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.

In addition to the requirements below, we consider your personal qualities as demonstrated through your extracurricular activities and how you present yourself and the caliber of your writing on your essay.

To apply as a freshman, you must submit the following:

Boston University accepts the Common Application exclusively. You must specify a BU school or college on your application. Please refer to our list of majors with the corresponding BU school or college.

Undeclared option

Most of our professional schools offer an undeclared option. These are indicated on the Common Application. If you do not have a specific school or subject area in mind, we suggest you apply to the College of Arts & Sciences and select “Undeclared” or the College of General Studies. These liberal arts and sciences curriculums give you two years to decide on your field of study.

Admission to your selected program

Admission to BU schools, colleges, and programs is dependent on program size and competition. While you are guaranteed consideration for the school or college to which you apply, it’s possible that you could be offered admission to the College of General Studies beginning in either the September or January semesters or another BU program for which you qualify. You will be asked about this option on the Common Application.

If you are applying to the College of Fine Arts or one of the Accelerated Medical and Dental Programs, you will only be considered for the program to which you applied.

Submit the $80 application fee with your application.

Please note that all materials and documents submitted as part of an application for admission become the property of Boston University and cannot be returned.

Official copies of your secondary school transcripts for all grading periods completed at the time of application must be submitted by a school official. If you are enrolled in an international curriculum with national exams, these results should be submitted as well.

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

Homeschooled Students should follow instructions on the Homeschooled Students page.

Early Decision Applicants

  • Early Decision applicants should submit first marking period grades, which may be first quarter or first trimester grades, as soon as they are available.

Regular Decision Applicants

  • If you are on a semester schedule, please send your first marking period or first quarter grades if available. In addition, your counselor must submit first semester grades once they are available. If you are on a trimester schedule, please have your counselor submit your first trimester grades once they are available. Please use the Mid-Year Report Form through the Common Application.

You’ll find the Guidance Counselor Recommendation form and School Report Form on the Common Application website.

The Teacher Evaluation form is on the Common Application website.

BU requires either the SAT or ACT. For students applying for September 2017 admission, BU will accept both the old SAT and the new SAT for one year only; after that, only the new SAT will be accepted. Boston University will not require the optional essay on the new SAT test. Additionally, we will no longer require the optional writing component for the ACT.

If you are applying to the College of Fine Arts or one of the Accelerated Medical and Dental Programs, please see the requirements for these programs.

Your official score reports must be sent to BU directly from the College Board or ACT, even if your scores are recorded on your high school transcript. The BU codes to use are:

  • SAT: 3087
  • ACT: 1794

Students applying to the College of Fine Arts must submit a portfolio or audition for consideration.

Interviews are not offered or a required component of our admission review, with the exception of applicants to BU’s Accelerated Medical or Dental Programs.

Students not applying to the College of Fine Arts should not submit portfolios, videos, CDs, DVDs, tapes, PowerPoint presentations, or other multi-media materials or artistic work. These materials will not be considered by the Board of Admissions or reviewed by faculty.

If your first language or the primary language spoken in your home is not English, you must take either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

For more information on BU’s English proficiency requirements, please visit the International Applicants page and refer to the English Proficiency section.