When is the deadline?
The deadlines to apply for the fall 2019 semester are:
PhD in Emerging Media Studies
- Application review will begin December 15 and will close when the desired cohort size is reached.
All Master’s Programs
- Priority deadline: February 1 (for consideration of all scholarships)
- Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until our final deadline: May 1. Please note that some programs (such as Screenwriting and Television) may fill prior to May 1. If programs close, we will list them on http://www.bu.edu/com/admissions/graduate/apply/. We encourage you to submit your application well before the May 1 deadline.
How do I apply?
Apply via our online application, which contains detailed application instructions. All application materials must be uploaded through the online system.
How many COM programs can I apply to?
You may apply to up to two COM graduate programs. Applicants must pay an application fee for each program they apply to.
What is required in my application?
Several items are part of a student’s application for admission:
- Completed online application
- A non-refundable application fee of $95
- Uploaded transcripts
- Three letters of recommendation
- Writing requirements/program specific requirements
- Official standardized test scores (if required for your program)
- International Student Requirements (see International Application admission information)
Please note that students who are admitted and decide to enroll must have earned a Bachelor’s/undergraduate degree prior to matriculating at COM.
Is the GRE required for all programs?
- Emerging Media Studies
- Film & Television Studies
- International Relations & Communication
- Mass Communication: Communication Studies (Media Science)
- Mass Communication: Marketing Communication Research*
- Public Relations**
- Science Journalism
*Applicants to the Marketing Communication Research concentration of Mass Communication may submit either the GRE or the GMAT.
**The GRE can be waived for students who are applying to the Public Relations program and meet the following criteria:
Students who have the equivalent of a 3.4 or above on a 4.0 scale who have graduated/will graduate from an accredited Bachelor’s degree program at an English-speaking college/university.
The GRE is not required for the following programs:
- Cinema and Media Production
- Media Ventures
- Dual degree JD/MS (LSAT is required)
- Boston University undergraduates who graduate(d) in January, May or September of the past two years. For programs requiring the GRE, Boston University alumni who have graduated prior to January 2018 will be required to take the GRE (with the exception of Public Relations – see caveat above**).
What are the minimum requirements for a admission?
The requirements vary among programs. There are no GPA or standardized test score cutoffs. Applicants are considered holistically based on their entire application, including their experience and credentials. However, higher standardized test scores and a higher GPA may increase one’s chances for merit scholarships.
For international students, the minimum required TOEFL score is 100. The minimum required IELTS score is 7.0.
How can I check the status of my application?
After you have submitted your application and paid the application fee, you can log into your account to check the status of your application materials. Please use the “Manage My Programs” section of the application to view your checklist of missing and/or received application materials. The checklist is updated as the required application documents are received.
Your application is a self-managed process, which means that it is the applicant’s responsibility to regularly monitor the status of the application and to see if any application items are missing. Please note that incomplete applications will not be reviewed for admission.
It may take several weeks for a program to contact you about your application. Typically, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to receive a decision.
What are the GRE and TOEFL institution codes?
- GRE institution code: 3087
- TOEFL institution code: 3087
What is the admission timeline?
|December 15 (priority deadline)||PhD Application Deadline|
|February 1||Master’s application deadline (priority deadline for full scholarship eligibility)|
|Mid-March||Admission & financial aid decisions e-mailed for PhD and February 1 master’s applicants|
|Mid-April||Admission response and tuition deposit due for PhD and February 1 master’s admits|
|May 1||Final deadline for master’s applications|
|Early May||May 1 applicants are sent to admission committee||Mid-May||May 1 applicants are e-mailed decisions|
|Early June||Registration materials emailed to all incoming students|
Which part of my application is most important?
How many letters of recommendation do I need?
What is an electronic letter of recommendation?
Recommendations are required to be completed electronically by your recommenders. We suggest that you contact the individuals writing the recommendations to confirm that they will be able to write your recommendation letter and to confirm their preferred email address. An email request from COM will be sent to these individuals directing them to a secured website for completion. After your recommenders complete the recommendation, they will submit it electronically to COM through the secured website.
Because recommendation requests may be caught by spam filters, applicants should contact their recommenders to ask them to allow their email systems to “permit” COM’s recommendation email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. If the COM email request was not received by your recommender, please contact COM Technical Support and the email will be sent again. You may contact technical support at (857) 304-2003 or email@example.com.
As you self-manage your application, you may notice three types of recommendation statuses:
- “Requested” – the recommender has been entered into our online system.
- “Accepted” – the recommender has logged onto the online portal, but has not submitted the recommendation.
- “Completed” – the recommender has completed and submitted the recommendation to COM.
I’d like to change a recommender from someone whom I initially listed on my application. How can I do this?
Are interviews required?
Will incomplete applications be reviewed?
How can I find out if my application is complete?
My application is complete. What comes next?
Whom do I contact with questions about my application?
We encourage you to visit the “Manage My Programs” section of the online application, as well as browse the rest of the Frequently Asked Questions, to see if the answer to your application question is addressed. If not, please contact COM’s Office of Graduate Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 353-3481 with questions about:
- Admission requirements and policies
- Supplemental application materials
- Status of your application after it has been submitted
- Content and duration of a particular COM graduate program
Please review all instructions and FAQs prior to contacting us, as many common questions can be answered by these instructions. If you have any questions regarding technical application issues, please contact BU COM Application Services:
- Application Services phone: (857) 304-2003; open Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm EST.
