International FAQ

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In a recent live online chat session, prospective international master’s students posed questions to our International Student Ambassadors, who shared their personal perspectives and experiences as BU College of Engineering graduate students.

Admissions and Pre-arrival Information.

Will my admission letter be mailed to me?
International students who accept the offer of admission will receive a hard copy of their admission letter with their I20.

When will the fall semester start?
Classes begin on September 4, 2018.

I plan to go to Boston before school starts, so that I can better adjust myself to the new life. Any suggestions on that?
Students interested in preparing themselves for their academic program and for life in a new city and culture are strongly recommended to attend our international Global Engineering Career Readiness summer program in August. Students who register for the program by May 1st are eligible for a program scholarship pf up to 50% of the program fee.

What are the average GRE scores and GPA of students admitted to the master’s program?
Our students have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement in their undergraduate programs. Average scores of admitted students: GRE Q – 164, GPA – 3.50.

If I want to preview the textbooks before school starts, where can I find the syllabus and recommended textbooks?
If you don’t find published syllabi you can contact the professor for the information prior to the start of classes.

When should I start to apply for my visa?
Boston University typically begins issuing I-20 documents in April for Fall enrollment. We recommend that students make a visa appointment once they receive their visa document. It takes BU approximately 3 weeks for visa documents to be prepared and mailed to students via Federal Express. The sooner we receive students’ documents, the sooner our office is able to request a visa for students. For more visa application tips please visit bu.edu/international/visas/

What are my housing options as a graduate student?
On campus housing is limited and must be secured as early as possible. On-campus Housing is provided by BU Rental Property Management at bu.edu/rpm/. Most of our graduate students find housing in one of the many communities surrounding campus. Our Off-Campus Services Office provides a listing of available apartments, typical rental rates, as well as tips and resources for students new to the area. See their website at bu.edu/offcampus/. The Student Association of Graduate Engineers (SAGE) has also created a ‘Graduate Survival WikiGuide’ that includes helpful tips about housing at busage.wikispaces.com/

Tuition & Fees

How much will it cost for 2 years’ of study at BU ENG?
Tuition for the 2017/2018 academic year is $25,490 per semester. Full-time international students will need approximately $78,143 for tuition and living expenses, including fees, healthcare, housing and food, transportation, books, and other personal expenses. Master’s students can complete their program in as little as one academic year (two semesters), depending on their program of study. A detailed breakdown of expenses can be found here Graduate Admissions website at bu.edu/eng/prospective-graduate/apply/graduate-tuition-fees/

Why do I have to submit financial documents?
Federal guidelines require that we obtain proof of a student’s ability to cover their tuition and living expenses before a visa document may be issued.

If I decide not to enroll in the GERCP, how much should I deposit to prepare for the financial declaration?
Students should prepare $78,143 in financial documents to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses for one year.

Scholarship & Financial Aid

What financial aid opportunities are available?
Various forms of financial aid are available to support your studies at the College of Engineering. You can find the fellowships and scholarships ENG offers at bu.edu/eng/prospective-graduate/apply/graduate-fellowships-and-financial-aid/

How do I get financial aid/scholarship?
All master’s students who indicate on their application that they wished to be considered for aid will be considered for a merit-based scholarship of up to half tuition.

What suggestions would you give to international students who want to ease the financial burden?
We understand that graduate school requires a significant investment. Students can find part-time work to help ease the burden and International students are eligible for on campus jobs. Additionally, international students in the master’s program may find an approved internship through our “engineering with practice’ degree option bu.edu/academics/eng/programs/engineering-practice/ Our Office of International Students and Scholars (ISSO) offers tips and resources for finding employment and internships at bu.edu/isso/employment-internships/on-campus-student-employment/on-campus-jobs/

Global Engineering Career Readiness Program

Are all the international students required to enroll in the Global Engineering Career Readiness Program (GECRP)?
GECRP is an optional program; however, international students who are new to the United States are strongly encouraged to attend. The program is designed to acquaint students with U.S. culture and academic expectations here at BU, as well as allow students to polish their language skills for the highly interactive classroom environment. Students who have attended this program have said they felt more confident at the start of their academic program, had a chance to get to know the campus and Boston, and made many friends early on.

What is GERCP? Can you briefly introduce the curriculum?
Students are immersed in American culture and language, and classroom and workplace norms equipping them to actively engage in team-based projects and lead peers. In addition, visits to local tech companies and conversations with engineering leaders help students to fine tune their career readiness skills. Classes run 9a – 12p Monday through Friday, and 1:30p – 4p on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday, a total of 20 hours of instruction per week for four weeks. See detailed Curriculum.

