We welcome our new MA and PhD students !


General Information

Graduate School Information for Admitted Students: MA and PhD

Graduate School Bulletin: http://www.bu.edu/academics/bulletin/. Linguistics: MA / PhD.

Each student is responsible for becoming familiar with the general regulations in the “Policies” and Linguistics sections.

Linguistics website: http://ling.bu.edu/grad/.

    Academic requirements for the MA and PhD programs
    Linguistics Graduate Course offerings: Fall 2018, Spring 2019
    List of Faculty and Staff (with office hours) and Graduate Students

Linguistics Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BULinguistics/

BU Conference on Language Development: https://www.bu.edu/bucld/

Early Access to BU Email Account

Information Services & Technology (IS&T) will be sending an email with instructions on accessing BU’s Early Access Program.  This program allows incoming students to create a BU email account and allows early access to some online services.  If you have received the ‘Welcome Email’ and do not receive the email for setting up access after two weeks, please contact IS&T directly at 617-353-2780 or at ithelp@bu.edu.

Please note that all information and announcements about the program will be sent to your BU email address, and that you are responsible to check its contents regularly. If you prefer to use a different email account, you can arrange to have your email forwarded to your preferred address.

Orientation Sessions

[Note that some of this information has changed!]

Graduate School Orientation Sessions

Incoming PhD Orientation (mandatory) - Thursday, August 30, 2018, 12:30-3:00 pm, Metcalf Trustee Ballroom, 1 Silber Way, 9th floor. Please confirm your attendance to this orientation no later than August 1st. Students who RSVP by July 15th will be entered to win a pair of tickets to a Red Sox game this fall! The schedule will be psoted here: https://www.bu.edu/cas/admissions/phd-mfa/information-for-admitted-students/orientation-programs/incoming-phd-student-orientation/

New Teaching Fellow Orientation (mandatory) -  Friday, August 31, 2018 from 9am – 1pm. Tsai Auditorium, 685 Commonwealth Avenue. Please register for this orientation no later than August 1st.

Incoming MA Orientation (mandatory) - Friday, August 31, 2018, 2-3:30 pm in the Morse Auditorium, 602 Commonwealth Ave.; please confirm attendance by August 1st. Students who RSVP by July 15th will be entered to win a pair of tickets to a Red Sox game this fall!

Graduate Resource Fair -  Friday, August 31, 2018, 4 pm – 6 pm Photonics Colloquium room, 8 St. Mary's Street (PHO 906); open to all incoming graduate students.

Linguistics Orientation

Thursday morning, August 30: 9:30 - 10:45 - in CAS room 200

To be followed by individual meetings with faculty advisors, who will assist with course selection and registration

Please confirm attendance by email to linggrad@bu.edu, with subject header = "orientation".

ISSO Orientation Sessions

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) is offering a New International Student Information Session for incoming international graduate students. ISSO will be sending communication over the summer.

will be held on:

Monday, September 3rd, 2018
11:00 am or 2:00 pm or 4:00pm 
(these sessions are identical – please register  for only one session)
Alumni Auditorium, School of Law 
765 Commonwealth Ave

Academic Advising

Each student will be assigned an initial academic advisor, based on interests; your advisor will help you with registration for classes.

As your interests evolve, you are free to change advisors at any time.

Your official advisor assignment in no way restricts you from consulting with other faculty members; on the contrary, that is strongly encouraged! And you may engage in research that is supervised by other faculty members, as appropriate.

Registration and Course Selection

Graduate Linguistics course offerings for Fall 2018 and Spring 2019.

You will not be able to register for classes until you have met with your academic advisor on August 31. At that time, you will receive an advising code, which will enable you to register for your classes on the Student Link: http://www.bu.edu/studentlink/

Requirements for registration: http://www.bu.edu/reg/registration/requirements/. NOTE: Registration will be blocked approximately 2 weeks after the start of classes if the student has not complied with the requirements.

You may add or drop courses after the semester has begun. Courses may be added during the first two weeks of classes. Courses may be dropped during the first month.

You will need to opt out of your Sports Pass if you don't want to pay for it!

The Sports Pass will automatically be charged to your Student Account if you are a full-time graduate student at Boston University. The Sports Pass will allow you admission to all home events for ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer – over 70 games and a value of over $600. For individualized information regarding your sports pass, or to cancel your sports pass, visit the Student Link and go the Money Matters tab.

Student ID Cards

Once you are registered, you can obtain a student ID from the Terrier Card Office.  Student photo ID cards (Terrier Card) are issued at the Terrier Card Office, George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Lower Level. Your student account does not have to be settled in order to obtain your student ID card.  You must present a picture ID (e.g., driver’s license or passport).  Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 am through 5 pm.

Academic Calendar

First day of classes: Tuesday, September 4

See: http://www.bu.edu/reg/files/2015/09/academic-calendar-2018-2019.pdf

Semester dates: http://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/semester/

Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Schedule: http://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/refund/

MA Tuition and Fees

Tuition for 2018-19: http://www.bu.edu/cas/current-students/ma-and-ms-students/tuition-and-fees/

Payment Deadlines: http://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/your-bill/payment-deadlines/

Use the Student Link, www.bu.edu/studentlink, to view or print your student account and class schedule. The Student Accounting Services office is located at
881 Commonwealth Avenue, lower level; 617 353 2264.

Payment Information


Use the Student Link, http://www.bu.edu/studentlink, to view or print your student account and class schedule after you have registered.

A student enrolled in three to four-and-a-half 4-credit courses (12-18 credits) will be considered full-time and will be charged full tuition and fees.
    You must register first before you can pay your tuition and fees.

Full-time vs. part-time status: An MA student who is registered for fewer than three courses or 12 credits (a minimum of one course, at least 2 credits, should normally be taken until all degree requirements have been completed, unless registered for Continuing Student Status) but engaged otherwise in full-time study or research pertinent to the completion of degree requirements or to gaining competence in the field of study, can be certified as a full-time student. Such a student must pay tuition on a per-course basis and full-time fees. A student desiring full-time certification must submit to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, during the official registration period, a completed full-time certification form approved by the advisor and department chair or program director, or director of graduate studies. [We will explain the advantages of full-time certification for students not otherwise taking a full course load during the Linguistics orientation.]

Loans: See http://www.bu.edu/cas/current-students/ma-and-ms-students/financial-aid/loans/

Federal Work Study  (a program for U.S. citizens and permanent residents who demonstrate financial need): http://www.bu.edu/cas/current-students/ma-and-ms-students/financial-aid/aid-for-masters-students/ Note: Application deadline of May 1.

Payment plans: http://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/your-bill/payment-plans/

PhD Stipend Payments

Payments will be available at the Student Employment Office. After receiving the first payment, all students are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit via the Student Link

    Non-service stipends are issued monthly on the fourth Friday of each month beginning in September.
    Teaching Fellows will receive weekly stipend payments each Friday beginning the 2nd week of classes.  

By federal law, all employers must verify the employment eligibility of their new employees, including student employees.  All entering graduate students who have been awarded a Teaching or Research Assistantship are required to provide documentation for payroll purposes.  You will need to present the appropriate documents to the administrative assistant in your academic department.  Documents must be verified within the first three working days of employment.  You will be asked to complete an Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9).  If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, please present the documentation, in person, to the University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).

Questions concerning your scholarship or fellowship should be directed to the Graduate School Financial Aid Office, 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112, Boston, MA 02215 (617-353-2696), email: grsaid@bu.edu).

