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Boston University

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Boston, MA


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A Large, Urban Graduate School

Boston University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is one of the largest graduate schools in the country. Founded in 1874, Boston University draws on its rich history of scholarship and research. Well-known as a major urban research center, BU attracts students around the globe looking for a vibrant and rich graduate experience. The school's departments span 3 dozen fields in the areas of humanities, math, science, religion, psychology, sociology, writing, economics, and art history. To further broaden its offerings, BU allows graduate school students to cross-register for graduate courses at Boston College, Brandeis University, and Tufts University.

An Award-Winning Faculty

BU faculty include several winners of the Nobel Prize, including Derek Walcott for literature, Sheldon Glashow for physics, and Elie Wiesel for the peace prize. The faculty also includes several Pulitzer Prize winners in poetry, music, journalism, and public service; winners of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences; poet laureates; and MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellows. The award-winning faculty is consistently recognized with grants, awards, and fellowships for their research and achievement in areas such as sociology, math, English, music, and science.

Top Doctoral Programs at Boston University

"The Chronicle of Higher Education" has given several doctoral programs at Boston University's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences top rankings for faculty productivity. The publication ranked the Geography program first in the country. They also ranked the Department of Mathematics and Statistics seventh among mathematics departments and the American & New England Studies program sixth among similar programs throughout the country.

Highly-Regarded Research Centers and Institutes

BU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences houses many well known research centers and interdisciplinary institutes that complement academic departments, coordinate and support related studies, and serve as a focal point for research. These vibrant centers include the Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy, the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, the Center for Remote Sensing, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations. Each institute conducts their own research and sponsors events, workshops, and lectures.

Unique Degree Programs

The graduate school offers Master of Arts (M.A.), Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), and doctoral degrees in many traditional topics related to the arts and sciences, as well as unique offerings such as preservation studies, bioinformatics, editorial studies, and environmental remote sensing. For those interested in pursuing a joint degree, BU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers several joint degree programs in the curriculum such as an M.A./J.D in law and preservation studies or a joint M.A./M.B.A. with the graduate school of management. Others choose to pursue an M.S./Ph.D in bioinformatics. The school also has several certificate programs, including a certificate in museum studies as part of the art history department.

An Interdisciplinary Approach

Boston University graduate students are encouraged to cross disciplines in order to gain the most well-rounded and thoughtful education possible. In addition to a wide range of traditional disciplines, BU offers cutting-edge programs in many interdisciplinary fields, such as the highly regarded American and New England studies, bioinformatics, neuroscience, global studies, and a joint program in religious and theological studies.

Extensive Facilities

The facilities include a main research library, which contains many specialized libraries within it such as a music library, science and engineering library, and the African studies library. Also accessible to graduate students are the university's museums, computing services, and laboratories. Graduate students have many opportunities outside the classroom. The Humanities Foundation sponsors lectures, events, partnerships, and conferences to enrich the student experience.

Graduate Admissions to Boston University

Requirements to apply to the graduate school include a bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university, or the equivalent if from another country. Students cannot enroll in more than 1 graduate program unless they are part of a BU-approved combined degree. Students' applications should show an interest in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The application includes a written personal statement. Deadlines for applications vary, according to department.

A Rich Graduate Experience in the Heart of Boston

Boston University is located in the heart of Boston. There, students have access to the vast cultural resources of this historical city, which serves as the official capital of the state of Massachusetts and the unofficial capital of New England. Graduate students can take a stroll past the site of the Boston Massacre or the Bunker Hill monument. They can visit the Boston Opera House, the Boston Ballet, and the Museum of Fine Art. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences holds most classes on the central plaza of the Charles River campus.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Master of Arts/Doctor of Philosophy (MA/PhD)
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Business Administration/Master of Arts (MBA/MA)
Master of Arts in Economic Policy (MAEP)
Master of Arts/Juris Doctor (MA/JD)
Master of Science (MS)
Juris Doctor/Master of Arts (JD/MA)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 495
Doctoral Degrees 174
Other Advanced Degrees 0

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test (for some programs)
Comp Exam Required for some
Thesis Required for some
Language requirement (for some degrees)
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test (for most programs)
Comp Exam Required for some
Thesis Required
Language requirement (for some degrees)


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline January 15th January 15th Yes
Spring deadline October 15th October 15th Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test (for some programs)
Master's Degree Requirements 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, personal statement, resume or curriculum vitae (for some programs), writing sample (for some programs)
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test (for most programs)
Doctoral Degree Requirements 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, personal statement, resume or curriculum vitae (for some programs), writing sample (for some programs)

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 84

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Types of financial support available Fellowships
Research Assistantships
Teaching Assistantships
Health Care Benefits
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 4.25%
Black or African American 1.37%
White or Caucasian 36%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 4.25%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.05%
Two or more races 1.32%
Unknown 5.23%


Male (51%)
Female (48%)

Location & Contact

Address 705 Commonwealth Avenue
Room 112
Boston, MA  02215
United States
Contact Dr. Emily Barman
Associate Dean
Phone: 617-353-2696
Fax: 617-358-5492

Boston University