Boston University (BU)

One Silber Way, Boston, MA

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Campus image of Boston University

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.

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 2012

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
SAT ® Critical Reading570 - 670
SAT ® Math610 - 720
SAT ® Writing600 - 690
SAT ® Total Score1780 - 2080

ACT ® scores for students that were accepted Fall 2012

 Score Range (25th to 75th Percentile)
ACT ® English26 - 32
ACT ® Math25 - 30
ACT ® Writing8 - 9
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 Admissions20,071 (46%)
Accepted Students That Enrolled3,877 (19%)

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at Boston University is around 32,000 students, where graduate students make up roughly 44% 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

  • Annual tuition is estimated to range between $46,000-$55,000 for both in-state and out-of-state students
  • Per unit charges are around $1,600 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

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 2012 was around 1.8%.

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 Years80%
Graduating in 5 Years5%
Graduating in 6 Years0.3%

Specialized Programs & Accreditations

Campus: Boston University

  • Clinical Audiology (Au.D.) Program (more info)
  • Clinical Psychology (Ph.D.) Program
  • Dental Public Health Program
  • Dietetics Program
  • Endodontics Program
  • English Language Program (more info)
  • Health Services Administration Program
  • Law Program (more info)
  • Medical (M.D.) Program (more info)
  • Music Program (more info)
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) Program (more info)
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program
  • Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopedics Program
  • Pediatric Dentistry Program
  • Periodontics Program
  • Prosthodontics Program
  • Master's in Public Health (M.P.H.) Program
  • Speech-Language Pathology Program (more info)
  • Theology (Ministry) Program

Campus: Boston University at Sargent College

  • Dietetics Program
    • * Accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (since 2013)

Intercollegiate Athletics

BU is a Member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), with many of the sports being in the NCAA Division I-AAA classification. The most popular sports played are listed below:

  • Basketball (Patriot League)
  • Track and Field (Patriot League)
  • Field Hockey
  • Golf
  • Ice Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Rowing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming and Diving
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling

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 (PhD,...)


Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies

Communications and Journalism

Computer and Information Sciences



Engineering Technology

English Language and Literature

Ethnic Cultural and Gender Studies

Foreign Languages and Literature

Health and Clinical Professions


Interdisciplinary Studies

Legal Professions and Studies

Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mathematics and Statistics

Personal and Culinary Services

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Physical Sciences


Public Administration and Social Services

Security and Protective Services

Social Sciences

Theology and Religious Vocations

Visual and Performing Arts

Other 4-Year Private Colleges

The list of schools below have 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:

Data Disclaimer

Information displayed on this page has been obtained from Institution, State, and Federal data sources, including the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Survey 2008-2013. Information should be solely used for informational purposes only and may not be accurate for the current year. Contact Boston University for official up-to-date information.

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Contact Information

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Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

School Map

School Map of Boston University