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Boston College vs Occidental: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College Decision Day

Boston College vs Occidental: A Comprehensive Look

Choosing the right university can be quite a daunting task. With so many options out there, each with unique characteristics and offerings, it’s important to conduct thorough research in order to make an informed decision. This article aims to provide a comprehensive comparison of Boston College vs Occidental College, two prestigious universities with differing backgrounds, academic programs, student life, and campus environments. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the details!

History and Background of Boston College and Occidental College

Boston College and Occidental College have very different histories and backgrounds. Boston College was founded in 1863 by the Society of Jesus and is a Jesuit Catholic research university located in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts.

Occidental College, on the other hand, was founded in 1887 by a group of Presbyterian clergy and is a private liberal arts college located in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, California. Boston College has a strong focus on Catholic teachings and traditions, whereas Occidental College values social justice and diversity in its mission statement and approach.

Boston College signage hanging off a pole

Despite their differences, both Boston College and Occidental College have a strong commitment to academic excellence and providing their students with a well-rounded education. Boston College offers over 50 majors and minors across its nine schools and colleges, including programs in business, education, and nursing.

Occidental College, on the other hand, offers over 40 majors and minors in fields such as economics, psychology, and theater. Both institutions also offer a variety of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved in research and community service.

Location and Campus Overview of Boston College and Occidental College

Boston College is situated on a beautiful, suburban campus that spans 338 acres of predominantly green open spaces and parks. Located just six miles from downtown Boston, students have access to all the cultural amenities of the city, while still enjoying the comforts of a peaceful and picturesque campus environment.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is situated in the bustling area of Los Angeles in California, giving students access to the city’s opportunities and cultural offerings. The campus is located on 120 acres of hilly terrain and features unique style architecture that merges the old and new.

Boston College is known for its strong academic programs, particularly in the fields of business, education, and theology. The campus is home to over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including over 200 student organizations and clubs. The college also boasts a strong athletic program, with 31 varsity sports teams competing in the NCAA Division I.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is renowned for its liberal arts curriculum and commitment to social justice. The college has a student population of around 2,000 and offers over 40 majors and minors across various disciplines.

The campus is home to a number of unique facilities, including the Samuelson Alumni Center, which features a rooftop garden and stunning views of the surrounding area. Occidental College also has a strong tradition of community service, with many students participating in volunteer programs both on and off campus.

Admissions Process: How to Get into Boston College vs Occidental College

Admissions processes for both Boston College and Occidental College are competitive and rigorous, with a holistic approach to evaluating applicants. Boston College looks for students who have demonstrated a strong academic foundation in high school, as well as qualities of intellectual curiosity, leadership, and character.

Occidental College also looks for students who have strong academic records but values applicants who have demonstrated creative thinking, community engagement, and diversity of background and experience. Both universities require students to submit transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation, as well as participate in an interview process.

Aside from the standard application requirements, Boston College also offers an Early Decision option for students who are committed to attending the university if accepted. This option can increase a student’s chances of acceptance, but it is important to carefully consider the commitment before applying. Occidental College also offers an Early Decision option, as well as a Test-Optional policy for students who feel that their test scores do not accurately reflect their academic abilities.

Both Boston College and Occidental College offer a variety of resources and support for students during the admissions process. This includes campus visits, information sessions, and virtual tours. Additionally, both universities have dedicated admissions counselors who are available to answer questions and provide guidance throughout the application process.

It is important for students to take advantage of these resources and to carefully consider which university is the best fit for their academic and personal goals.

Academic Programs Offered at Boston College vs Occidental College

Boston College and Occidental College offer various undergraduate and graduate degrees and programs across a range of fields. Boston College has nine undergraduate schools, including the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, the Carroll School of Management, and the Lynch School of Education and Human Development.

The university also offers graduate programs in areas such as Law, Theology, and Social Work. Occidental College offers over 40 majors and minors in fields such as Art History, Biochemistry, and Media Arts and Culture. The college also has various interdisciplinary programs, a strong emphasis on experiential learning, and opportunities for independent research and study abroad.

a male law student studying

In addition to the undergraduate and graduate programs offered at Boston College and Occidental College, both institutions provide students with a wide range of extracurricular activities and resources. Boston College has over 300 student organizations, including clubs for community service, cultural interests, and academic pursuits.

