Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to questions our advisers and administrators regularly receive:
Q: What is the difference between my academic adviser and my faculty adviser?
A: Your professional academic adviser are the people that sit in the first floor office of 156 Bay State Road. They are there to answer any questions you may have regarding classes, AP, IB and transfer courses and explain how credits will fit into your undergraduate program. They will also answer questions about study abroad in regards to what classes count for IR, about graduation, perform IR credit checks, or answer any other questions or concerns you may have regarding IR. Your faculty adviser is here to help you pick your classes for each semester during registration, answer questions about career paths and graduate school and also assist you if you are looking for research advice or opportunities.
Q: Who is my academic adviser?
A: The IR department splits students alphabetically between two professional academic adviser. Students whose last name begins with A-L will have Allison Patenaude as their adviser. Students whose last name begins with M-Z will have Vicky Kelberer as their adviser. For the purpose of consistency we ask that you always meet with the same academic adviser.
Q: I am not an IR major. Can I meet with an academic advisor?
A: Our academic advisers reserve their appointment times for IR majors only. Non-majors and minors with questions about IR are welcome during our advising walk-in hours: Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Q: How do I make an appointment with my academic adviser?
A: To make an appointment please call the IR Undergraduate main line at 617-353-6342.
Q: How do I officially declare IR as my major and choose my tracks?
A: Declaration of major forms can be found online at http://www.bu.edu/casadvising/forms/ or at the Undergraduate Records office located at 100 Bay State Road 4th Floor. Submitting this form allows you to declare both your major and tracks. Once declared, please make an appointment to meet with your academic adviser to let them know of any changes.
Q: Who signs my study abroad Approval of Student Participation form?
A: Your professional academic adviser in the International Relations Department signs your study abroad approval form.
Q: How do I transfer credits from another university?
A: To have credit transferred to the IR Department, you need to fill out a green transfer equivalency form. You can find transfer forms in the CAS Records Office, 100 Bay State Road 4th Floor. Attach the class syllabus to the form and give it to the secretary in the IR Undergraduate office. We then give the form and syllabus to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who then approves the credit and equates it to a class.
Q: If I am studying abroad, how do I register for courses for the following semester?
A: Before leaving for your semester abroad, we request that you come into the International Relations department and fill out a return registration form. Meet with a professional academic adviser and talk about the classes that you want to take for the semester that you return to BU. When registration period begins you will email your academic adviser for your code and then register on the day slotted for you.
IR General Questions:
Q: Where is the IR Undergraduate Programs office?
A: We are located on the first floor of 156 Bay State Road, Boston, MA, 02215.
Q: I’ve finished my IR major requirements. Am I ready to graduate?
A: Not necessarily. You must have earned the University credit/class requirement (128 credits and 32 classes), satisfied either the CAS Core Curriculum or CAS Divisional Studies requisites and completed the IR program to be ready to graduate.
Q: How many classes double count between two majors?
A: If you are majoring in two College of Arts and Sciences majors you can double count 5 classes between the two majors.
Q: How many classes double count between a major and a minor?
A: You can double count two classes between a major and a minor.
Q: How many credits do I need to graduate?
A: You need at least 128 credits to graduate from Boston University
Q: Do PDP credits count towards graduation?
Q: Do ROTC credits count towards graduation?
Q: When does the IR Undergraduate Office hold open walk-in hours?
A: Walk-ins take place on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.