- Application Services e-mail: email@example.com
Can I apply for the spring semester?
Can I transfer into COM?
Does COM offer conditional acceptance?
Is prior academic/professional experience required for any of the programs?
Are international students eligible for merit scholarships?
Are official transcripts required?
If I attended a three-year undergraduate institution, am I still eligible to apply?
Are there different application materials for international students?
Does my transcript need to be in English?
Will I need to have my international transcript evaluated by an evaluation service?
In general, a WES evaluation is not a required part of your application. However, if your institution does not provide a grade point average (GPA) on the American 4.0 scale, the admission committee may ask you to submit a WES evaluation or an explanation of the grading scale.
You will be able to upload your transcript in the “Documents” tab of the “Program Materials” section of the application. If your transcript is double sided, please include both sides and be sure to include the transcript legend (the part of the transcript that explains your institution’s grading scale).
What are the TOEFL or IELTS minimum scores?
- Minimum Score: 100 (TOEFL iBT)
- Minimum Score: 7.0 (IELTS)
We must receive an official TOEFL or IELTS score by the application deadline. Therefore, we recommend taking the exam at least 20 days prior to our deadline to assure that we receive the score.
To Submit TOEFL Scores:
- Visit http://www.ets.org/toefl to request that scores be sent to BU College of Communication. Our institution code is 3087.
- Your scores may take up to 20 business days from the date of your request to post to your application.
To Submit IELTS Scores:
Official IELTS scores are provided to BU College of Communication directly from IELTS in paper format. You must contact IELTS to have your scores released to BU College of Communication. When you sit for your test, add BU College of Communication as one of the institutions you would like your score report released to. Please use the following address for this purpose:
P.O. Box 9203
Watertown, MA 02471
– or –
Attention: Graduate Affairs
640 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
If English was my language of instruction for my previous degree, am I still required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS score?
What kind of visa will I need in order to study at COM? How can I obtain these documents?
Does COM issue visa documents based on conditional acceptance?
Am I allowed to work on campus?
Yes; BU has on-campus employment opportunities, and COM offers a limited number of graduate assistantships. Please note that students who are awarded a graduate assistantship must have a valid U.S. Social Security Number in order to be paid for their work. International students may apply for a Social Security Number, which is outlined on the ISSO website.
Students may apply for on-campus employment. Positions can range from an administrative assistant at the library to a lifeguard job at the FitRec Center. International students should review the Employment Guide for International Students before starting a position.
How do I apply for financial aid?
All full-time students who apply for admission are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Students are notified about scholarships with their admission decision. Additionally, assistantship and loan information will be given to students once they are admitted.
Our website provides information on the different types of loan options available to graduate students.
For domestic students, the FAFSA form is required to apply for federal aid. On the FAFSA, list “Boston University” and our federal code number, 002130, in the College Release Section.
Who is eligible for financial aid?
Scholarship: All full-time students who apply for admission are automatically considered for COM merit-based scholarships. Students who are admitted are notified at the time of admission if they have been awarded a merit scholarship to be applied toward their cost of tuition.
Graduate Assistantship: Graduate assistantships may be available to qualified full-time graduate students. All graduate assistants, including international students, must have a valid U.S. Social Security number in order to be paid for their work. Assistantship amounts vary from $1,000 to $6,000 per semester; they do not cover the cost of tuition and are separate from any merit-based scholarship a student may receive.
Federal Stafford Loan: Students are eligible to participate in the Federal Direct Stafford Program if they are: 1) U.S. citizens or permanent residents; 2) enrolled in a degree program at least half-time (six credits); 3) making satisfactory academic progress; and 4) demonstrate need as determined by federal regulations. A separate application is required to apply for the Stafford loan. The loan form can be found here and must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Graduate PLUS loan: To be eligible, you must complete the FAFSA, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have never defaulted on a government loan, and also pass a minimal credit check. A separate application is required to apply for the grad PLUS loan. The loan form can be found here and must be emailed to email@example.com.
Private Educational Loans: BU has identified some private loans if you are interested in researching additional options. This list of options is certainly not all inclusive and we encourage you to search for other outside private loan options that may be available to you.
I am a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident; do I need to include my social security number (SSN) on my application?
We strongly encourage you to report your SSN in the personal information section of your application. This will allow us to expedite the financial aid process by matching your admission application with your FAFSA. If you plan to borrow federal aid (federal loans) to finance your graduate education, Boston University will need your SSN on file.
After filing the FAFSA, eligible students must complete separate loan form applications in order to receive their federal aid. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the process of applying for federal aid.
What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool on the FAFSA?
To protect sensitive taxpayer data, the IRS and FSA announced that the Data Retrieval Tool on fafsa.gov and StudentLoans.gov will be unavailable until extra security protections can be added. While they are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, students and families should plan for the tool to be offline until the start of the next FAFSA season.
COM graduate students are required to submit the CSS PROFILE to be eligible for federal aid.