Report of Medical History

All entering Boston University students have pre-matriculation health requirements that must be completed prior to your first term at Boston University. If you do not submit these forms prior to the first day of classes, you must submit them within the first two weeks of the semester. IMPORTANT! Failure to complete the required health requirements will result in a registration hold on your Student Account. An Immunization and Physical Form is required of all new students. Students must arrange to have this form completed by your physician before you register. Information regarding this requirement is available at: http://www.bu.edu/shs/getting-started/incoming-health-requirements/. If you need additional information, you may contact Student Health Services at http://www.bu.edu/shs/getting-started/using-patient-connect/ or telephone at 617 353 3575.

Medical Insurance and Other Fees

Medical insurance coverage extends from August 23, 2018 through August 22, 2019. Coverage takes effect once registration has been processed. A more complete listing of the University's tuition and fees, as well as explanations of certain fees, or to waive the medical insurance, please see the Student Accounting Services website at http://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/your-bill/tuition-fees/.

International Students

Upon initial arrival to the Boston University Campus, international students must report to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) with your I-20, passport and I94 card. Should you have any problems or questions about your visa status, please contact the ISSO at 888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215 (617-353-3565) or at isso@bu.edu, http://www.bu.edu/isso/


University resources for your housing include:

  1. Office of Rental Property Management: Located at 19 Deerfield Street, 1st floor. http://www.bu.edu/orpm/ (617-353-4101). Contact this office if you wish to live in on-campus housing (very limited!).

  2. Off-Campus Housing Office: Located in the 19 Deerfield Street, 3rd floor (617 353 3523), http://www.bu.edu/offcampus/. Listings are taken for apartment, houses, or roommates. This information is available to any BU student. You must present your BU ID to gain access to the information. This office is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. Incoming students will receive an “early bird” access code after you have accepted the offer of admission. This code will permit you to view sites for which an ID number is required.

  3. The ISSO has additional housing information and good advice at: http://www.bu.edu/isso/students/prospective/pre-arrival/housing/index.html

Boston is home to many universities, so housing competition is intense. Most schools open in September, and new and returning students flood the market. The biggest competition for housing starts early in the year.

Note: Most landlords require some assurance that students will not be forced to default on their leases. The most common requirement is that students have someone co-sign their lease. The co-signer, usually a parent or guardian, essentially agrees to assume responsibility for making the rent payment in the event the student is unable to make the payments. For most international students, obtaining a co-signer is extremely difficult. The alternative for many is to bring copies of sponsorship papers which indicate the amount of financial support to be received, or a bank statement which shows sufficient funds to cover expenses for the year. Without documentation of your ability to pay or a co-signer, you may experience some difficulty in obtaining a lease. Learn more about your rights as a tenant at http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/housing/tenant-and-landlord/

You will find other resources online, for connecting with other potential roommates, finding apartments, etc.

Air BNB is one option for temporary lodging while you are seeking housing. You may want to arrive somewhat in advance of the start of classes to search for housing.

Program Handbooks

Coming by the end of the summer...

Academic Conduct Code

You should familiarize yourself with expectations for academic integrity. Please consult with a faculty member if you have questions at any point. https://www.bu.edu/cas/files/2017/02/GRS-Academic-Conduct-Code-Final.pdf

Course Drops and Withdrawals

Students may drop a course early in the semester without penalty. Students who withdraw from a course after the drop deadline receive a grade of ‘W’ (and no credit) for the course. If the course is required, the student must take the course in a later semester and pay tuition again. See http://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/semester/ for specifics about deadlines for adding and dropping classes in any given semester. The time point at which a student drops or withdraws from a course affects the portion of tuition reimbursement to which the student is entitled. Please contact the Office of the Registrar or consult http://www.bu.edu/reg/ for information about deadlines for dropping a course and receiving tuition reimbursement.

Incompletes, Failing Grades, and Requirements to Remain in Good Standing

A grade of B minus or higher is required to pass a graduate-level course; anything lower is considered a failing grade.

