Welcome to Boston University’s College of Communication Master’s Programs

This handbook is intended to provide a comprehensive guide to policies, academic regulations, and resources for COM master’s students. (For PhD students, the Division of Emerging Media Studies provides a separate handbook to complement this handbook.) This resource is a supplement to the Boston University Bulletin (http://www.bu.edu/academics/com/).

Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with COM and Boston University policies and must abide by the general policies outlined on BU’s academic policies pages (http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/), the Dean of Students’ Lifebook (https://www.bu.edu/dos/policies/lifebook/), and Student Responsibilities website (https://www.bu.edu/dos/policies/student-responsibilities/).

Below are some helpful links to COM policies:

For more information and assistance, please contact the COM Graduate Affairs Office (comgrad@bu.edu).


The College of Communication includes three departments:

  • Film & Television
  • Journalism
  • Mass Communication, Advertising & Public Relations

Each department offers professionally oriented undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate programs leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree are available in Television, Media Ventures, Journalism, Advertising, Mass Communication (Media Science), including the concentration in Marketing Communication Research, and Public Relations. Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees are offered in Film & Television Studies and Screenwriting. We also offer a Master of Arts (MA) and a PhD in Emerging Media Studies, a division within COM that caters to interests within all three departments and beyond. The master’s program in International Relations & International Communication is a joint degree program administered by the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences’ Pardee School of Global Studies.

Credit Requirements

The Mission of the College of Communication

Boston University’s College of Communication (COM) is dedicated to the proposition that the free flow of ideas and accurate information is vital to the development and improvement of democratic societies. The college mission is to provide an educational center of excellence focused on teaching, research, and service in the study and professional practice of communication.

To accomplish its mission, the faculty and students maintain high standards of scholastic achievement and establish rigorous professional communication skill training to prepare students for successful careers. The college stresses:

  • A core liberal arts education that enables students to understand societies’ diverse cultural foundations and stimulates a strong sense of social responsibility
  • Critical thinking, creativity, and personal integrity
  • Detailed research, lucid writing, oral presentation skills, and mastery of various mass communication media
  • An understanding that learning is a lifelong pursuit

Boston University’s Statement on Diversity (https://www.bu.edu/info/about/diversity/)

Boston University’s founders opened its doors to all students without regard to religion, race, or gender. Building and sustaining a vibrant community of scholars, students, and staff remains essential to our mission of contributing to, and preparing students to thrive in, an increasingly interconnected world.

We strive to create environments for learning, working, and living that are enriched by racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. We seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect for individual differences in life experience, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs, and we aspire to be free of intellectual parochialism, barriers to access, and ethnocentrism.

Success in a competitive, global milieu depends upon our ongoing commitment to welcome and engage the wisdom, creativity, and aspirations of all peoples. The excellence we seek emerges from the contributions and talents of every member of the Boston University community.

Boston University’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy

Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, military service, pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition, or because of marital, parental, or veteran status. For more information and the full text of the policy, please visit https://www.bu.edu/eoo/policies-procedures/equal-opportunity/

Student Link:

The BU Student Link gives you direct access to academic, financial, and institutional data maintained in the University’s central computer system. You need your BU login to access the services, which include:

  • Academic Summary
  • Advisors
  • Current Schedule
  • External Credits and Test Scores
  • Final Exam Schedule
  • Grades
  • List of Your Classes and Grades
  • Transcript Preview

More information on the student link is here: http://www.bu.edu/link/bin/uiscgi_studentlink?ModuleName=start.pl


Blackboard Learn is the learning management system at Boston University. Students can access course materials at any time and from any computer with an internet connection: http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/teaching/lms/blackboard/students/

BU Campus Map: 

COM Directory:

Who’s Who on the Staff: 

List of COM Faculty: 

Terrier Card:

https://www.bu.edu/terriercard/; The Terrier Card office is currently operating out of the Housing Office at 25 Buick Street. Monday-Friday, 9am- 5 pm, 617-353-9966. tco@bu.edu.

The official BU student identification card. Students are assigned a nine-character, computer-generated ID number. This University ID number or “U-number” is used for all University records including registration and class adjustments (add/drop). Terrier Cards for new students are issued at the start of their first semester. Photo identification must be presented to receive a new Terrier Card. Valid identification includes a driver’s license, state identification card, or passport.


