Getting Started

Welcome to the BU Cross-College Challenge (XCC)! XCC is open to all full-time BU faculty from both the Charles River and Medical campuses. XCC faculty model interdisciplinary collaboration within their sections and guide student teams as they tackle substantial real-world challenges. Sections are limited to a maximum enrollment of 25 students.

There are 3 main components of XCC:


Faculty pairs are formed in XCC in different ways. Sometimes 2 faculty members express interest together to work as a teaching team. In other cases, individual faculty members are introduced to potential faculty partners from a different school or college, who have similar interests. XCC looks to leverage the different strengths and disciplines of the teaching partners as the faculty team models the interdisciplinary focus of XCC. The sooner that a teaching partner is identified, the sooner the remaining process of course development can proceed.

Faculty do not necessarily need to have expertise in the subject area of their project, however, they ensure academic rigor and that the Hub area learning outcomes are met.

Next Steps
Interested faculty should complete the faculty interest form and a member of the XCC team will reach out to begin discussions with you.


Community Partners or clients play a vital role in proposing and giving real-world context to the XCC team projects. Real-world challenges and enduring human questions are central to XCC. Community partners working as external stakeholders allow students to develop accountability for their work to researchers, non-profits, entrepreneurs, alumni, and others for whom the students’ work will have an impact. Community partners benefit from new and diverse perspectives on their proposed projects and receive a deliverable (report, prototype, etc) as the product of a rigorous academic process.

In the past, faculty have often relied on their personal networks or fellow researchers to identify suitable community partners to serve as experts on the project subject matter. In other cases, faculty are matched with community partners who have proposed projects through the XCC website.


As a project-based course, XCC is dependent on projects to contextualize active, experiential learning while addressing a real-world challenge or enduring human question. Students rely on robust team and project experiences to apply theoretical knowledge to practical problems while honing collaboration, creativity, and communication skills.

A sample list of potential topics that might be suitable for XCC is below: