Boston College’s distinctive approach to undergraduate education can be best understood through the motto of the University: “Ever to Excel.” “Men and Women in Service for Others” has long been a phrase used to describe the focus of a Jesuit education, and the influence of the Jesuit focus is evident in all aspects of the university.
Academically, in addition to maintaining the highest standards for its faculty and its students, the curriculum is focused on helping its students develop a consciousness of their identities and their responsibilities in today’s society. Socially, the college provides a diversity of opportunities for its students to discover their abilities and their calling, including dozens of clubs and organizations representing artistic, athletic, cultural, ethnic, religious, and political interests; professional internships; volunteer programs; international study; and leadership opportunities.
As a Catholic and Jesuit university, the school is rooted in a worldview that encounters God in all creation and through all human activity, especially in the search for truth in every discipline, in the desire to learn, and in the call to live justly together. While highlighting its traditions and principles, BC recognizes the importance of a diverse student body, faculty, and staff, and maintains a firm commitment to academic freedom, as the university encourages a communal effort toward the pursuit of its mission.
The main campus is located on the border between the cities of Boston and Newton, six miles from downtown Boston, in a village known as Chestnut Hill. The location is one of its most attractive features. Students enjoy living and studying on a quiet campus featuring green lawns and beautiful English Collegiate Gothic buildings, and at the same time, having easy access to one of America’s greatest cities. The Green Line of Boston’s mass transit system, “the T,” begins at the base of the main campus, and transports travelers to all parts of the city.
In addition to a plethora of opportunities for shopping, sightseeing, nightlife, professional sports, research, volunteering, internships, and employment, Boston is also America’s largest college town. students often become acquainted with students fromneighboring universities, including Harvard, M.I.T., Tufts, Boston University, and Northeastern. The college also features a Newton campus, located approximately one-and-a-half miles west of the Chestnut Hill campus, which is the home of the Law School, and also the home to more than 800 students in the freshman class. Shuttle buses travel between the two campuses, providing convenient access between them.
Although undergraduate classes are held on the main campus, freshmen living on the Newton campus enjoy the unique “freshman-only” community that the separate location affords them. And, in 2004, the school acquired 43 acres of land in Brighton, adjacent to its main campus. Ambitious plans for academic and cocurricular facilities on the new campus are underway.
In the fall of a recent year, 9,050 undergraduate students enrolled. However, the number studying on campus is somewhat smaller because many students choose to spend a semester studying abroad. The large number of full-time faculty allows class sizes to be kept small; the student-faculty ratio is 13:1.
Boston College stands out among its peers in American academe because of a distinctive approach to higher education. While upholding the standards of excellence that are expected of the nation’s finest colleges and universities, the mission articulates another set of expectations for its faculty, staff, and students.
The personal development of every member of the community is the primary result. Because of this belief, the mission emphasizes its dedication to the philosophy of cura personalis, or “care for the whole person.” This dedication is recognized through the university’s commitment to employing a distinguished learned faculty devoted to teaching undergraduates; through the resources it makes available for education outside the classroom; through the academic, social, and recreational resources and facilities it makes available to all members of its community; and through the holistic perspective it offers from its broad-based, spiritually focused, liberal arts curriculum.
Dedication to these goals, combined with the University’s commitment to excellence in all aspects of its operation, has given BC recognition, not only as one of the nation’s leading Catholic universities, but as one of America’s finest providers of an undergraduate education.