Forms and Resources for Graduate Students

  • Registration Form: This is needed every semester that a student registers for classes or research credits. This form comes in the mail to graduate students. They are also available in the Graduate Office in CAS Room 112. If for some reason you do not get one in the mail, you must contact the Graduate Office. The student and the advisor sign this form. It should be handed in to Christina Honeycutt in the Biology main office.
  • Continuing Study and Certificate of Full-Time Participation in Graduate Program:  Students must select either Certificate of Full-Time Study status or Continuing Study status when registering for courses. Certificate of Full-Time Participation students take  less than 12 credits per semester and use form in conjunction with the registration form to be awarded full-time status.  Continuing Study: A student in a degree program who has completed all required coursework must be registered for Continuing Study each semester of the regular academic year until all remaining requirements have been completed. Both the student and the advisor must sign off on all forms All forms should be handed in to Christina Honeycutt in the Biology main office.
  • Special Service Appointment Form: The Special Service Appointment Form is available in the Dean’s Office in CAS Room 115. This allows a student to request someone outside of Boston University to serve as a reader for a doctoral dissertation or a master’s thesis, or a member of a Final Oral Examining Committee (dissertation defense). No later than the end of the third year, the student, in consultation with the major advisor, will have selected a committee consisting of five persons to serve as an Advisory Committee. This committee shall include the research advisor and at least two other faculty members from the Department of Biology, one of whom will serve as the Chair of the Committee for the qualifying examination. The fourth and fifth members of the Committee may be chosen from other faculty of Boston University or from other institutions upon approval of the Director of Graduate Studies, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the Graduate School. It is expected that the research advisor will serve as the first reader. Neither first nor second readers may be the chair of the committee.
  • Prospectus: After completing coursework and qualifying examinations, a student proposes a dissertation topic and works with his/her program to identify first, second, and in some cases third, readers for their final oral examination. The dissertation prospectus should be completed before the more extensive phase of dissertation research is undertaken. The prospectus should be approved by the student advisor and then submitted to Christina Honeycutt.  The prospectus will then be reviewed and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, and the Chair of Biology. Once approved it will be send directly to GRS.
  • Thesis Announcement Template: A thesis announcement template for handout during the thesis seminar can be downloaded here.
  • Annual Report — Due ANNUALLY last workday of October: All students are required to submit an annual report each academic year. This report includes a summary of courses completed, research progress, teaching experience, examinations passed, committee members and meetings held, and publications and presentations. All forms should be turned in by the last workday of October. The advisor signs this form.
  • Summer Research Status Registration Form: Summer Research registration status for students who are engaged during the summer in full-time research as an essential component of their graduate degree programs. This status provides a no-cost mechanism whereby graduate students can be officially recognized as students for purposes of loan eligibility and tax considerations. The form should be completed, appropriate signatures obtained, and submitted to the Academic Administrator. By signing the form, the student and the department vouch that the student will be doing research full time for the 12 weeks of the Summer I and Summer II Terms. GRS will enter the registration on the student’s records. Forms should be submitted before the beginning of the Summer II Term and can be obtained by clicking above. It is also available from the GRS website.
  • Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Procedures and Forms: Includes forms and instructions related to: MS and PhD Diploma Applications, Dissertation Prospectus Approval and Submission, Submission of Dissertation Defense Abstract, and Scheduling the Final Oral Examination (Dissertation Defense).
  • Thesis Guidelines
  • W-4 Form
  • I-9 Form
  • Direct Deposit  All students are encouraged to set up Direct Deposit by going to the Student Link under the Work tab.  Click here for instructions on how to set up Direct Deposit. Students who have not set up Direct Deposit before the first payroll run in mid-September will have to pick up their stipend checks at the Student Payroll Office, 881 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor.
  • Key Request Form

If you are an incoming student and would like information, please see the information for new students site.

There are several mandatory orientations in Fall 2015, please be sure to attend them and to contact Christina Honeycutt if you have any questions.

