Academics

At Boston University, our academic excellence is the core of who we are. Ranked in the top 50 universities in the world, students from around the globe come to BU to take part in innovative research, explore the world around them, and learn from top minds, including MacArthur Fellows, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize Winners, and more.

BU is a diverse community. Of our 30,000 students in both undergraduate and graduate programs, more than 7,000 are international students, representing nearly 100 countries. In fact, Boston is the third most popular destination in the US for international students. That diversity enriches our programs and classrooms, creating an arena where multiple perspectives meet and, together, innovate.

Programs of Study

BU’s 16 schools and colleges offer a wide variety of programs, many of them highly ranked. From programs and courses in economics, anthropology, and biochemistry to television production and isiZulu, your imagination is the limit.

Undergraduate Study

Undergraduate students at BU can choose from baccalaureate degrees, including more than 250 programs and the opportunity for double majors and Dual Degrees. We also have study abroad options, undergraduate research opportunities, and honors programs.

Graduate-Level Studies

Students who have already earned a baccalaureate or the equivalent will find graduate programs at BU to develop their expertise, conduct research, enhance skills, and more. Fourteen of our schools and colleges enroll more than 14,000 graduate students in master’s and doctoral programs, graduate certificates, and other advanced degrees, such as legal and medical offerings.

Academic Culture

Our worldwide reputation is interwoven with our commitment to academic rigor and integrity. That integrity comes from originality of thought and expression, critical inquiry and scrupulous investigation, respect for the foundations we build our work upon, and of course a spirit of adventure.

From the terms we use to classroom behavior and assignments, expectations in a US university are sometimes different from what you’re used to. Perhaps you’re not accustomed to speaking up in class, but participation is part of your grade, or maybe you’re unsure how or when to cite your sources for a research paper.

You can read basic standards of academic integrity from the International Center for Academic Integrity, of which BU is a member. BU’s Academic Conduct Code lays out the standards to which we hold all students. Anytime you need help understanding requirements, talk to your professor or advisor.

Academic Resources

At BU we provide an academic environment where you can thrive, with centers and staff dedicated to helping you succeed.

Libraries

BU’s libraries have books and journals, of course, but also provide access to databases, search tips, help citing your sources, and research guidance.

Educational Resource Center (ERC)

The ERC offers writing assistance, including appointments focused on thesis development, organization and citation or foundational grammar skills. You can take advantage of either kind of appointment and schedule it directly on the ERC website.

The ERC also offers Peer Tutors in a variety courses. Peer Tutors are BU students who can help you develop effective study methods for that course or subject.

Students can also meet with an ERC staff member for general advice and guidance.

College of Communication Writing Center

Housed in the College of Communication, this center—open to all students at BU—is an especially good resource if you’re trying to write an article or develop a story. The Writing Center, like the ERC, helps with English language skills too.

Global Programs

If you want to study abroad or conduct research in another country as part of your program at BU, BU Global Programs can help. As always, check with the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) before you start any projects outside of the US to make sure your student status is secure.

Advising

We’re committed to creating an environment that helps you do your best work, and achieve more than you ever thought possible. That includes dedicated staff and faculty who guide you through your academic choices. As an international student, you’ll have two advisors fundamental to your academic life:

  1. An International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) advisor assigned to your BU school or college who will help you with everything related to your student status, working while in the US, travel and visa renewals, and other questions you may have related to US culture, language, and immigration. This advisor will also help you with relevant forms, such as declaring a major or filing for graduation. Find the advisor for your BU school or college.
  2. An academic advisor from your department who will help you select courses that meet your program requirements and match your interests.

Enrolling Full Time

Being a full-time student is an important part of keeping your student status in the US. Depending on your program, you will need to enroll in a certain number of credits. Talk to your advisor about your requirements and how to get certified as full-time. Current BU students can check enrollment and register for classes on the Student Link.

The ISSO also has an advisor on call during business hours who can help with emergencies related to your immigration status.