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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The College of Arts & Sciences provides specialized advising for pre-professional students interested in law or health care. 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.
Students preparing for medical, dental, veterinary, or other health-related graduate programs, as noted below, receive advising in the Pre-Professional Advising office, located at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor. General orientation meetings for all interested students are held each year, and advising appointments may be scheduled by individual students throughout the year. During individual appointments, advisors are available to speak with students about a range of topics, including the academic prerequisites of health professional 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 field of interest, and prehealth students are encouraged to take advantage of the full range of study abroad opportunities.
Our offices are located at the Yawkey Center for Student Services, 100 Bay State Road, 4th Floor.
Admission requirements of medical schools are to some degree standardized by the Association of American Medical Colleges. 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; and elementary physics, two courses. One year of mathematics, including at least one semester of calculus, is required by many schools.
- The Association of American Medical Colleges introduced a revised MCAT in 2015. The revised exam has necessitated additional preparatory coursework in biochemistry, statistics, psychology, and sociology.
The foreign language and general education coursework for the College of Arts & Sciences degree are satisfactory for all medical schools. In addition to the basic courses listed above, medical schools may require one or more additional courses. Premedical studies do not constitute a major or a minor program. Premedical 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.
Medical schools require applicants to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
Pre-dental and Pre-veterinary Students ordinarily follow a premedical program, except when the schools to which the candidates apply indicate special requirements. Veterinary schools often require additional coursework in biology and animal sciences, and dental schools often require a course in biochemistry. Dental programs require the Dental Admission Test (DAT). Veterinary programs generally require 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.
Students who are interested in applying to law school should register early in their college careers with pre-law advising. The Pre-Professional Advising office has information and materials relating to law school and law-related careers. General informational meetings are held each year, and individual advising appointments may be scheduled with pre-law advisors throughout the year.
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and most law schools state specifically that a pre-law curriculum is not particularly advantageous or even desirable. Law schools look for skills in reading, analytical thinking, and written and oral communication; these skills can be gained in almost any curriculum. Boston University, therefore, does not offer a specific pre-law major. Instead, students are encouraged to choose classes based on their interest in the subject matter and their ability to do well in such classes. It is, however, important to develop those skills that are most likely to be utilized in law school and in the practice of law, such as written and oral communication skills and knowledge of current political and social issues. Additionally, students are urged to acquire a broad liberal arts foundation by taking courses in a number of different areas.
Some students may be undecided about whether to pursue legal studies. Boston University does offer courses related to law, legal thinking, and the legal process in a variety of the departments within the University. These courses may be particularly helpful to students in the decision-making process.
Some internship programs that may be of interest to students considering law school are the Boston University Washington Internship Program, the London Internship Program, the Madrid Program, and the Dublin Internship Program. The Washington Internship Program includes placements with members of Congress and Congressional committees and caucuses. The London Internship Program offers a one-semester opportunity to combine study, independent living, and work in London, including possible positions with Members of Parliament. One of the London programs concentrates on comparative English and American law. There are several other programs with pre-law content and internships. For additional information, please contact Boston University Study Abroad and Internship Programs, 888 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215; 617-353-9888.
Interested students should also obtain information about the five pre-law 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 Pre-Law website.