Incoming Graduate Students

Welcome to BU!

Orientation 2013 – August 29th and 30th

Before You Arrive

Here are a few things you will want to do over the summer.

  • Find housing: Graduate Housing. Almost all of our graduate students live off campus. Here’s a good list of neighborhoods to look at.
  • Decide whether you want to buy a MBTA train pass. If you buy before August on your studentlink, you can get a 11% discount.
  • Join our facebook group so you can meet each other!
  • Take a look at the academic calendar so you can start your planning.
  • Make sure to complete your Student Medical History and Physical Report Form before coming to Boston. It is especially important for international students as it is a lot easier to get your doctor’s signature when you are still in your home country.

Useful Websites

  • This is where you will be registering for classes, where you can see your bill, and where you update your personal information.  If you do not yet have your BU email and have not received an invitation to set it up, please email Sarah Bellott at
  • This is your online bulletin which contains all your program requirements.  Not all classes are listed under the courses section, so look in your studentlink for those.  You’ll be going over this with your advisor as well, but it’s helpful to take a peek on your own too.
  • Graduate Handbook. This has even more specific details about your program requirements – what kind of repertoire for which recital, etc.  Skim it now while you have time, so that you know what’s in it and how to reference it.
  • CFA Resources Page. Here is the Academic Conduct Code, the Graduate Student Survival Guide, and all the forms you may need later.

Proficiency Exams

Music Theory and Music History Proficiency Exams

These exams will be available online from July 1 to 31. You will need to have a working BU email account by June 20th in order to access the site. We will be sending detailed information to your BU email address describing how to access and submit the exam.

Music Theory: All incoming graduate students are required to take the music theory proficiency exam. More information about this test is available here: BU-GradMusicTheoryInfo(2013).

Music History: All incoming DMA and PhD students, as well as MM and MA students in musicology only, are required to take the music history proficiency exam. More information about this test is available here: BU-GradMusicHistoryInfo(2013)

English Proficiency Exam

All incoming graduate students who either submitted a TOEFL score or received a TOEFL waiver will be required to take an English proficiency exam. This exam will be given during orientation on August 29th at 9:00AM, at the College of Fine Arts.

    Once you arrive in Boston: To Do List

    • Student Health Services (881 Commonwealth Avenue). You’ll need to make sure that you’ve turned in your required information form to Student Health – you can get a copy here.
    • Emergency Contact Information. Log into with your kerberos password (from your email) and make sure you have a telephone number listed for BU’s Emergency Alert system. It’s a good chance to check your other contact information as well.
    • Seating auditions for ensembles will take place at the start of school. You can sign up for an audition time on the ensembles website.

      For International Students, one additional step

      • Check in at the International Students and Scholars Office and bring all your visa documents with you. (888 Commonwealth Avenue)


      Please feel free to contact us at the School of Music office, or 617.353.3341, if you have questions about any of this!