Joining the BU Community

Whether you’re interested in study, research, teaching, or a staff position at BU, we’re here to help guide you. Read on for details related to the admissions or enrollment process for international students, or, for international scholars, how to establish a BU affiliation.

Studying at BU

You can apply to undergraduate programs at BU through BU Admissions.

After receiving your acceptance letter from the International Admissions office, you will be required to submit the Confidential Statement for Financing Studies along with the rest of the application. The International Admissions office will review these documents and produce your Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status (Form I-20 or Form DS-2019). If you wish to know the status of your document, please contact International Admissions at 617-353-4492 or

Under certain circumstances, some schools and colleges permit enrollment as a non-degree student. Consult with the school or college for additional information.

The Graduate Admissions office of the school you wish to attend will be able to provide you with detailed information about academic programs, admission requirements, and potential scholarships or fellowships. After you have been admitted to the University, your school or college admissions office will work with you to gather documentation for your immigration document from ISSO.

In limited circumstances, some schools and colleges will permit enrollment as a non-degree student. Consult with the school or college for additional information.

If you’re interested in attending BU in the summer, please visit the Summer Term website. Summer Term will collect documents from you and will forward them to ISSO for review. ISSO staff will communicate directly with you after your file has been reviewed.

Students taking a part-time course of study do not meet minimum immigration requirements for sponsorship in a student immigration classification. If your primary purpose for visiting the U.S. will be to engage in activities other than study (for example, tourism or a visit with friends or family) and your summer studies will be secondary or incidental to those activities, you may be eligible to enter the U.S. on a visitor visa or through the visa waiver program.

BU offers English language classes for non-native speakers through the Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP).

Research, Teaching, and Staff Positions at BU

There are four main categories of positions at BU. The process for establishing your affiliation will depend on the type of position you’re seeking. Since the ISSO cannot place you in a position or recommend a specific job or department to work in, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to obtain an appointment. The information below will help you determine the required steps for each type of position.

Research positions at BU include paid postdoctoral-level positions as well as uncompensated research appointments. The procedures for obtaining research positions are specific to each individual school or college.

  1. Review BU’s Research website to determine if there is a department or discipline that fits your research interests.
  2. Once you determine area(s) aligned with your research goals, establish an affiliation by making contact with a faculty member who shares a common research interest or focus, and inquire about any opportunities.
  3. If you are selected for a research opportunity, a letter of appointment will be issued to confirm the arrangement. This is typically done by the Dean’s office, but the process varies per individual school or college.

Many research positions qualify for immigration sponsorship at BU.

Faculty positions are typically posted in professional publications, so you can start your search by checking publications and job boards in your field. BU has a formal nomination and approval process for faculty hires. Once we are notified of your hire, the ISSO will work with you to ensure the proper paperwork is filed so you can commence your faculty appointment.

Staff positions consist of all positions that are not classified as research or faculty. Open staff positions are advertised through BU Human Resources, and individuals who are offered a BU staff position receive an employment offer letter from Human Resources. Please note that BU policy limits immigration sponsorship to research and teaching positions. Sponsorship for staff positions is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and requires approval at the Provost level.

Casual positions are research and graded staff positions that are temporary in nature (no more than nine months) and are not eligible for benefits. Casual research positions may be eligible for immigration sponsorship. However, BU policy does not permit sponsorship for casual staff positions.