School Profile: Are You the Next Boston College Academic Athlete?

Boston College is #53 among the Veritas Prep Elite College Rankings. Located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, its campus is often referred to as “the Heights” due to its hilltop location and Collegiate Gothic architecture that includes the iconic Gasson Tower. Founded by the Society of Jesus in 1863, Boston College is a private research university dedicated to the traditions of its Jesuit Catholic origins where research, academic exchange, faith, and culture intersect.

Students enrolling as undergraduates at Boston College can choose majors from among five schools, College of Arts and Sciences (34), Lynch School of Education (3), Carroll School of Management (12), Connell School of Nursing (1), Woods College of Advancing Studies (14), or interdisciplinary programs (18). Twenty academic majors across both undergraduate and graduate schools have an international focus in keeping with the global Jesuit liberal arts tradition since the 16th century. The most popular majors by enrollment are economics, communications, and biology. The student faculty ratio is 1:14, and 94% of the faculty have doctoral degrees.

Students can take advantage of eight research libraries on Boston College campus. When you need a place to do all that late night studying, you will want to make your way to the study tables of Gargan Hall on the second floor of Bapst Library, the fine arts library. They’re open 24 hours a day Thursdays through Sundays and are regarded as the quietest place on campus. The bonus is the hall’s Harry Potter style Gothic environment.

There are fewer than 10,000 undergraduates on campus at Boston College of which 85% live on campus. Freshmen are required to live on campus; most options are 2-person rooms, although there are some singles and some with three or four students per unit. Freshmen female students can apply to The Women’s Experience in Kostka Hall on Upper Campus. Any freshman can apply to the Shaw Leadership Program in Shaw House, or the Multicultural Learning Experience floors. Other options include Healthy Alternatives for substance-free living, or Honors House for honor students. There is no Greek life on campus.

There are regular dining hall options on campus plus specialty choices like Hillside Café for Starbucks and sandwiches, Eagle’s Nest deli in McElroy, organic food at The Loft in Corcoran, The Shack for outdoor dining—also in Corcoran, The Chocolate Bar in Stokes Hall serving Peet’s coffees and teas plus every chocolaty dessert you can think of, and three On The Fly mini-marts. You’ll never go hungry at Boston College.

The NCAA Division I Boston College Eagles compete on 14 men’s and 17 women’s teams, most of which are played in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The football team has won a number of bowl games in the past, won one national title, and produced over 20 NFL players including Doug Flutie and Matt Ryan. Men’s basketball made the NCAA Elite Eight three times. Men’s hockey teams are five time National Champions. Women’s basketball made the NCAA Sweet 16 three times. Boston College athletes are also often among the most academically successful in the country.

Boston College has ten athletic facilities for competitive sports including Alumni Stadium and Conte Forum. A 144,000-square-foot recreation center serves Boston College students and offers tennis, racquetball, fitness, aquatics, and more. The Flynn Recreational Complex also offers 21 club sports and intramurals for students who want to play competitive sports, but not at the varsity level.

Other than the Jesuit tradition of the school, Boston College doesn’t seem to be big on unofficial or frivolous traditions. They have a fight song and a mascot like most colleges, but other than sports traditions, this isn’t an area where the school or student body focus attention. The Boston College Marching Band performs pre-game concerts called “Peptacular!” on the steps of Conte Forum; they perform a pre-game show inside the stadium, lead the enthusiasm in the stands during the games, and play the alma mater at the end of games. One of the oldest unofficial traditions at Boston College is taking the 16-hour trip in a fan RV from Boston to South Bend, Indiana for football game day against Notre Dame.

If you are looking for an academically strong research university dedicated to its Irish Catholic roots in the ultimate college town, Boston College could be just the place for you.

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By Colleen Hill