New Student Checklist

Orientation Handshake

Are you wondering what to do next to prepare for your matriculation into the School of Theology and, at least for most entering students, your move to the Boston area?  Below is a list that should be helpful to you.  And remember, if you ever have questions about what’s next, you can always contact the School of Theology’s Admissions Office via phone (617-353-3036) or email (sthadmis@bu.edu).  We look forward to seeing you soon!

Complete medical history and physical report

When to do it

Before Orientation

How to do it

All students must complete the Medical History and Physical Report. This includes documentation of your immunizations. You can download the form here. Massachusetts law requires that students be immunized against a number of diseases in order to attend a university in the Commonwealth, and Boston University strictly enforces this policy to keep all its students safe.  As an incoming student, your registration will be blocked if you do not submit the required immunization information, so it is a very serious step toward preparing for your arrival to campus.  A history of your immunization must be submitted on the Boston University Medical History and Physical Report form and it must be signed by a Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant. You can find a list of required immunizations on the Student Health Services website, in the “forms” section. Three hepatitis B injections are required to provide full protection. Additionally, all newly enrolled students who will be living in University residences must be immunized against meningitis, which is an extremely important vaccine.  If you do not have sufficient time before your arrival on campus to have all three inoculations, please come to Student Health Services and they will be able to give you the immunizations that you have not yet had – or that you do not have adequate record of.

Who to Contact with Questions

Student Health Services, 617-353-3575

Deadline

Seven days after the first day of classes.

Confirm your admission!

When to do it

Now

How to do it

Simply log in to the STH Application Website (here) where you will find your offer of admission extended electronically.  When you are ready and have made the decision to attend Boston University School of Theology, please log in and indicate your decision in the online application system.  Accepting your offer of admission will also confirm your acceptance of your provisional financial aid award.

Once we’ve received your electronic confirmation you will be coded as a “Confirmed Entering Student.” If you are not in the system as “confirmed,” your financial aid, web access, and other items cannot be processed by the School, so this is a very important step.  If you are unsure whether you have confirmed your admission or not, you should be able to see this in the online system, so just log in again.  If you have any questions about this process please email sthadmis@bu.edu or call 617-353-3036 the STH Admissions Office and we can help you.  Thank you!

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu, 617-353-3036

Deadline

July 15 for Fall, December 1 for Spring.

Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – domestic students only

When to do it

Now

How to do it

  1. Complete your most recent Tax Return
  2. Log on to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/ to complete the FAFSA form
  3. Submit FAFSA

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Registration & Financial Aid Office, particularly the Financial Aid Coordinator:  617-353-3045 or sthregfa@bu.edu.

Deadline

July 15 for Fall, December 1 for Spring – if you have missed the deadline be in touch with the Financial Aid Office directly to make sure your paperwork can be processed in time for the start of classes.

Complete STH financial aid application – for all incoming students

When to do it

Now

How to do it

Visit the Financial Aid Home Page and complete the form.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Registration & Financial Aid Office, particularly the Financial Aid Coordinator:  617-353-3045 or sthregfa@bu.edu.

Deadline

July 15 for Fall, December 1 for Spring.

Update your email and address with the Admissions Office

When to do it

Now

How to do it

If you have recently moved since your application process, the STH Admissions Office needs to know how to be in touch with you! If you haven’t already done so, update the office on your address, email address, phone number, etc., by sending a quick email to sthadmis@bu.edu and letting us know.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu, 617-353-3036

Deadline

ASAP

Secure housing in Boston

When to do it

Now

How to do it

Finding housing in Boston can be a long process, but the Admissions Office can help. Consider questions like “do I want to live in an apartment or dorm-like space?” “Do I want to have my own room, or am I willing to share with a roommate?” “Do I want to live on or off-campus?” “How much can I afford to spend per month on housing (please remember that, on average, single rooms in Boston are approximately $800 dollars per month and apartments begin at $1200 dollars per month)?” Answer those questions first, and then check out the “housing” section of this website. You’ll find several options there, and resources for securing a space for the coming semester.  Also, please realize that the process of securing housing in Boston from afar can be an intimidating one, but that the STH Admissions Office is here to support your search.  Do not be intimidated or too worried.  Each year the entire entering class finds decent housing in which to live, and you will, too!

Who to Contact with Questions

Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu or 617-353-3036

Deadline

August 15 for Fall, December 15 for Spring — but the sooner, the better.  For fall arrival, the housing search begins in earnest on May 1st, but new rental options come available throughout the summer.