Most people will be able to connect to BU (802.1x) quickly and easily. When your computer or device finds BU (802.1x) on the network and presents it in your list of network choices, simply select it and log in to it, using your BU login name and Kerberos password. For more information, please visit http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/infrastructure/networks/wireless/8021x/.


http://www.bu.edu/tech/services/cccs/printing/myprint/: MyPrint allows you to print from any computer on the BU campus network (or off-campus if connected through the VPN). You can print to various Boston University printers, including those in the Print Center at Mugar Memorial Library. For instructions on how to webprint in COM, please visit https://www.bu.edu/comtech/students/laptop-information/how-to-print-from-a-laptop/.

BU Graduate Education Website:

This website from the BU Provost’s Office provides resources and information on a number of topics, including:

  • Academics & Research: libraries, research resources, Digital Learning and Innovation, Educational Resource Center, Office of the Ombuds, BU abbreviations and academic codes, responsible conduct of research program
  • Campus services: dining services, diversity resources, child & family resources, housing, news (BU Today), Office of the Ombuds, technology support
  • Health and Wellness: Student Health Services, Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), Mental Health/Behavioral Medicine, Nutrition
  • Fitness: FitRec, aquatics, water sports, ski and snowboard, and ice skating
  • International Students: First Class, Compass, ISSO (International Students & Scholars Office), and Educational Resource Center (ERC)
  • Career & Professional Development (this information is on BU’s Center for Career Development. Information on COM’s Career Center appears later in this handbook)
  • Living in Boston: Neighborhoods, finding housing, kids and family, transportation, surviving Boston weather, and some favorite things to do around the city
  • Funding: PhD funding, financial aid, and advice on money management

Another helpful website for ‘one stop shop’ access is BU’s Student Central website.

Download the BU Mobile App

Boston University’s mobile application, “BU Mobile,” (available for download from iTunes) contains an “Emergency” section that permits you to call Boston University Police Department (BUPD), Student Health Services, the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP), or the Escort Security Service with one touch.

Cardswipe Building Access

Students looking to access the COM building after hours and on weekends have the ability to register for cardswipe building access.

For Building Access:
Visit http://www.bu.edu/comtech/students/com-cardswipe-building-access/ for extended building access policies.

Visit Brad Fernandes in 640 Commonwealth Ave., Room 102 (1st floor of COM, Kenmore Square/East side). Only Brad can authorize students for building access. Your ID must be presented in person for it to be added to the system. Brad is generally available Monday – Friday, 9-4 pm.


BU requires that students complete a number of compliance measures in order to register for classes. For more information, please visit the University Registrar’s website.

Academic Calendar

College of Communication (COM) Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures

The following policies and procedures section outlines general practices for COM graduate students. For specific departmental or program policies, please see handbook addenda or contact your department administrator. LINK TK http://cms-attic.bu.edu/com/resources/current-students/academic-policies/

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Please see below for important information and links.

Code of Student Responsibilities

Students will uphold the Code of Student Responsibilities. This code presupposes that there will be civility and respect for others within the university. As communicators, COM also extends this expectation of civility and respect to apply to digital platforms.

In addition, all BU students are bound by the Academic Conduct Code. Please review to ensure you are acting responsibly and ethically in regard to your academics, including issues related to plagiarism.

The College of Communication defers to Boston University’s Academic Conduct Code on issues relating to Academic Misconduct and Boston University’s Student Lifebook on issues relating to ethical and professional behavior as a student. A comprehensive list of central BU policies can be found here: https://www.bu.edu/policies/ as well as http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/.

Academic Conduct Code:

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.”

The link above outlines Boston University’s academic conduct code, philosophy of discipline, definitions of academic misconduct (including plagiarism), actions on suspected violations, penalties, and procedure of the Academic Conduct Committee, as well as how to appeal a judgment and penalty. Please note that COM and Boston University takes violations of the academic conduct code extremely seriously.

Graduate Student Academic Contract

All students are required to sign the Graduate Academic Contract. This is an aggregated list of rules and policies that are pertinent to COM graduate students. The contract provides a platform to ensure that all students are aware of policies and should eliminate any confusion.

University Bulletin

As the document of authority for all students, the Bulletin is a student’s guide to the departments, programs, policies, and courses at Boston University.

Absences for Religious Reasons



The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of a student’s education records. In compliance with FERPA, Boston University does not disclose personally identifiable information contained in student education records, except as authorized by law. More information can be found at http://www.bu.edu/reg/academics/ferpa/

Disability Discrimination and Reasonable Accommodations

If you are a student with a disability or believe you might have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact the Office for Disability Services (ODS) at 617-353-3658 to coordinate any reasonable accommodation requests. ODS is located at 25 Buick Street on the third floor.

Disability discrimination:

“Boston University prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of physical or mental disability. This policy extends to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities, including housing, employment, admissions, financial assistance, and educational and athletic programs.” For more information, please visit: https://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/student-grievance-procedure-in-cases-of-alleged-disability-discrimination/

Reasonable Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities, or Individuals who are Pregnant or have a Pregnancy-Related Condition:

For more information, please visit BU’s Equal Opportunities Office’s website: https://www.bu.edu/eoo/reasonable-accommodations/

Complaint Procedure Policy in Cases of Alleged Unlawful Discrimination or Harassment:

Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Policy:

Boston University is committed to fostering a safe, productive learning environment. Title IX and BU policy prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, which regards sexual misconduct – including harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. We understand that sexual violence can undermine students’ academic success, and we encourage students who have experienced some form of sexual misconduct to talk to someone about their experience so they can get the support they need. Confidential support and academic advocacy resources can be found with the Center for Sexual Assault Response & Prevention (SARP) at http://www.bu.edu/safety/sexual-misconduct/https://www.bu.edu/policies/sexual-misconduct-title-ix-hr

Please visit BU’s Equal Opportunity Office for details on the University’s procedure on filing a Title IX complaint: https://www.bu.edu/eoo/policies-procedures/complaint/ You can also reach out to COM’s Special Advisor and Registrar, Ryan Thurston, at ryjt@bu.edu, or Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs, Laurie Nichols, at lfn@bu.edu.

Sexual Misconduct Prevention Training

Completion of this Sexual Assault Prevention Course is a mandatory compliance measureYou won’t be able to register if you don’t complete the training.

For more information: https://www.bu.edu/provost/2019/03/05/university-wide-training-on-sexual-misconduct-prevention/

The link to the course is here, which is also emailed to students: https://www.bu.edu/shs/wellness/general-health-programs/sexual-assault-prevention-course/

Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action:

BU has strict guidelines on classroom behavior and practices when it comes to treatment of students and guests on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, genetic information, military service, national origin, or due to marital, parental, or veteran status. Discrimination for any of these reasons is prohibited. Please refer to the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy for more details.


Severe Weather and Class Cancellations

“In the event that weather or other emergency conditions warrant the all-day closing or delayed opening of the University, local radio and television stations will make periodic announcements between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Additionally, closing information will also be provided using the BU Alert notification system and posted on the BU homepage.”


Academic Information:


Faculty graduate student advisors are assigned by the academic department – usually a faculty member in your program. You can also contact the Academic Advisor in COM Graduate Affairs (comgrad@bu.edu) for questions about graduation requirements.


Graduate students are required to follow the curriculum listed in the University Bulletin (https://www.bu.edu/academics/com/). Any time a student deviates from the requirements listed in the Bulletin, they must speak with the Graduate Affairs Office, complete a petition form and have the course(s) approved by their academic department/division and Graduate Affairs. Students will receive email confirmation from comgrad@bu.edu when a decision is reached regarding a submitted petition.

Incomplete Grades

An incomplete grade (I) is used only when the student has conferred with the instructor prior to the submission of grades and offered acceptable reasons for the incomplete work. Incomplete grades must be accompanied by an Incomplete Contract signed by both the student and the instructor, a copy of which will be kept at COM Graduate Affairs. The instructor and student must sign the Incomplete Grade Report form indicating the nature of the work and a date by which all course requirements must be completed. If missing work is not completed on time and incomplete grades are not changed by an instructor by the deadline listed on the Incomplete Contract, the grade will automatically be changed to the grade indicated on the contract.

