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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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General Information

Am I eligible to apply for graduate study at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) at Boston University?

Any well-qualified person with a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university or with equivalent international education may apply for admission to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS). (Applicants who have a three-year bachelor’s degree from an academic institution in India must also have a master’s degree or postgraduate diploma in a relevant field to be eligible for admission.)

Where is the application and how can I apply?

Applications may be submitted through the convenient online system.  In rare cases where an extenuating hardship prevents an applicant from submitting the application online, applicants can call the GRS Admissions Office at (617) 353-2696 for information on how to apply.   Visit the Admissions homepage for more information about the application process.

Where can I get information about the departments at Boston University and their graduate programs?

For all department and degree program information offered by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, please visit our Department and Degree Requirements pages. Information regarding application deadlines for each degree program can be found on our Deadlines page. To view all departments at Boston University and links to their websites, please visit here.

Is it possible for me to gather all supporting documents (letters of recommendation and transcripts) and mail them in one envelope to the Admissions Office?

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit all materials at one time to aid in the processing of their application. However, materials can be submitted separately if necessary. It is in the applicant’s best interest to label all materials submitted with his/her name and personal identification (ex: BU ID number located within the online application, birthdate, etc). Please be advised that all transcripts and letters of recommendation sent through the mail must be submitted in signed, sealed envelopes, otherwise they are not considered official.

What are the payment options for the application fee?

The online application system requires payment of the $80 application fee by credit card.  In rare cases where an applicant does not have access to a credit card, applicants are asked to contact the GRS Admissions Office at (617) 353-2696.

I am currently a student in another school at Boston University. Do I have to pay the application fee?

All Boston University students are required to pay the application fee, except those students currently enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Can I apply to more than one graduate program at Boston University?

You may apply to more than one graduate program at Boston University; however, you must submit an application fee and a completed application online, as well as a complete set of required credentials for each program to which you are applying. For example, if you are applying to two separate programs, we must receive two official transcripts from each academic institution which you have attended. The GRS Admissions Office will not make copies of credentials to fulfill this requirement. Please be aware that Boston University does not permit a student to enroll simultaneously in more than one graduate program, unless those programs have been previously approved by the Trustees of Boston University as a combined degree program.

I made a mistake on my application. How can I change the incorrect information?

If you have submitted your application with incorrect information in the following sections, you will be able to correct the information by emailing GRS Admissions at Personal Information, Addresses, International Information, and Program Information.  In your email, please explain the error, provide the correct information, and include your BU ID number and your full name as listed on the application in the body of the email.

If you have submitted your application with incorrect information in the following sections, you will be able to correct the information by emailing an attachment of a note or updated CV to GRS Admissions at Educational Background, Tests, Employment, and Additional Info.   The attachment should be in PDF format, and be sure to include your full name as listed on the application, your BU ID number, and an explanation of the error in the body of your email.

We strongly urge students to review the contents of their application before submission.

The name on my application is different from the name which appears on my supporting credentials. Will they be matched?

We strongly encourage students to use their legal name on all submitted application materials. If you are an international student, you should submit your application with your name exactly as it appears on your passport. If you have applied using a nickname or maiden name, you must contact the Admissions Office at to notify them of this discrepancy. Please note that there is a section on the application which asks for “former name” information—it is very important for students to fill out this section, if applicable.

Do I need to submit a separate application to the department in addition to the application submitted to the Admissions Office?

No, you should not submit an application or any supporting credentials to the department, unless specified by the department. All application materials must be sent to the GRS Admissions Office at 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112, Boston, MA 02215.

Are fee waivers granted?

No, the application fee is not waived under any circumstance. Applications will not be considered without the application fee being submitted.

I applied to a graduate program at GRS but was not admitted. Do I need to submit another complete application when I reapply?

Yes, you must submit a complete updated application and the application fee. If you wish to use credentials from your previous application, you may submit a request in writing to after you have submitted your new application and specify which credentials you would like pulled and matched to your new application.  Include your BU ID number in this email.  Please note that the GRS Admissions Office only keeps applications and supporting materials for one year, after which time these documents are no longer available. In addition, applicants who have been declined admission to the same department in two previous admission cycles must obtain the permission of the department in order to submit a new application.

I would like to withdraw my application. Will the application fee be refunded?

No, the application fee will not be refunded if you withdraw your application from consideration. If you are unsatisfied at any point in the application process, please feel free to contact the GRS Admissions Office at or speak directly to one of our staff at 617-353-2696.

I have applied to GRS and would like to know the status of my application. Whom do I contact?

Once the Admissions Office receives the application, it is processed and forwarded to the department for review. This process can take up to ten business days especially in the height of admissions season. Each applicant receives an e-mail confirmation when their application has been forwarded to the department. After allowing sufficient processing time, you can contact the department to which you applied and inquire on the status of your application. Please bear in mind that review of applications may not take place until after the January 15 financial aid deadline, even for those departments with earlier application deadlines.