A group of students is engaged in a card game in a spacious room.

XCC classes are open to students from all of BU’s undergraduate schools and colleges, providing a unique opportunity to engage with students from across campus. Each course is co-led by two faculty members from different disciplines who supervise student teams and connect them with a community partner who is an expert in the topic the course addresses.


Student teams work with community partners who may be faculty, staff, alumni, entrepreneurs, or nonprofits to address a substantial challenge impacting BU and the City of Boston. Areas of focus have included data science, public health, racial equity & social justice, and sustainability & climate change.


Throughout the semester, student teams work to produce a tangible deliverable (film, podcast, website, work of art, etc.) that they present not only to their community partner but to the public at the semi-annual Experiential Learning Expo.

See examples of featured projects


Through XCC, students develop leadership, teamwork, and communication skills, key Hub areas that are prized by employers. All XCC courses satisfy the Intellectual Toolkit Hub requirements in Creativity/Innovation, Research and Information Literacy, and Teamwork/Collaboration. The fourth Hub requirement addresses Communication in written, oral, and digital forms, and varies by course number. To learn more about general education at Boston University, visit the Hub website.

“The idea of creativity, collaboration, and communication resembles exactly what life after college is going to be like, and the Cross-College Challenge encompasses all three of them in its components.”

Umang Desai, CAS Economics ’20

Community partners benefit from diverse perspectives resulting in thoughtful and innovative solutions and deliverables.


Student is helped by an instructor in an XCC class

The XCC at Boston University, by aligning with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competencies, prepares students not just for academic achievements but also for career success. This project-based course nurtures critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and leadership skills, promotes creativity and technology use, and fosters an inclusive environment – all key skills sought by employers.

View NACE career competencies