Incomplete grade form: http://www.bu.edu/reg/files/2017/01/Incomplete-Grade-Form.pdf

BU’s policy on incomplete grades: http://www.bu.edu/academics/com/policies/grades-and-grading/

Academic Grievances

Grade grievances:

COM graduate students follow the BU policy for undergraduate students, outlined here: http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/policy-on-grade-grievances-for-undergraduate-students-in-boston-university-courses/

Questions about a grade should be addressed first to the instructor of the course. If this does not resolve the issue, further grievances can be addressed through the Grade Grievance Policy (link above).

Other grievances:

The “Resources” section below lists a number of BU offices that can be helpful regarding complaints against faculty, staff, or student behaviors. Please reach out to COM Graduate Affairs, COM’s Title IX coordinators, or the BU Office of the Ombuds if you need help navigating BU’s resources. in the “Resources” section.

Satisfactory Academic Progress


Students are responsible for knowing the academic and graduation requirements for their program and their own status regarding fulfillment of these requirements as outlined in the University Bulletin.

The minimum standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress for master’s students are: Maintain a GPI (grade point index)/GPA (grade point average) of 3.0 or higher.

Have no more than two (8 credits) C-range grades (C+, C, C–) during the duration of the degree program.

Any grade below a C- will not count toward the degree.

Students must also pass comprehensive exams, theses, professional projects, and/or other milestones on the schedule specified by the program

Graduate students’ academic progress is reviewed at the end of each semester. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress and be in good academic standing (defined above) can result in Academic Probation, Suspension, or Dismissal, outlined in a subsequent section of this handbook.

Change of Academic Program

It is very unusual for students to transfer between COM programs. Requests for changes of one COM academic program to another are handled on a case-by-case basis. If a student wants to transfer programs within COM, they must write a personal statement for the new program and submit it to the academic advisor in Graduate Affairs. The new program determines if the student is a good fit and eligible to transfer. If they approve, the student would work with the academic advisor in Graduate Affairs to see which classes can be used toward the new program’s graduation requirements or if the switch to the new program will delay a student’s graduation – this depends on which program the student is transferring from, and into.

Program Extension

Any student in a three-semester program who would like to extend their program to a fourth, part-time semester must plan their schedule accordingly.

  1. Review your academic curriculum. You must plan to save an academic requirement OR a credit to complete in order to extend your program. For example, an MS Advertising student who plans to extend their program to a final, fourth semester must save a required course such as COM CM 732 Advertising Campaigns to complete in their final semester OR save a remaining credit requirement (i.e. have fewer than 52 credits before their final spring semester).
  2. Complete an application for graduation in your third semester, indicating your extended graduation date.
  3. Part-time student costs: Part-time students are charged by the credit (as opposed to one lump tuition sum). Rates can be found here: https://www.bu.edu/reg/registration/tuition-fees/

Transfer Credit

Graduate students can generally transfer up to 8 credits from other institutions. However, transferred credits cannot be from an undergraduate or previous master’s degree program. Students are required to submit a syllabus for each transferred course. Transferred credits can be applied as elective credits where applicable OR they can replace required COM courses. If they replace required COM courses, then the student will be required to take the alternative course(s) to fulfill the number of credits required for graduation. All transfer credits must be reviewed and approved by the Department Chair.

Time Limit

Master’s degrees must be completed within seven years after the first registration for the degree. After seven years, a student’s record will expire. Petitions for extensions of time to complete degree requirements must be submitted prior to the end of the seven-year limit. Students exceeding this time limit without an approved petition for an extension of time will not be permitted to register.

Leave of Absence/Withdrawal (Including Parental and Medical Leave of Absence)

Students should review the COM Graduate Policy and University Policy regarding Leave of Absence, Withdrawals, and Reinstatement: http://www.bu.edu/academics/com/policies/withdrawal-leave-of-absence-and-reinstatement and http://www.bu.edu/academics/policies/withdrawal-leave-of-absence-and-reinstatement

Upon written request and for appropriate cause, a student will be allowed up to four semesters of leave of absence. Leaves of absence beyond four semesters will be granted only in such exceptional cases as substantiated illness or military service. After four semesters, a student would need to apply for reinstatement, or in some cases, may be asked to reapply.

