Boston College’s 16% acceptance rate for the Class of 2026 is half of what it was just five years ago. Today, enrolled students earned a mid-50% SAT of 1430-1510. Additionally, you need an all-around stellar academic resume to get serious consideration at this highly-selective Jesuit university. Writing an excellent Common App and Boston College supplemental essay are two of the more critical components of the BC application.

(Want to learn more about How to Get Into BC? Visit our blog entitled: How to Get Into Boston College for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Below are the BC supplemental essay prompts for the 2022-23 admissions cycle. Additionally, we offer tips about how to write a winning composition. Those applying to the Human-Centered Engineering major are to answer only #6; everyone else is to pick one prompt from options #1-5. The limit for each is 400 words.

Boston College Supplemental Essay Option #1

Students at Boston College are encouraged to consider critical questions as they pursue lives of meaning and purpose. What is a question that matters to you and how do you hope Boston College will help you answer it? 

In the words of Francis Bacon, who developed the scientific method in the 17th century, “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” The first step in writing this essay is to settle upon a quality question that really cuts the heart of what you want to discover during your four years at BC. As the prompt states, this question should be in the realm of living a purposeful and meaningful life, so it may involve a spiritual, deep philosophical, or moral inquiry. Accordingly, we’ve seen applicants successfully tie together their academic, extracurricular, and religious aims into their reply to this prompt.

Boston College Essay Option #2

In 2020, we faced a national reckoning on racial injustice in America – a reckoning that continues today. Discuss how this has affected you, what you have learned, or how you have been inspired to be a change agent around this important issue.

George Floyd’s death in May 2020 was an inflection point in the U.S. on the topic of racial injustice. If you have a strong story to tell in this area, this is a great prompt to select. Firsthand experience as a witness to, or victim of, racial intolerance; or, working on the front lines within your community to help address injustice can lead to a phenomenal essay. Again this is an essay that is strongest if it recounts personal experience/involvement. However, mere musings on the topic of racial injustice will be less powerful.

BC Supplemental Essay Option #3

At Boston College, we hope to draw on the Jesuit tradition of finding conversation partners to discuss issues and problems facing society. Who is your favorite conversation partner? What do you discuss with that person?

Who do you engage in deep conversations with? For some, this may be a sibling, parent, grandparent, or other family member. For others, it may be a friend, spiritual leader, or teacher. If you are someone who regularly engages in meaningful discourse with another individual or a group of peers or adults, this can be an excellent prompt to choose. Note that the prompt specifies “issues and problems facing society”. This offers limitless possibilities from the environment, to global conflict, to political polarization. Feel free to use the 400 words worth of real estate to cover two or more conversational topics/themes.

BC Supplemental Essay Option #4

Socrates stated that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Discuss a time when reflection, prayer, or introspection led to clarity or understanding of an issue that is important to you.

As with many of the other BC prompt choices, this one delivers a chance to illustrate that you are a thoughtful, mature, and intellectually curious young person who would be a welcome addition to the Eagle campus community. While #3 may appeal to extroverts (or at least those socially-inclined), prompt #4 is about moments of quiet introspection and our own internal processes for working through life’s many challenges. In summary, view this as an opportunity to be sincere, vulnerable, and reveal more about the core of who you are.

Boston College Supplemental Essay Option #5

Each year at University Convocation, the incoming class engages in reflective dialogue around a common text. What book would you recommend for your class to read and explore together – and why?

By the age of 17/18, many of us have at least one book that holds a special place in our heart and speaks to us in a deep way about the human condition. For this prompt, you can select a fiction or nonfiction work. It can be a commonly read text that you encountered in school or a book that you read for pleasure. There are genuinely no limits here. As long as you can eloquently communicate how the text can be a launching off point for a powerful and generative discussion about one or more essential elements of the human experience.

Human-Centered Engineering Essay (HCE applicants only)

One goal of a Jesuit education is to prepare students to serve the Common Good. Human-Centered Engineering at Boston College integrates technical knowledge, creativity, and a humanistic perspective to address societal challenges and opportunities. What societal problems are important to you and how will you use your HCE education to solve them? (400 words)

The merger of science/technology and humanity forms the core of the HCE program which opened its doors in the fall of 2021. You undoubtedly have reasons for choosing this particular engineering program that “integrates BC’s core liberal arts curriculum with courses in foundational and advanced engineering that emphasize societal responsibility.” You may want to use the list of foundational topics covered in the program as you enter the prewriting phase for this essay:

  • Introduction to Human-Centered Engineering and Design
  • Human Factors in Engineering Design
  • Engineering for Development
  • Engineering Foundations Studio (includes topics such as Dynamics, Circuits, Transport phenomena, Thermodynamics, Environmental Systems)
  • Introduction to Data Science and Machine Learning
  • Advanced electives
  • Collaborative Service Engineering Project
  • Senior Impact Project

How important are the essays at Boston College?

Presently, Boston College considers two factors to be “very important” in evaluating a candidate. They are: the GPA earned, and the rigor of one’s curriculum. Further, nine factors rate as “important”: class rank, recommendations, essays, extracurricular activities, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, legacy status, religious affiliation, and volunteer work. In other words, the essays are definitely an important admissions factor at BC.

Want Personalized Essay Assistance?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Boston College supplemental essay, we encourage you to get a quote today.