Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply? Can you send me an application?


Boston University accepts the Common Application exclusively. You can access it on the Common Application website. You can also view our application instructions for additional details. We do not provide paper applications to applicants.

I want to apply Early Decision—what should I know?


Boston University’s Early Decision program is binding, and if you are admitted, you must enroll at BU. Please visit the ‘Early Decision’ section of our Application Instructions, where you will find important information about this process. Your admission decision will be posted online by mid-December. If you have applied for any of our merit scholarships, please be aware that you will receive your scholarship decision by early April.

How do I know that my application has been received by BU?


We will send you an email acknowledging that we have received your application. (Please note that this is different from email messages that the Common Application may send you). IMPORTANT: In this email we will give you instructions for setting up an account on the BU Applicant Link. Please do this as soon as you receive your application acknowledgement email.

What is a BU Applicant Link account?


The Applicant Link is a password-protected, secure site where applicants set up personal accounts to monitor the status of their applications. Once you set up an Applicant Link account, you can verify that all required credentials have been received by BU. You will also be able to view your admission decision on your Applicant Link account when decisions are posted. It is very important that you set up your account as soon as you receive the email instructions from us. We recommend that you check your account regularly to be sure your application is complete.

How do I know that you have received all of my additional application materials?


You will be able to determine the status of your application materials on your Applicant Link account. Please allow up to two weeks for processing from the date materials are sent to BU.

What do I do if I haven't heard from BU?


Boston University will contact you primarily through email and via messages on your Applicant Link account. If you haven’t received any information from us you may want to check the following:

  • You have submitted your Common Application.
  • You have provided our office with your correct email address. You can verify this by reviewing your saved application on the Common Application website or by contacting our office at admissions@bu.edu or 617-353-2300.
  • Your spam filters are not sending email from BU Admissions (admissions@bu.edu) to spam folders or the trash.

Is there a checklist of required materials?


You will find all requirements in our Application Instructions, under the heading ’Required Supporting Credentials.’

What SAT/ACT tests do you require?


Students have the option of taking the SAT or the ACT plus Writing test to fulfill requirements for most programs at BU. We recommend that you review the specific test requirements for your program of application on our Program Requirements chart.
Boston University cannot accept test scores from high school transcripts. Please have your official test scores sent directly to us. You can contact the College Board online or at 866-756-7346 to request that your test scores be sent to BU. Our CEEB Code is 3087.
If you have taken the ACT plus Writing test, this test fulfills our testing requirement. You may contact ACT online or at 319-337-1313 to request that your official test scores be sent to us. Our ACT code is 1794.

What is BU's policy on the College Board's Score Choice?


Boston University will allow students to choose this option; however, we strongly recommend students submit their scores each time they take the SAT. BU has always considered a student’s highest SAT section scores in making admissions decisions and will continue to do so. For more information about Score Choice, please visit the College Board website.

Are there any additional application requirements? Do I need anything more?


The only programs that have additional application requirements are the College of Fine Arts and our Accelerated Medical and Dental Programs. Please read our Program Requirements carefully to be certain that you have submitted the required materials. If you have any questions, please contact our office at admissions@bu.edu.

Are there specific course requirements for admission?

For most BU programs the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum includes: four years of English, three to four years of mathematics (precalculus/calculus recommended), three to four years of laboratory science, three to four years of history or social science, and two to four years of a foreign language.

I don't know what I want to major in. Can I apply 'Undecided'?


Yes! Undecided is a very popular ‘major’ at BU. We encourage students to explore the extensive academic opportunities available to them at BU. Students are not required to select a major until the end of their sophomore year. Most schools and colleges within Boston University have an ‘undecided’ option; however, you will need to select one of our schools or colleges for your application to BU. See our complete list of majors as well as a list of our undergraduate schools and colleges.

I want to apply for scholarships. When do I need to do that?


Please see our Scholarship & Merit Award information. Scholarship requirements vary. Some have an application deadline of December 1. It is your responsibility to review all requirements and make sure deadlines are met. All scholarship recipients are notified by early April.

I will be applying for financial aid. What do I need to do?


Boston University requires both the FAFSA and the CSS PROFILE as components of the application for financial aid. The deadline for these materials to be received by FAFSA and CSS is February 15. If you are applying as an Early Decision candidate, the CSS PROFILE deadline is November 1, and the FAFSA should be submitted beginning in January. All financial aid decisions are made by early April.

I'm not applying for financial aid. Is that a problem?


This will not affect the review of your application, however, some of our scholarships require that a student submit the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE. Please review our scholarship requirements to determine if the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE are required.

When will I receive my admission decision and how?


Boston University will send you an email when a decision is posted on your Applicant Link account. Decisions are posted as follows:

  • Early Decision: No later than December 15
  • Regular Decision: Early April

Please note: We cannot release admissions decisions over the phone.

I received the email saying that I have a decision, but my Applicant Link account won't let me check it.


A few things may be causing this:

  • You did not set up your Applicant Link account. If this is the case, you can set up your account using the original application acknowledgement email that was sent to you. If you do not have the email, you can request it be re-sent via the Applicant Link Help page.
  • You are not using the correct username and password combination. Please note that your email address is your username and you created your own password. If you cannot remember your password it can be sent to you again by using the Forgot Password link on the Applicant Link log-in page.
  • You have used the same email address for a previous BU application or program. You will need to call our office at 617-353-2300 and have your Applicant Link account reset, or you will need to provide us with an alternate email address.

If you have gone through the troubleshooting on the Applicant Link Help page, please feel free to contact Applicant Link Help at 617-353-2780.

I've taken some college courses/AP tests; will I receive credit for them?


Students who have taken college courses should submit their college transcripts, as well as a syllabus or course description. Boston University will perform transfer credit evaluations for admitted students.

If you have taken an AP exam, check out our Advanced Credit Guide (pdf).

When is the best time to visit campus?


BU is a great place to visit in any season and we encourage all prospective students and families to come to campus.  To get the most out of your time here, we recommend you schedule your visit during business hours for an information session and campus tour.

Can I stay for an overnight visit?


We offer overnight visits only to admitted high school seniors during the month of April. For an overnight visit, an admitted student stays in one of our residences with a current student. To arrange an overnight visit, please contact BU Admissions at visit@bu.edu or 617-353-2318.  Parents and family members can find accommodations at several nearby hotels by searching BU Maps.