How To Take a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal

  • If possible, contact Graduate Affairs before the semester begins to request a leave of absence or withdrawal.
  • If you choose to withdraw or take a leave of absence on or after the first day of the semester, please view Boston University’s Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Schedule, https://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/refund/.
  • Send an official letter of request and a complete Leave of Absence Form (link is below) to Graduate Affairs (comgrad@bu.edu) from your Boston University email account. This letter must detail a reason for a leave or withdrawal. Please include the following:
    • Your legal name and Boston University ID number
    • Any paperwork, medical or otherwise, that supports your decision
    • The semester and year you plan to return to Boston University
  • Make an appointment with COM’s Financial Aid advisor. Be aware that a student who is on leave and who has borrowed federal and/or private loans may be required to begin repayment while on leave.
  • Wait to receive a confirmation from Graduate Affairs. Confirm that you are no longer enrolled in courses by logging into the Student Link.If you have any questions, please contact Graduate Affairs at comgrad@bu.edu, (617) 353-3481, or in COM 130A.

Other Important Items of Note

  • If you are on a student visa, you must contact ISSO (BU’s International Students and Scholars Office, isso@bu.edu) to speak with an advisor before submitting your leave of absence request. Taking a leave of absence can have significant visa-related implications, so it is important to discuss your options with ISSO.
    • Please note that obtaining transfer approval to another university from ISSO does not withdraw a student from BU. You must also contact the Graduate Affairs office.
  • A student who is registered for a semester and decides not to attend must officially take a leave of absence or withdraw from COM.
  • Mere absence(s) from classes does not constitute a withdrawal nor reduce financial obligations or guarantee that final grades will not be recorded. In addition, a lack of registration does not constitute an official leave of absence or withdrawal.
  • You must be registered every Fall and Spring semester while you are considered to be a degree student. Failure to register or communicate with Graduate Affairs may result in administrative withdrawal.
  • Charges are canceled in accordance with BU’s published refund schedule (http://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/refund/), based on the effective date of the withdrawal or leave of absence.
  • A student who receives scholarship aid and who withdraws or takes a leave of absence after the beginning of classes will have the institutional aid canceled.
  • During a leave of absence, students will not have access to BU services (FitRec membership, library borrowing privileges, etc.).
  • The Boston University Student Health Insurance Plan begins and ends in August each year. For students covered under the BU student health insurance plan, this coverage will be automatically canceled for students who arrange a Fall semester or full year leave of absence prior to or within the first month of the insurance policy period. If you were covered by the Boston University Student Health Insurance Plan, you may be eligible to re-enroll in the plan. To determine the impact that arranging a leave of absence will have on your eligibility to retain insurance coverage, contact insmed@bu.edu or call (617) 353-2870.
  • BU email and Student Link: your BU email account remains active for each semester you are officially registered for classes or are on an approved leave of absence. If you do not register and/or do not obtain approval for a leave of absence for a Fall or Spring semester prior to your graduation, your email account may be deactivated. Student Link access is retained. It is your responsibility to remember your BU login and Kerberos password to access your Link records during and after your University enrollment.
  • The period of authorized leave of absence is counted as part of the time allowed for completion of degree requirements.
  • Students may not complete any degree requirements in a semester for which they have been granted a leave of absence.
  • Students must be registered in the semester in which the last degree requirements are completed.
  • More information on leaves of absence vs. withdrawal can be found here: http://www.bu.edu/academics/com/policies/withdrawal-leave-of-absence-and-reinstatement/

Medical Leave of Absence

Sometimes students may need to interrupt their studies for medical reasons. The University can assist a student who is deciding whether to take a medical leave and advise the student about the steps necessary for a successful return. A student’s request for a leave of absence for medical reasons must be reviewed by Student Health Services or its designee. Boston University also reserves the right to require an involuntary medical leave of absence if it determines that a student’s continued enrollment would create a significant risk to the health and safety of the student or others.

