Frequently Asked Questions about CGS

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1 Page 1 of 9 Frequently Asked Questions about CGS What are the advantages to CGS? What is so special about our CGS professors? What is the core curriculum? What is the team system? How do I apply to CGS? Why was I referred to CGS with guaranteed continuation? What do you mean by "guaranteed continuation?" Is there a minimum high school GPA and SAT score to enter CGS? Are CGS students eligible for financial aid? Is CGS a full-time program? How many students are in CGS? Where are the CGS classes held? Why is CGS a two-year program? Can I leave CGS after one year and move to another BU degree program? If I attend CGS, can I graduate with my bachelor s degree in four years? Is the CGS tuition more or less than other BU colleges? What are the qualifications of CGS faculty?

2 Page 2 of 9 How does academic advising work at CGS? Where do CGS students live? Do CGS students participate in all BU student activities? For how many semesters am I enrolled in CGS courses? Can I enroll in any BU school or college after I complete CGS? Can I change major after I leave CGS? Can I take classes in other schools and colleges at BU while I am in CGS? Can I take electives while in CGS? Can I start my major while in CGS? Can I choose my class schedule? Does the CGS structured core curriculum mean I will have no electives? Will I graduate from the CGS? Will I receive an associate s degree? Will my CGS grades be included on my transcript? Will my CGS credits count if I transfer to another University? Can I study abroad while I am in CGS? Can I get involved with research and directed study while at CGS? Are there academic honors in CGS? Will I get credit from CGS or BU for AP classes and college courses? How will CGS affect my academic future? When was CGS established? Is there academic support for CGS students? What are the advantages to CGS? There are three principal advantages to studying at CGS Our professors Our team system Our integrated liberal arts core curriculum These factors make attending CGS like studying in a small, liberal arts college within a major research university. What is so special about our CGS professors? A major advantage is our excellent faculty. They all have PhDs and are full-time at CGS. They are noted scholars, scientists, poets, historians, biologists, philosophers, musicians, film experts, and professionals in many other fields [read some faculty profiles at who are masters at classroom teaching. (See also:

3 Page 3 of 9 Our founders realized that following an obvious and important principle would lead to a successful, fulfilling general education: Optimize contact between good professors and good students. Consequently, the College does not employ intermediaries there are no teaching fellows no teaching assistants no lab assistants no graders no readers What is the core curriculum? Virtually all American universities require their students to fill general education requirements, as well as major or concentration requirements. The founding faculty at CGS, like those at the University of Chicago, Harvard College, and Columbia University, decided on the core model rather than the more common divisional or distribution approach in which students pick courses from menu lists. The core curriculum was strategically designed and has been refined by our professors to fill the general education requirements of a great liberal arts university through a coherent system of courses to maximize their interrelatedness, personal relevance and impact. You can see how this breaks out by courses and semester at What is the team system? The team system was originated at CGS to provide an ideal size for an academic community. In our team system you work with your professors in discussion groups of about 25, or 12 in the case of writing seminars. (There are also several large (110 +) lectures during the week.) Consequently, faculty and students come to know one another personally quite quickly and easily, enhancing the interaction of teaching and learning. How do I apply to CGS? You can apply directly to CGS following the standard application process through undergraduate admissions Why was I referred to CGS with guaranteed continuation? Boston University receives about 38, 000 applications for a freshman class of approximately 4,100. There are many more qualified students for our schools and colleges than we can accommodate. The undergraduate admissions office selects a limited number of highly qualified students from the pool of applicants to refer for admission to Boston University through CGS. CGS is another opportunity for highly qualified students to attend Boston University by entering CGS as freshmen, with guaranteed continuation into the undergraduate programs of their choice. What do you mean by guaranteed continuation? Students who complete CGS with a GPA of 2.0 or 2.3 and appropriate electives simply declare their

4 Page 4 of 9 majors for the junior year. (Details for continuation are at: Students can choose to continue to the college in which they were originally interested, but they are not limited to that program. Continuation to all programs is automatic except for the College of Fine Arts and the School of Education. Is there a minimum high school GPA and SAT score to enter CGS? Last year there were 38, 000 applicants for about 4,100 seats in the freshman class of Boston University. All applicants to BU are considered very carefully by the admissions office. Each application is read carefully; HSGPA, SATS, high school curriculum, counselor recommendations, personal statements, extracurricular activities and leadership are all appraised. While there are no minimum requirements for admission to CGS, the average students admitted to CGS for fall 2008 averaged about a B+ high school GPA (3.3) with average composite SATs of around 1785 (math 595; critical reading 587; writing 603), and were in the top 21% of their classes. Details of CGS entering class credentials: AVE. RANK IN CLASS TOP 21% AVE. GPA 3.3 (predominantly B+) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Composite (AVE. = 1785) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Critical Reading (AVE. = 587) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Math (AVE. 595) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Writing (AVE. = 603) SAT Subject Test Middle 50% (AVE. 581) ACT: MIDDLE 50% (AVE. = 26) Comparison to other BU schools and colleges: AVE. RANK IN CLASS TOP 10% AVE. GPA 3.6 (Predominantly A-) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Composite (AVE. = 1966) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Critical Reading (AVE. = 645) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Math (AVE. = 665) SAT: MIDDLE 50% Writing (AVE. = 656) SAT Subject Test Middle 50% (AVE. 656) ACT: MIDDLE 50% (AVE. = 29) Are CGS students eligible for financial aid? All BU students are eligible for financial aid, according to the need-based profile and merit criteria set by Financial Assistance. Is CGS a full-time program? CGS is entirely a full-time program full-time students and full-time CGS faculty. How many students are in CGS?

5 Page 5 of 9 There are approximately 700 first year students and about 650 sophomores. Where are the CGS classes held? The CGS core classes are held in our building at 871 Commonwealth Ave. in the center of the BU campus. The building was designed especially for the CGS style of pedagogy and has made major improvements in spaces for study in three of the last four years. CGS students take their elective classes in the buildings of CAS, COM, SMG, SHA, and so on. Why is CGS a two-year program? Another advantage is the coherent, systematic core curriculum that satisfies the general education requirements of the University in a way that adds up to a whole rather than a collection of disparate, perhaps haphazard, courses. The two-year sequence provides what social scientists call a multiplier effect. Your general education component serves as a meaningful context for your major, career, and life. Can I leave CGS after one year and move to another BU degree program? No. You should be clear that entering CGS is a two-year commitment, except in the rare case of transfer to the College of Fine Arts (CFA), which is based on a portfolio review or audition. If I attend CGS, can I graduate with my bachelor s degree in four years? For the vast majority of students continuing to College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), College of Communication (COM), and the School of Management (SMG) - the answer is yes. They can and do. Students seeking degrees in Engineering (ENG), some programs in Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SAR) and some physical science majors in CAS may take longer. Is the CGS tuition more or less than other BU colleges? As full time BU students, CGS tuition is the same as that for other schools and colleges. What are the qualifications of CGS faculty? Our faculty all have PhDs and are full-time at CGS there are no adjuncts. They are noted scholars, scientists, poets, historians, biologists, philosophers, musicians, film experts, and professionals in many other fields, who are masters at classroom teaching. Another important qualification is that they enjoy teaching their students directly (as discussed above) and have the face-to-face opportunity two or three times a week. How does academic advising work at CGS?

