Welcome to CFA!
Old School, but not old-school. CFA has played a major role in Boston’s cultural community for a long time. In fact, CFA is one of the reasons Boston is known as a premier cultural city in America. Our student and faculty artists and scholars have always been at the center of the action here. As a member of our community, you are now part of this history. But we didn’t get here by being stuck to old ways and beliefs. We’re striving to be more inclusive, innovative, future-directed, and ready for your energy and new ideas.
The information below outlines next steps for CFA’s on-campus graduate students. Graduate students in CFA’s online programs can find additional resources here.
What is the College of Fine Arts?
Next! — We know it’s easy to swipe past a list of resources but please don’t. Taking the time to get to know CFA and BU is worth your time. You don’t need to view them all at once. Come back and explore, but do come back! Below, you will find a virtual tour of CFA and a list of resources. Each resource can be valuable to you during your time here.
Take a Tour of CFA
From wind ensemble rehearsal to kinetic sculptures to the light & sound lab at Booth Theatre, there is always something amazing happening within the walls of CFA. Take a peek behind-the-scenes of some of our favorite spaces and check out a typical day at the College of Fine Arts!
Explore the rest of the Boston University campus using this virtual tour.
27 Facts About Your Future Graduate Degree at BU
At Boston University, our academic excellence is the core of who we are. Ranked in the top 50 universities in US, graduate students from around the globe come to our university in the heart of Boston to take part in innovative research and learn from top minds, including MacArthur Fellows, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize Winners, and more.
BU IDs & the Terrier Card Office
New graduate students at the Charles River Campus should follow the instructions below to upload their photo and identification in order to have a Boston University ID, or Terrier Card, ready and waiting for them upon their arrival to campus. New students receive their Terrier Cards at the start of their first semester. Your Terrier Card is used for swipe access into rehearsal and studio spaces. It is vital you upload your photo by Tuesday, August 1 so you will have it for the first day of classes.
CFA Terrier Cards will be handed out at check-in at the CFA-wide Orientation just before the beginning of the Fall semester. If a card is not picked up that morning, it will then be available for pickup at the front desk of the Dean’s Office at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 230.
Please follow the instructions listed here: https://www.bu.edu/housing/terrier-card-photo-upload/.
Various forms of financial aid are available to support your studies at the College of Fine Arts. In addition to loans (federal and credit-based) and external funding opportunities that are available, we offer a range of scholarships and assistantships for students in our on-campus programs.
The College of Fine Arts Graduate Financial Aid Office is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 230. This office is a resource for CFA graduate students and prospective students. The CFA Graduate Financial Aid Office can assist graduate students with scholarships, assistantships, Work-Study grants, stipends, and loan processing. Students are welcome to drop by the office, call (617-353-3350), or email us.
Contact: Bernardo Barbosa, Assistant Director of Financial Assistance, College of Fine Arts, firstname.lastname@example.org
While finding housing in the Boston area can be competitive, BU students have a number of resources available to help them find a home in one of the city’s great neighborhoods.
BU has put together a new resource for your housing search. Explore some frequently asked questions about searching for housing in Boston as a BU graduate or professional student.
Explore BU’s on-campus housing options through the Online Portal. Be sure you’ve set up your BU Account before attempting to log-in.
Explore off-campus housing opportunities (where the majority of our graduate students live). Here is a good place to start:
- Learn more about BU’s surrounding neighborhoods and housing options through the Neighborhood Guide on the Graduate Education Website.
- Explore BU’s off campus housing webpage to peruse property listings throughout the city.
- Tips & Resources for finding off campus housing
Contact: BU Off-Campus Services; 25 Buick Street, 1st Floor; 617-353-3523; email@example.com
Living in Boston
The City of Boston is alive with culture, history, and intellectual discovery. Consistently ranked among the most livable cities in the world, Boston is an international center of higher education with a thriving economy, bountiful cultural and recreational offerings, and booming innovation and entrepreneurship. And Boston University is located right in the heart of it all.
Smart Money 101 is a BU Financial Assistance initiative established to provide the Boston University community with online tools, information and other resources to promote effective money management. Access resources related to financial literacy, financial planning, and financial fitness:
Office of the Ombuds
The Office of the Ombuds is an independent, impartial, informal problem-solving resource serving faculty, staff, and students on the Charles River and Medical Campus. The Office maintains strict confidentiality, and provides a safe place for you to have off-the-record conversations on issues related to life, work, or study at Boston University. Talking to the Ombuds can be a good first step if you have a concern and you don’t know where to turn for help.
Contact: 617-358-5961; firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many quiet places to study at BU, both at CFA and the University at large.
Navigating Public Transportation, Parking and Driving in Boston
BU Parking and Transportation services is located at 1010 Commonwealth Avenue, and is your source of information for navigating campus and the the City Of Boston. Please follow the links below to read up on MBTA passes (Riding the T), the BU Bus, parking passes, and Bike Safety.
- The BU Bus: a free and convenient way to travel all of BU’s campuses.
- MBTA: Order your Transit pass here!
- Bike Safety: Your safety is our mission. With hundreds of pedestrians, cars, trucks, buses, and T trolleys rolling up and down campus, biking in Boston can be an adventure to say the least. We’re here to help keep your rides enjoyable and safe.
- ZipCar: As the world’s leading car-sharing network, Zipcar lets you drive a variety of cars on demand, by the hour or the day, around campuses, cities and airports worldwide.
- Student Parking Permits
- Lots & Locations
Contact: email@example.com; (617) 353-2160
Office of Disability and Access Services
Our goal, at Disability & Access Services, is to provide services and support to ensure that students are able to access and participate in the opportunities available at Boston University. In keeping with this objective, students are expected and encouraged to utilize the resources of Disability & Access Services to the degree they determine necessary. Although a significant degree of independence is expected of students, Disability & Access Services is available to assist, should the need arise.
Contact: 25 Buick Street, 617-353-3658
The mission of the Center for Career Development (CCD) is not just to help students land an internship or job, but to be a core resource in their journey to find and pursue their professional path, wherever that may lead.
Part of students’ much larger career community, the CCD seeks to work with students, collaborate with BU colleagues, and partner with employers. CCD offers a seasoned professional staff, a suite of online resources, and a wide variety of events and programs available for students as they navigate their way from the first day of class through graduation and beyond.
- Getting Started with CCD
- Join Handshake: Handshake is BU’s online career development hub, exclusively for students and alumni to access resources, opportunities, and events. Make an individual appointment, register for an event, and explore employers and internships/jobs.
Contact: 100 Bay State Road; 617-353-3590; firstname.lastname@example.org
International Student Experience
International Student Frequently Asked Questions
You can find information about everything from what to expect from your classroom and social experiences to finding a home and getting around in Boston to immigration and healthcare insurance. Scroll through to browse questions or jump immediately to the section that interests you.
Where better to get answers to your questions than from international students like yourself? These short videos on topics of interest to you offer an inside perspective from an international BU graduate student.
Compass: Compass is a search engine to find more than 300 resources at BU and in the surrounding area that could be useful to international students and scholars. The resources are classified into four categories: Academics, Community, Housing, and Career and Employment.
BU First Class
BU First Class: Since 2016, Global Programs has offered an online noncredit pre-arrival course designed to prepare incoming international students for the transition to BU and the American classroom. BU First Class is 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.
How it works: Newly-enrolled International students will complete 3 different sections with the intent of establishing what a BU classroom looks like, students’ academic expectations, and how to prepare for living in the U.S. and navigating resources at BU.
Section 1: The BU Classroom
This section asks students to think critically about the education system or systems they grew up in and compare it with what will be asked of them at BU. After completing this section, students should have a better idea of what to expect in a variety of classroom settings and should be more comfortable interacting with BU professors and understanding how they will be assessed.
