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Frequently Asked Questions

Test Scores and Requirements

Submitting GRE and TOEFL score reports

GRE and TOEFL scores should be sent electronically to BU from ETS. Please be sure to indicate the College of Engineering as a recipient of score reports – our institutional code with ETS for both the GRE and TOEFL is 3105. No department code is required. The electronic scores will be considered official.

What if my name on my test is different than the name on my application?

It is imperative that your application to Boston University and your test score report have your name written the same. A general guideline is to apply using your name exactly as it is written on your passport.

The electronic match of scores to applications only occurs if students’ names are written in the exact manner on their online application as on the GRE and/or TOEFL report. If your name is written differently on your score report from your application, you must notify our office.

How long are the GRE, TOEFL and IELTS tests valid?

Official GRE scores from ETS are valid for 5 years. For example, a student applying to the Fall 2015 semester must have taken the test after January 1, 2010.

The TOEFL and IELTS tests are valid for 2 years. For example, a student applying to the Fall 2015 semester must have taken the test after January 1, 2013.

May I be waived of the GRE if I already have a graduate degree?

No, we cannot waive any applicants of the GRE requirement.

Do you require a GRE subject test?

Only the GRE General test is required by the College of Engineering; you are not required to submit any subject test scores.

What are the Minimum GRE test scores?

The College of Engineering does not set a minimum GRE requirement. Each application is evaluated in its entirety and GRE scores, while an important part of the admissions review, is not the only determining factor for admission.

I have taken the GMAT but not the GRE. Can the GMAT be substituted for the GRE?

No. The GRE is an admission requirement for all of our graduate programs, including LEAP. The GMAT cannot be substituted for the GRE.

What are the TOEFL score requirements?

Reading: 21
Listening: 18
Speaking: 23
Writing: 22

Overall: 84

The minimum score should be met in each individual section. We are unable to mix and match sections from multiple tests in order to meet the minimum requirement of English Proficiency.

Please note, the most recently taken test score is what will be considered the official score report when considering applications for admission. If you have one score report from January 2014 and a second score report from March 2014, the March score report will be considered official. These scores are based on when the exam was taken, not when it was reported to Boston University.

More information about English Proficiency requirements can be found on our International Students page.

I am applying for a Teaching Fellowship or Research Assistant, what is the minimum requirement for the TOEFL

International students who are applying for financial aid must meet the minimum TOEFL requirements as listed above. In addition to the minimum score in each section, these students must have an overall score of at least 100 in order to be eligible for a Teaching Fellowship, Teaching assistant, or Research assistant.

Will my application be rejected if I don’t meet the TOEFL?

A TOEFL score below the minimum requirements will not deny you admission to the program; if the review committee deems you to be academically qualified for the program, you may be required to attend English classes at our Center for English Language and Orientation Program (CELOP) in your first semester of studies at BU.

Note that this is an intensive English language program; you will not be taking engineering courses concurrent with CELOP. Once you complete CELOP and demonstrate English proficiency, you will be offered formal admission to the College of Engineering. If your TOEFL scores do not meet the minimum requirements, we strongly encourage you to retake the test and achieve the minimum score requirements, as English proficiency is essential for success in our programs.

More information about English Proficiency requirements can be found on our International Students page.

What are the IELTS score requirements?

IELTS scores must meet our minimum of 7.0 overall band score. Students seeking financial aid should have a minimum of 7.5 overall band score.