Graduate Information

All applications to our PhD & MFA programs are currently closed. 

Applications for Fall 2025 will open on September 1, 2024.

We welcome your application to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) for Fall 2025!  All applications and supporting documents must be submitted through our online application.

Please note:

  • We strongly advise that you read our PhD & MFA: Frequently Asked Questions section.
  • PhD & MFA applications for Fall 2025 open on September 1, 2024 and close at 11:59pm (23h59) Boston Time (Eastern Time Zone, UTC – 05:00) on the day listed as the program’s application deadline (refer to the list of programs at the bottom of this page). If you are located in a time zone west of Boston (i.e. UTC – 06:00 to UTC – 11:00), you must submit your application one to six hours before midnight your time.
  • You cannot apply to more than one GRS program and you cannot apply to both a PhD and a Master’s degree.  We recommend that you contact the program directly if you are unsure about applying to the Master’s or the PhD degree.  PhD & MFA applicants can only apply to the fall semester.
  • When creating your account, please be sure to use a permanent, non-school-related email address. You will be contacted through the email address you use to create the account, and correspondence may occur after your previous school disabled your school email account.
  • All documents (transcripts, personal statement, CV/resume, writing sample, if applicable, etc.) have to be submitted through the online application.  Documents that are sent or emailed directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences by you, your institution, or a third party (ex: Parchment) cannot be added to your application.  You cannot add or email updated transcripts showing fall grades after you submit your application.
  • All documents, official electronic test scores, and recommendations letters must be received by the deadline; otherwise, they may not be considered by the program’s application review committee.  Please allow for 5-10 business days for electronic scores (GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) to be matched to your application.
  • All credentials, including transcripts and reference letters, submitted in support of an application become property of Boston University. Neither originals nor copies may be returned.
  • After you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the program’s admission committee.  The response time varies by program.  Most programs make admission decisions in late February to early March.  If you have questions about the timeline, please contact the program directly.  You do not need to sign back in to your application after you submit it; there is no additional information that can be found in the application, you cannot track the progress of the review in the application.  Once a decision has been made, you will receive an email informing you of the outcome.
  • If you are a PhD or MFA applicant to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) and have a program-related question, please contact the program directly at the email address listed under each program (refer to the list of programs at the bottom of this page).

Online Application

    Admissions FAQs      International Applicants

PhD Fellowship Aid    MFA Fellowship Aid


GRS Statement on Holistic Admissions

The admissions committee of each of our graduate programs will be looking, as always, at the entire transcript and the cumulative GPA in their evaluation as well as test scores (if applicable), recommendations, and personal statements, as required by specific programs. We encourage applicants to include special circumstances as well as achievements that may not be apparent due to modified grading policies in their personal statements. This policy has been adopted to ensure that applicants are not evaluated differently by admissions committee due to the varied impact of COVID-19 on individuals and/or due to the specific grading policies of their colleges/universities.


As part of our holistic approach to admissions, many of our PhD programs no longer require the GRE General Test, while others have suspended the requirement for applicants.  For those who continue to use it, they do so as part of their holistic review.  While GRE scores may be an essential component of the application for some programs, they are only one of many factors that contribute to your review as an applicant. Our programs consider the personal statement, letters of recommendation, GPA, and other supporting materials, when assessing an applicant’s academic potential and ability. Please see the list below for details on programs that do not require the GRE.


Our PhD & MFA Programs (Deadlines and Requirements)