Kilachand at a Glance
A brief overview of our unique curriculum and community.
We invite you to explore the central aspects of our program to determine whether the opportunities at Kilachand suit your interests and goals.
Who We Are
The Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College was founded in 2011 by a record gift of $25 million generously given by Boston University Trustee Rajen Kilachand. This was followed by another gift of $10 million in 2012 to provide a residence, Kilachand Hall, for the College’s students.
Kilachand Honors College offers a challenging liberal education grounded in exploration, discovery, and the real-world application of knowledge. Kilachand provides its students with an integrated, four-year curriculum that includes experiential and team learning opportunities, to be completed alongside the courses required by their majors. The Kilachand curriculum, through rigorous courses and enrichment experiences, asks students to use the tools and methods of every academic discipline to understand global challenges and develop practical solutions.
All first-year Kilachand students live together in Kilachand Hall where many Kilachand courses and co-curricular events are held.* The Kilachand Directors, Academic Advisors, and Post-Doctoral Fellows also have offices in Kilachand Hall and the frequent, informal interactions among students, faculty, and staff fosters a community of collegiality and support.
*Kilachand Hall is being renovated beginning in May 2022 and is scheduled to be completed in August 2023. During this time Kilachand will offer alternate specialty housing options to the Kilachand community during the 2022-2023 academic year. Please review the Kilachand Hall Renovation page for more information about our exciting renovation plans and the potential impacts to Kilachand Hall and the residential experience from September 2022- May 2023.
The students who thrive at Kilachand are intellectually curious and courageous, and they want to put their knowledge to use to benefit their communities. We seek students who wish to study an array of subjects across disciplines, as well as focus deeply on their major interests. The Kilachand curriculum asks students to use the tools and methods of every academic discipline to understand global challenges and develop practical solutions. Through rigorous courses and co-curricular events, students hone their capacity for critical reasoning and effective communication, skills that are crucial to every academic, intellectual, and socially responsible enterprise as well as to that all-important pursuit of shaping an engaged and fulfilling life beyond the university.
Kilachand Honors College strives to engage students inside and outside of the classroom. We encourage students to become Peer Mentors, Kilachand Ambassadors, and members of the Kilachand Leadership Advisory Board (KLAB). Kilachand Honors College student groups give Kilachand students the opportunity to engage with peers and administrators in Kilachand, hold leadership positions, and represent Kilachand outside of the College.
The Kilachand curriculum invites students to formulate and discuss questions of scientific, social, ethical, and aesthetic significance and share their conclusions with a broad audience. Through a combination of seminars, lectures, break-out discussions, and experiential opportunities, students hone their creative and critical thinking skills and apply them to problems of contemporary relevance.
Students enroll in 24 – 34 credits of Kilachand coursework over the course of four years. All Kilachand courses carry BU Hub units and the Kilachand curriculum is designed to provide students with a breadth of units across the Hub areas, allowing Kilachand students to satisfy a majority of the BU Hub through the Kilachand curriculum.
Through Kilachand, students gain the capacity to understand and confront major challenges as they affirmatively and skillfully engage with diverse social, cultural, scientific, and philosophical perspectives.
Kilachand co-curricular events offer students the opportunity to interact with accomplished scholars, artists, and professionals. Co-curricular events engage students in the broader implications of the Kilachand curriculum, help to build our living-learning community, and provide insight into scientific, artistic, technological, and political activities.
Past co-curricular guests include Astrophysicist Hakeem Oluseyi, renowned film director Werner Herzog, and award-winning authors Zadie Smith and Min Jin Lee. Students often visit the Boston Ballet, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Institute of Contemporary Art for private talks and tours and group performances.
All Kilachand students complete a substantial work of empirical or scholarly research, creativity, or invention by the close of their senior year.
The purpose of the Keystone Project is to provide students with a sustained experience of intellectual discovery and an opportunity to share their work with a broader audience. This process begins in the junior year, when students learn to balance the excitement of imaginative approaches to their intellectual interests with the rigor of field-specific methodologies and begin to work on the design of their thesis or project. It continues in the senior year, as students conduct their research, write their thesis or produce their creative project, and assess the significance of the work they have done. The research thesis or project can take a variety of forms, but students must aim for the highest standards of the discipline or interdisciplinary area they select.
Below, Kilachand alum Jamie Lim (SAR ’14, MED ’19) discusses how support from Kilachand allowed him to conduct research in Nepal for his Keystone Project.
Each spring, Kilachand Honors College students present their Keystone Projects at the annual Kilachand Honors College Keystone Symposium.
Kilachand’s Experiential Learning Program offers students opportunities to learn outside traditional academic classrooms, that is, to learn by doing and reflecting on the experience of doing. Kilachand students take advantage of internships, undergraduate research, study abroad, and other experiential learning programs at Boston University. There are also unique opportunities for travel and collaboration supported by Kilachand, such as the Interdisciplinary Program in Forced Displacement Studies.
Reach Out to a Kilachand Ambassador
Kilachand Ambassadors are current students who are eager to share their insight into Kilachand and BU with you! Browse their profiles here to learn about their diverse academic paths and extracurricular interests, and feel free to ask them why Kilachand has been a rewarding part of their college experience.
Visit and Apply
You can apply to Kilachand by first applying to one of Boston University’s degree-granting schools or colleges via the BU Common Application Supplement. Once there, you will have the option to complete a supplemental essay to be considered for admission to Kilachand. Your materials will be reviewed for Kilachand if you are first admitted to your BU school or college of choice, thus your admission to BU is not dependent on your admission to Kilachand.
Other Honors Opportunities & BU Hub Pathways
Kilachand may not be what you expect from an honors program. We invite you to explore other honors opportunities and BU Hub pathways that may be a fit for you.
College of General Studies
The College of General Studies (CGS) is a two-year, interdisciplinary liberal arts program. CGS is a BU Hub pathway, and all students spend their second semester in South Kensington, London. Upon completion, students move into one of Boston University’s nine degree-granting undergraduate schools or colleges.
The College of General Studies and Kilachand are not compatible programs.
The Core Curriculum
The Core Curriculum is a liberal arts learning community for students who love books, ideas and intellectual discussion. Core’s pathways are designed to address questions common to all disciplines and foster intellectual growth. Students will receive Hub units in every Core class and complete their path through Core by having the opportunity to achieve either the Core Minor, the Independent Core Minor, or Core Honors.
Kilachand students may take courses in The Core, but both programs recommend that students opt to enroll in either The Core Curriculum or Kilachand, as both serve as BU Hub pathways.
College of Arts & Sciences Honors in the Major
Qualified College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) students may apply to pursue a course of study leading to graduation with honors in their chosen major or minor. Each CAS department has designed one or more honors options to reflect the challenges, opportunities, and measures of excellence most centrally associated with that academic discipline. All honors options require at least 8 credits of specially designated honors courses, seminars, or Directed Study experiences, including a substantial research project conducted under the supervision of a faculty member.
Kilachand students may also pursue CAS Honors in the Major as a Keystone Pathway.
The Questrom Honors Program is an academic community designed to challenge students intellectually and build their curiosity designed for students interested in gaining a holistic view of business. They seek students who are motivated to improve Boston University, Questrom, and their community through their intellectual curiosity and dedication to creating value for the world.
Kilachand and the Questrom Honors Program are compatible programs.