Decide what to do with your car

When to do it

Once you secure housing for the fall

How to do it

Most students moving to Boston do not need a car. If you have decided to live within the city of Boston or in surrounding neighborhoods (Brighton, Allston, Brookline), you do not need to bring a car. Public transportation (subway, buses) run regularly within the city. If you find an apartment with an available parking space, you may decide to bring your car; however, please consider commuting into the School of Theology for classes. Parking near Boston University is expensive and difficult to find. Please consider these things before deciding to bring a car into the city.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu, 617-353-3036

Deadline

Before you move to Boston

Learn about ZipCar

When to do it

Now

How to do it

ZipCar is a company that lets you rent cars by the hour, and many STH students use them to grocery shop or take day trips out of town, rather than bringing their car to campus. Learn more online: www.zipcar.com

Who to Contact with Questions

www.zipcar.com

Deadline

None

Get a public transportation, or “T” pass

When to do it

Once you have secured housing

How to do it

  1. Learn which T stop is closest to your housing, and whether you will need to have a bus pass, subway pass or “combo” pass that includes both subway and bus.
  2. Visit the MBTA website for a list of bus lines and subway stations and map your route to the School of Theology (STH is located at the “BU Central” stop on the Green, B-line of the subway.)
  3. Visit BU Parking Services website and learn about the student discount for a semester’s worth of T-passes.

Who to Contact with Questions

BU Parking Services.

Deadline

Go to the BU Parking Services website to determine when their deadline is to receive the student discount.  It is often in early August (for fall) or December (for spring).  If you have already missed that deadline, you can still visit the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) at www.mbta.com to purchase T-passes at their usual cost.  The MBTA will send monthly passes to your address directly, if you choose for them to do so.  Otherwise you can purchase passes once a month at several local train stations.  You can then approach BU’s Parking Services Office (located at 1019 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215; 617-353-2160; or parking@bu.edu) to participate in the student discount program in future semesters.

Decide if you will need an on-campus parking sticker

When to do it

Once you decide whether or not to bring your car to campus

How to do it

Consult BU Parking Services for plans, costs, etc. There are both resident and commuter parking plans available, but all plans tend to be fairly expensive.

Who to Contact with Questions

BU Parking Services.

Deadline

Before moving to Boston

Plan to Attend Orientation

When to do it

As you are making your travel plans

How to do it

Information about the fall Orientation program will be sent to incoming students by email toward the end of the summer.  Each fall there is a 2-day Orientation event.  The first day is a required day of informational workshops and community life for all students, both international and domestic.  The second day is the International Student Orientation Day especially for all entering international students.  There is also an Online Orientation website that all entering students should familiarize themselves with prior to coming to campus for Orientation Day.

In the spring semester Orientation is only one day in length, and is required for all entering students, both international and domestic.

Please plan your travel to Boston to allow you enough time to attend Orientation, since it is required of all entering students.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions, sthadmis@bu.edu and 617-353-3036

Deadline

No deadline

Check your email for “early bird computing” information

When to do it

After July 1st

How to do it

Each student who has confirmed her or his admission with the Admissions Office (by sending in the white “STH Admissions Confirmation Form”) will be sent an email with information about the University’s Early Bird Computing Program. This program enables matriculating students to have access to the University’s online services that require a BU Login Name and Kerberos password. The email will include your BU ID# and early bird access code. You can learn more information, including how to log in to online student services, at BU’s Early Bird Computing website. If you do not receive this email, make sure you have confirmed your admission online (see how to do this above).  If you have confirmed your admission online and you still haven’t received this Early Bird Computing email, please contact the STH Admissions Office and we can help you.

Who to Contact with Questions

Early Bird Computing or STH Admissions, sthadmis@bu.edu and 617-353-3036

Deadline

No deadline

Decide your health insurance plan for the school year

When to do it

Now

How to do it

Every student enrolled in a degree program at Boston University must have health insurance. This is Massachusetts state law and University policy. The University assumes that all students plan to opt into the University’s Student Health Insurance Program, and will charge your student account during the fall semester for a year’s worth of health insurance coverage unless you tell them not to do so. If you would prefer not to use the University’s health insurance plan, you may complete the Medical Insurance Waiver Form (available at the Student Accounting website), stating that you have alternative medical insurance.

Who to Contact with Questions

To learn more about your health insurance options or how to complete the waiver form go to BU’s Medical Insurance Information website. If you have questions about the billing process, contact the University’s Student Accounting Office or studenta@bu.edu or (617)353-2264 .

Deadline

The Medical Insurance Waiver Form must be received by Student Accounting Services by their August payment deadline (see their website for this information).  If you choose to opt into the Student Health Insurance program, you do not have to do anything; coverage will begin for you by the first day of classes.

Complete and submit a Health Insurance Waiver Form, if necessary

When to do it

During the summer

How to do it

All incoming students will be assessed a fee to participate in the University’s Student Medical Insurance program. Any student who does not wish to participate in the student medical insurance plan must file a Medical Insurance Waiver Form with the University’s Student Accounting Services Office. Incoming students may only complete the student health insurance waiver form if they are covered by another medical insurance plan, and are willing to take all responsibility for additional medical costs. You can learn more about the student health insurance plan and waiver form here. An updated waiver form will be uploaded to the site during the summer. If you choose to complete the waiver form, please do so using the form for this upcoming school year. The waiver must be submitted by mid-August to avoid a medical insurance charge on your account.

Who to Contact with Questions

Boston University Student Accounting Services, studenta@bu.edu or 617-353-2264

Deadline

mid-August

If admitted to the “STH Bridge Program,” contact CELOP and take an English course

When to do it

Now

How to do it

Some students for whom English is not a native language have been admitted to the School of Theology through the “Bridge Program.” (This information was on these students’ letters of admission, so if you did not receive information about the Bridge Program on your letter of admission, this does not apply to you.) Bridge Program students have been asked to take a course in the English language over the summer. If you are among the students in the Bridge Program, you should contact the Center for English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP) at Boston University to apply and register for an English class this summer.

