Boston University Study Abroad welcomes international exchange students from our partner universities around the world to study at BU for a semester or academic year. Boston University is home to over 250 academic programs, managed by almost 20 schools and colleges. Exchange students have the opportunity to take classes across most of the BU curriculum, including our College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communication, College of Engineering, and Questrom School of Business. Interested students must first be nominated by their home university before applying for exchange at Boston University.


Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at your home university. Students must be nominated by your home university before applying for the BU Exchange Program. Please contact your home university exchange office first to inquire about your institutions requirements.

Proof of English Proficiency: Please refer to the Boston University International Admissions website for TOEFL/IELTS requirements. Click on “English Proficiency.” Please note that these are the minimum requirements and exceptions for lower scores cannot be made.

YOUR ACADEMIC STATUS AT BU

As an international exchange student at BU, you will be registered as a full-time non-degree student. Your status as a non-degree student means that you are not assigned to one particular BU school or college. You can select your courses from most of the schools and colleges at Boston University and are not required to take all of your classes within the same school; for example, you might register for 2 classes in the College of Arts & Sciences, 1 class in the College of Communication, and 1 class in the Questrom School of Business.

CLASSES AND CREDITS

Most classes at BU are worth 4 credits each. Your home university will be able to explain to you how these 4 BU credits convert to your home university’s credit system.

As an exchange student, you must maintain full-time status at BU, which means that you must register for at least 12 credits per semester. You cannot register for more than 18 credits. For most students, this means that you will take 3 or 4 academic classes per semester.

BOSTON UNIVERSITY COURSES

Available BU courses and the course descriptions can be found online. Make sure you select the correct semester for your search. Not all courses are offered in every semester. You should use the course descriptions in order to get courses approved at your home university.

COURSE RESTRICTIONS

THE FOLLOWING SCHOOLS/COLLEGES AT BU ARE NOT OPEN TO EXCHANGE STUDENTS:

  • School of Medicine (GMS)
  • School of Dental Medicine
  • School of Law
  • Kilachand Honors College

EXCHANGE STUDENTS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO TAKE THE FOLLOWING COURSES:

  • Questrom OM 323
  • 700-level COM classes
  • Questrom School of Business (business classes at 500-level or higher)

THE FOLLOWING COURSES HAVE VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY AND MAY NOT BE OPEN TO EXCHANGE STUDENTS:

  • Graduate-level classes in some programs, including psychology and communications
  • Fine Arts courses
  • 500-level Economics courses (limited availability; only available for registration after arriving at BU)

As an exchange student on a program administered by Boston University Study Abroad, you are guaranteed housing within the BU system (students on other exchange programs, such as those administered by the Boston University School of Law or MET International, should contact their host school for information about housing).

  • On-campus housing is available to all exchange students;
  • Most students live in a room with one roommate and shared bathroom facilities in a in a dormitory style residence on campus
  • Students can request another style of accommodation on-campus (single room, apartment, or suite style) but these housing options are in high demand and exchange students should be prepared for the probability that they will be assigned to dormitory-style housing with a roommate.
  • Visit the BU Housing website for more information on on-campus housing options.
  • Exchange student may choose to live off-campus; if you choose to live off campus you are responsible for finding your own housing.
  • There are many dining options available on campus for all students. Students living on-campus are required to purchase a meal plan (for students living off-campus it is optional).
  • All students have access to the BU Fitness & Recreation Center & BU Student Health Services

  • Fall semester runs from early September to late December
  • Spring semester runs from mid-January to mid-May
  • For specific dates please view the BU academic calendar
  • Arrival & orientation dates will be provided to exchange students after acceptance

March 15 for Fall (September) Admission
October 1 for Spring (January) Admission

Detailed application instructions can be found on the admissions page.

  • Review the inbound exchange program budget sheet, which includes estimated expenses for a semester at Boston University.
  • Please note the proof of finances requirement explained on the admissions page.

PLEASE NOTE: The information on this page applies to exchange students that have been accepted to the exchange program administered by Boston University Study Abroad only. If you are a student participating in other exchange programs, such as those administered by the Boston University School of Law or MET International, you should contact your host school directly for more information.