Educating the next generation of leaders, innovators, and contributors to society is at the core of our mission as an institution. And it is no easy task. To get it right, we must hire professors who love to teach; craft a curriculum that continually adapts to changes in the economy, technology, and culture; and break down barriers to access so that talented young people from all social and economic backgrounds have the opportunity to learn here.

We took another step forward in 2015/16—or rather, many small steps: making curricular improvements that help students develop applied technical and team-building skills; launching new career-preparation programs and internships; making a big push to increase the number of need-based scholarships; and welcoming a tremendous Class of 2019 who will benefit from our ongoing efforts.


This past year, we made innovative enhancements to our undergraduate curriculum.

Daniel Sheehan (GRS’17) and Annalyse Kohley (CAS’17) conduct research in Howard Eichenbaum’s lab. Photo by Cydney Scott

CAS launched the Integrated Science Experience—an innovative, interdisciplinary two-course sequence that pairs a laboratory experience in organic chemistry with neuroscience and cell biology laboratory training. We also created a new Boston University Marine Program course in Belize. Both of these innovations take popular areas of study and infuse more hands-on research and collaboration into the curriculum. We continue to look for ways to expand learning beyond the classroom as well, through our residential houses for students with common interests. This year, we partnered with the Provost’s Office and BU Residential Life to open a new living-learning community, Earth House, for students committed to sustainability.

In addition, CAS faculty members played a central role in the development of a proposal to overhaul Boston University’s general education curriculum. Called the BU Hub, the proposal calls for BU undergraduates to develop core skills, knowledge, and habits of mind through both coursework and co-curricular programs that will prepare them to succeed. Elizabeth Loizeaux, associate provost for undergraduate affairs and a CAS professor of English, cochaired the task force with Bruce Schulman, William E. Huntington Professor of History in CAS. Read more

Career Preparation

We believe a liberal arts education provides an excellent foundation for personal and career success, growth, and adaptability. The goal of our career preparation programs is to help students make the connection between their educations and their specific paths toward a career. While all of our educational programs prepare students for careers, we believe that in this competitive and shifting global economy, we must provide as many experiential and out-of-classroom learning opportunities as possible, and provide more and better career advice and job-search practice for more students. To do this, we launched a new CAS Internship program in fall 2015 that places CAS students in career-oriented, for-credit internships across BU—from marketing to information technology to study abroad programming. Seventy-two students participated in the program’s first year, and we are on pace to exceed that total in 2016/17.

We enhanced our career development programming with Senior Year 101, a course where specialists work with students to: do self-assessments to help focus their career searches; identify employers; build effective résumés and cover letters; and strengthen networking and interview skills. One hundred and sixty seniors participated this past year. This course bookends nicely with First Year 101, the flagship course in our First Year Experience program that helps first-year students adjust to both social and academic life on campus and that grew to over 1,000 participants this past year.

To get a sense of the full scope of our undergraduate enrichment programming, take a look at this article in fall 2016’s arts&sciences magazine on what it takes to prepare the modern student for success.

Access to Education

Dean Cudd spent many hours on the road this past year, meeting with alumni around the country. And one of the biggest topics of conversation was CAS’s push to develop and endow more need-based scholarships so that the world-class education we provide is available to highly talented students, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay. We were able to endow a number of impactful scholarships this past year through the Century Challenge.


We are always looking for better ways to measure the results of our educational programming and career services. While we are heartened by news of the achievements of our talented alumni, from the high-tech sector to the government, nonprofit, and corporate worlds, it is important to seek more comprehensive data that shows the overall patterns of success and areas in need of improvement. The annual First Destination Report, a survey of recent graduates’ employment and activities that concludes in the December following their graduation, is one way we can track the results of our efforts. This year’s report is encouraging, while leaving room for improvement, and provides us with indications of where our programs are helping students take that important first step on their career paths.

The December 2015 report shows that 90% of CAS graduates were either fully employed, employed part time, attending graduate school, preparing for graduate school, engaged in military service, traveling, or engaged in volunteer/service activities. The remaining 10% were still seeking employment.

The survey results show that a CAS education combined with the internship opportunities available to them during their undergraduate years are having a positive impact on our students’ initial success in and preparedness for the working world. When asked how well their BU education had helped them develop five key skills identified by employers as the most important for college graduates entering the workforce (teamwork, communication, problem-solving, organization, and gathering and processing information), respondents said that it had helped a moderate amount to a great deal—a fairly positive response, but pointing to room for improvement.

The survey results strongly underline the importance of internship experience in a student’s early career development. Eighty-two percent of CAS graduates had at least one internship opportunity during their undergraduate years (compared to a BU average of 93%), with the average CAS student doing two internships. Respondents with at least one internship were much more likely to report being fully employed (55% versus 42% full employment for those without internships). The average salary of fully employed students who had an internship experience was almost $45,000, while the average salary for those without internships was just over $41,000. This is encouraging news and underscores the importance of our expanded effort to provide internship opportunities through the new CAS Internship program.