Section 2: Academic Integrity and Expectations
This section is primarily composed of a series of videos and self-checks introducing Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code, discussing academic integrity, what plagiarism is and how to use BU Libraries for research.
Section 3: Transition to Campus
Information included in this section that is common to both populations is information on how to prepare for arrival in the U.S. before you leave home, Health and Wellness, and an introduction to the Compass, a great tool to help you navigate to resources while at BU.
To Experience the Course:
-Email Kamelia Turcotte at email@example.com to be registered in the course
-Go to edge.edx.org
-Create an account using the same email address you provided Kamelia
-The course should then show up on your dashboard under “My Courses” as “BU First Class”
-Click on the course name
-Once you are in the course, click the “Course” tab
International Student & Scholars Office
The International Student & Scholars Office (ISSO) provides professional expertise on immigration and employment, and help ensure student, scholar, and institutional compliance with federal regulations. ISSO staff are available to guide students and scholars through the often complicated requirements for foreign nationals studying and working in the United States.
Services Offered by ISSO
- New Student FAQ
- Medical Care and Immunization
- Cultural adjustment
- Intercultural programs and events
- Immigration assistance, including:
- Maintaining status
- Changing status
- Traveling outside the US (and returning)
- Social Security Number application
- Working outside BU
- Boston University services, policies, and procedures
- Community programs and services
- Holiday programs and travel opportunities
- Scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, and educational loans
- Embassies and consulates
You can contact ISSO any time you have questions or need assistance, or visit their office at 888 Commonwealth Avenue.
First-Generation Student Experience
The Newbury Center was created to foster the success of first-generation students at Boston University. The center’s goal is to become a highly visible, transformative unit of Boston University, offering programming and services designed to ensure that first-generation students experience the same sense of well-being, belonging, self-efficacy, and academic accomplishment as their continuing-generation peers.
The center offers resources and helpful information for first-generation undergraduates as well as graduate and professional students.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; (617) 353-3400
Academic Expectations and Misconduct
The Boston University College of Fine Arts (CFA) unites the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts into an intense, dynamic arts community where students combine professional, individualized training in their field with collaborative work that increasingly crosses departments and schools. Please visit the CFA Academic Bulletin to seek out specific program requirements and policies related to your degree program and the College at large.
Here you’ll find BU’s academic policies, covering everything from registration and full-time enrollment to academic conduct, intra-University transfer, and more. For policies related to student life and campus regulations, browse the Dean of Students’ Lifebook.
Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code is designed to assist in the development of a supportive and productive learning environment. It is both a description of the University’s ethical expectations of students as well as a guarantee of students’ rights and responsibilities as members of a learning community. The Code provides clarity related to policy and procedure regarding academic conduct.
Advising and Registration
Graduate Students are academically advised by faculty within their departments. You will be assigned an academic advisor upon your arrival to campus.
Degree Advice can help you track your progress towards graduation. It will show you the courses you have already taken and the courses you are registered for, the requirements you need to complete to graduate, and the courses that will count towards each remaining requirement.
You can access Degree Advice on the MyBUStudentPortal by going to the Academics tab, then clicking on Advising.
- Requirements in Green are complete.
- Requirements listed in Blue are in the process of being completed. A requirement that involves multiple courses will turn blue only when you are registered for the last required course.
- Requirements listed in Red are incomplete.
How to to Register for a Course on the Student Link
All Boston University students register for courses through the MyBUStudentPortal. Be sure to check the compliance tab on your portal and resolve any compliance issues before registration opens. If you are out of compliance with any University requirements, you will not be permitted to register until the issue is resolved. Students must be registered for every semester during the academic year until all degree requirements have been met, unless granted a leave of absence.
The Planner – an online tool that allows you to create and modify your schedule before registering for the courses – enables you to add classes to a draft schedule before registration opens. To access the planner, go to the MyBUStudentPortal, click “Registration Planner” from the main page options. You can then search for, and add courses to your Planner.
