Frequently Asked Questions

When will my mail be picked up?

On the Charles River Campus, call 617-353-2156. At the Medical Campus, call 617-638-7500. Also check interactive maps.

Who do I contact about missing mail?

On the Charles River Campus, call 617-353-2156. At the Medical Campus, call 617-638-7500.

What is your policy about special pick-ups?

Special Pick-Ups require us to enter the building twice. If you have extra mail to be picked up that would require the Mail Services drivers to re-enter the building to pick up your extra mail, we ask that you call for a special pick-up so that regular service may continue in a timely way.

I am online with the USPS and my tracking number says that the mail has been delivered. Do you know where it is?

Usually the term delivered can mean the mail in question has been received at the local USPS facility. Delivery Confirmation  mail is usually received at Mail Services 24 to 48 hours later. All other accountable mail that requires a signature needs to provide Mail Services with the tracking number for confirmation of location.

Can all mail be tracked?

No not all mail. Express Mail and Registered mail can be tracked online via USPS or by BU Mail Services. Certified-Return Receipt Requested is tracked by the USPS only until it is received at BU Mail Services. Mail cannot be tracked if it has not been considered accountable. Accountable meaning (Signature Required).

Must envelopes be sealed before sending to Campus Mail?

Campus Mail can seal your envelopes—but in most cases only letter-size envelopes. Flat or manila size envelopes can be sealed at Mail Services on a case by case basis. If the contents fit the flat envelope properly and is not too thick or bulky the envelope is effectively sealed by machines.

How should mail be bundled to go out through Campus Mail?

Tightly band all bundles, making sure envelopes all are facing the same way. Make separate bundles for each type of mail. Never mix interdepartmental, stamped, international, or domestic mail. Never over stuff mail mail trays, or tubs, it can damage your mail. Call us to request extra tubs, or letter trays.

Does the departmental account have to be on each envelope?

If you have a whole box or tray of mail, just one note with account number is all we need. If your mail is in bundles, the account code should be placed or printed on the top of the bundled mail.

How do we address interdepartmental mail?

The department name must be clearly written along with the address. Remember that an address is not enough—many departments have the same address. Interoffice mail should also be sent in yellow reusable envelopes to prevent the possibility of being metered as first class mail and sent to the US Postal Service.

My department has a supply of envelopes which indicate that postage is paid. May we use them for daily mail?

No, those envelopes are to be used only for bulk mailings of 200 or more identical letters or mail pieces with no original signatures. If these envelopes are dropped in the mail without the required documentation, the University will be penalized by the USPS. A department may use these envelopes for regular fist class mail by covering the indicia with a white label.

What happens to our mail during Intersession?

Please note that there will be no delivery of mail on the Charles River Campus by University Mail Services during Intersession.Those wishing to pick up departmental mail may do so during intersession . Individuals picking up mail for their department must show a valid Boston University identification card.

What are the different classifications of mail?

First Class Mail – Any piece of mail weighing up to 13 ounces or less may be sent First Class at your option. First Class mail may not be opened for postal inspection.

Priority Mail – All first class mail weighing more than 13 ounces and not exceeding 70 pounds is considered priority mail. At the option of the mailer, any mail weighing 13 ounces or less can be sent priority mail. There is no minimum weight limitation. There is a flat rate up to two pounds. Use Priority Mail when two- or three-day service is needed. Note: Priority Mail is a two-day service between major markets/cities. Contact Mail Services at 617-353-2156 for specific information.

Parcel Post – The following items may be sent via Parcel Post: packages, merchandise, library materials, bound printed matter, sound recordings, video tapes or discs, computer media, books, and films. Each piece may not exceed 70 pounds in weight and a maximum size of 108 inches in length and girth combined. Rates are based on weight, distance, and shape.

Media Mail - Media Mail is a cost-effective way to mail books, sound recordings, recorded video tapes or discs, printed music, and recorded computer-readable media (such as CDs, DVDs, and diskettes). Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except for incidental book announcements. Maximum weight: 70 pounds.

What type of envelope should I be using?

The size of envelopes used in mailing correspondence should properly accommodate the contents. For use in the United States Postal System there are basically two categories of envelopes: letter size and “flats,” as referred to by the USPS.

Letter-Size Envelope — Must be rectangular in shape for automated processing by the United States Postal Service. The following dimensions must be met for automated processing: height between 3 ½” and 6 1/8”; length between 5” and 11 ½”; thickness between .007” and ¼”.

Flats-Size Envelope — Large envelopes that exceed any one of the maximum dimensions of a letter are called “flats.” The maximum size of a large envelope is 12” high, by 15” long by ¾” thick. Mail pieces that exceed the maximum dimensions for a large envelope are charged parcel rates.