Boston College was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) to educate Boston’s predominantly Irish, Catholic immigrant community. Starting as an undergraduate liberal arts college, BC eventually added graduate programs and professional schools, fulfilling its charter as a university. Before long, what opened as a “small streetcar college” for commuting students soon outgrew its humble beginnings in Boston’s South End, moving the campus to our present-day location in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, affectionately called, “The Heights.” 

Inspiration for its academic and societal mission is drawn from the University’s distinctive religious and intellectual heritage. As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Boston College is rooted in a world view that calls us to learn, to search for truth, and to live in service to others. To fulfill that mission, we welcome and embrace the contributions of a diverse student body from many faith traditions.

To this day, BC continues to build upon its traditions while maintaining a bold vision for its future. Boston College strives to

  • Be a national leader in the liberal arts
  • Fulfill its Jesuit, Catholic mission of faith and service
  • Continue to develop model programs to support students in their formation
  • Seek solutions—as researchers, educators, leaders, and caregivers—that directly address the world’s most urgent problems

Boston College endeavors to educate a new generation of leaders—men and women who will be capable of shaping the future with vision, justice, and charity—with a sense of calling, with concern for all of the human family.