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Impact x2 Qais

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How can we work together to promote better cultural understanding worldwide?

Qais Akbar Omar (GRS’16), a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program, has published a much-praised memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers: An Afghan Family Story. He recalls how the violence and tumult of civil war jolted his family, who, despite losing relatives, their home, and possessions, continued to nurture his wish to attend a university.

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Graduate Admissions

Welcome!  Each year we admit over 550 new students who contribute to the scholarly work being conducted by our academic departments, interdisciplinary programs, research centers, and institutes. We welcome your interest in joining the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

In response to concerns raised by the recent United States’ presidential election, the President and Provost of Boston University have issued the statement below. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences fully endorses this statement and looks forward to welcoming a diverse class of new students from around the world in September 2017, as it does each year.

Time:  11.20.2016

President Bob Brown & Provost Jean Morrision’s statement to prospective students

We are reaching out to you in the wake of the extraordinary and contentious presidential election that took place earlier this month in the United States. The results, as you are likely aware, have generated serious concern among many of our citizens and communities, because of the divisive and alarming language from the campaign that is still echoing around the country and the world. We want to reassure you that Boston University remains a steadfastly inclusive and safe community. As a student, you will always be welcome here, no matter your race, ethnicity, gender identification, sexuality, disability, religion, or national origin.

We will never tolerate nor stand for prejudice, bigotry, or hatred of any kind, subtle or overt. Important conversations and discussions, formal and informal, have been taking place on campus since the presidential campaign began in an ongoing effort to foster greater understanding between differing viewpoints. That free, safe, and civil exchange of ideas and points-of-view is one of the cornerstones of the Boston University community, along with the embrace of diversity and robust global engagement.

Each year, we welcome to Boston University thousands of international students from around the world. Just as our campus remained a welcoming and open place in the aftermath of the devastating terrorist attacks in September 2001, it is even more so today. In fact, we recognized early in our history the importance of understanding the worlds’ cultures and societies and as a result, Boston University was one of the first universities in the United States to send students to live and study abroad. Every semester, thousands of BU students take advantage of the opportunity to study in, and learn about other cultures outside of their own.

As President Robert A. Brown stated in his letter to the community in the immediate aftermath of the election: “Like our country, Boston University will flourish if we adhere to the enduring principles that have defined our community for 150 years: respect for all people and their right to free expression, adherence to the rule of law, and respect for reasoned arguments and scientific findings. Finally, the strength of our community also depends on our commitment to civility in debate and discussion which can lead to mutual understanding.”

Boston University was founded as a beacon of freedom. We are proud of this heritage, now more than ever. We welcome and encourage you to join us in building an even stronger, more vibrant and just society.

If you have any questions, concerns or want to learn more about Boston University, please contact Dean Jeffrey Hughes or Janette Countryman at (617) 353 2696 or at grs@bu.edu .


Applications for upcoming fall and spring admission periods become available in early September every year.  Application deadlines are subject to change so applicants are encouraged to check the deadline information for your department.  An application is considered complete when all required credentials, as listed on the Application Deadlines and Requirements page, have been received by the Admissions Office.

Any well-qualified person with a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university or with equivalent international education may apply. Also:

  • Your undergraduate program should include introductory studies in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences; completion of specified courses without credit may be required to make up any deficiency.
  • You may apply to a master’s or PhD program if you have a bachelor’s degree (if you hold a 3-year degree, you may be required to complete a one-year’s master’s degree program or post-graduate diploma in a relevant subject).
  • You may apply to any program if you have both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree.
  • You may not enroll simultaneously in more than one graduate program unless the programs are part of a BU-approved combined degree.
  • If you have twice been rejected for admission to the same degree program, you must submit a letter of approval for application from the current director of graduate studies in the department to which you seek admission.

All PhD applications, submitted and complete by the program deadline, are considered for admission with five years of fellowship funding.  Master’s applications must be submitted and complete by the program deadline in order to be considered for admission and financial assistance as departmental funds allow.  Please be aware that some programs have earlier deadlines for master’s applications to be considered for merit-based financial aid (both University-wide and departmental), if available.  Applicants are encouraged to check the Application Deadlines and Requirements page for more information or to contact the department directly.