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Boston University (BU)

One Silber Way, Boston, MA

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Boston University (BU) is a top-ranked, private institution of higher education located in Boston, Massachusetts.  BU offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs in more than 250 fields of study and is particularly known for its interdisciplinary programs, leading research, and excellent faculty.  Its faculty includes several Nobel Prize winners, a poet laureate, and a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award."

BU's main campus is its Charles River Campus, and its Medical Campus is nearby.  The total campus area is 133 acres, supporting 320 buildings, 487 classrooms, 23 libraries and more than 2,000 laboratories.  Despite its physical size, BU strives to have smaller class sizes, with a ratio of one teacher per 13 students.  The average class size for undergraduates is 27 students.


Boston University was established in 1869.


Boston University (BU) follows the semester academic calendar, with fall, spring and summer semesters.  BU offers 250 different programs of study from its 17 colleges and schools.

Colleges and Schools

  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • Graduate School of Arts & Science
  • College of Communication
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of General Studies
  • College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College
  • Metropolitan College
  • Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • School of Education
  • School of Hospitality Administration
  • School of Law
  • School of Management
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Public Health
  • School of Social Work
  • School of Theology

Student Life

Boston University has 80% of its undergraduates living on campus, which means there is a strong student community on campus.  Additionally, BU has more than 500 student activity groups that include academic, social, athletic, artistic, scientific and religious interests. BU is host to many annual events, including lectures and debates, music, comedy and drama.

There are several student publications, as well as WTBU, the student-run radio station, that encourage student participation.  A good way for students to connect with others, navigate the academic requirements or find out what's happening on and around campus is to access "Student Central" online.  This online resource provides access to academic bulletins, course descriptions, registration information, student health services, libraries, the student union, student links, a blackboard, the BU Bus schedule, BU maps, BU Bookstore hours, important dates, classes and amenities available at the FitRec Center, and more.


The Boston University athletics department participates in 23 varsity sports.  The team mascot is the Boston Terrier, and BU's athletic teams are known as "The Terriers."

Men's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Ice Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Wrestling

Women's Sports:

  • Basketball
  • Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & Diving
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field

Community Life

The BU community is vibrant and busy, with a full calendar of activities to choose from including exhibits, lectures, social gatherings, year-round events offered at the Agganis Arena, performances at the Huntington Theatre Company, and more.  The FitRec Center offers individual or group exercise classes and state-of-the-art facilities for fitness and recreation.

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Admission Requirements & Details

The admissions information below may give an overview of the candidates BU accepts. The details may include admissions application requirements and recommendations, SAT/ACT scores of students that were accepted, as well as any college or dual credits that may be transferred. This information can be used to get a better feeling of your chances of getting accepted to BU.

Admission Requirements & Recommendations

  • High School G.P.A. and School Records are Required
  • High School Academic Ranking are Required
  • Letters of Recommendation are Required
  • SAT or ACT Test Scores are Required
  • TOEFL for ESL Students are Required

College Credits Accepted

  • AP Course Credits

Admissions Test Scores - SAT Exam, ACT Exam, etc...

SAT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2010

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
SAT ® Critical Reading580 - 670
SAT ® Math600 - 700
SAT ® Writing590 - 680
SAT ® Total Score1770 - 2050

ACT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2010

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
ACT ® English26 - 31
ACT ® Math25 - 30
ACT ® Composite Score26 - 30

Acceptance Rate Table - Chances of Getting Into BU

The chances of getting into BU can be seen in the table below.

 Number (Percentage)
Granted Admissions22,187 (58%)
Accepted Students That Enrolled4,409 (20%)

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at Boston University is around 33,000 students, where graduate students make up roughly 43% of the student body.

Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The items listed below are for informational purposes only and may not represent current tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Tuition is estimated to be around $47,000 per year for in-state and nonresident students
  • Per unit charges are around $1,500 for part time students
  • May provide a prepaid tuition option, which allows tuition to be purchased at current rates for enrollment at a future date

BU operates multiple schools that manage the various programs, curriculums, research facilities, and more. Listed below are the professional schools along with their estimated annual tuition:

  • Dental School (Tuition: $62,000/yr)
  • Medical School (Tuition: $51,000/yr)
  • Law School (Tuition: $43,000/yr)

Financial Aid Details

The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid65%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships57%$24,937
Receiving Student Loans52%$9,652

Note: The estimated default rate of students taking federal student loans in 2009 was around 0.9%.

Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help support students, Boston University may offer student services including:

  • Online classes
  • Night and weekend classes available
  • Academic counseling for students
  • Student employment
  • Assistance to find work

Graduation Rates

BU has a very high graduation rate when compared to nearby similar schools.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years65%
Graduating in 5 Years19%
Graduating in 6 Years0.7%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

  • Dietetics Program (more info)
  • Law Program (more info)
  • Dental Public Health Program
  • Endodontics Program
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program
  • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Program
  • Pediatric Dentistry Program
  • Periodontics Program
  • Prosthodontics Program
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) Program (more info)
  • Physical Therapy (P.T.) Program (more info)
  • Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
  • Clinical Audiology (Au.D.) Program (more info)
  • Speech-Language Pathology Program (more info)
  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Theology (Ministry) Program (more info)
  • English Language Program (more info)
  • Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) Program (more info)
  • Medical (M.D.) Program (more info)
  • Music Program (more info)

Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by Boston University by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (Ph.D.,M.D.,...)

