Academic and Student Resources

Student Programs & Leadership

The Student Programs & Leadership office (OSPL) is dedicated to enriching the academic life and supporting the development of students in the College of Arts & Sciences. Programs and events sponsored by the office help students to connect with peers and professors, navigate the University’s full range of resources and services, match personal goals to opportunities and mentors, get involved in campus life, exercise leadership, and plan for life beyond BU. In addition to hosting CAS-only events, the office coordinates CAS participation in University-wide events such as Spring Open Houses, Family Weekend, and Commencement.

Our office is located at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor. Contact information is available at the OSPL website.

Academic Advising

Every full-time student in the College has an academic advisor. The success of the advising system depends on the student as well as the advisor. Students must confer with their advisors before registration for each successive term and should meet with them periodically during each semester.

In planning an academic program, students may encounter complex problems that even the most careful reading of this website will not resolve. CAS Academic Advising is staffed by personnel who can assist in the resolution of such issues or any other academic problems. Freshman and sophomore students who have not chosen a major will be provided special assistance in registering, selecting a major, and developing a comprehensive program for their studies by their advisors in CAS Academic Advising. Students with declared majors are assigned advisors in their departments. All College of Arts & Sciences students are encouraged to consult the staff in CAS Academic Advising for help with any academic problem.

CAS Academic Advising is located at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor. Contact information is available at the Academic Advising website.

Summer Orientation

In June and July, the College of Arts & Sciences holds a series of two-day orientation sessions to help incoming freshmen and transfers begin their college experience on a positive note, with a personal and thorough introduction to the College of Arts & Sciences and the University. Conducted by faculty, staff, and students from the College, these sessions allow new students to meet other students, become acquainted with the campus, take placement tests, and participate in registration workshops. Most important, the sessions ensure that incoming freshman and transfer students are properly registered for the fall semester. Information concerning the program is sent to each student accepted to the College of Arts & Sciences.

Declared Majors

Entering students who have indicated a tentative choice of major are assigned to or choose an advisor in the corresponding department. All students are expected to meet with their advisors before registration and often during the semester to keep them informed of progress and to develop a strong mentoring relationship.

Undeclared Students

Entering freshman or transfer students who have not indicated a choice of major are assigned an advisor at CAS Academic Advising, 100 Bay State Road, on the fourth floor. The academic advisors located there provide assistance to undeclared students until they select their majors.

Special Advising

The College of Arts & Sciences provides specialized advising for pre-professional students interested in law or healthcare. University offices including the International Students & Scholars office, Study Abroad, the Educational Resource Center, and the Center for Career Development provide other specialized advising. These advising arrangements supplement rather than replace departmental advising.

Health Professions

Advisors in the Pre-Professional Advising Office provide assistance to students interested in a broad range of health-related professions, including medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, nursing, optometry, podiatry, and other fields. General orientation meetings for all interested students are held each year, and students are encouraged to schedule individual advising appointments every semester.

During individual appointments, advisors are available to speak with students about a range of topics, including students’ fields of interest, academic prerequisites of health profession schools, standardized tests, the application process, and opportunities for clinical experience, community service, and research. Many of the programs coordinated by Boston University’s Study Abroad and Internship Programs allow prehealth students to gain valuable experience in their fields of interest, and prehealth students are encouraged to take advantage of the full range of study abroad opportunities.

Prehealth studies do not constitute a major or a minor program at the University. Prehealth students must declare a major by the end of their sophomore year and are encouraged to pick an area (not necessarily science) in which they have a strong academic interest.

Our offices are located at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor, and students can schedule an appointment by calling our office at 617-353-4866.

Premedical

Admission requirements of medical schools are to some degree standardized by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Premedical students should become familiar with the particular requirements of the medical schools to which they intend to apply.

In general, the following requirements must be met:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year college or university.
  • English (including expository writing): two courses.
  • Science courses, including both lectures and laboratories, as follows: biology, two courses; general (inorganic) chemistry, two courses; organic chemistry, two courses; elementary physics, two courses; and biochemistry, one course (with or without laboratory). One year of mathematics is required by many schools.
  • To prepare for the Medical College Admissions Test, additional preparation is suggested in statistics, psychology, and sociology.

In addition to the basic courses listed above, medical schools may require one or more additional courses, and most medical schools require that applicants take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Pre-dental and Pre-veterinary 

Students ordinarily follow the premedical curriculum, except when the schools to which the candidates apply indicate special requirements. For example, veterinary schools often require additional coursework in biology and animal sciences.

Dental programs require applicants to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Veterinary programs generally require applicants to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

Additional Health-Related Professions Advisors in the Pre-Professional Advising office provide assistance to students interested in a broad range of health-related professions. Students are encouraged to schedule an advising appointment to discuss their particular field of interest.

Prelaw

Students considering law school and law-related careers are encouraged to engage with the resources, services, and programs available through prelaw advising. General informational meetings and programs are held each year, and individual advising appointments may be scheduled with prelaw advisors throughout the year. During individual appointments, students may receive guidance and advice on a range of topics such as curricular choices, opportunities to explore the profession, standardized test preparation, and the application process.

Boston University does not offer a specific prelaw major. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and most law schools state specifically that a prelaw curriculum is not particularly advantageous or even desirable. Students are encouraged to pursue an academic program based on their interest in the subject matter and their ability to do well. Prelaw students are also advised to develop skills that are most likely to be utilized in law school and in the practice of law, such as critical reading, research, written and oral communication, organization, and knowledge of current political and social issues.

Many departments within the University offer courses related to law, legal thinking, and the legal process. These courses may be particularly helpful to students in the decision-making process. Additionally, many options available through Boston University Global Programs: Study Abroad allow students to explore their interest in law through a combination of academic coursework and an internship.

Interested students should also obtain information about the five prelaw student organizations: the Pre-law Society, the Diversity in Law Association, the Pre-Law Review, the Mock Trial Team, and the Mock Mediation Team.

For additional information, visit the Pre-Professional Advising Office at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor. Contact information is available at the Prelaw website.