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Boston College - Lynch School of Education


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Does anyone know much about the political environment of Boston College?  I'm liberal and not religious and a strong supporter of LGBTQ, and I'm very passionate about social justice.  I applied to BC because of how much they say they advocate for social justice, but the hypocrisy of getting a PhD at an extremely expensive catholic private school to advocate for social justice is totally killing me.  Plus, the professors seem to want you to refer to them as "Dr. xx and Dr. xx" instead of by their first name, which totally throws me off (every other graduate school has preferred first names).  Can anyone weigh in on this?

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I got my Masters in education at a different Catholic university. Every classroom had a crucifix, which I found somewhat unsettling. Other than that, there was nothing particularly religious about my education there. While there are definitely some religious universities where religion is a big part of the education (I'm thinking Liberty, BYU, etc), there are also a lot of schools that have historical religious affiliations that don't substantially impact the education you get; I have a feeling BC is in the latter category. You can talk to current students about the political climate of the department, but it is in Boston, so I bet you would find many like-minded people. Having to call professors by a title may just indicate the department is a little more formal, which might not be your preference. 

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I'm a non-religious Jewish superliberal who currently does social action organizing in Boston and I've applied to BC for social work school. It's very funny as I share some of the same concerns as you. I grew up steps away from the campus and know faculty there in economics, law, and sociology- mostly my parents' Jewish friends- who have said that for Jewish grad students it is a wonderfully warm, welcoming environment, albeit one with crucifixes in all the classrooms. Grad students seem to be more diverse with social work and education having more students of color (I only know white students in the Management and Law Schools but that might just be my exposure). Attitudes towards LGBTQ students and issues are so different than what I remember growing up- even 10 years ago it was not a supportive environment but that really seems to have changed. It really isn't how it was in the 90s with it being majority Catholic kids. However, one thing that gave me pause was a social work professor told me that when students wanted to hold a discussion on gay marriage, the school insisted that someone from the Diocese be invited to give his side of the argument. The professor told me she appreciated that- in a "both sides of the story" way which I can appreciate, but don't necessarily agree with. The Diocese is visible in that way on campus.


BC does have a strong social justice orientation towards many important issues. I'm very interested in working with immigrants and refugees and in this area, the connections BC has with organizations advocating for immigrant rights and refugee resettlement are strong. A real sense of fighting poverty and educating all can be felt. But issues like women's reproductive rights, comprehensive sex education, etc. might be met with some resistance.


As the poster above said, it is Boston and this is a left-leaning social justice-y city with a lot to get involved in. While a typical BC student might lean more apathetic, there still would be opportunities on campus and off for you to participate in social justice work. It is really is an academically stellar institution in many areas. I hope this helped somewhat.

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