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Historical America: The Top Five Colleges for History Majors

Historical America: The Top Five Colleges for History Majors
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3. Boston College

Boston College is a private Jesuit Catholic research university located in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. The Campus of Boston College is suburban and 6 miles from downtown Boston. The student body is made up of 9100 full-time undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students.

The acceptance ratio is 29%. Undergraduate tuition is $50,480 plus student fees of $1346 which equals $51,826. Room and board expense is $13,818 and the total Tuition, Fees, Room and Board is $65,644. BC’s financial aid is need-based, and 67% of the student body receive financial aid. The average need-based financial aid package is $37,000. The average student debt upon graduation is approximately $18,036. The average starting salary upon graduation is $47,000. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1. “US News and World Report” ranks BC 35th in its “Great Schools at Great Prices” category. “Kiplinger’s” ranks BC 22nd in its “Best Value Private University” category. BC’s motto is “Ever to Excel” from Homer’s “Iliad,” 6th book.

By Boston Starbucks Rebel at English Wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Boston Starbucks Rebel at English Wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Boston College began in 1825 when Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J., a Jesuit, was named the second Bishop of Boston. Fenwick had the vision of establishing a college in Boston. The intent was to develop a new set of leaders who could address both the civic and spiritual needs of the city of Boston.

In 1843 due to the opposition of many Protestant civic leaders regarding the establishment of a Jesuit school in Boston, Fenwick journeyed to Worcester, Massachusetts and established the College of Holy Cross. That vision of a Jesuit school in Boston was carried on by John McElroy, S.J., who was instrumental in forming a Jesuit faculty. In 1857, through his leadership in fundraising, he purchased land on Harrison Avenue in the South End of Boston. The first class at Boston College was formed in 1859.

However, Boston College was forced to close two years later due to the Civil War and its inability to obtain a charter from the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1863 Boston College’s charter was finally approved by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Boston College became the second Jesuit institution of higher learning and second to the College of Holy Cross.

At the turn of the 20th century, there were 500 students enrolled at BC. Cramped for space in Boston’s South End, Thomas I. Glasson, S.J. the President of BC purchased a farm on Chestnut Hill, 6 miles outside of Boston, in 1909 the construction of the new BC campus began. By the 1920’s BC expanded its academic offerings by establishing BC School of Arts and Sciences, BC Law School, Woods College of Advancing Studies, BC Graduate School of Social Work, the Carroll School of Management, the Connell School of Nursing and the Lynch School Education.

Over the years since its expansion, BC has grown, and the student population has expanded as well as the size of BC’s campuses. Today Boston College is considered to be a leading institution of higher learning not only in Boston and New England, but throughout this country. BC is ranked 22nd in the “Forbes” 2016 edition of “America’s Top Colleges” and 31st among national universities in the “U.S. News and World Report” “America’s Best Colleges 2017” rankings.

When you live only minutes from downtown Boston, there is a lot to do off campus. You have all kinds of arts and entertainment opportunities from museums to plays, to musicals and athletic competition. You have some of the finest restaurants and boutiques along the east coast within a few minutes drive off campus. You have both an urban and a suburban experience at Boston College.

There are 273 student organizations on campus offering leadership and volunteer roles. The Office of Student Involvement’s only function is to help students to get involved and stay involved throughout their time at BC. The student organizations range from Music, Art, Performance, Service, Honor Societies, Campus Ministries and more.

You can learn about all the organizations and the opportunities they provide for getting involved at the Student Involvement Fair. The Fair takes place the first Friday of the academic year. The Fair also welcomes you to Boston College and helps you meet some of the students that make up these different organizations.

BC Rec is the place to go to find out about workout schedules and the availability for recreation. There are a number of club sports ranging from baseball to figure skating,  crew,  cycling,  men’s and women’s Ultimate and many more. There is also a very active Intramural sports program as well and for those who love the outdoors, there are Outdoor Adventures.

When we speak of Boston College as being one of the top five schools for History Majors, it is always helpful to be in a place that is surrounded by history. If U. S. Colonial History is your bailiwick, then what better place to study than Boston. You are only a few miles away from where the shot heard around the world was fired at Concord, MA. You are in the very place where the Boston Tea Party took occurred.  You can visit first hand the sites of the Boston Massacre and the Battle of Bunker Hill. Many Revolutionary War personalities such as John Adams, Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere called Boston home.  Finally, Boston is the home port of “Old Ironsides” the USS Constitution commissioned in 1794, launched in 1797 and named by President George Washington.

History majors at BC take a core group of History courses which include the writing and research that is such an integral part of history. The classes in the junior and senior years are designed to be small, so there is a great deal of working together with fellow students and the instructors. There are opportunities to study abroad to enhance your experience in the pursuit of your History degree.

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Jamie Stewart America Unraveled's resident expert on all things higher ed!

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