I noticed that there’s a written evaluation in this program. What’s it about?
The evaluation at the end of the program is provided only to the student and is purely to help the student understand the skills they have acquired and improved as a result of their work in the program.

What benefits will I get from this program?
Students attending the program get an opportunity to practice and further develop their language skills giving them the confidence to become active participants in class discussion and during group work, which are key features of the engineering classroom experience. Additionally, students are exposed to real examples of the learning environment they will encounter from ENG professors who teach sample classes. The opportunity to meet friends and to become familiar with both the BU campus and Boston gets students off to a quick start once they begin their academic program in the fall.

How do I apply for the scholarship associated with this program?
Admitted students will be contacted with details about the program. Generally, students must register for the program no later than May 1 to be eligible for the scholarship.

If I get the GERCP scholarship, what kind of fees will be waived? How much do they cost?
The scholarship waives up to 50% of the program fee. In addition to the program fee, students can also take advantage of optional housing and a meal plan. See detailed information about program Costs.

Study at BU College of Engineering

How many applications to graduate degree programs does the College of Engineering ENG receive each year?
We receive approximately 3300 applications to our graduate programs each year.

What should students expect in the classroom?
The College of Engineering is finding ways to increase student engagement by adopting new teaching formats as alternatives to the traditional lecture. Students are expected to get evolved in teamwork and class discussions. Learn more about Strategies for Success in the Engineering Classroom.

Are ENG’s grad programs course-based or research-based?
Students who are not completing a master’s thesis will complete eight courses to earn their degree. Student’s interested in completing a thesis must secure a research advisor willing to supervise their research or project.

I’ve heard students have to study very hard to succeed in the classroom. I am wondering whether it will be difficult for international students to adjust themselves into this highly competitive environment. Will students face a lot of study pressure?
Graduate engineering study at BU is rigorous; however, there are many resources available to students to help them manage this effectively. Creating a study group of your peers, taking advantage of tutoring services and seeking help from professors ensure students are making good progress and get the help and support they need.

How many credits are required for graduation?
Students must complete 32 credits for the master’s degree, with the exception of the Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering which requires 36 credits.

How long will it take to complete my master’s program? 
Students not completing a thesis can finish the program in as little as two academic semesters (1 year) with full-time study, however, some students, including those completing a thesis, may take 3-4 semesters (1.5 – 2 years) to complete.

How do I choose my classes?
Students have a variety of course options available to them and make their selections based on their area of interest and career goals. Students will be contacted by their department regarding course selection and will be assigned an academic advisor who can provide advice and guidance.

I was asked to choose my track interest when I was applying for ENG. Am I allowed to change my interest after I get accepted?
Information gathered about interest areas on the application does not require the student to pursue that area. Students can certainly change their areas of specialization within their program/department at any time.

Can I transfer credits gained in other programs to BU ENG?
Students can transfer up to 8 credits of coursework, subject to review and approval from their department.

Will I be assigned to a professor once I get enrolled?
Yes, students will be assigned an academic advisor from their department. Students will find it easier to make connections with faculty once they are here.

Career Support

Am I allowed to have a part-time job or internship in the first year of enrollment?
International students must be enrolled for two full-time semesters before they are eligible to take an internship; however, they are eligible for on-campus jobs at any time. More information on requirements can be found at bu.edu/isso/employment-internships/on-campus-student-employment/

Where do I look for on-campus jobs?
Students can search for on-campus position at our Student Employment Office bu.edu/seo/. Jobs are posted and updated continually.

Is it hard to find an internship in Boston?
International students who wish to use their CPT and OPT will find many resources available to assist with their job search, including two engineering career fairs which attract employers looking to hire for both internships and full-time positions. Students interested in internships need to start looking early. BU has a central Career Services Office and the College of Engineering has a dedicated Career Development Office, both of which can assist students looking for employment. Many of our international students have found internships in local companies.

Can you list some companies who are the main employers of ENG alums?
There are a wide array of both large and small companies who employ our graduates, including Google, Amazon, Accenture, Medtronic, Raytheon, General Electric, Philips, The Mathworks, Microsoft….and many, many more.

What’s the average salary rate for ENG alums when they first start working after graduation?
This can vary depending on the company, but students who graduated last spring reported starting salaries of $75,000 – $130,000.

What kind of career development support does BU ENG offer?
BU has a central Career Services Office as well as a dedicated Career Development Office in the College of Engineering, Both centers host several career fairs on campus as well as maintain a database of jobs/internships, bring in employers for information sessions and on-campus interviews, and host a wealth of professional and career search workshops to assist students with their preparation for the job search.

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