Congratulations, and Welcome!
We look forward to meeting you at one of our Welcome Events for Admitted Students in the early summer. Stay tuned to your email for more information, and make sure to sign up! We can’t wait to welcome you to our community! If you have questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Connect with GRS on Social Media
Required documents for visa purposes
- International Student Data Form
- Copy of your current passport
- Copy of your current visa (if you have studied/are studying in the U.S.)
- Your most recent I-94 (if you have studied/are studying in the U.S.)
- Any previous I-20s (if you have studied/are studying in the U.S.)
- Financial documentation showing at least the minimum estimate of expenses
- Acceptable financial documents: We accept checking or savings bank account statements, bank loan statements, scholarship award letters (not based on admission to a degree program), or support letters from the government or independent organization. The financial documents must be in English and clearly state your name or, if applicable, your sponsor’s name. The currency on the documentation can be submitted in the home currency.
- Sponsorship certification letter (if your funds are coming from a family member or friend)
- If you are being sponsored, then a bank statement must be accompanied by a legalized letter of sponsorship. The International Students & Scholars Office has detailed information regarding financial support documentation on their website.
Please find helpful information about the visa application process here on our website: http://www.bu.edu/international/visas/.
Once we have received all of your required documentation, please allow 15 – 20 business days for GRS to review your documents and the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) to create your I-20. You will receive your I-20 electronically via your BU email. In some cases, the ISSO will ship your I-20 via mail. You will then receive an email notification including a FedEx tracking number once your I-20 is shipped.
Initial Check-in with ISSO
New international students and scholars must check in with the ISSO to ensure all relevant documents and procedures have been processed or have been completed. Check-in provides the ISSO the opportunity to review your immigration documents, help you get settled on campus, and provide answers to your questions as you begin your activities at BU. For information about new student orientation offered by the ISSO, please visit the ISSO website.
Should you have any problems or questions about your visa status, please contact the International Students & Scholars Office at 888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215 (Tel: 617-353-3565 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org). You will not be allowed to register for courses unless you have been cleared for admission to the United States by the International Students & Scholars Office.
To avoid jeopardizing your immigration status in the US, complete your initial check-in at ISSO.
International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO)
ISSO advocates for international exchange, and provides professional expertise on immigration and employment, helping ensure student, scholar, and institutional compliance with federal regulations.
Popular topics you may be interested in:
- On-campus student employment: As an international student in F-1 and J-1 immigration status, you are authorized to work on campus during your program of study.
- F-1 student Curricular Practical Training (CPT): for an internship or placement that is a necessary part of your academic program
- F-1 student Optional Practical Training (OPT): to gain practical experience in your major field of study, not required by your academic program
- F-1 student STEM Extension of OPT: an extension of Optional Practical Training, available only if your major field is on a designated list of specialized majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and if you are training at a qualified employer
BU First Class
Global Programs has launched an online, non-credit, pre-arrival course designed to prepare incoming international students for the transition to BU and the American classroom. BU First Class is self-paced, delivered on the edX platform Edge, and is comprised of short videos, polls, and self-checks designed to be completed from anywhere on any device. Incoming international students will be contacted with First Class registration information in July.
Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP)
CELOP programs are primarily designed for individuals who need English to succeed in their academic or professional careers.
Student Accounts - Tuition Payments
Once registered, you can view your student account on the StudentLink under Money Matters.
All Graduate School of Arts & Sciences students are required to settle/pay their tuition and fees each semester by the payment deadline. The payment deadline for new graduate students who start in Fall 2021 is Thursday, September 16, 2021. Please submit payments to Student Accounting Services per the deadlines and procedures below.
For information regarding fellowships, loans, work study, external funding sources, and more, please visit our Financial Aid page. Questions concerning aid should be directed to the Graduate School Financial Aid Office, 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112, Boston, MA 02215 (Tel: 617-353-2696 or email: email@example.com).
Tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 academic year are as follows:
|Tuition (12 – 18 credit hours)||$31,899/semester|
|Student Services Fee||$200/semester|
|Health & Wellness Fee||$257/semester|
|Basic Medical Insurance||$3,054/academic year|
|Tuition (2 – 11.5 credit hours)||$1,994/credit hour|
|Student Services Fee||$60/semester|
*Medical insurance coverage extends from August 15, 2021, through August 14, 2022, for those admitted in the Fall Semester. Coverage extends from January 1, 2022, through August 14, 2022, for those admitted for the Spring Semester. Please note that coverage takes effect once registration has been processed.
Information on withdrawal and tuition refunds for Fall 2021 can be found through the Office of the University Registrar. This information is important if you find that you are unable to attend classes but have registered. A complete listing of the University’s tuition and fees, as well as explanations of certain fees, can also be found through the Office of the University Registrar.
