First-Year Applicant Checklist
As a first-year applicant, you must submit the following credentials. International applicants must also submit additional credentials.
Common Application and Coalition Application
Selecting an Academic Program:
- You must specify a BU school or college when applying.
- Please refer to our list of majors to see which semesters of entry are available for each program.
- If you do not have a specific school or subject area in mind, we suggest you apply to the College of Arts & Sciences and select “Undeclared” or the College of General Studies.
Essays: You must submit two essays in the space provided on the Common or Coalition Application. This is an important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell us your story as an applicant.
Admission to your selected program:
- While you will be given consideration for the school or college to which you apply, it’s possible that you will be offered admission to the College of General Studies or another BU program for which you qualify. Please check the box to indicate whether you would like to be considered for this option on your application.
- If you are applying to the College of Fine Arts or the Accelerated Medical Program, you will only be considered for the program to which you applied.
- If you are interested in being considered for the Kilachand Honors College, check “Yes” to this question on your application and then complete the required essay. Your application will first be considered for admission to the school or college to which you have applied. If you are admitted to that program, you will then be considered for admission into the Kilachand Honors College.
Fee Waiver: BU Admissions is here to support students and families and to make sure that an application fee does not pose a barrier to anyone who wishes to apply for admission. If you are interested in a fee waiver, please begin by reviewing the eligibility guidelines on the Common Application or Coalition for College websites. Your request for a fee waiver will not impact your admissions decision. If you have any questions about this process or your eligibility, please contact BU Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-353-2300.
High School Transcript
Official copies of your secondary school transcripts must be submitted by a school official. If you are enrolled in an international curriculum with national exams, please see our Secondary School Credentials page for how to submit these official results.
For most BU programs, the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum is as follows:
- 4 years of English
- 3-4 years of mathematics (precalculus/calculus recommended)*
- 3-4 years of laboratory science
- 3-4 years of history and/or social science
- 2-4 years of a foreign language
*Applicants to the Questrom School of Business and the College of Engineering are required to have a year of calculus. For students enrolled in IB courses, this requirement would be met with enrollment in HL or SL Math Analysis & Approaches or HL Math Applications & Interpretations.
Senior Year Grades
- Early Decision Applicants: Early Decision applicants should have their counselor submit first marking period grades, which may be first quarter or first trimester grades, as soon as they are available.
- Regular Decision Applicants: If you are on a semester schedule, please have your counselor send your first marking period or first quarter grades if available. In addition, your counselor must submit first semester grades once they are available. If you are on a trimester schedule, please have your counselor submit your first trimester grades once they are available.
School Counselor Recommendation and School Report Form
Boston University will adopt a test optional policy for first-year applicants applying for fall 2021/spring 2022.
- This policy applies to all undergraduate schools and colleges at Boston University as well as all scholarship programs.
- International students will be required to submit the TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test as the primary means for evaluating English-language proficiency.
Prospective students and applicants must decide for themselves whether or not to include standardized test scores with their application for admission to Boston University. When making this decision, students should consider the totality of their academic record, their contributions both in and out of the classroom and to their communities, and whether they feel confident that the sum of these experiences fully reflect their academic ability and potential.
Students will have the ability to indicate whether they would like us to consider their standardized test scores when they apply. Once they have submitted their application, this answer cannot be changed.
If you choose to submit standardized test scores:
BU does not require the optional essay on the SAT test or the optional writing component for the ACT.
- SAT: 3087
- ACT: 1794
BU superscores both the SAT and ACT. To take advantage of superscoring, we recommend submitting all your test scores if you take more than one test or take a test multiple times. For both the SAT and ACT, BU will use the highest score of each section, regardless of test date, to best represent you as an applicant.
- If you’ve taken the SAT more than once, you can select which results you want to send to us using Score Choice. We will only review the highest SAT scores you submit.
- For the ACT, we will recalculate a new composite score using the highest score from each section, regardless of test date.
Portfolios, Auditions, and Interviews
Please note that all materials and documents submitted as part of an application for admission become the property of Boston University and cannot be returned.