A student seeking to re‐enroll after a medical leave must demonstrate to the University that the student’s health permits the successful completion of studies. Documentation needed to support this finding will be determined by Student Health Services or its designee, but will generally include information from the student’s clinician as well as an assessment by Student Health Services. The decision whether to permit a student to re‐enroll is within the sole discretion of the University.

Please note that registered students who withdraw or take a leave of absence on or after the first day of the semester are subject to the “Withdrawal and Tuition Refund Schedule” (http://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/refund/) for that semester established by Boston University.

Parental Leave (https://www.bu.edu/gso/parental-leave/)

BU’s policy on parental leave applies only to full-time PhD students. Master’s students should contact COM’s Graduate Affairs office if they need to make arrangements for parental leave.

Academic Probation, Suspension, and Dismissal

If a student’s grade point index (GPI) is less than a 3.0 in any semester, or if more than 8 credits below B- are received during the length of the program, the student’s record is reviewed by the department of enrollment to determine whether the student should either be placed on academic probation or, as described below, suspended or dismissed. A student who receives more than two C range grades (C+, C, C-) will be subject to a status review by the College. A grade of D will not receive graduate credit. Please note that final acceptance of C range grades at the master’s level is at the department’s discretion.

Academic Probation

A student is normally put on academic probation when the student earns a GPI and/or GPA below 3.0. At the discretion of the College, a student whose GPI/GPA is below a 3.0 may also be considered for suspension or dismissal. Students on probation may have their financial aid discontinued. Students are reviewed after one semester on academic probation. Those who earn a GPI and GPA of at least a 3.0 will return to good academic standing. Students who do not achieve good academic standing after the probationary semester will be subject to academic suspension, dismissal, or an additional semester of academic probation as determined by the College on a case-by-case basis. Normally, a student can be on academic probation for no more than two consecutive semesters; however, the probation period is at the discretion of the department/division, in consultation with the College.

Academic Suspension or Dismissal

Students on academic probation face academic suspension or dismissal when they have not achieved good academic standing after the most recent semester of academic probation. Students who, in the determination of the department and based on past academic performance, are not in a position to raise their GPA to the necessary level to graduate within the remaining courses of their program, will be dismissed from the program. Dismissal results in permanent separation from the University.

Appeals of suspension or dismissal are made, in writing, to the Associate Dean of the College, within a timeline outlined in the written notice. The student will be notified in writing of the decision. A final appeal may be made to the Dean of the College. The decision of the Dean on cases of suspension or dismissal is final.

Reinstatement and Readmission Policies:

Graduate students who are absent for one or more semesters without officially taking a leave of absence must contact the Graduate Affairs office at least eight weeks before the start of the semester they wish to return to inquire about petitioning for reinstatement.

A graduate student who has voluntarily withdrawn from COM will be subject to the regulations below governing Readmission to a Degree Program.

Reinstatement After Academic Suspension

Students who have fulfilled their period of academic suspension must meet with the Graduate Affairs office in order to reestablish their standing.


Students who have withdrawn or have been terminated may apply for readmission to COM. Please note the following regulations:

  • Readmission to a program will require submission of a new application and payment of the application fee and will be subject to the admissions criteria at the time of application. There is no guarantee that a student will be readmitted.
  • Readmitted students will be subject to the rules and regulations set forth in the Bulletin at the time of readmission.
  • Students who have outstanding financial obligations to the University or other account holds at the time of withdrawal or termination will be required to meet those obligations as a condition of readmission.
  • At the time of readmission, the student must provide a detailed schedule of plans for completing the remaining degree requirements within specific time limits.

Recording of Classes

At the discretion of your faculty member, classroom proceedings might be recorded for purposes including, but not limited to, student illness, religious holidays, disability accommodations, or student course review. Note also that recording devices are prohibited in the classroom except with the instructor’s permission.

Expenses, Credits, and Payment Options


The tuition rate for the academic year varies by enrollment status (full time vs. part time). For the most updated rates, please visit LINK TK http://cms-attic.bu.edu/com/admissions/graduate/financial-aid/cost-of-attendance/ or https://www.bu.edu/reg/registration/tuition-fees/ (this has part time and continuation rates).

