Boston College of Graduate Arts and Sciences
Promoted by Boston College

Boston College: Education with a heart and soul – and the power to transform

Grounded in the ideals that inspired its Jesuit founders, Boston College urges students to look inward but always reach out – to develop their minds and talents to the fullest and use them in service to others. They ask their students to explore the big questions and challenge them to ask “What difference will I make?” “How will my knowledge serve the world?”

An internationally noted social economist recognized for advancing our understanding of the gig economy and why we are so overworked. A team of scientists looking back 12 million years for clues about the origins of ocean “dead zones,” vast areas where no life can survive. A trained paediatrician and epidemiologist investigating the impacts of environmental pollution on global public health. An award-winning national commentator on American history and politics recognized for contributions to the enhancement of civic life. In an era fraught with border anxiety and increased refugees and migrants, two professors using the written word to cultivate a willingness to be open and welcoming to new voices and new understandings. Climatologists and social scientists collaborating to formulate a holistic response to climate change, with environmental justice front and center. These are just a few examples of the types of research — focused on the common good — in which students engage within the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Boston College.

From faculty to students, there is no shortage of determined individuals striving to improve the lives of others at the Graduate Arts and Sciences at Boston College. As the oldest of the university’s eight graduate and professional schools, they are focused on answering questions about the most pressing societal and environmental issues of our time. Rooted in religious, ethical, and personal growth, this is where individuals are encouraged to be inquisitive and to ask big questions like “What difference will I make?” and “How will my knowledge serve the world?”.

“We want students to become good discerners who can reflect on their experience in ways that help them make good decisions. We want them to be people who will use all of their skills and talents and gifts to promote the common good, to help create societies in which everybody can flourish,” explains Gregory Kalscheur, Dean of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences.

The Graduate School offers 28 PhD, MA, and MS programmes in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. At this top-tier, R1 research institution, faculty members double as groundbreaking researchers and uncommonly attentive teachers and mentors.

The climate scientists Yi Ming and Hanqin Tian hold honours such as the US Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the World Meteorological Organization Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award, the American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award, and the American Geophysical Union Ascent Award. Tian’s research has been supported by the US Department of Agriculture, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and other organizations.

Historian Robin Fleming, a recipient of the McArther Fellowship or “Genius Award,” is afellow of the Medieval Academy of America, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Royal Historical Society and the London Society of Antiquities. Sociologist Juliet Schor is a former Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellow, recipient of the American Sociological Association Award for Public Understanding of Sociology and recently named American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow. Philip Landrigan is one of the world’s leading authorities on public health – particularly children’s health. Historian Heather Cox Richardson is a leading national commentator on American History and politics. Catleen Kaveny is a legal scholar and theologian and internationally recognized expert on the intersections of law, morality and religion.

Such is the calibre of people helping BC doctoral students bring impact to life. Jorel Padilla experienced this first-hand. “My education here has been challenging, engaging, and rewarding. That’s a testament to the amazing faculty,” the PhD candidate says. “The support we receive from them and from the departmental administration makes for an environment where I can be productive while also growing as a scientist and person.”

Support for doctoral students like Padilla comes in all forms and shapes at BC. Graduate Fellowships let them work alongside renowned faculty members on real-world projects. All doctoral students receive assistantships that provide students with a competitive stipend, afull-tuition scholarship, and medical coverage.

With approximately 1,000 students and nearly 500 full-time faculty, the Graduate School is small enough to know you as a person, but large enough to serve you and prepare you for a rewarding life and satisfying career. This is intentional. The student to faculty ratio allows for small laboratory groups, research groups, and class sizes – enabling faculty to effectively teach and mentor their students.


Boston College of Graduate Arts and Sciences

Graduate students receive robust mentorship, research, coursework, and professional development. Source: Boston College of Graduate Arts and Sciences

“The smaller size of Morrissey College allows me to feel as though I am truly supported by everyone around me. I have no doubts that every member of our faculty wants to see me, as well as my peers, succeed in whatever way we define ‘success.’ I can say, with confidence, that the research community here is one of the best there is,” PhD candidate Emma Russell shares.

Nell Wasserstrom, a PhD candidate in English, agrees. “I don’t believe I’ve heard the word ‘no’ once during my PhD programme. The faculty have done everything in their power to encourage my intellectual growth and professional development.”

And where better to achieve all of this than Boston – a city unlike any other? Rich in history, the arts, academia, and sports, Boston boasts an eclectic mix of old-world charm and modern vitality. Home to more than 35 colleges and universities, this is the intellectual beating heart of the country. When the vagaries of research life get too much, there are the nation’s best art museums and cultural institutions to soothe and uplift souls. And Boston College is perfectly situated to enjoy both the charm and beauty of the city and its cultural and recreational activities.

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