Boston University


Boston University (BU) is a private research institution of higher learning located in Boston, Massachusetts. With over 31,000 students and over 4,000 faculty members, it is one of United States largest private universities and one of the biggest employers in Boston. BU is categorized in the Carnegie Classification of Higher Education as a Research University/very high research activity (RU/VH). It is also Boston Consortium for Higher Education’s member.


Information Summary

Ranks 16th in Massachusetts and 137th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 94.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $72,618
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 33 / 1500
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 15 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 94% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 34,657


As a result of continual development, the institution’s Charles River campus has a variety of buildings that are architecturally diverse. The School of Theology and the Marsh Chapel’s College of Arts & Sciences (location of the March Chapel Experiment) were constructed in collegiate gothic style in the late 1930’s and 1940’s. A large amount of the grounds are conventional Boston brownstone, particularly at South Campus and Bay State Road where the institution has bought virtually every townhouse the areas have to offer. These building are largely dorms but several serve as a variety of institutes and as department offices as well.

Many of the modern building were built from the 1960’s to the 1980’s This includes the Law School, Warren Towers and Mugar Library, all of which were constructed using the brutalist style of construction. In 1983, the Metcalf Science Center for Science & Engineering was built, and might be described correctly as Structural Expressionism. Boston University’s most recent buildings are the Life Science & Engineering building, Photonics Center, the School of Management, and the Student Village – which also include the Agganis Arena and the Fitness Recreation (FitRec) Center. All the aforementioned building were constructed using bricks and a few were constructed using a considerable amount of brownstone.


University Building :: Boston University
Gasson Hall :: Boston University


The main campus is located in Allston and Fenwway-Kenmore neigborhoods along the Charles River in Boston while BU’s medical campus is located in South End neigborhood in Boston.

Each college and school has a 3 letter abbreviation, which students and faculty use instead of pronouncing the full name. For instance, the School of Management is referred to as SMG, the College of Arts & Science is referred to as CAS, the School of Education is known as SED and so on.

Programs Offered

Students may earn bachelor’s degrees, masters, medical, dental, and doctoral degrees.

The university runs 75 study abroad programs in more than 33 cities in over 20 countries and also has internships opportunities in 10 different nations.


Accreditation is granted by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC).

Most Popular Fields of Study


The factors that the Board of Admissions takes into consideration are:

  • Applicant’s high school performance – This is the Board of Admission’s best indicator of how a prospective student will perform. When admissions representatives are reviewing an applicant’s transcripts, they take a look at various factors, some of which includes enrollment in honors, applicant’s academic strengths, total level of achievement and so on.
  • Applicant’s standardized test scores – the university requires an applicant’s SAT and Subject exam scores or ACT with writing – applicants can see the specific requirement for their particular program of study on the university website.
  • Recommendations written by applicant’s teacher and counselor – It is vital for applicant’s to have their recommendations written by counselors and teachers who know them very well because they will be able to give the Board of Admissions a thorough understanding of who the applicant is as an individual and in the classroom.
  • Applicant’s personal qualifications – The Board of Admissions likes to see what an applicant has done outside of his or her classroom: their activities – both in their school and their community – and after-school work/job. The school’s Board of Admissions also look for applicants’ activities which match their experiences or other interests that will match the opportunities available. Applicant’s special talents, skills and achievements are also vital in Board’s review process.
  • Applicant’s application essay – This is a vital part of an applicant’s application process because it will clearly demonstrate how applicants express themselves. It is also an opportunity for the Admissions Board to learn who the prospective BU student is, beyond his or her grades and standardized exam scores. Applicants should let their voice come through in their essay – this will assist the Board of Admissions members understand what clearly distinguishes him or her from other applicants. Applicants can check out BU’s essay writing tips on their website.
  • Financial Aid

    The Financial Assistance Office administers scholarships, loans, part time employment funding and loans. The office also provide information in detail to assist students and their families make a well informed decision about the various options for financing an undergraduate education.

    Student Financial Aid Details

    Ranks 297th for the average student loan amount.
    Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Massachusetts.


    The housing system is the country’s 10th largest among 4 year institutions. Students living in the school’s dormitories must enroll in a 12 month long meal plan.

    There are many clubs and organizations where students can contribute to developing the community, improve their leadership potential and enrich their lives. Various clubs and organizations include: The Dear Abbeys, Stage Troupe, Soccer Club, the Greek community and so on.

    Student Enrollment Demographics

    Student Graduation Demographics


    The NCAA Division I male Terriers participate in ice hockey, wrestling, cross country, basketball, rowing, golf, tennis, track & field, swimming and soccer. The Lady Terriers participate in dance, lacrosse, basketball, golf, soccer, tennis, field hockey, cross country, track & field, softball, ice hockey, swimming and rowing. The athletics teams participate in the Colonial Athletic Association, Hockey East and America East conferences and the university’s mascot is known as Rhett the Boston Terrier.

    The most successful athletics team on campus is the men’s hockey team. This team has won many NCAA championships and is coached by Jack Parker, a hall of famer. Boston University’s women’s rowing team has won 2 national championships two years in a row – in 1991 and 1992.

    Club Sports

    Students can also participate in athletics at club level. The university recognizes 36 club sports, which includes men’s volleyball, synchronized skating, snowboard, baseball, women’s volleyball, table tennis, cheerleading, ultimate Frisbee, alpine ski racing, triathlon, squash, kung fu and so on.


    BU alumni include six Noble Prize winners, twenty two Pulitzer Prize winners and a number of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows. Some of the best-known alumni are:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – Nobel Prize winner and Civil Rights Activist
  • Julianne Moore – Actress
  • Geena Davis – Actress
  • William Cohen – Defense Secretary
  • Gary Locke – Commerce Secretary
  • Howard Stern – Radio personality
  • Nina Garcia – Marie Claire’s fashion editor and Co-host of Project Runway
  • Tipper Gore – United States’ Former Second Lady
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