General Instruction

An officially registered student is one who has (i) submitted course selections on a registration form or through online registration, (ii) paid or settled all charges, and (iii) received an approved receipt from the Office of Student Accounting Services.

Candidates for admission may not register until they receive a formal statement of acceptance. Matriculated students should register under the direction of GMS.

GMS students should consult with the Office of GMS registrar or view the GMS website for detailed instructions concerning the procedures to be followed during the announced registration period. Students must be registered for any regular semester or summer term during which a degree requirement is completed or when University facilities are used.

Registration must be completed within the official registration period to avoid a late fee. Registration deadlines are posted on the University registrar’s website.

All continuing students in good academic standing with an active Boston University email address may register online via Student Link. A student should meet with his/her faculty advisor or the program director to discuss course selection. An Advising Access Code should be obtained. The Advising Access Code is required to register online for the fall and spring semesters. Registration for summer terms usually does not require an Advising Access Code unless specifically dictated by the program. However, a student should still meet with his/her faculty advisor prior to summer registration.

Failure to register for two consecutive fall/spring semesters without having been granted an authorized leave of absence may result in termination of degree status, thus dismissal from GMS.

Full-time Students

A GMS student can be a full-time student by enrollment or by certification.

  1. By enrollment:

A student enrolled in 12 to 18 credits per semester will be considered full time and will be charged full tuition and fees. A student may register for more than 18 credits only with approval of his/her program director and the GMS registrar. Tuition for each credit above 18 will be charged per credit hour.

  1. By certification:

A student registered for fewer than 12 credits but otherwise engaged in full-time study e.g. by participating in research pertinent to the completion of degree requirements, or gaining competence in the field of study, may be certified as a full-time student. Such students must submit the Certified Full-Time Form to the GMS Registrar during the official registration period. This form must be submitted through the GMS student forms website.

A student enrolled in a Ph.D. degree program must maintain full-time status by enrolling in at least 12 credits per semester.

Part-time Students

All part time students who are candidates for degrees must register each regular semester for up to 11 credits until all departmental course requirements are completed. Continuing students (see below) may register for less than one 2-credit course.

Continuing Students

After completing all departmental or program didactic course requirements, M.A. and M.S. degree candidates must register each regular semester as a continuing student (tuition charge equivalent to 2 credits) until all remaining degree requirements are complete.

For M.A. and M.S. students, registration and payment of regular tuition and fees for one (1) course with a minimum of 2 credits exempts the student from the continuing student fee. Continuing students may qualify as full-time according to the above regulations by certification through completion of the Certified Full-Time Form. Full time status using certified Full Time-form is limited to two (2) semesters.

After completing all departmental or program didactic course requirements, full time Ph.D. degree candidates should register for fall and spring semesters as a full time student (i.e. 12 credits of independent research). Registration for the summer terms is described under Section 11.2. Except during summer sessions, Ph.D. candidates with full time status entitles students to officially audit one (1) course per semester, but only with prior approval from the Program Director and GMS registrar. Students may not audit 900-level courses.

Directed Study or Research

Students may register for directed study or research with the approval of the faculty member concerned. The minimum registration is a 2-credit course. A candidate for the MA/MS in the basic sciences may register for not more than 8 credits in directed study or research. MS in Medical Sciences candidates may register for no more than 8 credits in directed study or research.

Registration Deadlines

The dates of the official registration period are provided on the Boston University registrar’s website. Late fees are charged to students who do not register or settle their tuition accounts during this official period. Students may not register later than one (1) week after the start of classes without written approval from the Associate Provost of GMS. Students who are not registered by the deadline will have their financial assistance offers revoked.

Students enrolled in programs that commence on different dates than the standard semester start date will not be allowed to register later than the end of the first week of the program.


Boston University requires all students to provide an emergency alert phone number. Students not in compliance will not be able to adjust their schedules or to register for future semesters.

Physical Examination and Immunization Requirements

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires that all full-time students submit proof of immunization. The “Health History and Physical Examination Report” or “Health Form,” available on the Student Health Services website, , outlines the requirements.

In addition, clinical students who will see patients at Boston Medical Center (and other hospitals/clinics/offices) are required to have additional documentation of immunity indicated on the appropriate “Health History and Physical Examination Report.”


Within Boston University

While completing his/her degree, a GMS student in an M.A. or M.S. degree program may be eligible to take one (1) graduate-level semester course given by a School or College other than GMS at Boston University. Approval from the student’s faculty advisor or program director must be obtained.

While completing his/her degree, a GMS student in a Ph.D. degree program may be eligible to take one (1) graduate-level semester course outside of their required program of study given by a School or College other than GMS at Boston University. Approval from the student’s faculty advisor or program director must be obtained within Boston University.

With Other Universities

GMS students who wish to cross-register for a graduate course at another academic institution should obtain a Registration Petition for the Boston Area Consortia Form from the Office of the University Registrar, 881 Commonwealth Avenue. This form requires approval from the student’s faculty advisor and the GMS Registrar. Students must present this signed form to the graduate school registrar of the host institution.

During a given academic year, a student is permitted to cross-register only once. Cross-registrants should expect to satisfy all prerequisites and requirements for courses as indicated by the host institution. Tuition for such courses is charged at Boston University tuition rates in the usual manner.


Students wishing to add or drop a course may do so through online registration on Student Link or by completing the Class Adjustment Request Form available on the GMS website. The Class Adjustment Request Form should be submitted to the GMS Registrar via the web portal on the GMS student forms website.

Some courses cannot be added after the first week of class. No course may be added after the end of the second week of class.

A standard course dropped during the first five (5) weeks of class will not appear on the student’s permanent record. A standard course dropped after the first five (5) weeks of classes will appear on the student’s record as a Withdraw grade (W), and the student will be charged for the course. For the non-standard courses, check the student link for the deadlines to drop a course with or without a W.

Students are held responsible for completion of any course registered for unless they officially withdraw by the deadline set by the University Registrar described above or change to the status of auditor before the sixth week of class.

Standard courses may be dropped up to the end of the tenth week of class. After the tenth week, no course may be dropped. See important registration dates on the University Registrar website.

Financial aid will not cover courses taken as audits or for no credit. For exceptions see Continuing Student Status under Registration.


A GMS student is allowed to use the University facilities only during the summer terms in which they are registered.

Ph.D. Students

A student enrolled in a Ph.D. program in GMS who is engaged in full-time research during the summer term as an essential component of their graduate degree program is eligible for Summer Research Registration Status. This eligibility is a no-cost mechanism whereby graduate students who are engaged in academic research during the summer can be appropriately registered as students for purposes of loan eligibility and tax considerations. Students seeking Summer Research Registration Status should complete a Ph.D. Summer Research Status Registration Form, obtain appropriate signatures, and submit the form to the GMS Registrar. This registration status will not generate a tuition charge. The form includes a certification of full-time study that will document the student’s commitment to research during the summer. By signing the forms, the department or program vouches that the student will be doing research full-time for the twelve (12) weeks of the Summer I and Summer II sessions. GMS will enter the registration status on the student’s record. Forms should be submitted before the beginning of the Summer II session. The form is available from the GMS website.

Summer Research Registration Status is available only for Ph.D. students continuing their studies in the fall. This status does not satisfy the mandatory registration for the final two (2) semesters during which degree requirements are completed, thus a student planning to graduate on the September graduation date must register and pay the continuing student fee for the Summer II term.

M.A and M.S. Students

A student enrolled in a M.A. or M.S. program is not required to register for the summer terms.  A student may choose to register for Summer I and/or Summer II depending on the planned completion of the degree.