Getting Started at SPH

Welcome! Below are a few steps you should take to begin your transition into SPH.

Make it official.

Now that you have accepted your offer and received your BU ID number from SPH Admissions, Boston University Information Services ( will email you and ask you to set up your BU account information, including your BU email, which will be your primary means of receiving School and University communications. In addition, your account login gives you access to registration, grades and finances — it’s essential.

MPH, Certificate, and Dual Degree Candidates: Get advice.

Review MPH degree requirements and contact Brendan Hoey to talk about course scheduling, certificate choices, and more.

MS Candidates:

Your program manager will be in touch with you regarding academic planning. Please contact them with any questions:

MS in Applied BiostatisticsPaula Sebastiani, Yorghos Tripodis
MS in Environmental Health Data AnalyticsJennifer Schlezinger
MS in EpidemiologyAnn Aschengrau
MS in Health Services and Systems ResearchMari-Lynn Drainoni
MS in Public Health NutritionPaula Quatromoni, Madeleine Scammell, Monica Wang

PhD and DrPH Candidates:

Get in touch with your program director to talk about course scheduling.

Sign up for Foundations in Public Health.

To equip you with the foundational knowledge of public health concepts, SPH is introducing Foundations of Public Health—a self-paced online course.

Students can self-enroll here (a BU username and password is required). Modules should take a total of 10-15 hours to complete. For all questions or concerns related to this course, please contact Ella Epshteyn at

Money matters.

Finalize financial aid and other funding sources. Contact SFS with any questions.

Find a place to live.

Start your housing search. Connect with other students and find roommates on Facebook and learn about Boston’s neighborhoods, work with BUMC’s Housing Resources office.

Connect with us on social media.

Engage with other students by joining our Accepted Students’ Facebook page and stay up-to-date on what’s happening at SPH by liking us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Learn more about student life on campus.

  • Keep an eye out for emails from Graduate Student Life.
  • Be sure to check out the Student Dashboard—a secure online portal that allows students to access many of the essential resources we have here at SPH. Use your BU username and password to login.

Mark your calendars with important dates!

  • SPH Fall 2018 Orientation Dates: Monday, August 27 – Friday, August 31.  The orientation schedule and additional details will be available in coming weeksContact with any questions.

Get a physical.

Your doctor must sign your Medical History & Physical Report, which you need to send to Student Health Services (snail mail or fax). Failure to submit the required immunization records will result in a registration hold on your Student Account. The deadline to complete these health-related actions is August 1, 2018 for  Fall admits. Read this letter from the Director of Student Health Services.

Choose health insurance.

Decide on Student Health Insurance Plan or file insurance waiver through Student Link

Let us know if you need disability services or academic accommodations.

If you had educational or physical accommodations in your last degree program, please speak with Mary Murphy-Phillips, Director of Graduate Student Life, as soon as possible so she can work with you.

Assess your transportation needs.

Get familiar with Boston public transportation and/or parking services on campus. Students can also save 11% on public transportation with a discounted semester-long MBTA pass through BU TranSComm, find more information on the TranSComm website.

Check your compliance.

Check your compliance status on the Student Link under the “Personal” tab. Compliance is critical; without it, students are blocked from University functions.

Buy books, course readers, and a computer or tablet.

Textbooks can be purchased or rented through the BU Bookstore. Please visit the Registration and Course information page to learn more about course scheduling, registration and course readers and textbooks. Also, be sure to assess your tech needs. If you need an upgrade or a new computer, discounts are available if you buy software or a computer through BU.

SPH students will need a laptop or tablet for classes. BU Information Services and Technology (IS&T) recommends personal technology purchases for both Apple and Lenovo products. Should you plan to be enrolled in a certificate that includes statistical computing classes (MPH Certificates: Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Design and Conduct of Public Health Research, and Monitoring and Evaluation; MS in Applied Biostatistics; MS in Epidemiology; MS in Environmental Health Data Analytics) you are highly encouraged to purchase a device that can run a Windows operating system. For more information, please read the recommendations of the Medical Campus Information Technology professionals.

Complete the SPH plagiarism tutorial.

With your BU email address and password, please login and review the SPH Plagiarism Tutorial. The quick and informative electronic presentation is mandatory for all SPH students.

Transfer credits and course waivers.

Submit transfer credit or course waiver requests to the Registrar.