If a student does not complete the work required for a course by the end of the semester of registration in that course, the instructor may assign a failing grade. If the student has a good reason for failure to complete the course requirements on time, he or she may negotiate a short-term extension to complete the outstanding requirements with the instructor, in which case a grade of Incomplete will be entered, provisionally, until the course work has been completed, at which time the ‘I’ will be changed to the grade earned.

Permission to take an Incomplete must be received from the Instructor before final grades for the class are submitted. The Incomplete Form needs to be completed and signed by the student and the instructor, who should each retain a copy. The coursework required for this course must be completed and graded by the instructor within one year from the end of the course in order for the student to receive a letter grade for the course. If the student does not complete the work required within the year limit, the grade will be converted to ‘F’. See https://www.bu.edu/academics/cas/policies/incomplete- coursework/ .

Students are expected to maintain satisfactory academic progress. Students whose GPA drops below 3.0 or who receive failing grades (i.e., grades lower than B minus or permanent Incompletes) in more than two 4-credit courses are at risk for removal from the program at the discretion of the Graduate School. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to avoid accumulating ‘I’ grades and to complete coursework within the time limits. (See http://www.bu.edu/academics/grs/policies/failing-grades/.)

Program Resources

Linguistics Office

The Linguistics Program Office, staffed by Cammy Samuelson, is located at 621 Commonwealth Ave., room 120. Cammy can be contacted at the office by phone (617-358-4640) or by email. Office hours are posted on her website.

Space at 96 Cummington Mall

The graduate student lounge is in Room 242-244. The office for the BU Conference on Language Development (BUCLD) is in room 246. Graduate students can request a key for access to these spaces by contacting Cammy.

Other Useful Links

The Graduate Student Survival Guide, written by graduate students for graduate students: https://busage.wikispaces.com [has some useful information, but may be out of date]

Student Life: http://www.bu.edu/cas/current-students/ma-and-ms-students/student-life/

    BU Central: http://www.bu.edu/students/
A campus map can be found at: http://www.bu.edu/maps/
Information regarding Boston's rapid transit system (the MBTA, or simply, the T) can be found at: http://www.mbta.com/
Boston University is located at several stops along the Boston College branch (B Line) of the Green Line: http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/subway/lines/?route=GREEN
If you plan on biking, driving, taking public transportation, or taking the BU Shuttle to classes, you should take a look at the Parking & Transportation Services website at: http://www.bu.edu/parking/.
City of Boston official website: https://www.boston.gov. Get to know Boston: https://www.bu.edu/admissions/student-life/city-of-boston/
Information regarding campus safety can be found at the BU Police Department's website at: http://www.bu.edu/police/
The Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PERD) offers programs and facilities for numerous forms of physical activity: http://www.bu.edu/perd/
Boston University houses a number of libraries on campus and you'll make use of at least one of them during your time here: http://www.bu.edu/library
The Office of Information Services & Technology provides general-access computing and communications facilities for the entire University community: http://www.bu.edu/tech/
The Educational Resource Center provides students with the services and resources for developing personal and academic skills: http://www.bu.edu/erc/
The Geddes Language Center provides a wide range of instructional media services to the University community: http://www.bu.edu/geddes/
The Boston University Wellness & Prevention Services aims to promote the physical and emotional well-being of students: http://www.bu.edu/shs/wellness/
The University's bookstore is located within the Barnes & Noble Bookstore on campus: http://bu.bncollege.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/BNCBHomePage?storeId=13555. Note, however, that textbooks may be available at lower cost if purchased from various booksellers online.
The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a student-run advocacy group for Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students
Diversity at BU
Campus Resources and Support Services
Dining Options on campus


University Forms for MA and PhD students

Payroll-related Forms


Please feel free to contact us if we can be of help:

Carol Neidle, Director of the Linguistics Program

Jonathan Barnes, Director of Graduate Studies

Cammy Samuelson, Administrator for the Linguistics Program

Other Linguistics Faculty Members - see http://ling.bu.edu/people/

We hope you have a terrific experience at BU !