Who to Contact with Questions

CELOP for course dates and registration

Deadline

As soon as possible

If necessary, begin working with the Office of Disability Services

When to do it

Now – This process can take several weeks to complete, so you should begin the process as quickly as you are able.

How to do it

The purpose of BU’s Office of Disability Services is to provide services and support to ensure that students of all abilities are able to access and participate in the opportunities available at Boston University. If you have a learning difference, or are differently-abled in any way that requires assistance, you should begin securing that help now, so it will be available to you when classes begin. Review the Office of Disability Services website and note which services could be of help to you. When you are ready, send an email stating your need to the Office of Disability Services (access@bu.edu), copying the STH Admissions Office only if you choose to do so (sthadmis@bu.edu). The Office of Disability Services will work with you from there to complete the process.

Who to Contact with Questions

Office of Disability Services, 617-353-3658 (V/TTY), access@bu.edu

Deadline

As soon as possible

If necessary, submit a complete transcript to the Admissions Office

When to do it

Now

How to do it

If you are a recent graduate of an undergraduate or graduate program, and if you have not sent the Admissions Office a final, complete transcript from your previous institution indicating your final GPA and graduation date, please do so. You have already been admitted to the School of Theology, so this transcript will not change or alter your status in any way. The Admissions Office simply needs a final transcript to indicate that you have completed your previous program. Contact the Registrar at your previous institution & have an official copy of your final transcript sent to the STH Admissions Office, 745 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 108, Boston, MA 02215.

Who to Contact with Questions

Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu, 617-353-3036

Deadline

August 15 for Fall, December 15 for Spring

Petition for Advanced Standing

When to do it

Now

How to do it

If you are an incoming MDiv, MSM, or MTS student, and if you have completed significant coursework in Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), New Testament, Church History, or Theology, you may apply for Advanced Standing in those disciplines. Advanced Standing means that, instead of taking an intro class in that discipline, you would be given the opportunity to skip the intro and instead take an advanced course in that discipline (ex. instead of “Intro to New Testament” you could choose to take “Jesus in the Gospels.”) Please note: THIS DOES NOT REDUCE THE NUMBER OF COURSES YOU MUST TAKE IN YOUR PROGRAM; it does allow you to replace the intro course with a course of your choosing in that discipline. To petition you must send to the Admissions Office syllabi of all coursework you have completed in each discipline, plus a note stating in which disciplines you’d like advanced standing. Your syllabi will be sent to the faculty in each requested discipline for review. Once reviewed, the Admissions Office or Registrar’s Office will inform you of the faculty decision in time for you to register for the appropriate courses this fall. Please note: review can take several weeks because faculty are away from campus during the summer and winter breaks, so the sooner you can turn in your paperwork, the better.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu or 617-353-3036

Deadline

August 1st for fall; October 1st for spring.

Fill out Entering Student Questionnaire (for Fall enrollment only)

When to do it

Late Summer/Early Fall

How to do it

Every fall the Association of Theological Schools surveys entering theological school students around the country. They collect demographic and financial information about students and inquire about motivations for entering seminary and professional aspirations. Data generated from these responses are helpful to academic deans, student services and admissions offices, and faculty. We would greatly appreciate it if you would fill out this survey. Please check your email late-August to find a link to the survey. If you have not received this link, please contact the Admissions Office and we will resend it.  Students matriculating in the spring do not need to complete the entering student questionnaire.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Admissions Office, sthadmis@bu.edu, 617-353-3036

Deadline

September 30th

Register for Classes

When to do it

Late summer for fall entering students, or at Orientation for spring entering students

How to do it

The Registrar’s Office allows incoming students to register for next semester’s classes.  In order to be eligible to register you must have confirmed your admission in the online application system so you are listed as an official entering student (see details on how to do this above).  You will receive an email from the School of Theology guiding you through the steps of registration.  This email is sent approximately mid-July for those matriculating in the fall.  Spring matriculating students register together at Orientation, and so will not receive a separate registration email.

Whether you are an entering student for fall or spring, if you have already completed your “Early Bird Computing” process and have your own bu.edu email account and Kerberos password, you may log on to the Student Link to browse the courses for next semester.  The “University Class Schedule” can be found under the “Academics” tab.  Once in the University Class Schedule, enter the semester you’d like to browse, and “STH” as the College at the start of the search section.  Then press “Go,” and you will be directed to a list of all the STH courses.  If a course description exists, you may click on the course title to read it.  Incoming master’s students following the traditional curriculum will have two to three courses required in their first semester, and may choose to add a fourth “elective” course of their choosing.  Again, the Registrar’s Office will be in touch by email when it is prepared to register incoming students.

Who to Contact with Questions

STH Registrar’s Office, sthregfa@bu.edu, 617-353-3053

Deadline

Before Orientation for fall entering students

At Orientation for spring entering students