The Sports Pass will automatically be charged to your Student Account if you are a full-time graduate student at Boston University. The Sports Pass will allow you admission to all home events for ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer – over 70 games and a value of over $600. For individualized information regarding your sports pass, or to cancel your sports pass, visit the Student Link and go to the Money Matters tab.
Please visit the Student Health Services site regarding Medical Insurance. This site provides important information about the BU Medical Insurance Plan, comparable insurance requirements, and waiver of the BU Medical Insurance Plan. Part-time students and dependents of full-time students may choose to enroll in the medical insurance plan offered through Boston University.
Medical insurance coverage extends from August 15, 2021, through August 14, 2022, for those admitted in the Fall Semester. Please note that coverage takes effect once registration has been processed.
You can waive BU medical insurance if you already have another provider. To waive the medical insurance, please visit Student Health Services.
If you are an international student, healthcare in the U.S. may be quite different from that of your home country. Medical treatment in the Boston area is very good, but American healthcare can be expensive—there is no socialized or national healthcare system in the U.S. Health insurance is required and necessary to help defray those high costs.
In addition, federal and state regulations have insurance mandates that you will need to be aware of and comply with during your stay in the U.S., including requirements specific to students in Massachusetts, residents of Massachusetts, and J-1 exchange visitors.
For more information regarding health insurance and medical care, visit Medical Care, Immunization & Health Insurance.
Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants will receive weekly stipend payments each Friday beginning the 2nd week of classes. Payments will be available at the Student Employment Office. After receiving the first payment, students are strongly encouraged to set up direct deposit via the Student Link. By federal law, all employers must verify the employment eligibility of their new employees, including student employees. All entering graduate students who have been awarded a Teaching or Research Assistantship are required to provide documentation for payroll purposes. You will need to present the appropriate documents to the administrative assistant in your academic department. Documents must be verified within the first three working days of employment. You will be asked to complete an Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9). If you are not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident, please present the documentation, in person, to the University’s International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO).
Questions concerning your fellowship should be directed to the Graduate School Financial Aid Office, 705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112, Boston, MA 02215 (Tel: 617-353-2696 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Various forms of financial aid are available to support your studies in a master’s program at GRS. Financial Aid may not exceed your total Cost of Attendance. When estimating the total cost of attendance at GRS, you should consider BU medical insurance and living expenses such as housing, transportation, etc.
Students who wish to apply for Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans will need to complete a FAFSA. Boston University’s Federal School Code is 002130. In addition to the FASFA, you will need to complete a Federal Direct Loan Request Form which can be found on our website. Federal loan decisions are usually made in mid-July for graduate students beginning study in September and in mid-December for those beginning in January.
If you wish to borrow credit-based loans, please begin the loan process at least 6 to 8 weeks before the first day of classes to allow for processing which includes a credit review. You can find information and a list of some credit-based lenders here. International students may also borrow credit-based loans. Information on credit-based loans available to international students can be found on the BU Financial Assistance website.
If you are currently paying student loans from a prior undergraduate or graduate degree program, you may be eligible to defer payment for the duration of your master’s degree program at BU.
If you have a student loan deferment form that needs to be completed, please contact the Registrar’s Office here at BU.
You can bring the form to their office, fax the form (617-353-1869), email a scanned copy of the form to email@example.com, or mail the form.
Office of the University Registrar
881 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Please allow 1-2 business days for processing.
Please note, you must be registered for courses in order for the form to be processed.
Records and Registration
Please be sure to submit your final, official transcripts showing all previous degrees conferred in a sealed envelope from your institution to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences by the start of classes in September. If you have not submitted your final transcript(s) in sealed envelopes from your institution as requested, please bring the transcript(s) to the GRS Office as soon as possible so that we may update your record. You may also have your transcripts emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org directly from your institution’s e-transcript service.
Transcripts should be sent to:
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
705 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 112
Boston, MA 02215
Please note that if you received your degree from a Chinese institution and you are unable to request that your institution send your degree certificate(s) in a sealed envelope, you will need to send the degree certificates through the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC).
All transcripts submitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences need to be in English. If your school does not provide English copies, a certified translation will be required.
Student ID Cards (Terrier Cards)
Incoming Students should upload their Terrier Card photos online, following the instructions on the Terrier Card website.
The Terrier Card Office recommends that students submit their photos by Friday, August 4, in order for the cards to be printed and ready for pick up before the start of classes. You can pick up your Terrier Card at orientation on Friday, September 1, or afterward at the GRS office.
