult the Asian Studies website, contact the director at, and follow us on Facebook.

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Catholic Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in Catholic Studies at Boston College seeks to develop an intellectual and academic approach to Catholicism which does justice to the full human reality, integrity, and pluralism within this major world religious tradition. Since Catholicism comprises more than a religious institution, a set of moral or ritual practices, a body of doctrines, or individual and communal experiences, no one discipline or several disciplines functioning separately can properly understand it from the vantage point of its lived experience as a culture.

The Catholic Studies minor provides students with the opportunity to explore the Catholic intellectual tradition, emphasizing the richness of its philosophical and theological systems, its artistic and cultural expressions, its historical evolution (including internal and external moments of contestation), its approaches to social analysis, economic systems, and the natural sciences, in order to appreciate the vision and values which emerge from this tradition.


Six approved 3-credit courses or a total of 18 credit hours:

  • 18 credit hours selected from the three Catholic Studies clusters: The Catholic Imagination, Catholicism in Time and Space, and Catholic Social Thought.
  • Upon petition, electives and other courses may be counted for the minor if the major research paper course is completed on a Catholic topic.
  • In many cases, electives and other required courses can be petitioned for inclusion in the Catholic Studies Interdisciplinary minor based on the Catholic content of the course.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to take THEO1023 and THEO1024 Exploring Catholicism I and II (6 credits) to fulfill their Theology Core and double-count THEO1024 as 3 of the required 18 credit hours to fulfill the minor.
  • Depending upon enrollment numbers in the minor, a concluding 3-credit research seminar which will focus on texts dealing either with the enculturation of Catholicism in different geographical/regional locations (e.g., Asia, Latin America, Africa, Oceania, Irish-American, Italian-American, Latino/a, Black, and Amerindian), or a Catholic theme that is approached from several disciplinary perspectives and across historical periods (e.g., Catholic practices of asceticism in art, music, literature, and theology). This seminar will offer the student the opportunity to research, write, and present a senior project that thematically integrates what has been learned in the minor. The seminar is facilitated by a member of the Catholic Studies advisory committee. It is envisioned that the seminar presentations will become an occasion for creating intellectual community among Catholic Studies minors and faculty advisors.

Further information is available from the Co-Director, Professor Charles R. Gallagher, S.J., Department of History, Stokes Hall S353, 617-552-0726, or

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East European Studies

The minor in East European Studies encompasses faculty and courses from across the University and spans the entire region east and southeast of western Europe, from central and eastern Europe to southeastern Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Caucasus, and Siberia. The minor in East European Studies concentrates on the multilingual, multicultural, and multireligious legacy of Slavic and Eastern European nations and countries. Students who complete the minor will work toward proficiency in a Slavic and/or East European language related to the region and attain valuable knowledge, experience and professional skills. The Program prepares students for careers in diplomacy, journalism, law, military, business, government, and social service, as well as graduate academic or professional study.

Further information is available from the Director, Professor Maxim D. Shrayer, Slavic and Eastern Languages Department, Lyons 210, ( Students may also consult the Program’s website at

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Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies minor uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand the science and policy of the Earth’s environmental challenges and is designed to complement any undergraduate major.

The goals of the Environmental Studies minor are to provide undergraduate students with: (1) an awareness of the scientific, political and cultural aspects of the world’s environmental problems and paths toward sustainable solutions; (2) a background for environmentally related careers in business, education, law, policy or research; and (3) preparation for graduate study.

The ENVS minor requirements include 4 credits of laboratory Environmental Systems science courses (EESC2201–EESC2208), a policy foundation course chosen from a short list of options, a senior seminar (ENVS4943), and at least 10 credits of electives offered from departments across the university. For further information or to register for this program, contact ENVS Program Director Tara Pisani Gareau, see the program website at, or stop by the program office in Devlin 213.

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Faith, Peace, and Justice

The Faith, Peace, and Justice minor offers students the opportunity to explore, in an interdisciplinary manner, how their own serious questions about faith, peace, and justice are related to concrete work for peace and justice in our world. The goals of the Faith, Peace, and Justice Program are to help undergraduate students to acquire skills in the social scientific analysis of issues for justice and peace, to gain a solid grasp of the ethical and justice principles that arise from these issues, to learn how to formulate public policy or to initiate social change that would help to solve these problems, and to implement creative methods for conflict resolution appropriate for their particular issues.

