Boston University accepts the Common Application exclusively. You must complete and submit both the Common Application and the Boston University Supplement to be considered for admission to BU.
Questions about your application? Contact us at 617-353-2300 or email@example.com.
Please read the following instructions carefully before beginning your application.
The Common Application & BU Supplement
You must complete both the Common Application and the Boston University Supplement. To access the BU Supplement, log into your account, go to the “My Colleges” list and follow directions to add Boston University to your list. Then click on the “Supplements” tab on the left.
Specify a school or college
On the BU Supplement, you must apply to a specific BU school or college and indicate a specific area you intend to study. (To see all your options, refer to the Schools, Colleges and Programs list in the BU Supplement.) If you have no single school or subject in mind, we suggest you apply to the College of Arts & Sciences and select “Undeclared”. This liberal arts and sciences curriculum gives you two years to decide on your field of study.
Please note that admission requirements vary among BU schools, colleges and programs, depending on program size and competition. While you are guaranteed consideration for the school or college you apply to, it’s possible that you could be offered admission to the College of General Studies, the College of General Studies January semester program, or another BU program for which you qualify. There are a few exceptions:
- The College of Fine Arts
You will be considered only for the program to which you apply.
- Accelerated programs
If you apply to one of the accelerated programs in Medicine or Dentistry in the College of Arts & Sciences, and you aren’t selected to interview, you’ll be considered for admission only to the premedical or predental programs in the College of Arts & Sciences.
- Previous applicants
If you previously applied and were denied admission to Boston University, or if you were offered and declined admission to the College of General Studies, you may reapply only after completing one full academic year of coursework elsewhere.
Application fee and materials
Your $80 nonrefundable application fee can be paid by credit card when you submit the Common Application and supplement online.
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.
Required Supporting Credentials
Freshman applicants must submit all of the following credentials to Boston University. Your teachers and guidance counselors can do this in the manner that is most convenient:
- Via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Through a vendor such as Common Application, Docufide, or Naviance
- By postal mail to the address below:
121 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
High School Transcript
Submit official copies of your secondary school transcripts for all grading periods completed at the time of application. If you are enrolled in an international curriculum with national exams, submit these results as well.
To see the high school/secondary school curriculum recommended for most BU programs, click here.
Senior grades must be submitted as soon as they’re available. Please visit the Common Application website and click on “Forms” to locate the Midyear Report form. Print a copy and give it to your guidance counselor to submit with your senior grades.
Proof of high school graduation will be required of all students who are offered admission to BU prior to enrollment to ensure you have satisfied all state graduation requirements. If you aren’t graduating from a regionally accredited high school, submit the results of your Test of General Education Development (GED).
School Report Form
You’ll find the School Report Form by clicking on the “Forms” tab on the Common Application website. Print it and give it to your guidance counselor or school official.
Find the Teacher Evaluation form by clicking on the “Forms” tab on the Common Application website. Print a copy and give it to a teacher who is directly familiar with your work. Please allow enough time for your teacher to write the evaluation, and stress the importance of returning the form by the application deadline.
Accelerated Medical or Dental program applicants:
You must submit three Accelerated Programs Teacher Evaluation forms — one each from a teacher of English, laboratory science and either history or a foreign language. In addition to the SAT or ACT plus Writing, applicants for this program are required to submit SAT Subject Test results. See the Program Requirements chart for more information about these requirements. The deadline for submitting these forms is November 15.
If you’re applying to BU as a freshman and have completed college or university coursework, you must submit official transcripts from these courses. If you’ve enrolled at a college or university as a candidate for a degree, you must apply to Boston University as a transfer student. If you’re not sure of your status at the school you attended, please contact the registrar’s office at that institution.
Submit your results from the SAT or the ACT plus Writing. Consult the Program Requirements chart for more detailed information.
When you register to take your tests, make sure you indicate on the registration form that you want your official score report sent directly to Boston University. The BU codes to use are:
- SAT: 3087
- ACT: 1794
Boston University participates in the College Board Score Choice program. Although BU allows you to choose this option, we strongly encourage you to submit your scores each time you take the SAT. BU has always and will continue to use your highest SAT section scores in making admissions decisions. For more information about Score Choice, please visit the College Board website.
Portfolios and Auditions
The College of Fine Arts requires a portfolio or an audition as part of its application. Visit the College of Fine Arts website for more information.
If you are applying to any other BU school or college, please do not submit portfolios, videos, CDs, DVDs, tapes or other samples of personal work. These materials will not be considered by the Board of Admissions or reviewed by the faculty.
Interviews are not required for admission with the following exceptions:
- Selected finalists for our Accelerated Medical and Dental Programs will be invited to Boston University for a required interview.
- All students applying for nonperformance majors in the School of Theatre must schedule an interview with that School.
Boston University encourages applications from students with a wide variety of backgrounds, including homeschooled students. The Board of Admissions attempts to be as fair as possible in evaluating these applicants and ensuring that they are given every consideration in the application process.
It is important to note that we maintain the same academic standards for all applicants (please see our Admissions Criteria). However, we acknowledge that the transcripts of homeschooled students may be different than those of traditional high school students. Along with their applications, homeschooled students should submit as much information as possible describing their curriculum, which may include course descriptions, texts read and skill levels completed. While these are not requirements, this information can be very helpful to the Board as we examine a student’s ability in the five academic areas of math, science, social science, English and foreign language.
