Q. What is a credit?
A. College progress is measured in credits. A semester credit in a lecture class can be described as one hour per week per semester. For example: If you enroll in a 3-credit course, you are enrolling in a class that meets for three hours a week.
Q. What is a full-time course load for international students?
A. Undergraduate students must enroll in a minimum of 12 credits each semester. Graduate students must enroll in a minimum of 9 credits each semester.
Q. If I enroll as a part-time student will this affect me negatively in any way?
A. It is important to keep in mind that part-time status will affect your ability to live on campus, work on campus, your eligibility for scholarships, etc.
Undergraduate students who are below 12 credits and graduate students below 9 credits may not be eligible for on campus housing. For additional information, please click here.
Students who are below 6 credits may not be eligible to work on campus. For more information, please click here.
Q. What is the unofficial transcript?
A. The unofficial transcript is an informal record of all the classes a student has taken at BSU as well as his/her grades and GPA. Students can print their unofficial transcript by logging on to InfoBear network, visiting the Student Records tab, and clicking on Academic Transcripts.
Q. What is a Degree Audit?
A. A Degree Audit can be obtained by logging on to the InfoBear network, visiting the Student Records tab, and clicking on Degree Audit. It is a summary of the credits a student has completed; the remaining credits as well as other requirements for the completion of his/her degree.
Q. What is Academic Integrity
or honesty and why is it important for me?
A. At Bridgewater State University, academic honesty is expected of all students; plagiarism and cheating are not condoned and are subject to academic penalty, which may result in a failure for the course in which the violation took place. A violation may result in a reduced grade, suspension, or dismissal from the institution. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, and dishonest practices.
International students should read the appropriate undergraduate or graduate student handbook for examples of academic dishonesty and the penalties that could be imposed on students who violate academic integrity. You should be especially mindful of this expectation because failure to comply with it could result in a lapse of your legal immigration status.
Q. What is academic advisement and how do I contact an academic advisor?
A. Students need to communicate with an advisor in their academic department. This person will assist you with selecting classes for each semester. Students can identify their academic advisor by visiting the InfoBear network. J-1 students receive advising from their home institution along with help from the staff of the BSU Academic Achievement Center.
Important: You must consult with an international student advisor to make sure your academic plans fit in with immigration regulations.
Q. How do I open a bank account in the U.S.?
A. There are many banks located within walking distance from campus. Students are welcome to use any bank based on preference and need. Here are a few:
Bank of America: www.bankofamerica.com
Bridgewater Savings Bank: www.bridgewatersavings.com/
Community Bank: www.communitybank.com/home/home
Rockland Trust: www.rocklandtrust.com/
Please note: If students open a new bank account in the United States there may be a grace period where funds may not be accessible for at least 10 business days. Please contact the participating financial institution for further information.
Q. Where do I find all the forms required for making requests to ISS?
A. All forms required by ISS are available through the ISS website at the following link.
Q. How do I request a release of my SEVIS record to BSU?
A. After you have been admitted to BSU, go to the international student office at your current school and request the international student advisor to release your SEVIS record to BSU.
Q. How do I request BSU to release my SEVIS record to another school?
A. When you request your SEVIS record to be transferred out of BSU, the ISS requires you to complete and sign a Transfer Out Request Form. Proof of admission to your new school is required.
Q. How do I pick up my BSU I-20?
A. Transfer students will receive their BSU I-20 at International Student Orientation. They must pick up their I-20 from BSU no later than the 10th day of classes in their first semester at BSU.
Q. How do I find a job on campus?
A. International students may be eligible for non-work study jobs on campus.
Students can visit the Student Employment website at the following link, www.bridgew.edu/StudentEmployment/Search/index-on.cfm
Graduate students may be eligible for various types of assistantships. Students can find more information on applying for Graduate Assistantships by visiting the College of Graduate Studies located in the Maxwell Library room 019. Information can also be found at the following link, http://www.bridgew.edu/CoGS/GA/Graduate%20Assistantship%20Guidelines%209%209%202010.docx
Q. What is Financial Aid?
A. Financial Aid is funding intended to help students pay educational expenses including tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies. International students are not eligible for financial aid.
Q. Where can international students receive additional funding support?
A. There is a variety of scholarships available to all students. Please keep in mind that most scholarships are circumstantial and conditional. The following link is to a variety of scholarship resources. www.bridgew.edu/FinancialAid/Scholarships.cfm
Q. How do I apply for graduation?
A. Undergraduate students may apply for graduation once your degree audit shows that all requirements are "met." You must complete a degree application with the Registrar's Office, Boyden Hall, room 003. Please apply after you have registered for your final courses. Please visit the following link for more information. www.bridgew.edu/graduation/winter/main_undergrad.cfm
Graduate students must complete a degree application with the College of Graduate Studies, Maxwell Library, room 019. Please visit the following link for more information. www.bridgew.edu/graduation/spring/main_grad.cfm
Q. What options do I have after graduation?
A. International students have a variety of options available to them prior to the completion of their degree.
International students may apply for OPT either 90 days prior to graduation date or no later than 60 days from the graduation date
They may apply for another degree program within the same university or transfer to another school within 60 days of the date of graduation
If students do not apply for OPT or pursue an additional degree they must leave the US within 60 days of their graduation date and return to their home country or they can change to another status within the U.S. Please consult an immigration attorney.
Q. What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
A. Graduation is the completion of studies. It is when you complete your studies and meet all graduation requirements that the actual degree or certificate is conferred upon students. It is the process of posting the credential to a student's academic record. BSU has three graduation dates in an academic year: Fall (December), Spring (May) and Summer (August).
Commencement is a ceremony to celebrate graduation. BSU has two Commencement ceremonies in an academic year: Winter (January) and Spring (May).
Q. Where do I show proof of immunization to Tetanus Diphtheria (TD or Tdap), Hepatitis B, MMR, and meningitis?
A. Proof of immunizations should be sent to Health Services located on the ground floor of Tillinghast Hall. If students do not have a letter from their doctor in English stating the date on which they received the immunization, they will have to either take the immunization, or a blood test to prove immunity, or sign a waiver. Waivers must be submitted two weeks prior to the start of classes. Resident students must prove immunization for meningitis in order to live in the residence halls.
Please contact BSU Health Services for more information regarding costs and availability. Visit the following link for more information. www.bridgew.edu/HealthServices/
Q. Do I need to purchase health insurance and where do I do so?
A. Health insurance is a requirement in the state of Massachusetts. International students are required to purchase the BSU student health insurance plan. Students can find more information by contacting the Health Services department or visiting the following link. www.bridgew.edu/HealthServices/insurance.cfm
Q. I'm not sure what I should bring with me to Bridgewater State University. What should I pack?
A. Whether you are living on campus or off, Residence Life and Housing has a few suggestions on what to bring with you when you arrive. Please follow the link provide to find information on clothing, bedding, and electrical devices. www.bridgew.edu/rlh/assignments/packing.cfm
Q. How do I find information about living on-campus?
A. Information about on-campus housing, applications and contracts can be found through the office of Residence Life and Housing by visiting the following link. www.bridgew.edu/RLH
Q. How do I find housing off-campus.
A. Commuter Services keeps a database that is updated regularly. Students may search through potential landlords. It is the responsibility of the student to contact and work out a lease with a potential landlord. Please follow the link provided to get access to the directory. (Note: you will need your BSU username and password before accessing the database.)
Q. When can I move in to my residence hall?
A. Typically the residence halls open the Sunday before the start of classes each semester. You should receive a notification email to your BSU account with information regarding your specific move in time. Students may also use the following link to find more information about the earliest move in date. www.bridgew.edu/RLH/calendar.cfm
Some students may also be eligible to move in early, but please keep in mind you must apply and pay additional housing fees. Please see the following link for more information. www.bridgew.edu/rlh/earlyarrivals.cfm
Q. When do I have to move out of my residence hall?
A. Typically students must move out of the residence halls on the last day of finals. Students should use the following link to find more information about the move out dates for each semester. www.bridgew.edu/RLH/calendar.cfm
*Please note that you that "moving out" means that you will leave the building, but your belongings may remain behind. "Checking out" means that you will move both yourself and all of your belongings out of the building. This means that you will move out of your room for another room, residence hall, or to move off campus.
Students typically "check out" at the end of the Spring semester. Students who would like to check out early and not during a designated check out time should fill out and submit the following for to their RAs: www.bridgew.edu/RLH/Assignments/pdf/express.pdf
Q. Can I stay in the residence hall during Spring/Winter/Summer breaks and holidays?
A. International students are eligible to remain in the residence halls during Spring/Winter/Summer breaks. However, students should be advised that there may be dates and times during breaks where the residence halls are closed to everyone. Also, all dining halls will be closed throughout the breaks and students are responsible for finding alternative dining options.
Students who decide they would like to remain in the residence halls during breaks should fill out the appropriate request form and will be subject to an additional housing fee. For the break housing forms, dates, and fees please follow the following link. www.bridgew.edu/RLH/Break_Housing/index.cfm
Q. What if I want to move out of the residence halls early?
A. Please keep in mind that "moving out" means that you will leave the building, but your belongings may remain behind. "Checking out" means that you will move both yourself and all of your belongings out of the building. This means that you will move out of your room for another room, residence hall, or to move off campus. Students typically "check out" at the end of the Spring semester. Students who would like to check out early and not during a designated check out time should fill out and submit the following for to their RAs. www.bridgew.edu/RLH/Assignments/pdf/express.pdf
Q. When is it OK to be a part-time student?
A. You always need to request pre-approval from the PDSO/RO to be a part-time student. You may be permitted to enroll in a part-time course load under one of the following SEVIS approved categories:
Initial difficulty with reading requirements (first semester only)
Initial difficulty with the English language (first semester only)
Unfamiliarity with American teaching methods (first semester only)
You are in your final semester and have only a few credits remaining to graduate.
