Boston College Online and On Campus

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School Overview

Boston College seal

Boston College (locally referred to as BC) is a private college owned and operated by the Jesuit sect of the Roman Catholic Church. It is located in the city of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College’s main campus in Chestnut Hill is located on 180-acres about 5 miles west of Boston’s city center on a hill with a magnificent view of Chestnut Hill Reservoir. The campus is home to over 120 buildings, some which are examples of the earliest gothic architecture used on a college campus in the United States.The college has a total annual enrollment of approximately 14,000 students–9,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate.

The college was founded in 1863 as a preparatory school in Boston, and then a liberal arts college, leading to its current name, Boston College. Although legally independent and autonomous, Boston College belongs to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), a consortium of 28 Jesuit higher education institutions located throughout the United States that share resources and support one another.

Boston College On Campus Programs

Through its nine academic schools and colleges Boston College offers a comprehensive selection of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in various academic fields, including business, management, education, social work, theology, nursing, healthcare, law and sciences, among others. Academic colleges and schools at Boston College include:

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Boston College Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
  • Carroll School of Management
  • Lynch School of Education
  • Connell School of Nursing
  • Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston College School of Theology and Ministry
  • Woods College of Advancing Studies

The undergraduate school at Boston College was recently ranked No.31 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The college is one of the top research universities in Massachusetts and is categorized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a university that exhibits “high research activity”. Among research universities in the United States, Boston College was ranked 8th based on the relatively high number of its students (21) who’ve earned Fulbright awards. With an endowment of nearly $2 billion, Boston College is one of the best funded higher education institutions, not only among Jesuit universities but also among all major universities nationwide.

Boston College Online Programs

Boston College Online offers many non-credit, online certificates through their STM Online: Crossroads program. Online Crossroads certificates include:

  • Online Certificate in Liturgy
  • Certificate of Online Continuing Education
  • Online Certificate of Basic Catechesis
  • Custom Certificates
  • Certificate of Active participation


In addition to a top-notch academic curriculum, Boston College also has superb athletics programs. The college student-athletes and athletics teams are collectively known as the Eagles. Not surprisingly, the school mascot is also an Eagle. The college competes in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I sports and belongs to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The college is especially well known for its men’s hockey team which has won 5 national championships.


Benedict J. Fenwick, a Jesuit Bishop from the state of Maryland was the first person to envision a “College in the City of Boston” designed and established to educate a new generation of spiritual and civic leaders for his diocese. In 1827 he attempted to make his dream a reality when he launched a school to educate the city’s youth based out of the cathedral’s basement. Due to its distance from mainstream Jesuit populations and criticism from Protestant elites, Benedict Fenwick left Boston and abandoned his fledgling school and instead founded the College of the Holy Cross some 40 miles away in the city of Worcester.

Boston College South End

However, Benedict Fenwick’s vision for a Boston-based religious college was carried on by John McElroy, another Jesuit Bishop who also recognized a need for such an institution, specifically among the city’s rapidly growing population of Irish Catholic immigrants. With the blessing and support of the Roman Catholic Church (the Jesuits), McElroy raised enough money by 1857 to purchase the plot of land in South End, Boston, in the state of Massachusetts where the soon to be “Boston College” would be established. With just one schoolhouse and a church located in a separate building, Boston College held its first classes in 1859. However, just two years later, due to the Civil War, disagreements within its Jesuit governance, and problems with finances, Boston College was forced to shut its doors.

Boston College Gasson Tower

Just a few years later, in 1863, the college was reopened in its original location and its charter as a college was officially approved by the state of Massachusetts, making it the first Jesuit college in the city of Boston and the second Jesuit school in Massachusetts. In 1907, BC’s President, Thomas Gasson, decided that the institution’s location in South End, Boston would not accommodate the growth the school was experiencing. In 1908, he purchased another plot of land just six miles to the west of downtown Boston on a hill where the “new” university would be built and stand as a “city upon a hill”, a beacon of Jesuit scholarship to the rest of the world. To this day, the college remains on the same hill in what is now known as the city of Chester Hill.