To achieve these goals, each student is required to take the introductory course for the minor, THEO2160/PHIL1160 The Challenge of Justice and, in their senior year, UNAS4942 Faith, Peace, and Justice Senior Project Seminar. In addition, the students design, with the advice and approval of the Faith, Peace, and Justice Director, a cluster of four elective courses, taken from at least three different academic disciplines, that aims at an interdisciplinary course of study focused on a theme or concern for justice and peace which they have identified. These four elective courses are the foundation for the student's writing project in the FPJ Senior Seminar. Eighteen credit hours are required for the minor.

For further information or to register for the Faith, Peace, and Justice minor, see the Director, Professor Matthew Mullane, Stokes 453N or visit the program website at

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German Studies

The interdisciplinary minor in German Studies offers students an introduction to the language and cultures of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The foremost goal of the program is to provide participants with an understanding of the history of German-speaking civilization but also to acquaint them with Germany's place in today's world.

The interdisciplinary minor in German Studies consists of six upper division courses—GERM 2242 Germany Divided and Reunited (3 credits), two additional courses from the Department of German Studies (6 credits), and three courses from other departments (9 credits). All students minoring in German Studies are strongly encouraged to spend one semester abroad.

Interested students should contact the Director of the Minor, Assistant Professor Daniel Bowles, Department of German Studies, Lyons 201F, 617-552-1594,, or consult the website at

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International Studies

The minor in International Studies offers students the opportunity to combine insights from different disciplines so as to develop a broad understanding of international affairs. Students may earn a minor in International Studies by completing six courses (18 credits) from at least three different academic departments, selected from among courses approved for the program. Students structure their courses around a thematic concentration (International Cooperation and Conflict, International Political Economy, Development Studies, Ethics and International Social Justice*, or Global Cultural Studies**). The minor requires two core introductory courses and four elective courses as determined by the student’s chosen thematic concentration.

Language Proficiency, IS Minor: Students completing the IS minor, regardless of school, must demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in a modern foreign or classical language as required by the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. This policy affects all students entering Boston College starting in the Fall of 2016.

Students minoring in International Studies are encouraged to study abroad and to pursue advanced proficiency in a foreign language. The minor provides a solid foundation for careers in government, business, non-profit organizations, international institutions, or journalism, and is excellent preparation for graduate school. Guidelines for the International Studies minor and an enrollment form are available on the International Studies website at or from the International Studies Program office located in Gasson 109. Students may also consult the Director, Professor Erik Owens, Associate Director, Professor Hiroshi Nakazato, Carney Hall 247,, 617-552-4892 or the Assistant Director, Interdisciplinary Programs, Patricia McLaughlin, Gasson Hall 109,, 617-552-3272.

*NB: Students wishing to follow Ethics and International Social Justice track must choose electives according to the “Clusters” outlined on our course list.

**NB: Students wishing to follow the Global Cultural Studies track must choose electives according to one of the following options: Global Culture and the Humanities option; Global Culture, History, and the Social Sciences options, and Area Studies option. Please note: In addition, there are “Suitable Clusters” within each of the three options above that the student must follow. Students must select a cluster of courses that are related.

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Irish Studies

Founded in 1978, the Irish Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Irish culture and society. Our faculty includes internationally recognized scholars whose influential publications and professional commitment distinguish them as leaders in the field of Irish Studies. Undergraduate and graduate courses alike address social and economic history, literature, art, film, music, and the Irish language. The Irish Studies program also offers extensive public programs including a comprehensive lecture, symposia, and renowned music series. Faculty routinely collaborate with the McMullen Museum to present groundbreaking exhibits and have developed public programming, as well as undergraduate and graduate seminars, to complement exhibits.

Students must successfully complete 18 credits in approved Irish Studies courses, which must be drawn from more than one discipline and designated as appropriate by the Irish Studies program advisor. Courses may not be “double counted” toward both a major and minor.

