Undergraduate applicants to the Department of Philosophy must meet the standards of admission to Boston University. The University and the Department seek to attract academically talented students who will succeed, thrive, and contribute to the growth of the University’s community.

What We Offer

The Undergraduate Programs  provide undergraduate students with a firm foundation in logic, ethics and political philosophy, metaphysics and epistemology, and the history of philosophy as well as the opportunity to specialize in some area of contemporary theoretical or practical philosophy. In addition to the standard philosophy major, the Department offers several joint majors in conjunction with other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, including Philosophy and Classics, Linguistics and Philosophy, Philosophy and Mathematics, Philosophy and Neuroscience, Philosophy and Physics, Philosophy and Political Science, Philosophy and Psychology, and Philosophy and Religion. The Department also offers a philosophy minor for those who wish to complement another major with the critical and ethical reasoning skills proper to philosophical studies.

What We’re Looking For

Our best indicator of how you will do at Boston University is your performance in high school.

High School Transcript

The Board of Admissions carefully reviews every application for undergraduate admission to decide whether to grant admission to Boston University. The Board places primary emphasis on the strength of a student’s secondary school record. Students most competitive for admission will have excelled in the most challenging coursework available to them. When we review your high school transcript, we consider a variety of factors, including overall level of achievement, enrollment in honors and AP- or IB-level courses, and individual academic strengths. For most programs at the University, the recommended high school/secondary school curriculum includes:

  • Four years of English
  • Three to four years of mathematics (pre-calculus/calculus recommended)
  •  Three to four years of laboratory science
  •  Three to four years of history and/or social science
  •  Three to four years of a foreign language

Standardized Test Scores

Note: Boston University will adopt a test optional policy for first-year applicants applying for fall 2022/spring 2023.

  • This policy applies to all undergraduate schools and colleges at Boston University as well as all scholarship programs.
  • International students will be required to submit the TOEFL, IELTS, or DuoLingo English Test as the primary means for evaluating English-language proficiency.

Prospective students and applicants must decide for themselves whether or not to include standardized test scores with their application for admission to Boston University. When making this decision, students should consider the totality of their academic record, their contributions both in and out of the classroom and to their communities, and whether they feel confident that the sum of these experiences fully reflect their academic ability and potential.

If you choose to submit standardized test scores:

BU does not require the optional essay on the SAT test or the optional writing component for the ACT.

Your official score reports must be sent to BU directly from the College Board or ACT. The BU codes to use are:

  • SAT: 3087
  • ACT: 1794

Teacher and Counselor Recommendations

Teachers must submit the Teacher Evaluation form found on the Common or Coalition Application. Your School Counselor must submit the School Report form and the School Counselor Recommendation form found on the Common or Coalition Application.

Application Essay

You must submit two essays in the space provided on the Common or Coalition Application. This is an important part of your application because it gives you the chance to tell us your story as an applicant. The Department considers the application essays significant in its demonstration of your ideas and how clearly you express them.

Personal Qualifications

Personal qualifications as demonstrated by extracurricular activities are carefully evaluated and weighed before decisions to offer admission are made. We also want to see what kind of citizen you have been in your high school community—what activities you participate in or after-school jobs you have held. We also look for extracurricular activities in which you have participated that indicate a match between your experiences or academic interests and the opportunities available at Boston University.

Application Deadlines

Early Decision: November 1

Trustee & Presidential Scholarships: December 1

Regular Decision: January 4

Please refer first and foremost to Boston University’s general admissions page for up-to-date application processes, requirements, deadlines, and other information.

Ready to Apply?