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 (ebgrad@bu.edu) 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 check out our key contacts for specific certificate advising information. For general advice on multiple certificates, start with Professor Megan Healey. The Registrar’s Office will be in touch about creating your BU email and course registration.

  • 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 Population Health ResearchAndrew Stokes

  • 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, all incoming students must complete Foundations of Public Health—a self-paced online course.

Modules should take a total of up to 45 hours to complete. The course is offered through the Blackboard platform, which requires a BU Kerberos account (your BU email account setup). Please be aware that there may be a short delay between setting up a Kerberos account and being granted access to Blackboard, as well as being enrolled in the course (typically by 1-2 weeks). Blackboard can be accessed here.

For all questions or concerns related to this course, please contact spheducation@bu.edu.

  • 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.
  • MAP  | Reference our campus map to find your way around campus when you arrive!

  • 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.


  • If you are an international student, register for BU First Class.

  • BU First Class is a free online noncredit pre-arrival course that Global Programs created with the assistance of many at BU and designed to prepare incoming international students for their transition to the BU classroom and community
  • Click here to learn more

  • Mark your calendars with important dates!

New Student Orientation 

Tuesday, January 18, 12:00pm 

Online | Register Here!

Visit our student orientation page for more information.

  • Medical Requirements.

All incoming BU students must provide medical health history and immunization records before arriving on campus. Failing to submit your health history information by the start of school may jeopardize your enrollment status. Use the patient connect portal to get started.  If you have questions contact, Student Health Services.

A Guide for Medical Campus Students: This is a dedicated page that hosts programs and services offered by SHS for Medical campus students.

  • Choose health insurance.

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

  • Vaccine Documentation Requirements.

  • All students are required to show proof of COVID vaccination or apply for a religious or medical exemption by August 1. Be sure to upload your COVID vaccine documentation before August 1st.
  • Upload Your Documentation 1. Log into your Patient Connect record.2. Click the Messages menu option, then click New Message.3. Select the COVID-19 message option, then the COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation Upload reason, and continue.4. Upload an image of your COVID-19 vaccine documentation, ensuring that the administered dates are clearly visible.5. Enter each appointment date, check off the vaccine manufacturer, check both acknowledgments, and click Send.More information about how to use Patient Connect is available here.For help, please email healthwayhelp@bu.edu.

  • 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, the BU Shuttle, 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.

  • Add your phone number to the BU Alert system

This can be done on the Student Link

  • 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.

  • Assess your internet & technology needs

In order to be successful learning remotely through LfA, it is essential to have quality internet access. Be sure to test your connection to internet in your home, or on campus where you intend to take classes when you are not in the classroom. Other technological needs include a computer or tablet, headphones with a working microphone, and a Zoom account for online classes.

  • Zoom Meetings/Sign In Using BU Login Credentials 

To maintain secure zoom access, Boston University requires students to set up an account with https://bostonu.zoom.us/. When signing in to Zoom using the desktop or mobile applications, you’ll need to follow a few additional steps to authenticate with your BU Login. By default, the application will prompt you for an email address and password. Follow the steps here to authenticate your zoom account with your BU username and Kerberos password.

  • Learn more about the technology you need for online learning

Read more about online learning technology.

  • 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.

  • BUSPH Merchandise

Browse the selection of our BUSPH merchandise available at the BU Barnes and Noble bookstore.