What You Need to Know About Boston University

Founded in 1839, Boston University (BU) has evolved into a dynamic hub of learning, research, and cultural diversity. Along the way, it has created an environment where students are part of a vibrant college community whilst also being deeply immersed in the large urban scene. This blog post aims to provide an overview of BU, highlighting its location, student cohort, admissions process, undergraduate majors, faculty/student ratio, graduation rate, and the net cost of attending.


Boston University, or BU as it is more commonly referred to, is one of the larger private research universities in the United States. With cross-registration possible at five other Boston colleges, including MIT, and one of the best study abroad programs BU provides a wealth of study opportunities for its students.


Situated on the banks of the Charles River in one of the most intellectually stimulating cities in the world, BU benefits immensely from its prime location. Boston’s rich history, thriving arts scene, and renowned academic institutions create an unparalleled environment for learning and growth. BU’s urban campus spans either side of Commonwealth Avenue and merges into the surrounding city, fostering a strong connection between the university and the surrounding community.

Student Cohort:

BU boasts a diverse and accomplished student body, comprising individuals from all walks of life and all from across the world. With over 18,000 undergraduate students and nearly the same number of graduate students, the university provides a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere for intellectual discourse and collaboration. Approximately 21% of the student population consists of international students from across 118 countries with China, India, and South Korea providing the largest numbers of international students. With such a large student community students need to have some initiative, there is lot for students to get involved with but a timid individual could easily get lost in the crowd.


Acceptance Rate

BU’s admissions process is competitive, attracting a pool of talented applicants from around the world. The acceptance rate hovers around 20%, reflecting the university’s rigorous standards and selective nature.

Acceptance GPA

The rigor of the high school curriculum, together with the individual’s academic performance are the two most important factors that BU considers when looking at applications. The average acceptance GPA stands at 3.6, with SAT scores ranging from 1310 to 1510 and ACT scores ranging from 30 to 34.

Additional Requirements:

The Common App is the application platform that most applicants use when applying to BU. The university takes a holistic approach to admissions, evaluating an applicant’s academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, personal essays, and recommendations. In addition, applicants are asked to write a 250-word essay demonstrating why BU is a great university for them. There is an optional second essay if students feel they need to provide any additional context for their application. For those applying to the College of Fine Arts, there is the opportunity to provide a portfolio of work. BU has announced that they will remain Test-Optional until at least the 2025/26 application round, allowing students to decide whether or not to submit standardized test scores during the admissions process.

Types of Admissions

BU offers various admission types to cater to students with different backgrounds and aspirations. These include the Regular Decision, Early Decision, and Early Decision II options. Early Decision and Early Decision ll options are binding, meaning that if BU accepts your application, then you must attend. Regular Decision is not binding meaning that you can consider an offer from BU alongside any other offers you receive. The deadline for Early Decision applications is 1st November while Early Decision ll and Regular Decision deadline is early January. Additionally, BU provides a Test-Optional Policy, allowing students to decide whether or not to submit standardized test scores during the admissions process.


Undergraduate Majors

Applicants apply to one of over 300 study programs offered across 11 different undergraduate schools and colleges. In addition to the studies required to complete the major, all students are required to meet the university-wide general education curriculum, called BU Hub. Over the four years of study, students will take between ten and twelve courses that cover each of the six Hub areas, these are Philosophical, Aesthetic and Historical Interpretation, Scientific and Social Enquiry, Quantitative Reasoning, Diversity, Civic Engagement and Global Citizenship, Communication and finally, Intellectual Toolkit.

Standout Offerings:

Standout offerings include the College of Communication, renowned for its programs in journalism, film, and public relations, including the nation’s first center for the study of political disinformation. BU is also home to the well-regarded Questrom School of Business, which prepares students for leadership roles in the corporate world.

Faculty/Student Ratio:

BU prides itself on maintaining a favorable faculty/student ratio, enabling students to engage in meaningful interactions with their professors. With a ratio of approximately 1:11, with an average class size of 30. This is lower than many other colleges of a similar size and enables students ample opportunities to receive personalized guidance, collaborate on research projects, and participate in lively classroom discussions.

Graduation Rate:

BU’s commitment to academic excellence is evident through its impressive graduation rate. The university boasts a four-year graduation rate of just over 84% and a six-year graduation rate of 89%. This high graduation rate reflects the university’s emphasis on providing robust academic resources, mentorship programs, and career services that foster student success.

Net Cost of Attending:

The net cost of attending BU is approaching $83,000, which includes tuition, room and board, food, and books. This cost varies depending on factors such as residency status and choice of program. BU strives to make education accessible by meeting the demonstrated financial needs of qualifying US citizens and permanent residents. International students don’t qualify for support although they may be able to receive merit-based scholarships.

Working with study abroad consultants, overseas education consultants, or, as more commonly known, college counselors, can help you plan ahead and make those high school years count. Ivy Central offers exceptional focus to help you prepare for college admissions throughout the high school years. Start today!

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