On Site: Boston College

Updated: Oct 12


At a Glance

Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Undergraduate Students: 9,445

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1

Acceptance Rate: 19%

Six Year Graduation Rate: 94%

Freshman Retention Rate: 95%

Notable Majors: Accounting, Biology, Communications, Economics, Finance, History, Marketing, Nursing, Political Science, Psychology


The Feel

  • Located quite literally on Chestnut Hill, Boston College has a 3-part campus: upper, middle and lower. There is a very lively quad on upper campus. Beautiful campus with cream colored collegiate gothic style brick buildings and cathedrals. A labyrinth memorial was built to honor 9/11 victims, and students still walk it to meditate or relax between classes.

  • The campus is just 6 miles from downtown. The Boston T takes kids to downtown and everywhere else they want to go.

  • Students are guaranteed 3 years of housing; many move off campus during junior year but come back for senior year owing to the strong community and nice facilities.

  • As with all Jesuit schools, there is no Greek life on campus.

  • 70% of the student body is Catholic.

  • PULSE allows students to meet the student theology requirement through service in the community. Many students take advantage of this.

  • Boston College is ranked #7 in the nation for campus dining!

  • Athletics are D1, and they are a member of the ACC.



Standout Points

  • Boston College is an R-1 research university. This designation is reserved for the top 3% of US research universities (though they consider themselves a liberal arts school as a whole).

  • Students must apply to one of 4 schools: Arts and Sciences, Management, Education or Nursing. Transferring between schools is complicated and not guaranteed, so applicants should be fairly sure of which school they are applying to.

  • Complex Problems or Enduring Questions - 2 categories of general curriculum students can take...helps to make these courses feel more relevant to students.

  • Unlike open curriculum schools, Boston College has a pretty involved core curriculum with 10 categories to fulfill. All freshmen take a writing seminar, and all students in the management college take a business ethics seminar their first year.

  • A new center for Science and Engineering is now open. One emphasis is ‘human centered engineering’ which addresses the inter-disciplinary nature of humanities and science. Examples include global health, entrepreneurship, and other ways engineering that can tackle complex global issues. The BC tour guide emphasized that companies are increasingly looking for general engineers who are nimble and can evolve as needed.



Fun Fact

  • Boston College has the largest community of Jesuit faculty of any school worldwide. They have their own residence, St Mary’s, on campus.



Bottom Line Fit: For the student looking for a high caliber, mid-sized, traditional college experience in a quieter area of Boston, and who embraces a Jesuit Catholic atmosphere.



Learn more about Boston College!


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