Graduate Information

In an effort to reduce financial barriers to attending graduate school, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS) offers application fee waivers.  Information for student applying to GRS doctoral and MFA programs can be found below.  Information on fee waivers for students applying to all other GRS master’s programs, please contact

If you are inquiring about an application fee waiver for a program not offered by GRS, please reach out to the respective schools directly, for example:

Application Fee Waiver Eligibility

You must be applying to a PhD or MFA program within Boston University’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS).  Non-degree seeking applicants are not eligible.

US citizens or US permanent residents may be granted fee waivers on the basis of one of the following:

  • Participation in a special program, event, or fellowship
  • Being a first generation applicant
  • Being a female applicant to a program in which women are significantly underrepresented
  • Documented financial hardship

Non-US Citizens are eligible to apply for a fee waiver based on:

  • Sponsorship by outside organization
  • Recommendation by the department


How to Request an Application Fee Waiver

Please follow the instructions below to submit an application fee waiver request.   All requests must be received at least three (3) business days prior to the application deadline.

Step 1

Begin your PhD or MFA online application.  You will be assigned a 10 digit application ID (CAS ID).  It will be listed in the upper right corner of your application.

Step 2

Send an email to with “Application Fee Waiver” on subject line.  In email text, include:

  • Your name (last, first) as it appears on your application
  • Your application CAS ID
  • Program name
  • Program start (semester & year)
  • A 100-250 word statement if you apply based on financial hardship
  • All required documentation as attachment(s)

Step 3

You will receive an email notification within 3-5 business days when your fee waiver is reviewed. You must wait to receive this confirmation and follow the instructions within the email in order to submit your application.  Do not submit your application with a payment, as paid application fees cannot be refunded.  If you are not granted a fee waiver, you will need to pay the application fee when you submit your application.

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