I had been to BC football games as a kid, so I knew that school spirit runs high, and I definitely felt that during my visit. In addition to school spirit, students are very passionate about service and faith. Service came up time and again during the information session and tour. Ninety percent of students volunteer, and they don’t just volunteer once a week to feel good about themselves, they commit to weekly reflection about their service and feel giving back is integral to who they are. BC is a Jesuit school, and 70% of students are Catholic. The school is quite open to people of different faiths, and having open, thoughtful discussions about different religions and faith seems to be a regular occurrence, so I think this could be a welcoming environment for someone who’s not Catholic but is open to discussing faith (and for those not keen on these types of conversations, this could be an isolating factor).
BC also has a strong core curriculum, with 15 required courses over a number of disciplines (including theology and philosophy). This is part of the Jesuit education, which encourages students to be well-educated across disciplines, not just well trained in one field. BC has four schools, the largest of which is the school of arts and sciences. They also have a school of management, an education school, and a nursing school. If students are interested in any of the three smaller schools, they are encouraged to apply to that school, since it is much easier to transfer out of one of those schools into the school of arts and sciences rather than trying to transfer into one of these schools from the college of arts and sciences. Students may also take up to six courses in other schools than the one they are enrolled in.
I was struck by how beautiful the campus is. It’s a very suburban campus (5 miles from Boston), with neo-gothic architecture and lots of green space. The school is on the T (Boston’s metro system) so you can be in downtown Boston in 20 minutes, and many students take advantage of this to get internships in the city.
I think Boston College would be a great school for a student who is excited to explore courses across lots of different fields, and who is passionate about service and comfortable with attending a Catholic school.