International Students

International students should begin the student visa process as soon as possible. Admitted international students can expect to receive an email from the Graduate Admissions Office with details regarding starting this process.

Obtain Your Visa

In order for BU to issue you an I-20 form, you need to submit:

  • Completed International Student Data Form: This form is available online at
  • Financial Documentation: As an international student, you are required to submit an official bank statement or credit reference stating that you or your sponsor has funds available to meet the minimum estimated expense of at least one year at Boston University. To determine the exact amount of funds you must have available, please review the Estimate of Expenses for graduate students. Please note that the estimate increases if you plan to bring dependents to the U.S. with you. If you have been awarded a scholarship by the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, you may subtract this amount from the total amount required on your financial statement.
  • Letter of sponsorship (if applicable): The letter must state the sponsor’s relation to you and indicate that the sponsor is willing and able to support you financially for your academic fees and living expenses throughout the duration of your studies at Boston University. For your convenience, Boston University has prepared a Sponsorship Certification Form for this purpose.
  • Copies of passport documentation: You must submit a copy of the relevant page(s) of your passport and the passports of any dependents you plan to bring to the U.S. This includes your passport data page and a copy of the page where your passport expiration date is listed.
  • Copies of all previous U.S. immigration documents, including I-20 information and visas.

All visa documents can be uploaded to the applicant gateway.

Financial Assistance

Many international students seek financial assistance while enrolled at Boston University. All full-time international master’s and CAGS students are eligible for  BU Wheelock general scholarships.

Only those who are eligible noncitizens are able to receive federal financial assistance. To determine if you are an eligible noncitizen, please visit the Department of Education’s Student Aid website for International Students.

On-Campus Employment

If you are an international student, you may be eligible for on-campus employment, including graduate assistantships and part-time employment. Eligibility is based on your visa status and the approval of the International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO). It is uncommon for international students to start a graduate assistantship during their first semester.

International students must provide documentation to the Graduate Admissions Office showing that they meet the financial requirements for a student visa. Before seeking any employment while attending Boston University, please consult ISSO and the Student Employment Office.[/collapsible]

External Resources for International Student Aid

If you are not an eligible noncitizen, you may refer to the following resources for international student aid.