Freshman Applicants

You will apply to BU as a freshman if you are currently in your last year of high school, have completed high school, are a GED recipient, or have completed a high school equivalency exam. If you have taken college classes without enrolling in a degree program or will have less than 12 credits when you plan to enroll at Boston University, you should apply as a freshman.

View a profile of the freshman class admitted for the fall of 2015.

The Board of Admissions reviews every application carefully to decide who will be offered admission. Here are the factors we consider:

Your High School Performance

This is our best indicator of how you’ll do at BU. When reviewing your high school transcript, we look at a variety of factors, including overall level of achievement; enrollment in honors, AP or IB-level courses; and your individual academic strengths. The most competitive students are those who enrolled and excelled in the most challenging courses available to them.

For most BU programs, the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum includes:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3-4 years of mathematics (precalculus/calculus recommended)
  • 3-4 years of laboratory science
  • 3-4 years of history and/or social science
  • 2-4 years of a foreign language

Your Standardized Test Scores

BU requires the SAT or ACT with writing.* Some programs have additional requirements. Please see the Program Requirements for Freshmen for your program of study.

*SAT/ACT test scores are not required for applicants to the College of Fine Arts, with the exception of those applying to the Double Degree Programs, Kilachand Honors College, or for any of BU’s merit scholarships. The SAT/ACT is not required for College of Fine Arts artistic scholarships.

Teacher and Counselor Recommendations

It’s important to ask teachers and counselors who know you well to write your recommendations. They can give us a better understanding of who you are as a person and in the classroom.

Other Personal Qualifications

We like to see what you’ve done outside of class: your activities—both in school and in your community—and after-school jobs. We also look for activities in which your experiences or interests match the opportunities available at BU. Your special skills, talents, and accomplishments are also important in our review process.

Your Application Essay

This is an important part of your application because it demonstrates what you think and how clearly you express yourself. It’s also an opportunity for us to learn who you are beyond your grades and standardized test scores and gives you a chance to explain circumstances that may reflect certain grades or choices in your curriculum. Let your voice come through in your essay—this will help us better understand what distinguishes you from other applicants. Check our essay-writing tips.