The GRS policy is that financial aid awarded by Boston University may be used only for courses required by the degree program. It may be used for courses taken as co-requisites or prerequisites by special permission from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. It may not be used for the Sports Pass, subway/bus passes, library fines or late fees.  Graduate School of Arts & Sciences financial aid does not cover the cost of audited courses for Master’s students. For Ph.D. students, tuition for an audited course will be covered by scholarship if the course is approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. This course must be related to the dissertation research, or be considered as background or preparation for the dissertation research or topic. 900-level courses may not be audited.
Financial Aid may not exceed the cost of required tuition, fees and living expenses

Master’s Students

Master’s students are expected to pay their own tuition. On occasion when teaching positions for the Department of Biology are available, Master’s students may apply within the department for a Teaching Assistantship (TA). These positions consist of a 20-hour per week commitment and provide $6,000 per semester paid on a weekly basis.

Students involved in active research should speak to their advisor before accepting a TA position. If interested in potential TA opportunities, please send your CV – including courses taken – to Christina Honeycutt.

In addition to potential TA positions, the following options may help assist Master’s students in financing their graduate education:

Please contact for questions about financial aid options for Master’s students.

Ph.D. Students

Ph.D. students in the CM and Neuro programs are guaranteed 12 months a year of stipend support and tuition for 5 years provided they make satisfactory progress towards their degree and remain in good academic standing. EBE and Marine Biology students are guaranteed tuition and 10 months per year of stipend support provided they remain in good academic standing and make satisfactory progress towards their degree. Most EBE and Marine Biology students are supported 12 months of the year. In an extremely rare case, a student failing to meet these requirements and at risk of losing funding will be notified well in advance.

Ph.D. students are encouraged to apply for fellowships and grants at funding agencies. All domestic first-year students apply for NSF Graduate Research Fellowships in the Fall semester.

Dean’s Fellowships (DF): Ph.D. students are funded on Dean’s Fellowships in their first semester. Dean’s Fellowships, and other fellowships such as MLK Fellowships, NIH NRSA traineeships, etc. are paid monthly on the 4th Friday of the month.
Domestic students on fellowships will not have taxes withheld by the University; however, students are still required to report their stipend to the IRS and pay taxes, if applicable. International students will be taxed at a rate of 14% unless their government has a tax treaty with the U.S.  For more information on tax exemption for international students, refer to the Student Employment Office

Teaching Fellowships (TF): Ph.D. students are funded by teaching fellowships for a minimum of 2 semesters of their graduate career. Teaching Fellowships are a 20-hour per week commitment and students receive training for these positions. Typically students are responsible for 2 lab sections or 3-4 discussion sections. Students are expected to honor their commitments to the responsibility of teaching. Students will receive feedback on their teaching performance and students are encouraged to review their teaching evaluations. Students that do not honor their responsibilities as a TF or who ignore issues with performance are subject to losing future TF opportunities, which could affect funding. TFs are paid on a weekly basis.

Research Assistantships (RA): Ph.D. students funded on a research grant by their advisor are on Research Assistantships. RAs are expected to coordinate expectations of research with their faculty advisor. RA positions pay on a weekly basis.

Direct Deposit:  all students are encouraged to set up Direct Deposit by going to the Student Link under the Work tab.  Students who have not set up Direct Deposit before the first payroll run in mid-September will have to pick up their stipend checks at the Student Payroll Office, 881 Commonwealth Ave, 2nd Floor.

Departmental Graduate Student Fellowship and Award Deadlines

Boston University has many resources on campus to support personal and academic wellness.


In case of a medical emergency, Student Health Services and/or the University Police will help in managing the emergency quickly and effectively. Call the Boston University Police at 617-353-2121 (3-2121 on a campus phone) or 911 if you have a life-threatening emergency. True medical emergencies are transported by ambulance to local hospital emergency departments. Boston University Student Health Services will call to follow up on your emergency and will help in arranging additional care when needed.

