Boston University affiliates may request data regarding the student population from the Office of the University Registrar. The Office of the University Registrar fulfills data requests with the understanding that the provided data will only be used for the stated purpose and will not be further distributed.
The Office of the University Registrar processes a number of requests for data submitted by faculty and staff each year. Limited resources do not enable us to respond to requests for data from students or the public. If you are a Boston University faculty or staff member and wish to submit a request for data, please submit a data request to the Office of the University Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests will be subject to approval, and reviewed for FERPA compliance.
The requesting email must include the following:
- Requester’s Name
- Requester’s Email
- Requester’s Phone Number
- Detailed description of requested data
- Description of how data will be used
- Description of how data will be securely stored and disposed of after use
- Date when data is required
- What format would you like the requested data (e.g. PDF, Excel)
If you would like to amend a pending request, please do not submit a new request; instead submit changes via the Service Now ticket.
This data request is not intended for use by students requesting their own student records under FERPA. It is also not intended for individual level data for research purposes. You may be required to seek approval or exemption from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and in compliance with FERPA confidentiality requirements.
While we try to fulfill requests within 10 business days, or by the requested date, the amount of time will vary depending on the time of year and the complexity of the request, and on the need for follow-up questions. To better facilitate a timely response:
- Be as specific as possible about the population for which you’re requesting information (e.g. “all active undergraduate students pursuing Public Health Studies as a primary major during the current term”)
- Include the type of data you need, such as name, email address, primary and secondary majors, year of study, etc.
- Include an explanation of your FERPA-compliant “legitimate educational interest”, both in the students and the types of data requested. (For example, while an instructor has a valid interest in a roster of students enrolled in his or her course, that interest may not extend to the students’ race, ethnicity, or citizenship status.)
- Be as clear as possible about the manner in which the data will be used.
Additionally, please be aware that the Office of the University Registrar makes student privacy our highest priority. While FERPA states that we may release directory information, it does not require that we release it.
Below are examples of types of data requests we will decline to fulfill. This list is provided as examples only, and should not be considered to be exhaustive:
- Requests for non-directory information, without a legitimate educational interest
- Requests for sweeping lists of students, for purposes of advertising courses, programs, events, etc.
- Requests made by students for other students’ information
- Requests made by students for their own rank/standing/GPA relative to other students. This includes requests for mean and/or median GPAs
The Office of the University Registrar complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) law that governs the release of and access to student education records, and gives students certain rights with respect to their education records.