For more information regarding the review of homeschooled applicants, please contact BU Admissions at 617-353-2300.
English is the language of instruction at Boston University. You must be able to understand rapid, idiomatic English and express yourself clearly in speech and writing.
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).
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Boston University accepts results for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as evidence of English proficiency. The required test scores are as follows:
- 600 or above for the College of Communication, School of Management and College of General Studies
- 550 or above for other BU programs
Internet-based TOEFL exam (iBT):
The Internet-based TOEFL has four subsections, with a grading scale for each section from 1 to 30 (30 being the best possible score). We look closely at the score for each section rather than the total. The minimum scores for each section are as follows:
College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, School of Hospitality Administration, and College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College:
- Writing: 22
- Speaking: 23
- Reading: 21
- Listening: 18
College of Communication, College of General Studies and School of Management:
- Writing: 22
- Speaking: 23
- Reading: 25
- Listening: 21
Indicate on the TOEFL registration form that you want your test results sent directly to Boston University. The TOEFL code for Boston University is 3087.
For information about the TOEFL, contact:
Educational Testing Service
P.O. Box 6151
Princeton, NJ 08541-6151
For testing in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories, call 877-863-3546.
For testing in other countries, call 609-771-7100.
Send email to email@example.com.
You can also find information online at the TOEFL website.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
In lieu of the TOEFL exam, you may submit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of 7 or higher will also satisfy BU’s English Language proficiency requirement for all programs. Learn more on the IELTS website.
Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP)
If your TOEFL or IELTS score is below the required minimum and you are an academically qualified international student, you can still be admitted to BU by attaining the minimum score before classes begin. You may choose to enroll in intensive English courses at our Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP). Once you’ve achieved proficiency in English, you can continue your studies at BU. For more information, please visit the CELOP website.
English Placement Examination
International students who have demonstrated English proficiency are still required to take an English placement examination before the first semester of study. Depending on your results, you may be required to take noncredit English courses to strengthen your language skills.
BU Applicant Link Account
In order for Admissions to stay in contact with you, it’s crucial that you include a valid email address on your application and notify us whenever you change this address. Once your application is processed, we will email you instructions for setting up a secure account on the Applicant Link. This will allow you to:
- check the status of your application credentials
- view your admission decision online
- view your financial aid award and scholarship decisions (if applicable)
- sign up for admitted student events, such as Open House programs and Admitted Student Receptions
Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contacts or approved senders list to ensure that our messages can reach your account.
Early Decision Applicants
To apply for Early Decision admission, you must submit your completed application and all supporting credentials by November 1. You’ll be notified of an admission decision by December 15.
Some programs and scholarships do not have an Early Decision option. Be sure to consult the Program Requirements chart before applying to your chosen program.
To apply as an Early Decision candidate:
- You must take the ACT no later than October, or the SAT no later than November. Scores from standardized tests taken after these dates will not be considered in your application.
- Submit the Early Decision Agreement to the address below. This Agreement outlines the binding nature of this option and must be signed by the applicant, a parent or guardian and a guidance counselor. You’ll find the Agreement on the Common Application website.
- If admitted, you must send a nonrefundable enrollment deposit by January 15 and withdraw your applications to other colleges and universities.
- Please make sure that all credentials sent by mail are addressed to:
Early Decision Coordinator
Boston University Admissions
121 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
If you are an Early Decision applicant who is not admitted, your application may be deferred for consideration during the regular admissions cycle. In that case, you’ll be considered for admission only after submitting your midyear grades. You’ll be notified of a final admission decision in late March – early April.
Financial aid applicants:
If you would like to be considered for need-based financial aid as well as combined merit-based and need-based awards, submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE by November 1 and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 15. For more information, please visit the Financial Assistance website.
Please note: Early Decision applicants will not receive notification of any full-tuition merit awards until late March – early April. Students applying for need-based aid who meet the eligibility requirements will be notified of their financial aid awards in their admission package.
Early Admission Program
Early Admission allows outstanding students to enter BU undergraduate programs before graduating from high school. You must apply for September admission and have completed three years of secondary school before entering BU.
All students who enroll early must have a high school diploma or its equivalent prior to the fall semester of their sophomore year. Some high schools will award a diploma to students after they complete their freshman year at the University. Consult your guidance counselor for the practice in your school.
Candidates for Early Admission are expected to present a notable academic record, superior test scores and exceptional maturity. For more information, call us at 617-353-2300.
January Admission (Spring Semester)
Many BU programs offer a January Admission option. Please check your chosen program on the Program Requirements chart.
Second Bachelor’s Degrees
If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree, you can apply to BU as a freshman to pursue a second one. The deadline for September admission is January 1. The deadline for January admission is November 1.
To be admitted, you must meet all the degree and residency requirements of your chosen program. Credits earned toward your first bachelor’s degree cannot be considered for transfer. You may be eligible for some types of loan funding but not for institutional financial aid or federal or state grants.
Part-time and Evening Programs
Boston University offers a wide choice of part-time and evening studies through BU’s Metropolitan College. For information, please call 617-353-6000.