If you are living on-campus, please follow the instructions sent by the BU Housing Office via email or contact them directly for Terrier Card pick-up at email@example.com.
Your GRS department will contact incoming students during the summer to communicate times for advising and registration prior to August 1st. Please contact your program or department with any questions about registration procedures.
Please refer to our Registration page for specific instructions.
Please be aware that once you are registered for classes, you will be subject to Boston University’s withdrawal and refund schedule.
A complete academic calendar can be viewed on the Registrar’s website.
Once you are admitted to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, you are responsible for becoming familiar with the general regulations of GRS as stated in the “Policies” section of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Bulletin. You should also familiarize yourself with the more specific requirements stated in the individual section on your department, division, or program, which may go beyond or supplement the Graduate School standards.
Please contact Student Affairs for clarification of any rule or regulation in the academic bulletin.
Boston University does not permit a student to enroll simultaneously in more than one graduate program either within Boston University or at another institution unless those programs have been previously approved by the Trustees of Boston University as a combined degree program.
Please refer to the Registrar’s website for compliance requirements.
Check the Student Link to ensure you have met these requirements. Students not in compliance will be unable to register for future semesters.
Personal Data - Address Update
Students are reminded that, in accordance with the Code of Student Responsibilities (Appendix 15), current addresses must be on file with the University. We ask that you provide this information via the Student Link.
The home address currently on file for you may be the permanent address provided on your application for admission. Local addresses should be updated once you have located housing in the Boston area. After you matriculate, you will need to update/confirm your local address twice a year in accordance with University compliance requirements. If your name or Social Security number has changed or is incorrect, these can be updated at the Office of the University Registrar at 881 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor. This information cannot be changed using the Student Link.
Withdrawal/Leave of Absence
A student who is registered for a semester and decides not to attend must officially take a leave of absence or withdraw. Mere absence from classes does not constitute a withdrawal. A leave of absence should be taken when the student intends to return in a future semester; a withdrawal indicates a decision to permanently leave the University. Charges are canceled in accordance with the published refund schedule, based on the effective date of the withdrawal or leave of absence.
Immunization and Medical History Information
All incoming students must submit a completed Medical History & Physical Report and personal immunization records to the Student Health Services Office prior to the start of the Fall semester.
Boston University requires COVID-19 vaccinations and COVID-19 booster shots for students, faculty, staff, and affiliates. Campus-wide vaccination and boosters are the best defense against the severe disease within our community. As we do for other required vaccinations, we will have a process for accommodating medical and religious exemptions.
Because many of our international students were vaccinated abroad with vaccines that have not been approved for use in the United States, the University accepts all vaccines being offered outside the United States, including those without World Health Organization (WHO) or US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization or approval. Please see Proof of Full COVID Vaccination Required
Upload Your Documentation
- Log in to your Patient Connect portal.
- Click the Medical Clearances menu option, then click Update in the COVID clearance row.
- Click Upload to upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccine documentation, ensuring that the administered dates are clearly visible.
- Enter each appointment date, indicate the vaccine manufacturer, and click Done.
We encourage you to upload the required forms in Patient Connect because it will update your compliance status much faster than standard mail. However, if you cannot complete the steps above because of technological restrictions, please send all completed paper forms to:
Student Health Services
ATTN: Medical Records
881 Commonwealth Ave—West
Boston, MA 02215
We cannot accept health information received via email.
If you have any questions regarding immunizations or if you are unable to download the form, please contact the Student Health Services Office at (617) 353-3575.
Boston University Email Account (Early Access)
GRS will be sending an email with instructions on accessing Boston University’s Early Access Program. This program allows incoming students to create a BU email account and allows early access to some online services. If you have submitted all required documents and do not receive the email for setting up access after three weeks, please contact GRS Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Living in Boston
BU provides our students with reliable resources to ensure you find housing in Boston’s competitive housing market. On-campus housing can be found on the BU Graduate Housing website. Housing listings in Boston and the Greater Boston area can be found on the Off-Campus Services website.
Other helpful resources include:
Off-Campus Housing FAQs for Graduate and Professional Students
Information Services & Technology
BU’s Information Services & Technology (IS&T) department can help you with all of your technology needs. Links for computing resources on campus and information on obtaining support for your personal computer can be found here.
We can just about guarantee you’ll make extensive use of Boston’s rapid transit system (the MBTA, or simply, “the T”) while you are a student at BU.
Boston University is located at several stops along the Boston College branch (B Line) of the Green Line.
The MBTA’s Student Semester Pass allows students to pre-pay for their monthly “T” passes and thereby save approximately 11% off the regular monthly “T” pass price.
The Sports Pass will automatically be charged to your Student Account if you are a full-time graduate student at Boston University. The Sports Pass will allow you admission to all home events for ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer – over 70 games and a value of over $600.