Please contact Irish Studies at 617-552-6396 to arrange curriculum planning assistance. A listing of Irish Studies-approved courses is posted on our website at

Students pursuing the minor are encouraged to take advantage of partnerships that the Irish Studies program and the Center for International Programs have forged with the National Universities of Ireland at Galway and Maynooth, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Ulster, and Queen’s University Belfast. It is important to note that only two courses taken abroad in any given semester may be applied to the Irish Studies minor.

Contact: Joan Reilly, Assistant to the Center’s Executive Director, Ext. 2-6396.

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Islamic Civilization and Societies

This program emphasizes the interdisciplinary study of the Middle East and Muslim world from the rise of Islam in the seventh century to the present. Through a sequence of courses, it offers preparation in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies useful to careers in journalism, diplomacy, business, and social service as well as graduate programs of academic and professional training. Courses cover the social, economic, political, cultural, and religious heritage as well as contemporary developments in their regional and world settings.

Students interested in the program should contact Professor Kathy Bailey, Political Science Department, McGuinn 528, 617-552-4170 or, or Professor Ali Banuazizi, Political Science Department, McGuinn 513, 617-552-4124, or visit

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Jewish Studies

The Jewish Studies Program seeks to examine the multiple dimensions and complexities of Jewish civilization throughout its broad chronological and geographical range. In so doing, the program contributes to Boston College's efforts to internationalize and enrich its curriculum by creating a space for reflection on an ethnically and religiously diverse campus. Far from being a parochial field, Jewish Studies is a well-established academic discipline, drawing upon almost every area in the humanities and social sciences in order to understand the myriad expressions of Jewish civilization over the course of thousands of years and in every corner of the globe.

The minor in Jewish Studies consists of a total of six 3-credit courses, including one foundation course, four electives selected from at least three departments within the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, and a concluding seminar/Capstone course.

Although the minor in Jewish Studies has no specific language requirement, students are encouraged to take as many courses as possible in biblical and modern Hebrew. However, a maximum of 6 credits in Hebrew language may be applied to the minor. Students may participate in Boston College's study-abroad program at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They may also avail themselves of summer programs in Yiddish and Judeo-Spanish.

For additional information or to sign up for the minor in Jewish Studies, contact the program co-director, Professor John Michalczyk, Devlin Hall 420, 617-552-3895 or, or contact the other program co-director, Professor Donald Fishman, Department of Communications, St. Mary’s Hall 454. Professor Fishman’s e-mail is The Jewish Studies Program Office is located in St. Mary’s Hall 454.

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The Journalism minor at Boston College is an interdisciplinary program that brings the liberal arts into direct, ongoing conversation with the wider contemporary world. Open to undergraduates from all across the university, the program is designed expressly as a minor in a liberal-arts setting, providing craft skills and a critical understanding of the history and traditions of journalism to students in all majors and schools.

The six-course minor includes a required Introduction to Journalism course, four electives, and a concluding capstone seminar​. Course offerings reflect our shifting technological and media climate while continuing to develop bedrock reportorial and writing skills: identifying and acquiring reliable information; making analytical, ethical, and technical choices about how best to turn that information into news; presenting the news in useful, compelling ways. As the program continues to develop the possibilities of its Boston location, forging fresh links between the Boston College campus and the city’s international public culture, students will also have more and more opportunities to work with the city’s deep roster of talented professional journalists, venture out to do original reporting, and intern at an array of media outlets. Interested students should contact program director, Associate Professor Angela Ards, Department of English, Stokes S443, 617-552- 3712,

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Latin American Studies

The Latin American Studies program encompasses faculty and courses from across the University. With academic advisement from participating faculty, students can shape the Latin American Studies minor to fit usefully with their academic major and with the ambitions they hope to pursue after graduation. Students may earn a minor in Latin American Studies by completing 18 credits (approximately six courses) from at least three different academic departments, selected from among courses approved for the program. Proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese that is equivalent to successful completion of a third-year college language course is required for the minor (but this course is not counted as one of the above six). With approval from the Director two courses with focus on Latin America taken in a study abroad program can count toward the minor.

Students seeking to earn a minor in Latin American Studies must submit a proposed plan of study to the Director of the program, usually no later than the second semester of the sophomore year. The Director, in consultation with the student and other faculty in the program, will review the proposal, and notify the student of his/her acceptance into the minor.

For further information contact the Director, Professor Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Lyons 304D, 617-552-2680, or visit

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Managing for Social Impact and Public Good

The Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good minor is sponsored by both the Carroll School of Management (CSOM) and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences (MCAS). It draws upon faculty and courses in both schools and is open to all undergraduates. It is the first interdisciplinary minor jointly sponsored by different schools within the university.

In an interconnected world, we are all stakeholders in how business is conducted. Billions of human lives and our planet’s viability depend on whether leaders in the private and public sectors are guided by the principles of sustainability and social justice. The interdisciplinary minor integrates ethical, social, economic, environmental, and management perspectives in analyzing the role of business in society and the challenges of managing private and public institutions for the good of society, both domestic and global.

The minor is an 18 credit program with two required and four elective courses. The required courses are: Managing for Social Impact (ISYS3345 in CSOM), the introductory course to the program, and Leading for Social Impact (BSLW6001 in CSOM) the cumulative seminar course taken in spring of senior year.

Students will select their remaining four elective courses (for a minimum of 12 credits) from approved electives in MCAS, CSOM, and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development (LSOE). Elective courses are grouped into the following Focus Areas:

Digital Economy, Social innovation and Citizenship

Today’s global digital economy, in which people, companies, markets, and even machines are constantly connected and communicating, enables innovative social solutions as well as opportunities for rapid growth and expansion of services. Such a setting also presents complex challenges. Expectations about long-term employment, economic security, and personal privacy are shifting with the rise of billion-dollar global firms based on freelance jobs, global social networks, digital media, and data mining. The rights and responsibilities of citizenship, both personal and corporate, are open to debate and radical revision, as are the form of the corporation and the appropriate roles of the public and private sectors in addressing urgent social issues. This focus area prompts students to consider the social impacts of the digital economy on citizenship, equality, personal values, work, privacy and public policy.

Economic Development, Equality and Enterprise

Citizens of wealthier nations and communities, as well as managers of multinational corporations and local enterprise, need to examine the degree to which their well-being and profitability may rely on the exploitation of natural resources and fellow human beings. Such judgments are difficult without the skills of ethical reflection, social/political/historical/economic analysis combined with research, discussion, and evaluation. This focus area challenges students to move beyond their taken-for- granted assumptions common to life in an economically developed society and to consider models of economic development and enterprise management that provide not only greater material well-being, but also more equity and empowerment for individuals and groups in domestic and international settings who are disadvantaged at present.

Environmental and Economic Sustainability

With more than 13,000 signatories committed to the principles of a sustainable and inclusive global economy, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. Its mission recognizes the significant challenges facing nations, corporations, and communities in the twenty-first century. It is vital that culturally and economically diverse populations come to terms with the pressing need to organize environmentally sustainable economies at the local community level as well as for the benefit of the entire planet. Sustainable enterprise and economic development requires managers in the private and public sector to balance the needs of their diverse stakeholders in an ethically informed manner. This focus area will enable students to analyze the difficult questions of social, ethical, and environmental sustainability and development from multiple disciplines in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and management.

Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture

In the Medical Humanities, Health, and Culture minor, students explore health and health care practices through multiple disciplines, including literature, theology, history, and philosophy, as well as natural and social sciences. From each vantage, humanistic and cultural approaches to health and the body are emphasized. The minor, interdisciplinary in its approach, draws on Boston College’s commitment to social justice, ethics, and care for the whole person. This is a useful program for students interested in careers in medicine, health care policy or law, psychology, public or global health, social work, patient advocacy, or health journalism. It is also helpful for students interested in exploring historical, narrative and cultural contexts for current (and at times competing) ideas about illness, the body, and representation.

The minor is comprised of 18 credits. Courses (not necessarily in sequence) include a required Introductory course (ENGL2212), four electives from a designated list of approved courses, and a final advanced elective, normally taken in the junior or senior year. In addition, minors will be encouraged to take part in reading groups, film series, conferences and relevant local events.