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Social Sciences

Legal Professions and Studies

  • Law (D)
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers (M)
  • Banking, Corporate, Finance and Securities Law (M)
  • Tax Law, Taxation (M)
  • Legal Research and Advanced Professional Studies (M)
  • Paralegal


Health and Clinical Professions

  • Healthcare Administration (D, M)
  • Dentistry (D)
  • Medicine (D)
  • Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions (B, D, M)
  • Health Services (B)
  • Physical Therapy (D)
  • Occupational Therapy (D, M)
  • Audiology and Speech Pathology (B, M)
  • Maternal and Child Health (D, M)
  • Pre-Medicine, Pre-Medical Studies (B)
  • Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences (B)
  • Environmental Health (D, M)
  • Clinical Laboratory Technician (B)
  • Advanced General Dentistry (C)
  • Athletic Training (B)
  • Endodontics, Endodontology (C, M)
  • Pediatric Dentistry, Pedodontics (C)
  • Periodontics, Periodontology (C)
  • Radiologic Technology (M)
  • Orthodontics, Orthodontology (C, M)
  • Genetic Counseling (M)
  • Prosthodontics, Prosthodontology (C, M)
  • Medical Scientist (D, M)
  • Pre-Dentistry Studies (B)
  • Oral Biology and Oral Pathology (D, M)
  • Dental Public Health and Education (C, M)
  • Oral, Maxillofacial Surgery (C)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling (D)
  • Advanced Dentistry and Oral Sciences (C)
  • Dental Laboratory Technology
  • Kinesiotherapy
  • Audiology, Hearing Sciences
  • Dental Clinical Sciences

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences (B, M)
  • Biology (B, D, M)
  • Epidemiology (D, M)
  • Neuroscience (B, D, M)
  • Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology (B)
  • Marine Biology (B)
  • Molecular Biology (B, D)
  • Biostatistics (D, M)
  • Bioinformatics (D, M)
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology (D, M)
  • Environmental Biology (B)
  • Conservation Biology (B)
  • Molecular Biology (D)
  • Anatomy (D, M)
  • Biophysics (D)
  • Biochemistry (D, M)
  • Biotechnology (M)
  • Pathology, Experimental Pathology (D, M)
  • Pharmacology (D)
  • Cell Biology and Anatomical Sciences (D, M)
  • Genetics (D)
  • Immunology (D)
  • Physiology
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology

Security and Protective Services

Public Administration and Social Services

Computer and Information Sciences


  • Music Teacher Education (B, D, M)
  • Art Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Guidance Counselor (C, M)
  • Educational Leadership and Administration (C, D, M)
  • Teaching English As Second Language Instructor (M)
  • Elementary Education (B, M)
  • Mathematics Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Social Studies Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Science Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Physical Education (C, M)
  • Special Education (B, M)
  • International and Comparative Education (M)
  • English and Language Arts Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Early Childhood Education (B, M)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (C, D, M)
  • Foreign Language Teacher Education (B, M)
  • Health Teacher Education (M)
  • Educational and Instructional Media Design (M)
  • Teacher and Professional Development (M)
  • Education, Teaching Individuals with Hearing Impairments (B, M)
  • Student Counseling and Personnel Services (C, D, M)
  • Reading Teacher Education (C, M)
  • Drama and Dance Teacher Education (M)
  • Latin Teacher Education
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Adult and Continuing Education
  • Bilingual and Multilingual Education
  • Education

Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Interdisciplinary Studies (B, D, M)
  • Nutrition (B, D, M)
  • Systems Science and Theory (M)
  • Ancient Civilization Studies (B, D, M)
  • Historic Preservation and Conservation (M)
  • Museum Studies

English Language and Literature



Mathematics and Statistics

  • Math (B, D, M)
  • Mathematics and Statistics

Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art History (B, D, M)
  • Arts Management (M)
  • Painting (B, M)
  • Cinematography And Film (M)
  • Graphic Design (B, M)
  • Music Performance (B, C, D, M)
  • Acting (B)
  • Drama (B)
  • Voice and Opera (B, C, D, M)
  • Technical Theatre, Design and Technology (B, C, M)
  • Violin, Viola, Guitar and Other Stringed Instruments (B, C, D, M)
  • Sculpture (B, M)
  • Music Theory and Composition (B, D, M)
  • Piano and Organ (C, D, M)
  • Directing and Theatrical Production (B, M)
  • Music (B)
  • Musicology and Ethnomusicology (B, D, M)
  • Conducting (D, M)
  • Theatre and Theatre Arts Management (M)
  • Visual and Performing Arts
  • Music History, Literature, and Theory

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Vocations

  • Theology (D, M)
  • Biblical Studies (D, M)
  • Religious, Sacred Music (M)

Foreign Languages and Literature

  • Spanish Language and Literature (B, D, M)
  • French Language and Literature (B, D, M)
  • Linguistics (B)
  • Japanese Language and Literature (B)
  • Classical Languages, Literatures and Linguistics (B)
  • Comparative Literature (B)
  • German Language and Literature (B)
  • Russian Language and Literature
  • Latin Language and Literature
  • Ancient Greek Language and Literature
  • Italian Language and Literature

Physical Sciences


Personal and Culinary Services

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

  • Regional Studies (D)
  • Latin American Studies (B)
  • East Asian Studies (B)
  • United States Studies (B)
  • African-American Studies (M)
  • Italian Studies
  • Central, Middle and Eastern European Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Other 4-Year Private Colleges Nearby

The list of nearby schools has been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to Boston University.

Also, check out our college lists below, which can help students compare schools to one another: