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, transfer applicants must also submit the following additional credentials:

  • College/University Transcript
  • Mid-Term Report
  • Registrar’s Report
  • Course Syllabi
  • High School Transcript
  • BU Writing Supplement to the Common Application
  • Instructor Evaluation

Please read the following instructions carefully before beginning your application:

The Common Application

Please complete and submit the Common Application.

Specifying 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.) Transfer applicants may not apply as an Undeclared major in any school or college.

Please note that admission to BU schools, colleges and programs, is dependent on program size and competition.

Previous Applicants

If you previously applied and were denied admission to Boston University, or if you were offered but did not accept 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

Transfer applicants must submit all of the following credentials to Boston University. College officials and instructors can do this electronically or by mailing them to:

Boston University Admissions
881 Commonwealth Ave., 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02215

College/University Transcript(s)

Submit official transcripts of all college or university coursework completed at the time of application.

International applicants:

Please submit either original transcripts or officially certified copies. Submit all documents in their original language with translations by a licensed translator.

To determine your placement at BU, we’ll examine the level and status of your former institution as judged by the most respected authority in its own country. In some cases, we may also consult international and U.S. authorities. The same is true for any diplomas, credentials and degrees you’ve earned.

Mid-Term Report Form

All transfer applicants who are currently enrolled should submit a Mid-Term Report form. This form should be completed midway through your current semester of college work.

Instructor Evaluation

Print the Instructor Evaluation form found on the Common Application website and give it to a faculty member who is directly familiar with your work. Please allow enough time for your instructor to write the evaluation, and stress the importance of returning the form by the application deadline.

Registrar’s Report

The Registrar’s Report form is found on the Common Application website. Please ask a dean or other college official with access to your disciplinary record at each institution you attended to complete and submit this form.

Course Syllabi

To facilitate our review of courses for credit evaluation, we request that transfer applicants submit syllabi for all courses taken at other colleges and universities. These should be sent via email to credeval@bu.edu, including your name and date of birth at the top of each page.

High School Transcript

All transfer applicants must submit official copies of their secondary school transcripts.

Make sure your transcript documents that you graduated from high school. If you enrolled in a college degree program before graduating high school (such as Early Admission, Dual Enrollment or Running Start), indicate your enrollment on the Common Application.

For information regarding the review of homeschooled applicants, please see instructions for freshman applicants.

Proof of high school graduation.

You must submit proof of high school graduation, showing that you satisfied all state requirements. If you haven’t graduated from a regionally accredited high school, submit results of your Test of General Education Development (GED).

International applicants:

If you were enrolled in a foreign curriculum with national exams, submit these results as well as your transcripts. Please refer to the Secondary School Credentials chart to find the U.S. equivalent of a secondary school diploma for the country (or countries) where you studied.

Standardized Testing

Boston University does not require standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) for transfer admission. Please be aware that, 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) exams (see the English Proficiency section below).

Essays

You must submit one long essay in the space provided on the Common Application, as well as a short essay on the BU Writing Supplement. See the BU Writing Supplement for more information.

BU Writing Supplement

To access the BU Writing Supplement, log into your account, go to the “My Colleges” list and follow directions to add Boston University to your list. You will then have access to the BU questions section and the BU Writing Supplement.

If the application deadline has passed, you may use the PDF Writing Supplement and send it directly to BU:

Boston University Admissions
881 Commonwealth Avenue, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02215

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 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

Interviews are not required for admission with one exception: applicants to nonperformance majors in the School of Theatre.

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.

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

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

    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
    U.S.A.

    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 toefl@ets.org.

    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.

    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

    Please add admissions@bu.edu to your email contacts or approved senders list to ensure that our messages can reach your account.

    January Admission (Spring Semester)

    Many programs have a January Admission option, but some don’t. 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 applicant to pursue a second one. Please use the Common Application for freshman admission.

    Part-time and Evening Programs

    Boston University offers a wide choice of part-time and evening studies through the BU Metropolitan College. For information, please call 617-353-6000.

    Visiting Students

    Would you like to spend one semester or academic year at the University’s College of Arts & Sciences or School of Management? For visiting students, the September admission deadline is April 1; the January admission deadline is November 1. See Visiting Students to learn more.