In 1913 construction of the new university began, but by 1916 the cost of development exceeded the money available to finish the new campus. As a result, Gasson Hall, the campus’ main building remained alone for three years until additional funds could be raised to continue development. By the early 1920s, consistent with its original charter, development of university’s individual academic colleges began, starting with the Boston College Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, followed by the Boston College Law School, the Woods College of Advancing Studies, the Boston College of Graduate School of Social Work, the Carroll School of Management, the Connell School of Nursing, and finally the Lynch School of Education.

In 1926 Boston College became a coeducational institution and opened its doors to both female and male students. Prior to this time the college only admitted male students. Notwithstanding its open door policy to women, the institution did not become entirely coeducational until the early 1970s.

Many of BC’s graduates went on to become successful businessmen and politicians, and for much of the 20th century, alumni of Boston College dominated politics in Massachusetts.

General Information

Admission Office
140 Commonwealth Avenue, Devlin Hall 208
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3809
(617) 552-3100
(800) 360-2522
Fax: (617) 552-0798

Contact: John Mahoney
Director of Undergraduate Admission

Main Address
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-8000

Total undergrads: 9,060
First-time degree-seeking freshmen: 2,167
Degree-seeking undergrads: 9,060
Graduate enrollment: 4,027

Suburban setting
Small city (50,000 – 249,999)
Residential campus

Degrees offered:

First Professional

Admissions Information

Application Fee

College has an application fee: Yes

Regular application fee: $70

Online application fee: $70
Enrollment Rates

Percent applicants admitted: 26%

Percent students who return sophomore year: 96%

Tuition & Fees

Estimated Expenses for Academic Year 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
Tuition and fees $35,674 $37,950 $39,130 $40,542 +3.61%
Books and Supplies $650 $750 $750 $900 +20.00%
Living Arrangement – On Campus
Room and Board $11,060 $11,610 $11,840 $12,082 +2.04%
Other $1,000 $1,000 $1,150 $1,100 -4.35%
Living Arrangement – Off Campus
Room and Board $7,700 $6,850 $7,250 $7,600 +4.83%
Other $1,000 $1,200 $1,200 $1,100 -8.33%
Total Expenses 2008-’09 2009-’10 2010-’11 2011-’12 % change 2010-’12
In-state On Campus $48,384 $51,310 $52,870 $54,624 +3.32%
In-state Off Campus $45,024 $46,750 $48,330 $50,142 +3.75%
In-state with Family $36,324 $38,700 $39,880 $41,442 +3.92%
Average Graduate Student Tuition & Fees
Tuition for In-state Students $21,708
In-state Student Fees $90
Tuition for Out-of-state Students $21,708
Out-of-state Fees $90

Financial Aid

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students
Type of Aid Students Percent Amount Average Per Student
All students financial aid 1,250 55%
Grant or scholarship aid 894 39% $25,709,133 $28,757
• Federal grants 240 11% $1,611,362 $6,714
• Pell grants 224 10% $817,875 $3,651
• Other federal grants 236 10% $793,487 $3,362
State/local government grant or scholarships 126 6% $321,631 $2,553
Institutional grants or scholarships 886 39% $23,776,140 $26,835
Student loan aid 882 39% $3,338,244 $3,785
• Federal student loans 880 39% $3,297,744 $3,747
• Other student loans 12 1% $40,500 $3,375

All Degrees and Programs

Program Completions for Most Recent Year BA/BS MA/MS Doctor AA/AS CERT
Total of All Education Programs 3003 1368 401 14
Biology and Biomedical Sciences 185 1 6
Biochemistry 24
Biology and Biological Sciences, General 161 1 6
Business, Administration, Management, Marketing, etc. 679 466 5
Accounting 147 76
Accounting and Related Services, Other 6
Business Administration and Management 11 246
Business Administration, Management and Operations, Other 60
Business Operations Support and Secretarial Services, Other 55
Finance 271 84 3
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration 18
Marketing/Marketing Management 157
Operations Management and Supervision 9
Organizational Behavior Studies 5 2
Communication and Journalism Programs 264
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 264
Computing and Information Sciences 65
Computer Science 19
Information Science/Studies 46
Education 104 261 27 14
Biology Teacher Education 6
Chemistry Teacher Education 2
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 19
Curriculum and Instruction 41 11 2
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 11 6
Education, Other 1
Educational Administration and Supervision, Other 1
Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research, Other 6 4
Educational Leadership and Administration 18 5 8
Elementary Education and Teaching 50 23
English/Language Arts Teacher Education 14
French Language Teacher Education
Higher Education/Higher Education Administration 49 6 1
History Teacher Education 16
Mathematics Teacher Education 5 4
Multicultural Education 1
Physics Teacher Education
Reading Teacher Education 10
Science Teacher Education/General Science Teacher Education 1
Secondary Education and Teaching 35
Spanish Language Teacher Education
Special Education and Teaching, Other 42 1
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods, Other 5 2
English Language, Composition and Literature/Letters 208 30 3
English Language and Literature 208 30 3
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 81 12
Classics and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 6 2
French Language and Literature 18 4
German Language and Literature 6
Italian Language and Literature 4 1
Latin Language and Literature 1
Linguistics 1
Romance Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 1
Slavic Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 7
Spanish Language and Literature 40 2
Health Services and Allied Health Sciences 107 103 10
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 17
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 22
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing 7
Nurse Anesthetist 14
Nursing Science 10
Palliative Care Nursing 1
Pediatric Nurse/Nursing 25
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 8
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 107
Women’s Health Nurse/Nursing 9
History 194 23 4
History 194 23 4
Human Services 220 7
Social Work 220 7
Legal and Law Studies 11 265
Law 265
Legal Professions and Studies, Other 11
Mathematics and Statistics 46 4
Mathematics 46 4
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies 71 1
International/Global Studies 70
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 1 1
Natural Resources and Conservation 12
Environmental Science 12
Physical Sciences 46 16 23
Chemistry 26 5 13
Geology and Earth Science 3 4
Geophysics and Seismology 1
Physics 16 7 10
Psychology 309 75 15
Community Psychology 126
Counseling Psychology 51 6
Developmental and Child Psychology 18 3
Psychology 183 6 6
Social Sciences 508 32 18
Economics 253 17 12
Political Science and Government 147 7 1
Social Sciences, Other 9
Sociology 99 8 5
Theology and Religious Vocations 41 114 17
Divinity/Ministry 12
Pastoral Studies/Counseling 46
Religious Education 1
Theology/Theological Studies 41 56 16
Visual and Performing Arts 83
Art History, Criticism and Conservation 16
Drama and Dramatics/Theater Arts 27
Film/Cinema/Video Studies 11
Fine/Studio Arts 12
Music 17
Above data represent first majors only.
(-) Indicates that program is not offered at this award level.

Undergraduate Majors

Area, Ethnic, Cultural, & Gender Studies

* Hispanic-American Studies B

Arts, Visual & Performing

* Art History/Criticism/Conservation B
* Drama/Theater Arts B
* Film Studies B
* Fine/Studio Arts B
* Music – General B

Biological & Biomedical Sciences

* Biochemistry B
* Biology B

Business, Management, & Marketing

* Accounting B
* Business Administration/Management B
* Business/Managerial Economics B
* Finance/Banking B
* Human Resources Management B
* Management Information Systems B
* Operations Management B

Communications & Journalism

* Communications/Rhetoric B

Computer & Information Sciences

* Computer Science B
* Computer/Information Sciences – General B
* Information Sciences/Systems B


* Early Childhood Education B
* Elementary Education B
* Secondary Education B

English Language & Literature

* English Language & Literature – General B

Foreign Language & Literature

* Classics B
* French B
* German B
* Greek, Ancient B
* Italian B
* Latin B
* Linguistics B
* Russian B
* Spanish B

Health Professions & Clinical Sciences

* Nursing (RN) B


* History – General B


* Mathematics – General B

Philosophy & Religion

* Philosophy B

Physical Sciences

* Chemistry B
* Geology B
* GeophysicsSeismology B
* Physics B


* Psychology – General B

Social Sciences

* Economics B
* Political Science/Government B
* Sociology B

Degree levels for each major are designated by the following letters:

    A = Associate degree
    B = Bachelor’s degree
    C = Certificate or diploma

*We do not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

Boston College Highlights

School Information

Phone Number: (617) 552-8000
Type of School: 4-year, Private non-profit
Apply Online:
Address: 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Setting: City: Small
Campus Housing: Yes

Students & Programs

Student Population: 14,747
6-yr Graduation Rate (Bachelor's): 92%
Student-to-faculty Ratio: 13 to 1
Distance Learning Programs: Yes
Distance Learning Students*: 14,019 (95% of total students)
Degree Levels Offered: Certificates, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate

* Students taking at least 1 distance learning course

Tuition & Financial Aid*

In-state Tuition: $57,910
Out-of-state Tuition: $57,910
% of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 56%
Avg. Amount of Grant or Scholarship Aid Awarded: $44,700

* Full-time beginning undergraduate students. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Boston College Programs

See the degree programs that are offered at Boston College.

