Application Instructions

You must complete and submit the Common Application to be considered for admission to Boston University.

The Board of Admissions conducts a rigorous and holistic review of each application.  To ensure the most comprehensive review of your application for admission, freshman applicants must also submit the following additional credentials:

  • High School Transcript
  • School Report form
  • Teacher Evaluation
  • Mid Year Report form
  • College/University Transcripts(s)
  • Standardized Testing

Please read the following detailed instructions carefully before beginning your application.

The Common Application

Please complete and submit the Common Application.

Specify a school or college

You must apply to a specific BU school or college and indicate an area of academic interest. (To see all of your options, please refer to our Schools, Colleges, and Programs guide.) If you have no specific school or subject 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.

Please note that admission to BU schools, colleges, and programs is dependent 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, you will be considered only for the program to which you applied.
  • 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.

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.

Additional 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
  • Through a vendor such as Common Application, Docufide, or Naviance
  • By postal mail to the address below:
Boston University Admissions
881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
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 for the Mid Year Report form.

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 on the Common Application website.

Teacher Evaluation

The Teacher Evaluation form is on the Common Application website. 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 and 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 must submit SAT Subject Test results. See the Program Requirements chart for more information. The deadline for submitting these forms is November 15.

College/University Transcript(s)

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.

Standardized Testing

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

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.

Score Choice

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 admission decisions. For more information about Score Choice, please visit the College Board website.

Portfolios and Auditions

Students applying to The College of Fine Arts must submit a portfolio or audition for consideration. 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 artistic work. These materials will not be considered by the Board of Admissions or reviewed by the faculty.


Interviews are not a required component of our admission review, with the following exceptions:

  • Selected finalists for our Accelerated Medical and Dental Programs must participate in an interview at Boston University.
  • All students applying for nonperformance majors in the School of Theatre must schedule an interview with that School.

Homeschooled Students

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 Proficiency

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.

Paper-based exam:

  • 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:

TOEFL Services
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

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 to your email contacts or approved senders list to ensure that our messages can reach your account.

Early Decision Program

To apply for Early Decision, 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 offer 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 the October test date, or the SAT no later than the October or November dates. Scores from standardized tests taken after these dates will not be considered in your application.
  • You must indicate your interest in the Early Decision Program on the BU questions section of the Common Application. This outlines the binding nature of this option and must be signed by the applicant, a parent or guardian, and a guidance counselor.
  • If admitted, you must submit 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
    881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
    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 mid year grades. You’ll be notified of a final admission decision in late March.

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 selected for full-tuition merit awards will be notified in late March. Students applying for need-based aid who meet the eligibility requirements will receive their financial aid decision notification at the time of their admission decision.

January Admission (Spring Semester)

Many BU programs offer a January Admission option. Please check your chosen program on the Program Requirements chart.