Prison Education Programs
Those who successfully complete the Boston University Prison Education Program earn a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies. Visit our schedules page for specific courses offered each semester.
Over the years, Boston University has offered over 600 courses in a variety of disciplines, including opera, accounting, English composition, Latin, biology, sociology, marketing, acting, and language courses in Spanish, French, and Greek.
Instituted in the fall of 2006 and coordinated by Sheryl Mendlinger, M.Ed., the Prep Program is a mechanism whereby potential students are screened for their readiness to undertake college-level work. Many prospective students are academically under-prepared, or it has been many years since they were previously in school. The Prep Program is designed to bring all accepted students up to a level commensurate with the high academic standards of Boston University.
Prospective students (high school graduates or those holding a General Equivalency
Diploma) must complete an entry examination. Upon successful completion
of the examination, ongoing candidates enroll in credit-bearing courses
designed to prepare them to enter the Boston University Prison Education
Program. Students must achieve a minimum GPA of 2.5 in four courses taken
over one academic year: two courses in writing, one in math, and one in
critical thinking. Failure to successfully complete any of the four courses,
or to achieve the required minimum GPA in all four, results in elimination
from the Program.
Beginning in the fall of 2005, the BU Prison Education Program accepted DANTES (Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support) credits toward graduation. DANTES provides a way for active-duty service personnel to pursue their education from wherever they are stationed. DANTES courses are intended for motivated learners who prepare themselves for examinations through self-study and independent research. Through an agreement with DANTES personnel, Boston University extends this opportunity to incarcerated men and women. Prisoners will study on their own, fund the required costs, and take the exam in a supervised classroom setting.