- Go to the MyBUStudentPortal
- Login. Enter your BU Login in the “User Name” box and your Kerberos password in the “Password” box. (Don’t know/remember this? Contact IT Help Center at email@example.com or 617-353-4357)
- Select the CLASS REGISTRATION box on the main page as shown in the photo below.
- Go to the semester you are registering for (i.e. Fall 2023)
- Click REG OPTIONS under the semester you are planning for.
- Click on Register for classes. (Don’t see that choice? You may need to update your Compliance Status. Follow the prompts in the green text above the Advising Code box.)
- Enter the course information: (college) CFA; (department) i.e. AR, MU, TH; (course #) i.e. 600; (section) i.e. 01
- Click “Add Class to Schedule”.
The video below walks through through the registration process. Please note: the initial “dashboard” has changed, however, you may still find the remaining process helpful to watch.
CFA Graduate and Professional Student Advising Tools
CFA Graduate and Professional Student Advising Tools
As a graduate student in the College of Fine Arts, we value the opportunity for your individual artistic development and exploration. Students have an important role in the advising process. Degree requirements and expectations are outlined in the CFA Bulletin, and students should be sure they are following those policies and requirements. Even so, there are often times when questions or guidance are needed as you navigate your program. When working with your advisor, please be sure you have looked at your requirements and articulated specific questions for your advisor to address. Please use the tools in the link above to assist you in this process.
BU Library Resources
BU Tech Tools: Blackboard, Zoom, The Link & More
Welcome to Student Central! It is our hope that this site will be a great community resource for you as you navigate your way around Boston University. The University is a vibrant, exciting, and opportunity-filled place. It is a chance for you to self-advocate and make your own way, and hopefully, this site will help you in your quest to do so. Here, there are links to the various departments and services that can help you academically and in your life on campus.
Your link to your records at BU. Be sure to check out the New Grad Student Checklist!
Blackboard Learn is available to anyone with a BU login name and Kerberos password at learn.bu.edu (for on-campus students). The IT Help Center will answer any questions you have concerning your Blackboard Learn course site. You can get in touch with us online at www.bu.edu/help/blackboard (or by clicking on the Help tab on any screen in Blackboard), by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 353-HELP(4357).
Log in to Zoom to automatically create your Boston University Zoom account. Students automatically receive Zoom Pro accounts.
- Once logged in, download the Zoom Client for Meetings from the Zoom Download Center on your computer to access the full benefits of Zoom.
- Add any class Zoom meeting times and room information on your calendar so it’s easy to join when it’s time to meet.
Other Helpful Links:
- IT Help: http://www.bu.edu/tech/
- Microsoft Office for BU Students: http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/cccs/desktop/distribution/microsoft/studentoffice/
- BU Apple Educational Store: https://www.bu.edu/tech/support/purchase/personal/buapple/
- Lenovo Laptop Purchase Program: https://www.bu.edu/tech/support/purchase/personal/laptop-purchase-program/
- Adobe Creative Cloud: http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/teaching/digital-multimedia-production/adobe-creative-cloud/
BU Educational Resource Center
The Educational Resource Center (ERC) is here to support you as you navigate the rigorous academic landscape at Boston University. A BU education will inspire and challenge you to reconsider your previously held beliefs and acquire skills that will propel you into the next phase of your life. This growth can be both exhilarating and discomforting, but we are here to support you along the way. In addition to our four core programs, we also help connect you to academic resources all across campus.
Check out our Academic Resource Guide to explore additional academic support options across BU’s campus!
Purdue OWL – Online Writing Lab
Purdue OWL serves as a great free resource and reference guide for writing research papers in proper APA, MLA, or Chicago citation and format style.
Read & Write Gold is a literacy software that helps students with reading, writing, research, and organization. This software is free to download for the BU community. It is an especially useful tool for anyone, especially in language-learning classes. You can read an article about this software in BU Today.
