FAQs

This program sounds great! How do I apply?
If you are a current or accepted student at Boston University, please fill out the BU URBAN application form by May 28 to join BU URBAN starting the following fall. We particularly encourage individuals from groups underrepresented in STEM to apply, especially those who have attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities; Tribal Colleges and Universities; and Hispanic Serving Institutions. If you are planning to apply to Boston University in Fall 2021, check back over summer to learn about our pre-application process.

Do I have to pursue a Ph.D. to participate in this program?
Yes, the BU URBAN program only trains Ph.D. students. However, you do not need to have a Master’s degree to qualify for this program.

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to apply to the program?
No, you do not have to be a U.S. citizen to be a BU URBAN trainee. However, stipends are only available to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and permanent residents, per NSF rules.

Which courses count towards my BU URBAN requirements?
The course requirements are listed here. Students take one Biogeoscience course (4 credits), one Environmental Health course (4 credits), one statistics course (4 credits), and the core Colloquium and Applied Research Methods courses (each 2 credits). Students are also required to enroll in BI/EE/EH 795, Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health: From Research to Policy, in order to receive credit for the required internship.

What other requirements do I need to fulfill as a BU URBAN trainee? 
As part of the BU URBAN traineeship you will participate in workshops that foster your career development and skills in science communication. You will also participate in an internship where you will work with City government, non-governmental organization (NGO), or the private sector to tackle an urban environmental challenge in collaboration with your host organization. Your research will be guided by an interdisciplinary faculty committee that has at least one member from Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. Check the program requirements page for more information.

How will I find my internship host and what are the requirements for completing my internship?
To establish an internship or discuss internship options, contact Evan Kuras (Program Manager, urban@bu.edu) or Pamela Templer (Program Director, ptempler@bu.edu), so you can find an appropriate organization to work with. You’ll also enroll in BI/EE/EH 795 “Urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health: From Research to Policy”, during the semester that you are participating in the internship to earn credit for the internship and to benefit from additional professional development. To complete the internship, you will spend a minimum of 80 hours with the internship organization.

I’ve taken a course in Biogeoscience/Environmental Health/Statistics that is not listed in the course requirements, but I think it supports my BU URBAN themed training. Can I make my course count towards my requirements?
We carefully created a suite of required courses that provide a broad background in urban Biogeoscience and Environmental Health. If you think that a non-BU URBAN listed course you have taken should count towards your requirements, please follow the instructions on our Course Petitions page. Please be aware that filling out this petition does not guarantee approval.

Does BU URBAN provide salary support?
BU URBAN Trainees are eligible to apply for up to two years of a non-service stipend that includes basic BU health insurance, tuition and fees. Stipends are paid on the 4th Friday of each month are not subject to tax withholding by BU. It is your responsibility to report it accurately to the IRS and make payments on the taxable portion of your award. Per NSF rules, stipends are only available to U.S. citizens, nationals, and permanent residents.

What do I do if I have questions about BU URBAN?
We encourage you to reach out to Director Pamela Templer (ptempler@bu.edu) or Program Manager Evan Kuras (urban@bu.edu). We are here to help!