You are ill or have a medical condition that requires a reduced course load. Written statement from a qualified medial practitioner required.
Improper course level placement
Q. If I enroll as a part-time student will this affect me negatively in any way?
A. It is important to keep in mind that part-time status will affect your ability to live on campus, work on campus, your eligibility for scholarships, etc.
Undergraduate students who are below 12 credits and graduate students below 9 credits may not be eligible for on campus housing. For additional information please visit the following link. www.bridgew.edu/handbook/PoliciesProcedures/ResidenceHallPoliciesandProcedures.cfm
Students who are below 6 credits may not be eligible to work on campus. For more information please visit the following link. www.bridgew.edu/StudentEmployment/Manual.cfm#Student%20Employee%20Qualifications,%20Rules%20and%20Policies
Q. What does "admission on conditional basis" mean?
A. Incoming graduate students are generally admitted conditionally and held to meeting certain eligibility criteria such as, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, the completion of three required courses, a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0, etc. Until they do so, they are considered to be admitted on a "conditional basis". Refer to your academic advisor for more information.
Q. How do I achieve "clear admit" status?
A. Once a graduate student has met the terms of their "conditional basis" they may be moved to a "clear admit" status. If the terms are not met the student may be automatically dismissed.
Q. What is a "reinstatement of F-1 status"?
A. Students who fall out of legal immigration status may request a reinstatement to legal student status either by travelling out of the U.S. and re-entering on an "Initial" I-20, or by submitting an application to USCIS. Students must meet with Dr. Roopa Rawjee for information regarding options, and procedures. Additional information can be found at the following link.
Q. How will I know the cost of attending BSU each semester and when payments will be due?
A. Details about bill information will be sent to your BSU student account prior to the start of each semester.
Q. How do I pay my bill?
A. Students may pay their bill by visiting the Office of Student Accounts located in Boyden Hall, room 107. Students can find more information at the following link. www.bridgew.edu/StudentAccounts/
Students may also pay their bill online through the online billing system, by visiting the following link. secure.touchnet.com/C20026_tsa/web/login.jsp
Q. Where can I get detailed information on fees and payment methods?
A. Information on fee amounts and payment methods is available at the following link, www.bridgew.edu/studentaccounts/ebill/questions.cfm
Q. What forms of payment does BSU accept?
A. Please visit www.bridgew.edu/studentaccounts/FAQs.cfm#15 for current acceptable payment options.
Q. Can I send my payments to International Student Services?
A. ISS does not require ANY fees for the services it provides to international students. No payments, under any circumstances, shall be submitted or mailed to ISS.
Q. How do I buy books?
A. It is a good idea to wait till your first class meeting before you purchase your books. Students can go to the InfoBear network, select the registration tab, and then select the buy books tab and purchase books needed for their courses through the BSU bookstore. Students may also purchase books in person at the BSU bookstore located in the East Campus Commons. Students may also have the option of renting some books through the BSU bookstore.
Students are not limited to using the BSU bookstore! Most students shop around the internet looking for the best prices. You can purchase textbooks at any site/store you prefer.
Q. How much will my books cost me?
A. The cost of books will vary for each student. The total cost will depend on the courses you take, but students should anticipate spending between $200 and $500 per semester for textbooks. Some students may spend more and others may spend less. Textbooks are selected by each professor and their departments.
The BSU bookstore sells new books as well as some used books for 25% less of the new book price. Used books are not always available. Some students may also be able to rent text books from the bookstore. Renting books is another way some students cut down on the total cost. The total cost you pay will also depend upon where you purchase your books. Keep in mind that most students shop around. Here are a few additional resources that some students use to either purchase or rent their textbook:
Scholars (a local book store located at 34 Central Sq. Bridgewater, Ma)
Q. How do I purchase a parking decal?
A. Students can purchase parking decals in person by visiting the Parking Services and Connect Card Office in Hunt Hall room 10 or online at the following link,
Q. Where can I obtain a Connect Card?
A. A Connect Card is your BSU photo ID and can be picked up at the Parking Services and Connect Card Office in Hunt Hall room 10. You must be registered for classes before you can obtain your Connect Card. Students will be required to show a photo ID such as a valid U.S. Driver's License or Passport.