Smarthinking™ is an online tutoring service that is available to you 24 hours a day. If you have been out of the habit of writing for a while, Smarthinking™ is a great way to jump back in. You can submit a writing assignment to their Online Writing Lab for review and critique – but don’t wait until the last minute! Submit your work early so that you have plenty of time to make revisions.
Code of Student Responsibilities
The Code of Student Responsibilities is administered by the Dean of Students, Boston University. Copies may be obtained from that office, 775 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
Health, Wellness, and Safety
Student Health Services & Student Health Insurance Plans
Student Health Services (SHS) is here to be an integrated health center that leaves a lasting impression on the health and wellness of our students. The SHS mission is to promote wellness, preserve health, and enable academic achievement for the students of Boston University. You may use Student Health Services if you are any full-time BU student, regardless of your insurance choice (this excludes on-line students) OR any student with the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP). All students, regardless of status or insurance, are eligible for assistance with community referrals.
Patient Connect is a secure patient portal that provides you access to the following Boston University SHS online services:
- Schedule and Cancel Your Appointments 24/7
- Review Test Results and Medical History
- Renew Your Prescriptions
- Message Your Healthcare Provider
- Message Front Desk, Referral Coordinator, and Insurance Coordinator
- Complete and Upload Forms
Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP)
SHIP is Boston University’s health insurance plan for students. It is offered through Aetna, a large national health insurer. SHIP may be the best—and most affordable—option for covering your healthcare outside of Student Health Services (SHS).
Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan: Choosing a Primary Care Provider
An overview for all graduate and professional students on choosing a primary care provider within the Boston University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan: How it Works
An in-depth introduction for all graduate and professional students to the Boston University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).
Graduate Student Health Insurance Plan: The Basics
An introduction to the Boston University Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) for graduate and professional students.
Contacts and links referenced in these videos:
BU Student Health Services: 617-353-3579
Aetna Student Health: 1-800-966-7772
As the COVID-19 situation changes, please stay up-to-date with Boston University’s protocols and policies to keep yourself and our community healthy. For more information regarding COVID-19 case counts across Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts wastewater COVID-19 tracking data.
Health and wellbeing are the foundation of student success at BU and beyond. Student Health Services is committed to compassionate care to support your growth and lifelong wellbeing. The First-Year Students Guide provides information about SHS departments, services, and programs, important information and health requirements for first-year students and resources to support your wellbeing.
We want you to feel your best in all areas of your life. Explore these resources on physical and mental health and overall well-being.
- SHS Hours & Offices
- Primary Care: 617-353-3575
- Behavioral Medicine: 617-353-3569
- Wellness & Prevention: 617-358-0485
- Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP): 617-353-7277
LGBTQ+ Resources and Gender-Affirming Healthcare
Student Health Services (SHS) is committed to providing high-quality care, inclusive of people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. We are committed to training SHS staff and improving our healthcare systems to support all students’ health and wellbeing.
There are many resources available on and off campus to support the BU LGBTQ+ student community.
Student Health Services (SHS) provides urgent and routine services, as well as specialized care including, hormone therapy, referrals/letters for gender-affirming surgery, and ongoing consultation for medical transition. Learn more about gender-affirming healthcare at BU.
Title IX requires universities to respond promptly and effectively to complaints of all kinds of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual violence. Universities must take immediate action to eliminate the offending conduct, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects.
BU is committed to promptly investigating the circumstances of a complaint to determine what occurred, ensure complainant safety, and provide remedies. Regardless of whether a complainant files a criminal action, BU will undertake its own investigation of the circumstances of the complaint.
Boston University Police Department
The Boston University Police Department is a full-time, professional law enforcement agency that also provides a wide variety of public services, including alarms, emergency medical assistance, investigating suspicious circumstances, and responding to and investigating criminal matters. Patrols are conducted throughout the Boston University area 24 hours a day and span an area that includes over 132 acres of University-owned property and surrounding streets.