Students choose electives from at least three different departments. The following thematic clusters will help students to plan a path through the minor:

  • Global/Public Health
  • Values and Ethics
  • Mind and Body
  • Health Care Delivery
  • Medical narrative, writing and representation

Students interested in learning more or in registering for the minor should contact the Director, Amy Boesky, in Stokes 437 South or e-mail to set up an appointment.

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Psychoanalytic Studies

The “unconscious” dimension of human experience is discernible in art, literature, social studies, and even philosophy, but Freud was the first to give it a clinical status and to propose a method of investigating it. This conception was first presented to the world at large with Interpretation of Dreams in 1900 and soon became a challenge to every discipline that proposes to reflect on the nature of the human in all of its dimensions. The minor in Psychoanalytic Studies offers students the opportunity to broaden their understanding of one of the major cultural and intellectual trends of the twentieth century. The minor consists of six 3-credit courses, representing a minimum of three departments within the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. PHIL4429 (Freud and Philosophy) is a required course for the minor; it may be taken at any point during the student’s undergraduate program.

For further information on the minor, consult the Director, Professor Vanessa Rumble, Philosophy Department,, or visit the program website at

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Women's and Gender Studies

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is an interdisciplinary forum for the study of women’s past and present positions in American society and across a diversity of nation-state, international, and global contexts. Drawing from a broad range of theoretical frameworks and empirical scholarship, Women’s and Gender Studies analyzes the intersection of gender with differential identity factors such as race, class, religion, culture, and sexuality. Women’s and Gender Studies sheds light on the construction and maintenance of gender ideologies in different environments and locations, and considers gender relations a primary factor in our understanding of women’s and men’s statuses and roles. Multiple perspectives and lenses—literary, historical, sociological, psychological, political, activist, popular culturist—are applied to the study of women’s lived realities, representations, histories, oppressions, coalitions and movements.

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary minor that consists of two required courses, Introduction to Feminisms ENGL2125/HIST2502/SOCY2225/COMM2225 and Advanced Topics in Women’s Studies SOCY5593 or COMM4941, plus four additional elective courses, drawn from a broad selection of courses across disciplines.

For more information on the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, visit or consult the Director of the minor, Professor Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Sociology Department, 617-552-4139, e-mail:

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Six-Year Bachelor and Law Degree Program

In order to respond to changing student needs, the Boston College Law School has instituted an accelerated admissions program (3+3 Program). The 3+3 Program allows students to earn an undergraduate degree and a law degree in six years instead of seven.

Under this program, exceptionally well-qualified students from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences will be allowed to enter the Boston College Law School after completing their junior year of undergraduate study. During their junior year, students seeking to participate in the 3+3 Program apply to Boston College Law School. If accepted for admission, they begin law school immediately following completion of their junior year. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school with grades of “C” or better, students earn a bachelor’s degree from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences. Upon successful completion of the remaining two years of law school, students earn a J.D. from Boston College Law School.

The 3+3 Program is limited to undergraduates in the Morrissey College who have completed at least four full-time semesters in residence in the College. Interested students should contact the pre-Law advisor early in their program of study for more information and advisement.

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Fifth Year B.A./M.A.

The Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences—Graduate School offers a five-year B.A./M.A. program in some departments. Application to the program normally takes place early in the second semester of the junior year. The applicant must complete an application to the Master’s degree program in the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Gasson 108. Admission to the B.A./M.A. program normally requires an overall GPA of 3.333 and a GPA of 3.5 in the major. Although specific B.A./M.A. program requirements will vary across departments, the program limits the number of credits that can be applied towards the Master’s degree to 6 credits that may also be applied to the 120 credits required for the undergraduate degree. The undergraduate degree will be conferred upon completion of undergraduate requirements. The Master’s degree will be conferred upon completion of degree requirements specified by the department.

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Accelerated Bachelor of Arts—Master of Social Work Program

The Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and the Boston College School of Social Work offer an Accelerated B.A./M.S.W. Program whereby a limited number of Psychology and Sociology majors may begin the Social Work foundation courses during their junior and senior years and receive the B.A. at the end of four years and the M.S.W. after the fifth year. Students must meet all standard requirements for admission to the Boston College School of Social Work and enroll as final-year M.S.W. candidates for their fifth year. Interested students should contact the Director of Admissions of the School of Social Work by spring semester of the sophomore year at the latest. For prerequisites and application information, consult the School of Social Work, McGuinn 118, 617-552-4024.