6 Page 6 of 9 On the first day of classes you will meet with your academic advisor, a full time professional who will guide you through your educational planning. The advisor is an expert in the resources of BU. CGS has eight advisors, all with a minimum of a Masters degree, and four with PhDs. Each advisor has a minimum of 10 years experience in advising (most at CGS) and some have 20 or 25 years experience at CGS. Your advisor works with you one-to-one as many times as you like. Your advisor is an integral part of the faculty team and collaborates with the professors on your team to advise you on academic and career matters. In fact, the CGS professors and advisor on your team meet weekly to coordinate exams, and essays, including joint papers, and most of all, to discuss you. What are you doing well? And, what could you improve? Your team professors see you in small (25) discussion classes twice a week, read your exams and papers, listen to your discussions, meet with you in tutorial/office hours, and then discuss you with their colleagues on the team. This kind of team meeting and combination of perspectives is highly unusual maybe unique - at any college, yet alone a large research university. Where do CGS students live? As BU students, CGS students live throughout the campus in the various residence options. Do CGS students participate in all BU student activities? As BU students, CGS students participate in every facet of campus life. They are leaders in college student governments, the campus wide Student Union, and varsity, club, and intramural sports. They are active in many of the hundreds of student groups. For how many semesters am I enrolled in CGS courses? You will be registered as a CGS student for four semesters. Can I enroll in any BU school or college after I complete CGS? Yes, you can enroll in any undergraduate program if you meet the continuation requirements; the College of Fine Arts requires a portfolio review or audition. Can I change my major after I leave CGS? You will not declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. Your major may be the one you had in mind when you applied to BU, but you are not locked into that major or college. The flexibility you gain by front-loading your general education requirement is one of the advantages of CGS, because it establishes an academic and intellectual foundation upon which to build your major. There is ample space in the junior and senior years to immerse yourself in your major.

7 Page 7 of 9 Can I take classes in other schools and colleges at BU while I am in CGS? Yes in fact, you are required to take courses in BU s other colleges as prerequisites for continuation. Can I take electives while in CGS? Can I start my major while in CGS? Yes. You will take one elective each semester - usually it will be outside of CGS. Often students choose electives which will satisfy requirements for their major. Can I choose my class schedule? As a BU first-year student, you will have the opportunity to choose your schedule during summer orientation. Does the CGS structured core curriculum mean I will have no electives? Each semester you may choose one elective in addition to the three core courses. These electives are courses outside of CGS in CAS, COM, SMG, and so on. Will I graduate from CGS? Will I receive an Associate s degree? No, you will not graduate from and you will not receive a degree from CGS. You will complete CGS and continue on into a degree program from which you will graduate. You will earn a bachelor s degree from another BU school or college. Will my CGS grades be included on my transcript? Of course, as a BU student, all courses taken at BU will appear on your transcript. Will my CGS credits count if I transfer to another University? Yes. They are Boston University courses and presuming they are C or better, other colleges and universities will normally accept them according to their curricullar policies. Can I study abroad while I am in CGS? Yes CGS offers summer term courses after the first year and a fall semester in the sophomore year in London. CGS faculty traditionally lead short (ten-twelve days) trips to China and other countries which can be done for credit. Studying abroad while at CGS does not interfere with study abroad during the junior or senior years, when most BU students who go abroad do so. Can I get involved with research and directed study while at CGS? Yes. Even in the freshman year CGS students can develop directed study projects for credits with CGS faculty.

8 Page 8 of 9 Are there academic honors in CGS? Yes, each semester outstanding students may be honored by achieving Dean s List or Dean s Circle status. One freshman can win the award for best first year paper. The sophomores who write the best capstone papers are honored by the Dean and their professors in a special ceremony. Students who maintain a 3.3 cumulative GPA may take classes beyond the normal courseload with no extra tuition. Freshmen and sophomores who have the highest grade point averages may be honored with merit awards at the end of the year. At the end of the sophomore year, some students may be awarded academic or service scholarships. Will I get credit from CGS or BU for AP classes and college courses? Yes, if your AP scores or college course grades meet University standards. How will CGS affect my academic future? At CGS you will receive an excellent education, working closely with BU professors and completing general education requirements. You will continue into the degree program of your choice and be able to earn your BU degree within a total of fours years, except in the case of a small number of majors. While at CGS, students plan for their professional careers with the premed and prelaw deans at the University and the Career Services. CGS students have graduated from every school and college at Boston University. They earn academic and service honors. When was CGS established? CGS was founded in 1952 as a spin-off from its parent, the General College, which was found in It was part of the birth of the mass higher education movement in the post-war United States, which opened top college and university opportunities for GI bill veterans and provided the intellectual infrastructure for the post-industrial boom in America s 20 th century knowledge-based economy. Is there academic support for CGS students? At CGS, we have an excellent Writing Center in the Katzenberg Center, a peer mentor program providing contact with selected successful sophomore CGS students, and content tutoring through the professors. Of course, CGS students are encouraged to use the support services of the campus at large, such as the Educational Resource Center (ERC.)

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