  • Emergency
  • 617-353-2121 BU Police
  • 911 if life-threatening
  • Student Health Services 617-353-3575
  • Sexual Assault 617-353-SARP (7277)
  • Behavioral Medicine 617-353-3569
  • Boston University Police 617-353-2121
  • Ambulance 617-353-2121
  • Fire 617-353-2121
  • Poison Control Center 617-232-2120
  • Boston Area Rape Crisis Center 617-492-RAPE

Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation for Full-Time PhD Students

Please find the official University policy here

The childbirth and adoption accommodation policy for full-time or certified full-time PhD students in good academic standing provides for extensions for academic coursework and other requirements to the primary caregiver of an infant or adopted child. It also provides for a continuation of stipend support for funded students during the accommodation period.
A GRS full-time or certified full-time PhD student taking an accommodation due to the birth of a child should notify the relevant department Chair or Program Director in writing no later than 30 days prior to the start of the semester during which the birth is expected using the procedures described below. In the case of adoption, notification should be made once the student becomes reasonably certain of the expected dates of adoption.

Notification procedures:

Students have two options for notifying the relevant offices:

1) By email:

  • Please include the following information in an email with the subject: “GRS Childbirth and Adoption Accommodation” to your department Chair or Program Director, copying your Director of Graduate Studies, the GRS Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at, and if a research assistant, the Principal Investigator of the research project on which you are working:
    • Your name
    • BU ID number
    • Program
    • Expected date of birth or adoption
    • The start and end dates of the 60-day accommodation period if known, or approximate dates if not
  • The Chair or Program Director must acknowledge receipt of this email via a reply to all parties initially included.
  • If you are expecting to be a Teaching Fellow during the semester in which you take the accommodation, this must be discussed with your department/program and GRS Financial Aid; if you are expecting to be a Research Assistant, the details surrounding the accommodation must be determined at the department/program level.

2) By form:

  • Please complete a notification form from the GRS website, obtain the necessary signatures, and submit to the GRS office – 112 College of Arts & Sciences Building.

Student Health Services
881 Commonwealth Avenue

Center that meets student health care needs while at Boston University. Includes Primary Care, Sports Medicine, and Behavioral Medicine service by appointment or on an emergency basis, and Crisis Intervention Counselors. Department of Wellness & Prevention Services, which includes Alcohol and Other Drug evaluation and education, as well as general health education. The Athletic Training Services Department at Boston University is a part of the SHS family. SHS is here to help address immediate and ongoing health care needs.

You may use Student Health Services if you meet one of the following criteria:

  1. A full-time BU student, regardless of your insurance choice.
  2. A student who participates in at least 9 credit hours.
  3. A student with the Student Health Insurance Plan.

Dental Care

Students in need of dental care are referred by Student Health Services to qualified local dentists. Students are responsible for dental charges.

Students may enroll in a preventive dental plan available from the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine by calling 617-638-4700.

In addition, Aetna Student offers a Dental Discount Program to Boston University students.

The Danielsen Institute
185 Bay State Road

The Danielsen Institute offers a variety of psychological services, including individual, group, family, and couples therapy, as well as psychological testing and assessment for adults, adolescents, and children. Many insurance plans, including Boston University’s Aetna Student Health Plan, can be used to cover a portion of applicable fees, and a sliding fee scale is also available.

The Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders (CARD)
648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor

The CARD offers treatment for a variety of anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, and eating disorders. Fees are based on a sliding scale, and some treatment associated with research studies may be free of charge.

The BU Psychological Services Center (PSC) at CARD
648 Beacon Street, 6th Floor

The PSC offers structured, symptom-focused, empirically validated treatments, including stress management, relaxation training, assertiveness training, anger management, and treatment for problems such as adjustment disorders, test or performance anxiety, difficulties in attention and concentration, and insomnia. The PSC provides a thorough initial intake interview to determine the nature and extent of emotional problems as well as a neuropsychological assessment of attentional and cognitive/learning impairment. Fees are based on a low sliding scale. The PSC exclusively treats BU students, staff, and faculty. All treatment is provided by PhD graduate students under the close supervision of licensed psychologists.

