The procedures for cross-registering at other universities and at other schools and colleges within BU are explained below. Taking classes from outside of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is a great way to take full advantage of the rich and varied resources available to you as a BU student. The IR Department encourages students to look into these options in order to enrich their experience at BU. However, students must be careful to follow proper procedures when doing so. All students must obtain the approval of the IR Graduate Programs Administrator before registering for a class outside of the BU Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Students interested in registering for classes outside of GRS should talk with the IR Graduate Programs Administrator before contacting any individual in the other college or school (firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-353-9349).
Do not assume that a class outside of GRS will count toward your degree, even if it is being taught at another school or college within BU. Most classes offered outside of GRS will need to be approved by the IR Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) in order to count toward an IR degree (petition form is here). Keep in mind that all classes must be graduate level, which means (at BU) that the course number needs to be 500 or higher, in order to count toward a graduate degree. In many cases, registering for a class outside of GRS will require the permission of the course instructor. Schools usually need to give priority to their own students – please be respectful of the needs of the host school.
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) regulations mandate that IR MA students may take no more than 25% of their credits from outside of GRS/CAS. See here for details.
The sections below on registering for classes at other schools within BU do not pertain to students in joint- or dual-degree programs with those schools. Such students should follow their usual registration procedures.
Boston Theological Institute (BTI)
Registration through the BTI is available to students in the IRRN degree program only. The BTI is a consortium of ten Boston area theology schools that enables students of member schools to register for classes at any of the member schools. Please note that the BTI provides students with access to Theology School/Department courses only, not to all classes taught at the university. Additionally, students may take no more than 50% of their coursework though the BTI in any semester. More information on the BTI, as well as course listings, can be found at www.bostontheological.org/.
Registration for BTI classes for BU students is handled through the School of Theology (STH). Students should talk with the IR Graduate Programs Administrator and the faculty coordinator for the IRRN program to obtain permission to register for the class(es) they are interested in. They can then go to the BU STH Registra’s Office (STH 108). That office will guide students through the remainder of the registration process.
Students in their final term should keep in mind that in order to graduate they must satisfy all degree requirements by BU’s deadlines. Not all colleges follow the same calendar as BU, which means that classes at some colleges, Harvard in particular, may still be in session past BU’s degree certification deadline, in which case students would not be able to graduate that term.
BU College of Communication (COM)
College of Communication classes are normally open only to students in the joint IRIC program. However, COM does sometimes permit students from our other degree programs to take their courses. Such instances are handled on a case by case basis.
COM classes can be found on the class schedule on the Studentlink by entering COM for college and either JO (Journalism) or CM (Mass Communication) for department.
Once proper approval has been obtained, actual registration for COM classes is handled by either the Mass Communication or Journalism departmental staff, as appropriate.
BU School of Education (SED)
Most classes offered by SED cannot be counted toward an IR degree. However, the International Education Department (IE) at SED does offer some classes (on education in developing countries) that may count toward an IR degree, with the approval of the IR DGS. To find classes offered by SED IE on the class schedule on the Studentlink, enter SED as the college and IE for the department.
Some SED IE classes, such as IE 604 (Project Seminar: Current Educatinal Development Issues) and IE 605 (International Educational Development Thesis), are restricted to SED students only.
In order to register for an SED class, obtain the permission of the IR DGS and Graduate Programs Administrator. Then contact the instructor of the course to ask for permission to take the class. Next, get the instructor’s signature on an add/drop form and take that form to the SED Records Office, SED 127. The SED Records Office will register you for the class.
BU School of Law (LAW)
Most Law classes are not available to students outside of the Law School because of the substantial background knowledge in Law that is required to understand the course material. However, the Law faculty has identified a limited selection of courses (see here) that non-Law students may register for.
Students may petition to take Law classes not on this list. However, doing so requires the permission of the course instructor. Due to the specialized knowledge required to understand Law School course material, it is not uncommon for Law professors to refuse to accept non-Law students into their classes.
Law classes are typically worth three credits (and sometimes only two) whereas GRS courses are normally worth 4 credits. Students will need to complete additional credits to make up for any shortfall in their credit count.
In order to register for a Law class, a student needs to get approval in writing (an email is fine) from the instructor of the class. The student next takes that written approval to Assoc. Dean Gerald Leonard at the Law School to get his approval. The student then takes written approval from Dean Leonard (an email is fine) to the Law School Registrar’s Office (fourth floor of the Law Building) and that office will register the student.
Boston University is a member of a consortium of Boston area schools which have agreed to enable their graduate students to cross-register for classes offered by other member schools. In addition to Boston University, the cross-registration consortium includes Brandeis University, Boston College, Tufts University (except the Fletcher School), and Hebrew College.
Students may take one course per semester through cross-registration. Up to two cross-registered courses may be counted towards an MA degree. Further details can be found here. Students need to obtain four signatures on their cross-registration form (available at the BU Registrar’s Office, 881 Commonwealth avenue). Once all signatures are obtained, the form should be submitted to the BU Registrar’s Office. The proper order for obtaining the four signatures is:
- Home Registrar’s Signature
- Student’s Adviser (the BU IR Graduate Programs Administrator)
- Course Instructor at the partner institution
- Host Registrar (the registrar at the partner institution)
Students can find the current semester course listings for Boston College here. For the other colleges, students should contact the appropriate departments at those schools in order to obtain their current semester offerings.
Students in their final term should keep in mind that in order to graduate they must satisfy all degree requirements by BU’s deadlines. Not all colleges follow the same calendar as BU, which means that classes at some colleges may still be in session past BU’s degree certification deadline, in which case students would not be able to graduate that term.
Students may take classes at the Graduate School of Management. However, GSM will give registration priority to GSM students and will only register students from other schools if they are confident that there will be sufficient spaces in the class (normally two weeks or less before the term begins). Most GSM classes cannot be counted toward an IR degree, but a few have been pre-approved (list is here). The IR DGS may accept petitions for other classes.
GSM classes can be found on the class schedule on the Studentlink by entering GSM for the college.
Most GSM electives are worth three credits. Students will need to complete additional credits to make up for any shortfall in their credit count.
In order to register for a GSM class, students should go to the GSM Advising Office, Room 104 in the SMG Building. Students will need to contact the course instructor and obtain the permission of that professor, and will also need to obtain several signatures on the registration paperwork. The GSM Advising Office will guide students through this process.
BU School of Public Health (SPH)
The International Health and Environmental Health Departments at the BU School of Public Health offer a range of courses pertinent to development issues. Some IH/EH classes will require more advanced knowledge of biology or more developed quantitative skills than the majority of IR students possess. Talk with the instructor and, if possible, peruse a syllabus for the course to make sure that you have the requisite skills.
To look for these classes on the class schedule on the Studentlink, enter SPH as the college and IH/EH as the department.
Registration requires written approval (an email is fine) from the instructor of the course.
Transfer Credits From Another University
Students may use transfer credit for up to 25% of their required credits. Students should get classes pre-approved by the IR DGS prior to registering for them.
Please note that while classes approved for transfer by the department’s DGS normally are accepted, official and final approval is given by GRS, not by the IR Department.