For individualized information regarding your sports pass, or to cancel your sports pass, visit the Student Link and go to the Money Matters tab.
Student Health Services
All incoming Boston University students must complete pre-matriculation health requirements prior to your first term at Boston University. Please visit Student Health Services for important information regarding required medical forms and immunizations. Student Health Service also offers a number of health-related services, including counseling to the University community.
Getting a job on campus is a great way to earn money and experience while completing your graduate degree at BU. You can search for student jobs by visiting the Work tab on the StudentLink.
The Student Employment Office is the comprehensive resource for all matters related to student employment at Boston University, including information on getting paid, policies for student employees, taxes, and more.
The Department of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance offers various graduate assistantships to students enrolled in a graduate degree program at Boston University. These positions are highly coveted and allow graduate students to take advantage of discounted graduate-level classes at BU and earn a stipend while working in a fun, challenging, and rewarding environment.
Many academic departments also offer Teaching and Research Assistantship positions for graduate students. These positions vary for each department and program. You should contact your department for information about these opportunities and how to apply.
Educational Resource Center (ERC)
The Educational Resource Center helps Boston University students develop the range and depth of academic skills required by the University’s rigorous programs. International students may be interested in their ESL tutoring and practice groups.
Graduate Student Groups
There are many ways for students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences to get involved with the BU and Boston communities! With a range of graduate student groups and associations in GRS and across BU, you are sure to find a way to connect with your peers. Seek growth and connection in your professional life, find people who share your interests, impact your community, or just have some fun!
- The Graduate Student Organization (GSO) is a student-run advocacy group for Graduate School of Arts and Sciences students.
- Graduate Women in Science and Engineering (GWISE) at Boston University is a student-run group open to all, which strives to create a community to support and promote women in science.
Center for Career Development (CCD)
The Center for Career Development offers students several professional and career-focused resources such as career fairs, assistance with interviews and resumes, and a Professional Clothing Closet. They also host several events throughout the school year.
BU Newbury Center
BU Newbury Center supports and celebrates first-generation graduate students. Specific initiatives include:
- Support for navigating the financial aid system and developing financial literacy.
- Programs and systems to help students know where to turn for academic support
and how to make the best use of the many available resources that ensure academic
success, such as writing programs and course selection advice.
- Support for taking full advantage of internships and study abroad opportunities.
- Cohort and mentoring programs to foster a sense of belonging.
- Outreach to families to build understanding and shared commitment to academic
success and co-curricular engagement.
The BUild Lab Student Innovation Center is Boston University’s innovation center open to students looking to launch ideas, learn new skills and join a community of innovators. BUild Lab offers extracurricular programs, coaching, funding, and co-working space that help them develop startups and community impact projects, as well as build entrepreneurial skills and mindset.
BU Spark! is a technology incubator and experiential learning lab for student-led computational and data-driven projects at Boston University. Spark aims to help students realize their potential by providing access to resources, knowledge, and expert networks to support their innovation journeys.
Weather In Boston
The weather in New England can be unpredictable and change quickly, but we have four seasons with distinct weather conditions.
|About||Also known as autumn, fall in New England is famous for the landscape of bright reds, oranges, and yellows as the leaves change color.||Often very cold and windy, with snow and ice.||Milder around April; days become longer and flowers bloom. Frequent rainfall and strong winds are common.||Can be very hot and humid, especially in the middle of the season.|
|Apparel||Light jackets, scarves, sweaters; switching to hats and heavier jackets later in the season||Heavy coats, all-weather boots, scarves, gloves, and hats||Coats, sweaters, hats, and scarves early in the season; lighter apparel and rain gear as temperatures warm up||Lightweight clothing and sun protection|
|Months||Mid-September–late November||December–late March||late March–mid June||Mid-June–mid-September|
|Average Temp.||46–60°F (8–15°C)||0–37°F (-17–3°C)||38–60°F (3–15°C)||60–95°F (15–35°C)|
- Campus map
- Information regarding campus safety can be found at the BU Police Department’s website.
- The Dept. of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PERD) offers programs and facilities for numerous forms of physical activity.
- If you plan on driving a car to classes, you should take a look at the Office of Parking Services’ website.
- Boston University houses a number of libraries on campus, and you’ll make use of at least one of them during your time here.
- Information Services & Technology provides general-access computing and communications facilities for the entire University community
- The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground is BU’s cultural hub that provides an array of culturally based programs, lectures, discussions, films, events, and resources for students.
- The Geddes Language Center provides a wide range of instructional media services for students.
- Check out more resources on our Graduate Student Housing and Resources page!