Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Tuition and fees are set by each college at Boston University. Check the Tuition & Fees page for each program’s costs.
No, there is no difference. You will receive an official Boston University diploma. Boston University’s online degrees carry the same excellence as those earned in a traditional classroom setting.
The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accredits Boston University. Professional programs may have additional accreditations from their governing organizations.
Most online master’s degree programs can be completed in two to three years, although this varies by program. Check with your academic department for more information.

As an online student at BU, you will be enrolled in your classes through an online learning management system (LMS). You will log on to each class and complete assignments and exams as you would in a traditional college course. You may interact frequently with faculty and fellow students through lively discussion forums, group projects, and live classroom sessions. Coursework can be accessed online anytime, day or night, but assignments must be completed by the due dates specified by your professor.

Many courses will schedule a live classroom meeting each week. Using web conferencing tools, you will join the classroom for a session that might include a live lecture, presentations, office hours, or other interactive activities. These sessions are recorded so that you can review them later.

A variety of academic, technological, and program support is available to students.

  • The academic department where you are enrolled has advisors who administer the academic aspects of the program. They can answer questions about admissions, registration, and graduation; assist you in choosing courses and making decisions about professional placements; and are the primary resource for any academic-related topic.
  • The office of Distance Education has a dedicated support staff who work with you during the course of your studies at BU. Your faculty and student support administrator (FSSA) will orient you to the online environment, provide timely information on ordering textbooks, answer questions about the learning management system (LMS) functionality, prepare you for milestones such as course launch, final exams, and course evaluations, and generally help you have a positive experience.
  • BU’s Information Services & Technology (IS&T) office provides technical support to the whole BU community, including troubleshooting, providing software and productivity tools, and managing virtual computer labs. Contact information and hours of service are available on the IS&T website.
Class sizes will vary. In most classes you will be working in a group of approximately 15 students, guided by a facilitator, as part of a larger class.
Each Boston University program has specific application requirements and procedures. We have admissions representatives located in offices all around the U.S. who will guide you through the process. For details, visit the program page for the online program you’re interested in.
Boston University provides a number of resources to help you make decisions about tuition payment. The Financial Aid page provides links to guidance on loans, scholarships, and grants that may be available to Boston University students studying online. Each individual program will also provide its own information and guidance regarding financial assistance.
Yes. As a new student, you will be enrolled in a Student Orientation class to familiarize you with the BU online environment.
If you have completed 52–64 transferable credits from regionally accredited institutions—including the equivalent of a freshman-level English writing course and a college-level course in mathematics or a related quantitative area, you can apply to BU’s online Undergraduate Degree Completion Program (UDCP). Please complete the Information Request form to help us direct you to the best admissions advisor for your area of interest.
Yes. Boston University is pleased to work with Smarthinking™, an award-winning online tutor service available to all online students free of charge. See the services and subjects offered by Smarthinking.
For accelerated seven-week courses, students generally spend between 15 and 25 hours per week on a single course. This will vary depending on the course and your familiarity with the material.
Most program courses have six start dates per year. See our page of important dates for a complete list.
Yes. Our programs are designed for working professionals who have full-time careers and commitments. The flexible online environment lets you study and complete coursework during the hours you choose. Please note, students in the online MSW program will need to consider how they will accommodate the hours required for field education (minimum requirement 16 hours per week).
BU’s faculty are seasoned, successful professionals who bring high levels of scholarship and years of practical industry experience to the online classroom. They engage students with case studies, enlighten with hands-on examples, and challenge with rigorous examination of the ideas, concepts, and methods that drive innovation. Accessible, supportive, and attentive to students’ educational and professional needs, BU’s faculty share the most advanced knowledge available in their fields. Most faculty who teach online also teach in BU’s on-campus programs.
Many students with disabilities have been successful earning a degree online at BU. We encourage you to discuss your circumstances with the staff at BU Disability Services, and to understand the process for requesting accommodations in your online courses.
System requirements for using Blackboard, the learning management system (LMS) used for BU’s online programs, are available on the BU Information Services & Technology System Requirements page.
Yes. Online students have full access to the resources of the BU library system.
BU online students receive a BU forwarding email address. Emails sent to their BU email will be forwarded to the personal email address associated to their BU account.
Textbook lists become available about a month prior to the start of the semester. You will receive your course textbook list from your faculty and student support administrator (FSSA), and you can order your textbooks on the Barnes & Noble @ Boston University website.
To change your address, visit the Student Link and click Personal, then Address and Phone.
You can locate your BU ID on the Student Link under Academics, Transcript Preview and Ordering. Click the link for your BU school or college, then click Login under Current Students. Enter your Kerberos ID and password. Click View: With Name and ID in the upper right corner of the window, and your BU ID will appear on the page.
Yes, online students are invited to campus to walk in graduation! Visit BU’s Commencement page for information about Commencement.
If you visit campus you can get your picture taken and receive a student ID in the Terrier Card office. You can also submit a request via email to receive a non-photo student ID card.