Graduate Information

Making an investment in your graduate education is a wise decision, but we understand that navigating the financial aid process can be challenging. The financial aid office in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS) is here as a resource and strives to provide you with all of the information you need.

Various forms of financial aid are available to support your studies at the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS). All newly admitted domestic and international PhD students will receive a full fellowship offer, and all newly admitted domestic and international MFA students in Creative Writing and Playwriting will receive a full tuition scholarship and a stipend. Review detailed information about the fellowship and scholarship awards and the policies and privileges associated with each specific program by clicking on the links to the right.

Financial Aid may not exceed your total Cost of Attendance. When estimating the total cost of attendance at GRS, you will need to consider BU medical insurance and living expenses such as housing, transportation, etc.

Below you will find relevant information about fellowships, fellowship policies, scholarships, and loan options for our Ph.D. and MFA programs:

Information about Ph.D. Fellowship Aid

Information about MFA Aid

Please feel free to contact us at with any questions that you may have regarding the financial aid process. Please include your BU ID when contacting our office.  We are available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

GRS Financial Aid Policies

The policy for all students eligible for financial aid is as follows:

  • Our policy is that scholarship aid may only be used for courses required by the degree program. It may be used for courses taken as co-requisites or prerequisites by special permission from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS). It cannot be used to cover the cost of Physical Education (PDP) classes, or any other charges such as the Sports Pass, subway/bus passes, library fines or late fees, etc. PhD students may audit one course per semester during the academic year without incurring additional tuition costs.
  • Boston University requires Ph.D. students to be present on campus unless their research or fieldwork requires them to be elsewhere. This requirement is in place to ensure that students can focus on their full-time studies and regularly engage with faculty members. Those pursuing a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences must live in the Boston region during the semester(s) in which they receive GRS support, and they are expected to participate in departmental and University activities. Students who leave the Boston region outside of required research or fieldwork during their first five years may forfeit their guaranteed fellowship funding. We understand that students may have personal reasons to leave the area, but such arrangements often violate policies and laws that prohibit payments.  Students beyond their fifth year of study who leave the Boston region will not be eligible for a service fellowship, such as a research fellowship unless required to be elsewhere for their research or fieldwork.  All teaching fellows must be in residence.
  • Boston University’s policy is to withhold all diplomas, degrees, official transcripts, and other official recognition of work done at the University from students with respect to whom there are any outstanding overdue debts to the University, including, but not limited to amounts owed in satisfaction of tuition, loan agreements, fees, and charges, as well as monies owed for occupancy in University-owned or -operated residences and for dining service. No student may withdraw from the University in good standing or graduate from the University unless all current obligations to the University are paid in full.
  • The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences follows a uniform refund policy for all institutional aid. A PhD or MFA student who receives scholarship aid and withdraws or takes a leave of absence after the beginning of classes will retain the scholarship aid. This includes but is not limited to Teaching Fellowships, Research Assistantships, and Graduate Scholarships. Federal financial aid is adjusted in accordance with federal regulations.
  • Boston University employees are not eligible for GRS financial aid.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy