Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) was founded in 1874 as the School of All Sciences to provide advanced programs of study and research leading to MA and PhD degrees. The first degrees were granted in 1877: the MA to Isaac Newton Lewis and the PhD to James Barclay Hall and Helen Magill (Mrs. Andrew Dickson White). Helen Magill was the first woman to receive a PhD from an American university.
Today, approximately 1,800 candidates are registered in MA, MFA, MS, and PhD programs in nearly 40 major fields. The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences includes all members of the faculty of the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as faculty from the School of Theology, College of Fine Arts, College of Engineering, School of Public Health, School of Social Work, and School of Medicine.
GRS students may cross-register for graduate courses at Boston College, Brandeis University, and Tufts University. For procedural details, see the Cross-Registration information found under Policies. After matriculation at Boston University, all courses taken at other institutions must be taken for a letter grade rather than Pass/Fail.
Students may also register for courses in the University’s other schools and colleges, in the Boston University Marine Program, and at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
The mission of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is the advancement of knowledge through research and scholarship, and the preparation of future researchers, scholars, college and university teachers, and other professionals. GRS awards degrees through 50 professional MA, MS, and MFA programs and 30 PhD programs in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. In addition to a wide range of traditional disciplines, we are proud of our leading programs in many interdisciplinary fields such as American & New England Studies. In keeping with the collaborative teaching and research culture that exists across BU, College of Arts & Sciences partners in many graduate programs across the University, such as PhD programs in molecular biology, cell biology & biochemistry; bioinformatics; and neuroscience; and MA programs in collaboration with the School of Public Health.
Graduate education at this institution reflects our strength as the heart of a major research university, the devotion of our faculty to teaching and mentoring, and the many advantages of our location in Boston. Graduate students benefit both from the richness of opportunity stemming from our large size and diversity of programs and approaches and from our emphasis on the individual graduate student, beginning with the proper match among interests, programs, and faculty advisors and continuing with a sustained concern for the student’s development as a researcher, scholar, practitioner, and teacher.
With a richly international student body and a faculty fully engaged at the frontiers of knowledge, Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is well positioned to contribute to the intellectual developments of the future. We hope you will find this Bulletin informative. You will find more information at our website, and we would be pleased to receive your questions either in the Graduate School Office or at the individual program locations.
Virginia Sapiro, Dean
Accreditations and Memberships
Boston University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.; is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU); is recognized by the University of the State of New York; and is a member of the following agencies: the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; the American Council of Learned Societies; Universities Research Association; EDUCOM Interuniversity Communications Council; and the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church.
The Department of Chemistry of the College of Arts & Sciences is accredited by the American Chemical Society; programs in clinical and counseling psychology in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences are accredited by the American Psychological Association.
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is a charter member of the Council of Graduate Schools of the United States.
Classrooms, Laboratories, and Offices
The main classroom building of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, which it shares with the College of Arts & Sciences, is on the central plaza of the Charles River Campus. Specialized libraries, museums, and laboratories are located in departmental, center, and institute areas in this building and elsewhere on the campus.