The university also has a robust athletics program, with 31 varsity teams competing in the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference. Occidental College offers students access to a variety of research centers and institutes, including the Center for Digital Liberal Arts and the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute. The college also has a strong commitment to sustainability, with initiatives such as a solar array and a campus garden.

Furthermore, both Boston College and Occidental College have a strong tradition of fostering a sense of community and social responsibility among their students. Boston College has a service-learning program that integrates community service with academic coursework, and the university has been recognized for its commitment to social justice and diversity.

Occidental College has a community engagement program that connects students with local organizations and initiatives, and the college has a long history of activism and advocacy, including student-led movements for environmental sustainability and social justice.

Cost of Attendance: A Comparison of Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid at Boston College vs Occidental College

The cost of attending Boston College and Occidental College varies depending on factors such as the student’s program, year of study, and residency status. Generally, Boston College is considered to be more expensive than Occidental College, with an annual cost of attendance ranging between $64,176.

Occidental College’s annual cost of attendance ranges around $60,566. However, both universities offer financial aid opportunities such as grants, scholarships, and loan options to eligible students who demonstrate financial need. Additionally, both universities have initiatives to reduce the cost of attendance, such as work-study programs and need-blind admissions policies.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both Boston College and Occidental College may also vary based on other factors such as housing, meal plans, and textbooks. Students should carefully consider all of these expenses when budgeting for their education. Furthermore, it is recommended that students explore all available financial aid options and speak with a financial aid advisor to determine the best course of action for their individual circumstances.

Student Life: Housing, Dining, Clubs, and Activities at Boston College vs Occidental College

Both Boston College and Occidental College offer vibrant and diverse student life experiences. Housing options vary between universities, with Boston College offering on-campus traditional dormitories, apartments, and suites, and Occidental College offering on-campus dormitories, eco-friendly halls, and off-campus living.

Both universities offer various dining options, with Boston College priding itself on its farm-to-table philosophy and Occidental College offering vegetarian and vegan options. Both universities also offer numerous clubs and organizations for students to join, ranging from service clubs to cultural groups to athletic teams. Both universities have active student governments and programming boards that offer events, lectures, and social activities for students throughout the year.

Additionally, Boston College and Occidental College offer a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to participate in. Boston College has a strong focus on community service, with many opportunities for students to volunteer in the local area.

Occidental College has a thriving arts scene, with a variety of music, theater, and dance performances throughout the year. Both universities also have robust athletic programs, with opportunities for students to participate in intramural and varsity sports. Overall, students at Boston College and Occidental College have access to a rich and diverse range of activities and experiences outside of the classroom.

Athletics Programs: A Look at the Sports Teams and Facilities at Boston College vs Occidental College

Boston College and Occidental College both have strong athletic programs, with various intercollegiate and intramural sports available for students to participate in.

Boston College is a Division I school with a wide range of sports teams such as football, basketball, and ice hockey, while Occidental College is a Division III school with sports teams such as soccer, swimming, and track and field. Both universities have state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including gymnasiums, tennis courts, and soccer fields, as well as recreational facilities such as climbing walls and fitness centers.

Aside from the traditional sports teams, both Boston College and Occidental College offer unique athletic opportunities for their students. Boston College has a sailing team that competes in the New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association, while Occidental College has a Quidditch team that competes in the Intercollegiate Quidditch Association. These alternative sports teams provide students with a chance to try something new and different while still being a part of a competitive team.

In addition to the athletic facilities on campus, both universities also have partnerships with local sports organizations. Boston College has a partnership with the Boston Celtics, which allows students to attend games and participate in events with the team.

Occidental College has a partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which provides students with opportunities to attend games and intern with the team. These partnerships give students a chance to gain real-world experience in the sports industry and make connections that can help them in their future careers.

