Boston University

2014 Quick Stats
1 Silber Way

Boston, MA 02215

Phone: (617) 353-2000
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 1
application deadline

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U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#41 Overall Score: 64 out of 100. National Universities

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Boston University is a private institution that was founded in 1839. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,306, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 133 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Boston University's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 41. Its tuition and fees are $44,910 (2013-14).

Boston University is one of the largest independent, nonprofit universities in the country. The BU Terriers have more than 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports. BU’s hockey team has won multiple NCAA national championships. BU also has nearly 500 student clubs, ranging from Ski Racing to the Juggling Association. BU created one of the first study abroad programs, and currently sponsors more than 90 international programs. Freshmen are required to live on campus, and about 80 percent of undergraduate students live on the main Boston campus, which lies along the Charles River.

Boston University’s highly ranked graduate schools include the School of Law, School of Management, School of Medicine, College of Engineering and School of Education. BU’s School of Medicine is the nation’s first combined cancer research and teaching laboratory. BU is also the first university to open all divisions to female students in 1872. Notable alumni include Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; actresses Julianne Moore and Geena Davis; television personality Bill O’Reilly; radio host Howard Stern; and Tipper Gore, former wife of Al Gore. Another unique fact: the BU Bridge is the only spot in the U.S. where a plane can fly over a car driving over a train going over a boat, all at the same time.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

Boston University's impact extends far beyond Commonwealth Avenue, Kenmore Square, and the Medical Campus. Our students, faculty, and alumni go all around the world to study, research, teach, and become a part of the communities in which they live. BU is the fourth-largest private university in the country today and was recently invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of the leading research universities in the United States and Canada. As a measure of its global reach, Boston University is currently engaged in over 400 separate research, service, and educational programs and projects around the world.
Enduring commitments to teaching, research, global education, and community engagement are the touchstones of Boston University's proud past and promising future.
In the rich tapestry of Boston University's history, one thread runs true: quality teaching by an excellent faculty. Students benefit from direct instruction by dedicated professors who are actively engaged in original research and scholarship, as well as from the University's combination of a strong liberal arts foundation and exceptional professional programs. Many students work closely with faculty mentors to advance the frontiers of human discovery. Opportunities for educators and researchers to collaborate across disciplines leverage the breadth and depth of the University's program offerings.
Since its founding, Boston University has embraced two principles that have come to define higher education today: a conviction that higher education should be accessible to all, and a belief that the pursuit of learning is enhanced by direct engagement with the community and the world.
Boston University has made a commitment to providing educational opportunity without regard to race, class, sex, or creed from its beginning, and this has led to a number of momentous "firsts": the first to open all its divisions to women, the first to award a Ph.D. to a woman, the first coeducational medical college in the world. Martin Luther King, Jr., perhaps our most famous alumnus, studied here in the early 1950s, during a period when nearly half of this country's doctoral degrees earned by African American students in religion and philosophy were awarded by Boston University.
For many at Boston University, a commitment to serving and shaping the world is formed while still a student. The early dream of engagement "in the heart of the city, in the service of the city" has been deeply and abidingly realized in numerous ways: through the University's 20-year partnership with the Chelsea Public Schools, the more than $139 million in scholarships provided to graduates of the Boston Public Schools via the Boston Scholars program and the new Boston Public High School Community Service Award, and the pioneering merger of the BU Medical Center Hospital and Boston City Hospital. Students and faculty regularly engage in a broad range of both formal and informal community service activities.
Boston University's academic community reaches near and far. Today, the University's 16 schools and colleges enroll more than 33,000 students from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. Territories and 134 foreign countries. The nation's first collegiate international exchange program was created here in the nineteenth century. Since then, Boston University's Study Abroad offerings have grown to include nearly one hundred programs in 24 countries. This global emphasis is integrated into the on-campus curriculum, with courses and programs that bring an international perspective to subjects from anthropology to zoology.
Today's graduates take their place in a long line of alumni whose inclusive and engaged educational experience prepared them to help serve, shape, and improve the world.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1839
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $1,190,512,073


When applying to Boston University, it's important to note the application deadline is January 1, and the early decision deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 1. The application fee at Boston University is $80. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 45.6 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 45.6%
Application deadline January 1
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 1

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Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Boston University is 13:1, and the school has 62.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Boston University include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Social Sciences; Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs; Engineering; and Health Professions and Related Programs. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 91.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 13:1
4-year graduation rate 79%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services 20%
Social Sciences 17%
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 15%
Engineering 7%
Health Professions and Related Programs 7%

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Student Life

Boston University has a total undergraduate enrollment of 18,306, with a gender distribution of 40 percent male students and 60 percent female students. At this school, 77 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 23 percent of students live off campus. Boston University is part of the NCAA I athletic conference.

Total enrollment 32,603
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA I

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Campus Info & Services

Boston University offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, placement service, day care, health service, and health insurance. Boston University also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Boston University, 2 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Boston University.

Students who have cars on campus 2%
Health insurance offered Yes

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Paying for School

At Boston University, 44.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $25,047.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $44,910 (2013-14)
Room and board $13,620 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

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* Overview details based on 2012 data

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