Finding housing in Boston can be a challenge, but it’s certainly not impossible. Most graduate students tend to live close to BU in Allston, Brighton, or Brookline. In Brookline there is no overnight street parking, so if you have a car you would need to rent a parking place or find a place that includes parking. Craigslist is a great place to start for community housing. Visit the GRS Finding Housing page for more information.

Students who take the MBTA, “the T,” tend to live along the B, C, and D lines. These all go to Kenmore Square which is very close to Boston University and the Department of Biology. Further details can be found on the MBTA website.

Students who live in Allston/Brighton center take the #57 bus, which runs directly through the middle of Boston University on Commonwealth Avenue.

Office of the University Ombuds
19 Deerfield Street, Suite 203
(617) 358-5960 |
The Boston University Office of the Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal, and confidential resource available to all members of the Boston University community. Confidentiality, one of the fundamental principles of the office, is essential to Ombuds practice.  The Office provides a safe place to have off-the-record conversations about any kind of problem related to life at BU.  Talking to the Ombuds can be a good first step to resolving problems, especially if you are concerned about confidentiality or don’t know where to turn for assistance.

International Students and Scholars Office
888 Commonwealth Avenue
617-353-3565   |

The International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) is a resource for professional expertise on immigration and employment, and help ensure student, scholar, and institutional compliance with federal regulations. ISSO staff are available to guide students and scholars through the often complicated requirements for foreign nationals studying and working in the United States.

Office of Family Resources
985 Commonwealth Avenue
617-353-5954 |

The Office of Family Resources is committed to helping families manage the challenges of work life and family life and provides many resources and services to support families of the Boston University community.

Resources and services available include:

Referral service and resource materials for parents seeking childcare

Information about how to find Boston University students interested in babysitting

Educational programs co-sponsored with the Faculty/Staff Assistance Office

School vacation programs for children in Kindergarten through fourth grade during the February and April school vacation weeks

Recreational summer camp program for children entering Kindergarten through fourth grade during summer school vacation weeks

Elder care resource materials

Fitness & Recreation Center | Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
915 Commonwealth Avenue
617-353-2748 |

All full-time graduate students receive free membership to the FitRec. The Fitness & Recreation Center offers a variety of state-of-the-art facilities, including an 18,000-square-foot weight and cardio room, two swimming pools, racquetball and squash courts, two multi-use gymnasiums, an elevated jogging track, a 35′ climbing wall, a Pro Shop, and the Healthy Blends Café. Physical Education, Recreation & Dance offers for-credit and non-credit classes in everything from fitness to climbing to martial arts. The department also coordinates all intramural and club sports programs.

Educational Resource Center
100 Bay State Road, 6th Floor

The Educational Resource Center provides academic support programs to the University community, including peer tutoring, the Writing Center, Language Link conversation groups, and various workshops. These services are available free of charge.

BU Parking and Transportation Services
1019 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston University Parking & Transportation office provides students, staff, and faculty information on various ways to travel in and around Boston. This office provides information on: Parking permits, parking lots and locations, parking regulations and towing, weather related emergencies, the BU Bus, rideshare, bike safety, zip car, and MBTA (the “T”) passes and transportation.

The Boston University Shuttle (the BUS), is an inter-campus shuttle service with 11 stops between the Charles River Campus and the BU Medical Campus. BU ID is needed to board.

During the academic year, the BUS operates every 15 minutes (7AM – 10AM & 4PM – 7PM) Mondays – Thursdays, and every 20 minutes on Fridays. The BUS provides 30-minute off-peak service from 7AM until 11PM.
During the summer, the BUS runs every 30 minutes between 7AM and 11PM. More information about the BUS service is available online.
Evening & Weekend Shuttle provides service 7 days a week during the evening and early morning hours. The shuttle, which runs until 2:00AM Sunday-Wednesday and 4:00AM Thursday-Saturday, is intended to provide the Boston University community with convenient transportation exclusively throughout the Charles River Campus.

The Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Lower Level
617-358-5575 |

The Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism (CGSA) strives to be a safe space for people of all genders and sexualities. Using a social justice framework, the CGSA aims to end gender oppression and violence, and advocates for the full equality and inclusion of women, queer and trans students. This dynamic community fosters challenging and open discourse, promotes student activism, and provides resources and education for the Boston University Community.

735 Commonwealth Avenue
617-353-3560 |

A variety of chaplains are available to all students, regardless of religious affiliation. Appointments can be scheduled, or students can visit the chapel office on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The University Service Center (USC)
881 Commonwealth Avenue
617-358-1818 |

The USC is an excellent starting point for anyone unsure of where to turn for help. The staff will point you in the right direction, or—if your concern is complex, multilayered, or involves multiple offices—help you figure out the best way to address the situation.

Disability Services
19 Deerfield Street, 2nd Floor
617-353-3658 |

Disability Services provides services and support to ensure that students with disabilities are able to access and participate in the opportunities available at Boston University. Disability Services also employs students as note-takers, readers, and in other positions assisting disabled students.

The Howard Thurman Center
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Lower Level
617-353-4745 |

The Howard Thurman Center is Boston University’s center for cultural learning and collaboration. Through a variety of workshops, programs, and celebrations, the Howard Thurman Center aims to build community by eliminating barriers of divisiveness that separate individuals, groups, races, cultures, religions, and ethnicities.

Judicial Affairs
19 Deerfield Street, 3rd Floor
617-358-0700 |

The Judicial Affairs office and student safety programs serve as the primary administrators of the Code of Student Responsibilities and also provide information and resources to the University community regarding personal safety on and off campus.

Boston University Police Department
32 Harry Agganis Way
617-353-2121 | Anonymous Tip Line: Text the BUPD at tip411 (847411) and type BU <space> your message

The Boston University Police Department is a full-time, professional law enforcement agency that also provides a wide variety of public services, including emergency medical response, Rape Aggression Defense classes, and laptop and bicycle registration. Through the community policing program, officers are assigned to various areas of campus to work closely with the community in addressing crime and crime prevention, as well as social issues, which directly affect the quality of life at Boston University.

Environmental Health & Safety
704 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor
617-353-4094 |

Environmental Health & Safety provides a full range of environmental, health, and safety services to the University community. These services include, but are not limited to, fire and life safety programs and support of the University’s recycling program.

Dean of Students
775 Commonwealth Avenue, 3rd Floor
617-353-4126 |

The mission of the Dean of Students office and the Division of Student Affairs is to enhance the quality, character, and perspectives of our students. Through its many orientation, mentoring, and counseling programs, the division promotes an environment that encourages intellectual exchange and individual expression. The dean of students has an open-door policy and is available to all students by appointment.

Center for Career Development
100 Bay State Road, 6th Floor
617-353-3590 |

The Center for Career Development can assist students in choosing a major, finding an internship, or preparing for their post-college job search. Services include workshops, job and internship fairs, résumé review, mock interviews, and career assessment tools.

BU Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training (BEST):
Twitter @BUs_BEST
Program Director, Chelsea Epler:

Supported by the National Institutes of Health, BU’s BEST facilitates biomedical career development curriculum for PhD and postdoctoral trainees in a way that explores careers both in and outside of standard academic research. BU’s BEST program is open to all biomedical graduate and postdoctoral trainees at Boston University.

Propel Careers:
Lauren Celano, Co-founder and CEO

Propel Careers is a Boston based life sciences search and career development firm dedicated to networking, mentoring and career development. Propel focuses on placement into full time, project based, and internship roles in areas including research, clinical, regulatory, commercial, informatics, finance, business, development, legal, and operations.

LinkedIn: Connect with Christina Honeycutt on LinkedIn to interact with our alumni community. There are over 120 alumni available for informational interviews and general networking questions.

Other useful links for job-seekers:

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please contact Christina Honeycutt at 617-353-2432.