The School also offers an upper-division introductory course that is not applicable to the M.S.W. degree, SCWK6600 Introduction to Social Work, which is cross-listed with the Departments of Psychology and Sociology in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

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Minors in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development for Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Students

Arts and Sciences students completing minors in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development must fulfill all major, Core, and elective requirements in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and have completed at least 96 credits in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

There are five minors offered to non-Lynch School of Education and Human Development students: Applied Psychology and Human Development, Foundation in Education, Inclusive Education, Leadership in Higher Education and Community Settings, and Secondary Education.

The minor in Secondary Education is open to Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences students in specific majors. See the Lynch School of Education and Human Development section for more information.

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Minors in the Carroll School of Management for Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Students

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences students completing minors in the Carroll School of Management must fulfill all major, Core, and elective requirements in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences and have completed at least 96 credits in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

There are six minors offered to non-management students: Accounting for CPAs, Accounting for Finance and Consulting, Finance, Management and Leadership, Managing for Social Impact and the Public Good, and, Marketing. Interested students should visit for more information.

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International Study

The aim of international study is to enable students to become fluent in a foreign language and to better understand a different culture. Students wishing to spend a year or a semester abroad and transfer the credits earned to their Boston College degree must receive approval from a Dean and enroll in a program approved by the College. To qualify for Dean's approval, a student must have at least a 3.2 average in the major and approximately the same cumulative average, have completed a significant number of courses in the major and have made substantial progress on Core requirements, have the approval of the Chairperson of the major department, and have adequate proficiency in the language of the country in which he/she plans to study. For students who have not passed the language proficiency requirement, a minimum of one year of college-level language study is required.

Students should begin the application process by contacting the Office of International Programs early in their sophomore year.

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Academic Regulations

Satisfactory Academic Progress

A student in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences must complete at least 120 credits to earn the bachelor’s degree. Particular requirements for gaining those credits, or compiling those courses, are stated elsewhere in this section. All Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences students must complete the University Core requirements in Arts, Cultural Diversity, History, Literature, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Social Sciences, Theology, and Writing, as well as the Language Proficiency requirement (visit the University Policies and Procedures chapter of this catalog).

To continue enrollment in a full-time program of study, a student must ordinarily maintain a cumulative average of at least 1.667 as the minimum standard of scholarship and must not fall more than 7 credits behind the total number of credits a student of their status is expected to have completed (an average of 15 credits each semester). Any student who is permitted by the deans to continue enrollment in a full-time undergraduate program, with the exception of students on probation, is considered to be in good standing.

Failure to maintain good standing either through a low cumulative average, or by incurring deficiencies including failures, withdrawals, incompletes or unapproved underloads, will result in the student’s being placed on probation, or being required to withdraw, as the Dean shall determine.

During a probationary semester a student must successfully complete at least 12 credits in graded Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences courses and achieve a GPA of 2.0 for those 12 credits. A probationary semester is not considered a full-time semester with respect to the minimum number of regular full-time semesters required for graduation. Consequently, the student’s graduation date will be delayed by at least one semester. Students who make up credits by preapproved summer study and satisfy all other requirements may be able to regain their original graduation date. (International students should consult their dean regarding visa requirements as they affect probation.) Probation will not be extended to a second consecutive semester nor may a student have more than two probationary semesters in total. A student who fails to meet the conditions of probation will be withdrawn from the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.


Students in the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences who are able to complete all requirements for the degree in less than eight full time semesters may appeal to graduate after seven semesters of full time study if the following conditions are met:  

  • The student has completed a sixth semester of full-time study at Boston College and will complete all requirements in the seventh semester. 
  • The student successfully completes at least 12 credits in the seventh semester. (Students approved for acceleration but failing to meet this condition must complete an eighth full-time semester at Boston College.)
  • All courses used for acceleration must be taken at Boston College or through the Office of International Programs or the Consortium.
  • The student is not an external transfer student nor has elected to take advanced standing.    

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Procedure of Appeal

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.

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