Contact: 32 Harry Agganis Way; All Contact Numbers
BU Fitness and Recreation Center
BU Fitness & Recreation Center (FitRec) is committed to enriching the University and local communities by providing unparalleled and inclusive educational and recreational programs, services, and facilities to promote physical, social, and emotional health and wellness.
To get set up at FitRec and get your fitness and wellness questions answered, please visit here.
Contact: 915 Commonwealth Avenue; 617-358-3740; email@example.com
Diversity & Inclusion
The Office of Diversity & Inclusion leads the University’s efforts to advance a culture that values and supports diversity, equity, access, and inclusion across our campuses. The Associate Provost works collaboratively with academic and administrative leaders to establish programs and initiatives that support BU’s diversity goals; implement and maintain best practices across the University that ensure shared accountability and progress; and nurture an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds.
The Center for Anti-Racist Research
The mission of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research is to convene researchers and practitioners from various disciplines to figure out novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity and injustice. We foster exhaustive racial research, research-based policy innovation, data-driven educational and advocacy campaigns, and narrative-change initiatives. We are working toward building an antiracist society that ensures equity and justice for all.
The Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground
The Thurman Center is Boston University’s cultural hub, and, unlike many colleges and universities that have separate Centers based on race, Boston University’s Howard Thurman Center does not. The Thurman Center is intentionally inclusive and emphasizes the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone to build relationships and share experiences with others. The Thurman Center is a place where cultural expression in all of its forms is embraced and encouraged.
Check out our programming throughout the year, or utilize this beautiful space to make your time on campus more meaningful.
WBUR CitySpace at the Lavine Broadcast Center
WBUR CitySpace at The Lavine Broadcast Center is the new state-of-the-art multimedia venue located at 890 Commonwealth Avenue on Boston University’s campus. It brings the stories you hear every day from WBUR and NPR hosts and reporters to life. Convening leaders in all fields for an array of events – readings, interviews, debates, conversations, panels, podcasts, performances, story slams, theater, comedy, book clubs, demonstrations— CitySpace is the destination to be inspired, entertained and educated.
Support for Graduate Students with Children
Boston University is committed to being a family-friendly campus community for graduate students with children, with many resources and benefits available.
Visit the BU Children’s Center or contact the Family Resources Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: 617-353-3413; email@example.com
BU Arts Initiative
The Boston University Arts Initiative works to deepen the presence and impact of the arts in the academic life of the university, ensuring that the arts are fundamental to the BU student experience.
Contact: 775 Commonwealth Avenue; 617-358-0489
Boston University’s Sustainability Program comprises a broad range of stakeholder groups on campus to provide the greatest diversity of representation and opinion. The program is made up of BU Sustainability and Dining Services Sustainability.
The mission of BU Sustainability is to support the transformation of Boston University’s planning, operations, and culture toward a sustainable and equitable future. We are guided by the University’s mission, Strategic Plan, and Climate Action Plan. We envision a sustainable and equitable future where environmental, social, and economic conditions foster health and well-being for all people and the natural world, where all living beings have the resources they need to thrive.
Boston University Dining Services Sustainability
BU Dining Services serves 6.2 million meals a year designed to have a positive impact on both the environment and the wellness of the BU community. We do this by serving fresh, wholesome foods, and by promoting ecologically sound, socially responsible agriculture.
Here are some easy and fun ways to be a part of the sustainability community at BU:
- Earn points and compete with your friends on the sustainability@BU app! Join the community!
- How to Host a Sustainability Event
- Participate in one of our events
- Join one of many sustainability-related graduate student organizations
University Policy and Procedures
As the document of authority for all students, the Bulletin is your guide to the departments, programs, policies, and courses at BU. Requirements listed here take precedence over information found elsewhere.
Boston University policies help connect our daily activities with the University’s mission by setting expectations and clarifying processes for individual members of our community.
Questions? We’re here to help
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