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 QuestBridge Application
QuestBridge Applicants: Please visit our QuestBridge webpage for details about the application process.
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 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, 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.
Application Fee: Our application fee is $80 and can be paid via the Common Application.
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 website. 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 world language
*Applicants to 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.
*Applicants to the Questrom School of Business are required to have a year of calculus or a year of precalculus and a year of AP Statistics. 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
Please ask your counselor to submit the School Report form and the School Counselor Recommendation form found on the Common Application.
Please ask a teacher to submit the Teacher Evaluation form found on the Common Application.
Boston University is test optional for first-year applicants applying through fall 2025 and spring 2026.
- 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, we ask students to 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 have the ability to indicate whether they would like us to consider their standardized test scores when they apply. Once you have submitted your application, this answer cannot be changed.
If you would like your standardized test scores considered:
Boston University accepts self-reported standardized test scores on your application. You may also submit your official test scores via the testing agency, or through the self-report form on the MyBU Applicant Portal.
Please note: If you submit self-reported standardized test scores, an official score report from the testing agency will be required before enrolling at Boston University. If there are discrepancies between self-reported and official standardized test scores, your enrollment at Boston University may be rescinded.
When sending official scores, the BU codes are:
- SAT: 3087
- ACT: 1794
BU superscores both the SAT and ACT. To take advantage of superscoring, we recommend including all your test scores if you take more than one test or take a test multiple times. For both the SAT and ACT, BU uses 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 only consider the highest SAT scores submitted.
- For the ACT, we recalculate a new composite score using the highest score from each section, regardless of test date.
Portfolios, Auditions, and Interviews
If you are applying to the College of Fine Arts, please see the different requirements for the program.
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.