Degree Name Cert Assoc Bach Mast Doct
Area, Ethnic, Cultural, Gender, and Group Studies 22
Biological and Biomedical Sciences 222
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 2972
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 1
Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services 2
Education 76235
English Language and Literature/Letters 111
Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics 864
Health Professions and Related Programs 11101
History 111
Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Related Protective Service 1
Legal Professions and Studies 1
Mathematics and Statistics 122
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 31
Natural Resources and Conservation 2
Parks, Recreation, Leisure and Fitness Studies 1
Philosophy and Religious Studies 211
Physical Sciences 342
Psychology 243
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 11
Social Sciences 654
Theology and Religious Vocations 132
Visual and Performing Arts 5
Grand total 10597432

* Based on programs that produced 2019-2020 graduates

Tuition & Financial Aid

See what it costs to enroll at Boston College and how many students are receiving scholarships, grants, or loans as financial aid to help cover the costs of tuition.

Undergraduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $57,910
Out-of-state $57,910
Books and supplies $1,250

Graduate Student Tuition

Average tuition and fees for academic year:

Tuition and Fees 2019-2020
In-state $30,700
Out-of-state $30,700

Undergraduate Student Financial Aid, 2018-2019

Full-time Beginning Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Any student financial aid 1,306 56%
Grant or scholarship aid 1,029 44% $44,700
Student loan aid 901 39% $4,007

All Undergraduate Students

Type of Aid Number Receiving Aid % Receiving Aid Avg. Amt. of Aid
Grant or scholarship aid 4,658 48% $40,674
Federal student loans 3,605 37% $4,817

Admissions & Enrollment

See the admission requirements for Boston College. Find out how many students apply and how many are accepted. View a graphical breakdown of the gender, age, and ethnicity of currently enrolled Boston College students.

Undergraduate Admissions, Fall 2020

Total Male Female
Number of applicants 35,552 15,183 20,369
Percent admitted 100% 35% 22%
Percent admitted who enrolled 6% 7% 6%

Admissions Considerations

Required Recommended Optional
Secondary school GPA
Secondary school rank
Secondary school record
Completion of college-preparatory program
Formal demonstration of competencies
Admission test scores
Other Test (Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language

Boston College Enrollment, Fall 2020

Total Enrollment 14,747
Undergraduate enrollment 9,901
Graduate enrollment 4,846

Undergraduate Attendance

Undergraduate Gender

Undergraduate Age

Undergraduate Race/Ethnicity

Undergraduate Distance Education

Undergraduates taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Graduate Distance Education

Graduate students taking 100%, Some, or No Distance Education

Boston College Accreditation

This institution is accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education

Specialized institution accreditations:

  • American Bar Association, Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar
    • Law (LAW) - Professional schools
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
    • Counseling Psychology (COPSY) - PhD Doctoral programs
  • Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
    • Theology (THEOL) - Freestanding schools, as well as programs affiliated with larger institutions, offering graduate professional education for ministry and graduate study of theology
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Nursing (CNURED) - Nursing education programs at the baccalaureate degree levels
    • Nursing (CNURED) - Nursing education programs at the graduate degree levels
  • Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
    • Nurse Anesthesia (ANEST) - Institutions and programs at the master's degree, post master's certificate or doctoral degree levels
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
    • Teacher Education (TED) - Baccalaureate and graduate programs for the preparation of teachers and other professional personnel for elementary and secondary schools
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee
    • Baccalaureate Teacher Education Accreditation Council (BTEAC) - Baccalaureate programs
    • Graduate Teacher Education Accreditation Council (GTEAC) - Graduate programs

*General information for this school has been gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) database, a service provided by the U.S. Department of Education. does not guarantee the accuracy of information on this page. All information is subject to change. You should confirm all information with a college admissions officer.

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