Health Insurance

Massachusetts law requires all students enrolled in at least 75% of the full-time curriculum to have medical insurance. Students who cannot demonstrate coverage under a qualifying medical insurance plan are required to purchase the University’s student health insurance plan, which is due and payable with your first-semester charges. For more information, see the Student Accounting Services website.

For more information on health insurance, including obtaining a health insurance waiver if you’re covered by a separate policy that meets the comparable coverage requirements, please visit https://www.bu.edu/shs/getting-started/student-health-insurance-plan/.

Student Activity Fee

All COM graduate students pay a student activity fee, which is used by the Graduate Student Council to support the interests of graduate students.

Sports Pass Fee

The Sports Pass will automatically be charged to your Student Account if you are a full-time student at BU. The Sports Pass will allow you admission to all home events for ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse and soccer:  https://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/your-bill/tuition-fees/ If you’d like to cancel your Sports Pass, visit the Student Link. To cancel your Sports Pass after September 1, please bring your BU ID card to the Agganis Arena Ticket Office (925 Commonwealth Avenue) to ensure your Sports Pass has not been used.

Tuition Refunds

Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw from their program receive a tuition refund based on the dates published here: https://www.bu.edu/reg/calendars/refund. The percentage of the refund, if any, is based on the effective date of the student’s leave/withdrawal. Please note that tuition refunds are not made after the fifth week of classes. Other fees (such as the student activity fee) are not refunded or prorated after the start of the semester.

Credit Balance Refunds

If you have a valid credit balance on your student account, you may request your refund on the Student Link by selecting “Money Matters,” “Student Account Inquiry,” then “Request a Refund.” More information and instructions can be found at http://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/resources/refunds/.

Payment Options

For information on tuition payment deadlines and payment options, please visit the BU Student Accounting Services website (https://www.bu.edu/studentaccountingservices/), which has information on payment deadlines, payment options, payment plans, Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), IRS form 1098-T, and information on requesting a refund. Student Accounting Services is responsible for billing students and processing payments. Students can view their student account and make payments online with a U.S. bank account at www.bu.edu/studentlink. Select “Money Matters,” then “Student Account Inquiry.”

Financial Aid and Campus Employment

COM’s financial aid resources include various scholarship funds and graduate assistantships (teaching, research, and administrative). Numerous on-campus and off-campus employment opportunities are also available. To learn more about COM’s financial aid, including information for continuing students, Federal Stafford Loans, Direct Graduate PLUS loan, private educational loans, please visit http://www.bu.edu/com/for-current-students/graduate-advising/financial-aid/.

Federal Stafford Loan Processing Form:  http://www.bu.edu/com/files/2015/07/GradAdmissionsPkt_Draft6-Stafford-Loan-Form.pdf

On-Campus Employment

LINK TK (http://cms-attic.bu.edu/com/resources/current-students/graduate/assistantships-and-on-campus-employment/)

Graduate students are limited to a maximum of 20 hours per week of university employment. International students on an F-1 visa are also limited to 20 hours per week but should confirm with their ISSO advisor before beginning employment. The Student Employment website (http://www.bu.edu/seo/students/) is an excellent resource for students interested in working on or off campus.


All graduate students are eligible for assistantships at COM, based on availability and student qualifications. All assistantship contracts must be submitted to COM Graduate Affairs by 5 PM on the University’s official last day to add a class in the semester in which you will hold this position. Faculty at COM are an excellent resource to identify assistantship opportunities. Speak to your professors and others (such as your department administrator, department chair, or Graduate Affairs) to find faculty who need graduate assistants, teaching assistants, or research assistants.


  • Complete the Assistantship Contract (http://www.bu.edu/com/files/2020/08/GradAssistantshipContract-Fall2020-Fillable-V3-1.pdf). Your assistantship advisor and department chair must sign the contract.
  • Submit the assistantship contract to Jackie Cummings in Room 130 when the form is signed.
  • If you have not previously held a position on-campus, you must complete the W-4 tax form and I-9 tax form.
  • Submit all tax forms to COM Room 110 (in the Dean’s Suite).
  • Information regarding how to sign up for Direct Deposit (http://www.bu.edu/seo/students/pay/direct-deposit/) is available on the Student Employment page.
  • Please read the Assistantship Contract IN DETAIL before completing a contract. Directions are available on the second page of the contract.