Q. When do classes begin?
A. You should always verify start dates for each semester in the relevant Academic Calendar. Specific calendar information can be found at the following link, www.bridgew.edu/Registrar/acadcal.cfm
Q. How do I register for classes?
A. Important! You must receive advising prior to registering for classes. Your advisor will "clear" you for registration. Students can register in person by visiting the Registrar's Office in Boyden Hall room 003 or preferably pre-register online through the InfoBear network at the following link, https://infobear.bridgew.edu/ahomepg.htm
J-1 students cannot register for upper level courses online since they do not have a record on file.
Q. When should I register for classes?
A. Students will be eligible to register for courses based on their total number of earned credits. Graduate students will be eligible for registration first followed by seniors, then juniors and so on. Students can find specific information about registration dates by visiting the InfoBear network. Keep in mind that on your specific registration date registration will go live at 12:00am and this is your first available opportunity to register for classes and will give you the best selection of classes.
Q. What do I do if all my classes are full?
A. If all classes are full, it is the student's responsibility to look for alternative courses. Students may also contact the instructor to request admittance to a full class. In some instances depending on the class professors may be able to increase the class size. This is typically done on a first come first served basis.
*Please note that this is not a guarantee and students should seek an alternative class.
Q. What is a CRN?
A. A CRN is a Course Registration Number and can be found online through the InfoBear network. This is the number you will use to register for a class before classes begin.
Q. What happens if I do not register full-time by the Add/Drop deadline?
A. Students who fail to register full time by the Add/Drop deadline for each semester and do not have approved part time status, will be considered "out of status". This means that they have not maintained their legal immigration status. Their SEVIS record will be terminated, and they will have to file for reinstatement with USCIS.
Q. Can I take online classes at BSU if I am an international student?
A. Immigration regulations state that international undergraduate students may take no more than 3 units of online/hybrid classes each semester provided they enroll in 9 units of regular classes.
International graduate students may take no more than 3 units of online/hybrid classes each semester provided the remaining units (5 units) are taken as regular classes. Consult with your academic advisor for additional guidelines.
Q. What is a snow day?
A. Weather in Massachusetts and New England can be unpredictable, but from December to February there may be instances when the University will close due to snow and unsafe driving conditions.
Q. How do I find out if the University has closed for a snow day?
A. Students should follow the weather, either online or on television. When the conditions appear to be unsafe or large amounts of snow have been predicted, students should call the Inclement Weather line at (508) 531-1777. Students may also consult the BSU home page online. The University will post on the homepage on days the campus is closed as they are announced.
Q. What should I do on a snow day?
A. It is the students' responsibility to make alternate plans for the day. In the event an assignment is due, students should contact their professors to decide if they should email the assignment or turn it in during the classes regularly scheduled meeting time.
Q. How do I set up my wireless internet?
A. Students who already have a notebook or netbook can visit IT in person at either the Maxwell Library location or in Moakley Center. Students may also visit IT on-line for help. For help setting up wireless please visit the following link. www.resnet.bridgew.edu/wireless.cfm
Q. Where can I download the software necessary to access the Bridgewater State University network?
A. Students can visit IT in person at either location in the Maxwell Library or Moakley Center. Students may also visit the following link for access to software necessary for accessing the BSU network. Cisco NAC Agent is required to access the BSU network. (Note: you will need your BSU username and password before you are able to download the software.) www.resnet.bridgew.edu/software.cfm
Q. I would like to purchase a cell phone. Where do I get one?
A. We recommend that students staying in the U.S. for a short period of time purchase a "pay as you go" plan. If you plan on staying in the U.S. for more than two years you may want to consider a contract with a monthly payment plan. Phones can be purchased at either Wal-Mart or at RadioShack which is within walking distance of the campus.
Below is some major cell phone companies in the U.S.:
Virgin Mobile: www.virginmobileusa.com
Students who do not want to purchase a cell phone do have the option of using a room phone, but again it is up to the student to purchase the phone. Phone numbers can be requested through the following link. www.resnet.bridgew.edu/telephone.cfm
Q. How do I get credit for classes I took at another educational institution?
A. Students who take classes at other schools and want those credits transferred to BSU are responsible for making sure that official transcripts reach the Admissions office. Students are advised to allow for sufficient time to evaluate and process transfer credits.
Students are advised to consult with an academic advisor in their major department to make sure that courses taken outside of BSU are transferable. Grades of C or better are acceptable.
Q. I recently traveled and entered or re-entered the United States with my BSU I-20. What do I do now?
A. Students must submit photocopies of pages 1 and 3 of the I-20, and the front and back of your new I-94 card to ISS within 10 days of your arrival. Photocopies can be made in the office of ISS. If you renewed your F-1 visa, you must submit a copy of the new visa to ISS.
Last Modified: July 2, 2012