Class of 2019

This past fall, another excellent class of undergraduates began their journey at CAS. Their diverse interests and academic credentials are truly astounding.

Our 1,655 students came from 48 states and 52 countries. Nearly two-thirds were female. In terms of ethnicity, 33% were Caucasian American (down from 37% the previous year), while 35% were Americans of other ethnicities (up from 30% the previous year), and 28% were international students. Almost as many students came from China (including Hong Kong—241 students, down from 347 the previous year) as Massachusetts (255 students).

Among the Class of 2019, we saw a strong growth in interest in English, neuroscience, and political science—as inferred from students’ intended majors. Most programs held steady, while mathematics, economics, and history saw some decreased interest. Overall, the most popular intended majors were biology, economics, psychology, and international relations.

Our Class of 2019 continued at the same strong level of SAT performance as the Class of 2018 for a composite average score of 1969, just one point below the Class of 2018 and 19 points above the Class of 2017. We continued to attract students from the very top of their high school classes; 44% of the Class of 2019 came from the top 5% of their high school classes (compared to 44% for the Class of 2018 and 37% for the Class of 2017).

For the complete snapshot of this past year’s incoming class, see the Class of 2019 profile and the chart on First-Year Student Enrollment.

Student Spotlight

Jessica Depies, a junior and double major in international relations and economics at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies—which is housed in CAS—has been awarded the 2016 Truman Scholarship, which recognizes young leaders who are committed to a career in public service. Depies, who spent the Spring 2016 semester interning at the US Embassy in Peru, was one of 775 candidates for the award this year. Only 54 Truman Scholars were selected from that pool. Read more

A group of undergraduate and graduate students at the Pardee School have turned their coursework into the creation of an app, called Urban Refuge, which aims to connect refugees in Jordan with resources through a simple mapping tool. Designed to geocode hundreds of international and domestic organizations serving refugees in Jordan—including clinics, schools, and aid distribution points—the Urban Refuge App will pilot in Amman, Jordan. The group plans to eventually launch versions worldwide, including in Boston.

Stefanie Grossano (CAS’16), who created her own major in neurology and education, traveled to Spain through the Fulbright ETA program to observe cultural exchanges between students and teachers of different backgrounds, and how the Spanish education system works to overcome challenges similar to those in the US.

Larisa Kagermazova (CAS’16), who majored in biochemistry & molecular biology, presented her research at an international Keystone Symposium in March 2016 in Whistler, British Columbia. She was the only undergraduate to present at this prestigious conference. Her research investigates the molecular basis of certain human immunodeficiency diseases.

Caroline Lord (CAS’18), a triple major in Asian studies, history, and Middle East & North Africa studies, has been awarded a Boren Scholarship. The Boren Scholarship allows US undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in the world regions critical to US interests and underrepresented in study abroad programs. Read more

Annual Report 2015/2016

  • From the Dean The Difference a Year Makes
    From enhancing research excellence to recruiting ever-better faculty and students, academic year 2015/16—the first under Dean Ann Cudd’s leadership—saw CAS continue to grow its capacities.
  • Improving Undergraduate Education
    Improving Undergraduate Education
    Providing a world-class undergraduate education is the core of what we do at CAS. In 2015/16, we made curricular improvements, launched new career preparation programs, and welcomed a tremendous class of 2019 that will benefit from our ongoing efforts.
  • Strengthening Graduate Education Strengthening Graduate Education
    The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ continued evolution in and out of the classroom has resulted in a 5.6% increase in master’s applications in 2015/16, as well as an affirmation of the strength of its humanities and social science PhD programs, with more than half of students accepting their offers.
  • Enhancing a World-Class Faculty Enhancing a World-Class Faculty
    The quality of CAS’ academics and research depends on the quality of its faculty, and so we work hard to hire the best and brightest. In 2015/16, CAS hired 28 new professors across the humanities, mathematics, and the social, natural, and computational sciences.
  • Conducting Pathbreaking Research Conducting Pathbreaking Research
    Discoveries and innovations at CAS helped make BU one of U.S. News & World Report’s top 35 research universities in the world. Faculty received nearly $61 million in funding this past year, advancing understanding in the fields of subatomic physics, Alzheimer’s disease, and classical studies, to name a few.
  • Growing Our Capacity and Stewarding Our Resources Building Our Future Together
    In 2015/16, the sixth year of the Campaign for Boston University, we achieved our initial goal of raising $100 million for CAS—and we reached that goal a year early. More than 26,000 alumni, friends, and parents have generously made gifts of $106,636,751 to the college via the ongoing campaign.
  • Appendix Appendix