Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Expand the sections below to find answers to the most commonly asked questions about summer study at Boston University, or explore FAQs specific to Boston University students, visiting students, or international students.

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  • Most Common Questions

    1. What are the requirements to take Summer Term courses?

      With our open enrollment policy, you don't have to apply for admission to Boston University in order to take summer classes. Simply register for the courses that interest you. Keep in mind that some courses may have prerequisites. It is your responsibility to make sure you have fulfilled the necessary pre-requisties before starting a summer course.

    2. How many courses can I take during Summer Term?

      Students can take up to two courses for a total of 8-10 credits during each six-week summer session. Visiting students wanting to take an overload (more than two courses in a session) need permission from the director of Summer Term. BU students should get approval from their advisor. If approved, the overload class must be added using a Summer Add/Drop Form.

    3. Is financial aid available during Summer Term?

      Financial aid for summer enrollment available to eligible Boston University students is limited.  BU scholarships are only available to eligible students enrolled in certain courses in the Accelerated Medical, Physical Therapy and Athletic Training programs.  Federal student loans and grants are only available in limited circumstances. Credit-based loans (federal and private), and Federal Work-Study are generally available for those who qualify. Generally, visiting students should apply for loans through their home institution. Learn more about financial aid options.

    4. What is the fee to audit a course?

      Students who are given approval to audit a course are charged the same tuition as students taking the course for credit. It is not always possible to audit a course. The College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), for example, does not permit students to audit courses in their program. The Summer Term office can advise you if an audit is allowed for a course you are interested in taking. All students attending and participating in a summer course must be officially registered. Students are not allowed to "sit-in" on summer courses.

    5. When is the due date to pay tuition and fees?

      Payments are due by the first day of each summer session. Late fees will apply after this date. Charges will appear on your student account as soon as you register.

    6. Is the tuition remission benefit for BU employees available during Summer Term?

      Yes. Tuition remission is available for eligible Boston University employees during the Summer Term, as long as you remain an employee from May through the end of August. See bu.edu/hr for additional information.

    7. How do I withdraw from a course?

      Students can drop courses on the Student Link or by completing a Summer Add/Drop Form until the drop deadlines noted on the Summer Term calendar. After the drop deadline, there is no credit for tuition or fees. Students can withdraw from courses with a "W" grade until the deadlines noted in the calendar. Please note that lack of attendance or non-payment will not drop or withdraw you from a course. Students who do not officially drop a course are held responsible for full tuition and fees.

    8. How do I request an official transcript once I finish my studies at Summer Term?

      Information on how to request an official transcript is available on the Registrar's website. A transcript fee is charged for all official transcripts.

    9. Who can I contact at Boston University if I have more questions?

      Please contact the Summer Term office with any questions you might have.

  • Current BU Students

    1. What are the requirements to take Summer Term courses?

      Boston University students can register using WebReg on the Student Link. An advisor signature is not required to register for summer classes, although it is recommended that you consult with your advisor on all course selection issues.

    2. How many courses can I take during Summer Term?

      Students can take up to two courses (8-10 credits) during each summer session. Students wanting to take an overload of more than two courses in a session need permission from their school or college. The overload course cannot be added on the Student Link, but must be added using a Summer Add/Drop Form.

    3. Can I change my registration by adding or dropping courses?

      Students can change their courses on the Student Link up until the add/drop deadline for each session.

    4. Is financial aid available during Summer Term?

      Financial aid for summer enrollment available to eligible Boston University students is limited.  BU scholarships are only available to eligible students enrolled in certain courses in the Accelerated Medical, Physical Therapy and Athletic Training programs.  Federal student loans and grants are only available in limited circumstances. Credit-based loans (federal and private), and Federal Work-Study are generally available for those who qualify. Generally, visiting students should apply for loans through their home institution. Learn more about financial aid options.

    5. What does it cost to attend Summer Term courses?

      The Tuition, Fees & Payment section of the Summer Term website lists the per credit cost of summer courses by school and college. Tuition amounts are also listed beneath each course description in the Courses section.

    6. How do I pay tuition and fees?

      Checks or money orders in US dollars should be made payable to Boston University and sent to Student Accounting Services, 881 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215. You can also pay online through the Student Link (see Money Matters).

    7. When is the due date for payment of tuition and fees?

      Payments are due by the first day of each summer session. Late fees are applied after this date. Charges will appear on your student account as soon as you register.

    8. Is the tuition remission benefit for BU employees available during Summer Term?

      Yes. Tuition remission is available for eligible Boston University employees during the Summer Term, as long as you remain an employee from May through the end of August. See bu.edu/hr for additional information.

    9. How do I withdraw from a course?

      Students can drop courses on the Student Link or by completing a Summer Add/Drop Form until the drop deadlines noted on the Summer Term calendar. After the drop deadline, there is no credit for tuition or fees. Students can withdraw from courses with a ‘W’ grade until the deadlines noted in the Calendar. Please note that lack of attendance or non-payment will not drop or withdraw you from a course. Students who do not officially drop a course are held responsible for full tuition and fees.

    10. Who can I contact at Boston University if I have more questions?

      Please contact the Summer Term Office with any questions that you might have.

  • Visiting Students

    1. Who is a Visiting Student?

      A Visiting Student is someone coming to take BU graduate or undergraduate summer classes who is not currently matriculated in a BU degree program. Visiting students include students from other schools and colleges; professionals coming back to refresh a skill area; members of the community looking to take a course for enrichment; graduate students needing to take pre-requisite courses for their future studies; BU employees looking to take courses prior to applying to a degree program; recent BU graduates; and others.

    2. What is the difference between a visiting student and an international student?

      Since international students are not U.S. citizens, they need to go through the immigration process in order to attend BU Summer Term. Visiting students who are not international can simply register for and attend BU Summer Term without any special paperwork.

    3. What are the requirements to take Summer Term courses?

      With our open enrollment policy, you don't have to apply for admission to Boston University in order to take summer classes. Simply register for the courses that interest you. Keep in mind that some courses may have prerequisites. It is your responsibility to make sure you have fulfilled the necessary pre-requisties before starting a summer course.

    4. How many courses can I take during Summer Term?

      Students can take up to two courses (8-10 credits) during each summer session. Visiting students wanting to take an overload of more than two classes in a session need permission from the director of Summer Term (call 617-353-5124). If approved, the overload class must be added using a Summer Add/Drop Form.

    5. How can I register for a summer course as a visiting student?

      To register online, you must first create a BU login account. See the Registration Section for full information on this process. You may also register using a paper registration form that can be mailed, faxed, or delivered to the Summer Term office.

    6. Is there financial aid available during the Summer Term?

      Financial aid for summer enrollment is limited to certain federal student loans, certain federal and private credit-based loans, and Federal Work Study. Students must meet eligibility requirements to qualify. There are no summer grants or scholarships available from Boston University. Visiting students should apply for their loans through their home institution.

    7. What does it cost to attend Summer Term courses?

      The Tuition, Fees & Payment section of the Summer Term website lists the per credit cost of summer courses. Tuition amounts are also listed beneath each course description in the Courses section.

    8. When is the due date for payment of tuition and fees?

      Payments are due by the first day of each summer session. Late fees are applied after this date. Charges will appear on your student account as soon as you register.

    9. How do I withdraw from a course?

      Students can drop courses on the Student Link or by completing a Summer Add/Drop Form until the drop deadlines noted on the Summer Term calendar. After the drop deadline, there is no credit for tuition or fees. Students can withdraw from courses with a ‘W’ grade until the deadlines noted in the Calendar. Please note that lack of attendance or non-payment will not drop or withdraw you from a course. Students who do not officially drop a course are held responsible for full tuition and fees.

    10. If I want to find out more about a BU Summer Term course, is it possible to get the syllabus?

      Students can call or email the Summer Term office and we will try to help you obtain a copy of a course syllabus.

    11. Do you offer online summer courses?

      Yes, we offer several online summer courses. See Distance Education/Online Courses for further information.

    12. Are the credits I earn at BU transferable to my college or university?

      Most colleges and universities accept Boston University transfer credits, but you should consult your home institution to confirm that this is the case.  You should send an official Boston University transcript to your home institution once you have completed the Summer Term.  See Transcripts for more information.

    13. How does a summer visiting student obtain a BU ID for Summer Term?

      You can obtain a photo Boston University Terrier ID card at the Terrier Card office in the lower level of 775 Commonwealth Ave.  Valid identification, including a driver’s license, state identification card, or passport, must be presented in order to receive an ID card.  Cards are valid for on-campus identification only. 

    14. Where can I get my books?

      Textbooks are available at Barnes & Noble in Kenmore Square.

    15. Who can I contact at Boston University if I have more questions?

      Please contact the Summer Term Office for any questions you might have.

  • International Students

    1. Do I need to be accepted into an undergraduate or graduate academic program to take courses at Boston University during the summer?

      You do not have to be accepted into a degree program to take summer courses at Boston University. For students who want a short-term American educational experience, a Summer Term session is ideal. (Please note that to take courses in the fall or spring semesters you will need to formally apply to Boston University. Open enrollment is only for the summer.)

    2. Do I need to take the TOEFL/IELTS?

      With the exception of Metropolitan College Administrative Sciences graduate courses, submission of TOEFL/IELTS scores is not necessary for course registration in the summer. However, English is the language of instruction at Boston University and it is expected that all students are proficient in English. Most academic programs require a 550 paper-based TOEFL score, 84 Internet-based TOEFL score, or 7 IELTS score. Find more information about summer TOEFL/IELTS requirements here.

    3. How many summer courses can I take?

      Students can take up to 8 credits during each six-week summer session. However, students in the U.S. on a visitor visa for other purposes may only enroll in a maximum of one course (4 credits) each summer session.

      United States immigration regulations require all international students in F-1 immigration status on a Boston University Summer I-20 to maintain full-time registration throughout the duration of their summer programs. Full-time enrollment is defined as registration for a minimum of 8 credits in one summer session or 12 credits over both sessions.

    4. When can I register for summer courses?

      International student enrollment forms for Summer 2015 will be available on January 15, 2015, on the How to Register page.

    5. If I want to find out more about a BU Summer Term course, is it possible to get the syllabus?

      Students can call or email the Summer Term office and we will try to help you obtain a copy of a course syllabus.

    6. Do I need to apply for an I-20 from Boston University to study this summer?

      Any international student who is coming to the United States for the purpose of taking classes at Boston University must apply for an I-20 from Boston University and a student visa. For Boston University to issue an I-20, full-time study by the student is required. Full-time study is defined as registration for a minimum of 8 credits in one summer session or 12 credits over both sessions. For further information on summer visas, click here.

    7. How long will it take for me to get my I-20 from Boston University?

      Once you have filled out all of your forms and provided us with all necessary documentation, it should take us approximately 15 business days to process your I-20. It will then be mailed to you by courier (FedEx or DHL) international express (2-3 day delivery schedule). We will begin mailing I-20's in March. Once you receive your I-20, you will then need to pay the SEVIS fee and schedule an interview with your local United States Consulate to obtain approval of your visa (instructions will be provided with the I-20).

    8. If I attend school at another college in the US on an I-20, what do I need to do?

      Students who are attending a degree program at a college/university full time on a valid I-20 and plan to return to that school in the fall can attend Boston University Summer Term on a part-time or full-time basis. All international students must complete the International Student Online Enrollment form, submit copies of their immigration paperwork, and check-in with ISSO upon arrival. Health forms showing up-to-date immunizations are also required.

    9. Are there any scholarships or financial aid for international students who study at Boston University during the summer?

      There are no scholarships or financial aid available during the summer for visiting students (either domestic or international). All international students must provide their own funding for summer study.

    10. Where will I live?

      Housing and meal services are available to students registered for the Summer Term. Dormitory-style and apartment-style residences are available on a space-available basis. Some students also choose to live in off-campus apartments or with family members. Boston is a wonderful city to experience during the summer regardless of which housing option you choose. Further housing information can be found at BU Summer Housing.

    11. How does a summer international student obtain a Boston University ID for the Summer Term?

      After you have been registered for your courses by the international coordinator, you will be assigned a Boston University ID number which will be emailed to you with your registration confirmation. Once you arrive on campus, you can obtain a Boston University Terrier card at the Terrier Card office located in the lower level of 775 Commonwealth Ave. Your passport and your Boston University ID number must be presented in order to receive an ID card. Cards are valid for on-campus identification only.

    12. Do I need to bring my own computer?

      It is always convenient to have your own computer and all University residences are equipped with Internet-ready connections, but do not feel that a computer is a necessity. Students at Boston University have access to a wide variety of computing resources for communication, coursework, instruction and research. Visit Information Technology to learn more.

    13. Do I need University health insurance?

      All students enrolled at Boston University during the summer must have valid health insurance. To purchase University health insurance, call Student Accounting Services at 617-353-2870 or go to their website at bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/resources/medical-insurance.

    14. Where will my bill be sent and how do I pay?

      Your bill will be sent to the address indicated on your registration form. Please note that you must pay your charges by the dates indicated in the Summer Term calendar, even if you have not yet received a bill by email or in the mail. Payments are due by the first day of each summer session. After you arrive on campus, if you have not paid your bill already, please visit Student Accounting Services in person. Student Accounting Services is located in the basement at 881 Commonwealth Ave. Their phone number is 617-353-2264. Click here for more information on payment options.

    15. Is there anything I must do once I arrive at Boston University for my summer classes?

      All international students, regardless of immigration status, are required to report to the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) with all of your immigration documents immediately upon your arrival. The ISSO office is located at 888 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor, Boston, MA 02215. For F-1 Boston University-sponsored students, the ISSO is required to notify the Department of Homeland Security about your arrival and full-time registration; for these students, failure to report to the ISSO and study full-time may jeopardize your lawful student status in the United States.

    16. If I attend Boston University full-time during the school year, do I need to complete the summer forms for international students?

      No. If you attend Boston University during the school year and you will continue in the same academic program at Boston University in the fall, you can simply enroll in summer courses using the Student Link. No additional paperwork is needed unless you complete a program in the spring and/or will begin a new program in the fall.

    17. How do I request an official transcript once I finish my studies at Summer Term?

      Information on how to request an official transcript is available on the Registrar's website. A transcript fee is charged for all official transcripts.