Boston University » College of Engineering » Special Programs » Late Entry Accelerated Program
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Frequently Asked Questions

How big is the LEAP class every year?

Since 2008, our applicant pool has grown fivefold and enrollment in the program has quadrupled. Last year, we had fifty incoming LEAP students; however class size varies from semester to semester based on the number of qualified applicants to the program. We are excited to see more and more high caliber applicants each year as LEAP continues to grow.

I have a low GPA. Will I automatically be rejected from LEAP?

Faculty reviewers consider applications in their entirety, meaning that they evaluate applicants based on their letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, resume, and GRE scores in addition to their overall GPA/coursework. There is no formula for admission to LEAP. The statement of purpose is a particularly important application component, as it gives applicants the opportunity to discuss their experience, skills, qualifications, and interests in engineering – mainly why they think they will be successful in the program. Reviewers are looking for applicants with solid quantitative skills who have demonstrated success in their background, as these attributes are generally a strong indicator that applicants will excel in the program.

What kinds of backgrounds do your LEAP students come from?

Our LEAP students come from very diverse academic and professional backgrounds. They range from recent graduates to working professionals seeking a career change. We have had social workers, doctors, Peace Corps volunteers, teachers, and lawyers join our program. LEAP students traditionally come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds, including but not limited to Natural Sciences, Humanities, Math/Computer Science, Social Sciences, Business/Communications, and Fine Arts majors. There is no typical or ideal candidate for LEAP. In fact, the diverse nature of our student body is one of the things that makes it such a rich, rewarding, unique program.

Will the Calculus course I am currently taking satisfy the LEAP Calculus I admission requirement?

The Graduate Programs Office is unable to verify whether specific Calculus courses taken at outside colleges or universities will satisfy the LEAP Calculus I admission requirement; and due to time constraints, faculty members are unable to review or assess courses for students prior to their admission to LEAP. Decisions regarding transfer credits for any courses are made by faculty advisors on a case by case basis only after a student is admitted to the program.

Please refer to the Calculus I course description on our website and compare it to the syllabus of the course you are planning to take or have already taken. The topics covered in this syllabus should closely match those covered in whichever course you select. If you are unsure of this, it is advisable to check in with the course instructor. Please submit the course syllabus for whichever Calculus you elect to take along with your other application materials.

The course that you select must be a Calculus that is meant for an engineering student, meaning that it is geared towards math and science. Again, you may check in with the course instructor to verify this if you wish. Be aware that any Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus, or Business Calculus courses will not suffice. The Graduate Programs Office must receive an official grade of a ‘B’ or higher from you in order to complete your application.

I want to begin taking some classes at another university prior to starting the LEAP program. Will they be counted for Phase I credit?

If you are planning to take or have taken classes at an outside college or university prior to being admitted to LEAP, please be aware that there is no guarantee that they will transfer for Phase I credit, though it is certainly possible. Keeping this in mind, if you still wish to take classes, please refer to our Phase I Curricula for LEAP. The Graduate Programs Office is unable to assess or approve any courses for credit, and unfortunately due to time constraints, faculty members are unable to approve outside courses for students prior to their admission to the program. If you decide to take outside courses, it is up to you to use your discretion in selecting courses that are comparable to Phase I courses, and again be aware that there is no guarantee that they will be counted for Phase I.

How long does it take to complete the LEAP program?

The duration of the LEAP program varies based on a number of factors: it largely depends on your background (what classes you will need to take in Phase I), how many courses you take each semester (whether you are a full-time or part-time student), and the graduate degree you choose to pursue. Because the length of the program is dependent on several factors, it is difficult to predict or estimate how long it will take students to complete LEAP on a case by case basis.

There are twelve required undergraduate courses for Phase I. Assuming that you had not taken any courses that transferred for Phase I credit, it would take you three semesters to complete Phase I as a full-time student (four courses are considered a full-time course load).

Upon completion of Phase I, students apply to the graduate degree program they wish to pursue. 70% of our LEAP students pursue a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree, which is 32 credits, or roughly 8 courses. Though it is possible to complete the MEng in two semesters, most students complete it in three. Note that students accepted for the Fall semester may begin taking classes in the summer prior and are also able to enroll in summer courses going forward.

Is it possible to complete LEAP through Distance Learning?

Phase I undergraduate courses are offered on campus only. However, after completing Phase I, if a student wishes to pursue a Master of Engineering, our Distance Learning Program offers a MEng in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. For more information, please visit our website.

Can I meet with an academic advisor or counselor to discuss courses before I apply to the LEAP program?

Unfortunately we do not have this service available at the graduate level. Due to time constraints, faculty advisors – who are current teaching faculty – are unable to review courses for students prior to their admission to the program, and the Graduate Programs Office is unable to verify whether specific courses taken at outside colleges or universities will transfer for Phase I credit. All decisions regarding transfer credits are made by faculty advisors after students are admitted to LEAP. If you are trying to gage how many courses you will likely be required to take in Phase I based on your background, we recommend you take a look at our Phase I Curricula that is posted on our website.

Is there a LEAP department I can be in contact with? How can I learn more about it?

No, there is no LEAP department at the College. LEAP is an accelerated bridge program in which you will receive the necessary undergraduate engineering prerequisties in Phase I to prepare you for a graduate degree. Applicants specify in their application the department/division they wish to apply to. Any specific questions regarding the application process can be directed to the Graduate Programs Office ( There is also a BU LEAP Alumni LinkedIn group as well as a LEAP Facebook group. Many of our students are on both and are usually happy to assist prospective students with any questions.

As a LEAP student, will I be receiving a different degree than traditional Masters students of the College?

No, graduates of the LEAP program receive the same Masters degree as our traditional Masters graduates of the College.