Career Services: Opportunities for Employment After Graduation from Boston College vs Occidental College

Both Boston College and Occidental College offer career services and resources that help students prepare for life after graduation. Boston College has an extensive network of alumni and corporate partnerships, which students can utilize for internships, career advice, and job opportunities.

The university also offers various workshops, networking events, and job fairs. Occidental College has a similar network, with a strong emphasis on community engagement and social justice initiatives. The college offers a dedicated career center, mentorship programs, and hands-on experiential learning opportunities to help students gain the skills and knowledge they need for future employment.

Additionally, Boston College has a Career Center that provides students with one-on-one career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and mock interviews. The center also offers online resources, such as job search databases and career assessments. Occidental College has a similar Career Development Center that provides students with career counseling, job and internship search assistance, and networking opportunities. The center also hosts career-related events, such as employer information sessions and alumni panels.

Both colleges also have strong alumni networks that can provide valuable connections and job opportunities. Boston College has over 180,000 alumni worldwide, many of whom are in leadership positions in various industries.

Occidental College has a smaller alumni network, but it is still active and engaged in supporting current students. The college also has a program called OxySwitch, which connects students with alumni for job shadowing and career exploration opportunities.

Faculty Profiles: A Comparison of the Professors at Both Universities

Both Boston College and Occidental College have highly qualified and experienced faculty members who are dedicated to providing quality education and mentorship to their students. Boston College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1.

Occidental College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. Both universities have professors who are leading experts in their fields, and who are committed to helping students achieve their academic and professional goals.

professor teaching in class

However, there are some differences in the teaching styles of the professors at both universities. Boston College professors tend to focus more on theoretical concepts and encourage students to think critically and analytically.

On the other hand, Occidental College professors emphasize practical applications of the concepts and encourage students to apply their knowledge in real-world scenarios. This difference in teaching styles provides students with a diverse range of learning experiences and prepares them for different career paths.

Research Opportunities Available at Boston College vs Occidental College

Both Boston College and Occidental College provide ample research opportunities for students who are interested in exploring various fields and diving deeper into their academic interests. Boston College has numerous research centers and institutes, including the Center for Retirement Research, the Institute for the Liberal Arts, and the Center for Ignatian Spirituality.

Occidental College also has various research initiatives, including the Summer Undergraduate Research Program, and numerous grants and awards for independent research projects. Both universities also encourage collaboration between faculty and students, with opportunities for students to work on research projects alongside their professors.

Additionally, Boston College and Occidental College have partnerships with local research institutions and organizations, providing students with even more opportunities to engage in research. Boston College has partnerships with institutions such as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, while Occidental College has partnerships with organizations such as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Huntington Library.

These partnerships allow students to work on cutting-edge research projects and gain valuable experience in their chosen fields.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Initiatives at Boston College vs Occidental College

Both Boston College and Occidental College have been taking steps to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses, and to create a more welcoming and supportive environment for all students. Boston College has a variety of initiatives, such as the Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center, the LGBTQ+ Leadership Council, and the Baker Scholars Program, which is aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on campus.

Occidental College also has various initiatives, such as the Intercultural Community Center, the Multicultural Summer Institute, and the Queer Student Alliance, which aim to foster a more inclusive and diverse community for all students.

Group of students walking in the campus.

In addition to these initiatives, both Boston College and Occidental College have also implemented training programs for faculty and staff to increase their awareness and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues. These programs provide resources and tools for faculty and staff to better support and advocate for students from diverse backgrounds, and to create a more inclusive learning environment.

Furthermore, both colleges have established partnerships with local organizations and community groups to promote diversity and inclusion beyond their campuses, and to engage in meaningful dialogue and action around social justice issues.

Conclusion: Boston College vs Occidental College

In conclusion, Boston College and Occidental College are both outstanding universities that offer unique academic programs, campus life experiences, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. Consideration of factors such as location, academic interests, cost, and campus environment is key to making an informed decision about which university to attend.

Ultimately, both Boston College and Occidental College have exceptional qualities that make them truly special, and either one could be an excellent choice for the right student.

Want to learn more about getting into Occidental College? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

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