Get Into Boston University
About Boston University
Boston University, located in the heart of Boston, MA along the Charles River, is ranked #40 among national universities according to U.S. News & World Report. It is also the #7 U.S. school for international students, according to Forbes, with 150 countries represented on campus, in addition to all 50 states.
There are 10 schools and colleges within the larger university, 300+ programs of study, and over 18,000 undergraduate students enrolled. In spite of its large size, BU maintains a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 27. There are also many opportunities for undergraduate research through 1 million dollars of funding earmarked for that purpose.
Freshmen can apply to one of the following colleges:
- College of Arts & Sciences: This is BU’s largest college, which offers majors in the Humanities, Natural, Social, and Computational sciences.
- College of Communication: Courses within this school offer a professional communication education, internship opportunities, and hands-on experience. For instance, students can work at the campus TV station, the campus radio stations, the student newspaper, or the in-house public relations and advertising agencies.
- College of Engineering: Programs within this college include Biomedical, Electrical & Computer, Mechanical, and Systems Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering.
- College of Fine Arts: The College of Fine Arts offers degrees in Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.
- College of General Studies: This two-year college offers students the chance to gain a solid liberal arts foundation within a smaller student body of only 1,200 students. Students fulfill general education requirements in this interdisciplinary program and then move on to one of the other undergraduate colleges to complete their degree. Students also have the chance to spend their second semester in London.
- College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College: Within this college, students may pursue a pre-med program through several majors. There are also two accelerated dual degree programs available: the Bachelor of Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy program and the Bachelor of Science/Master in Public Health Dual Degree.
- Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies: Housed within the College of Arts & Sciences, this school has two divisions: International Studies and Regional Studies.
- Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College: This selective living and learning community offers a 4-year curriculum that includes team learning opportunities and enrichment, which complement a student’s chosen major.
- Questrom School of Business: BU’s business school offers internship programs and coursework that dive into themes like health and life sciences, digital technology, and social impact and sustainability. Students also complete semester-long, core projects on topics such as finance, data analytics, and management.
- School of Hospitality Administration: Through this program, students gain a hospitality-focused management degree focused on the hotel and restaurant, travel, and tourism industries.
- Wheelock College of Education & Human Development: Students enrolled in this college can earn their teacher certification by graduation and gain experience in classroom settings across the city of Boston.
BU is an urban campus with a lively athletic program and a diverse, international student body. The four years of guaranteed housing mean students don’t have to navigate the rental markets in Boston and about 80% of undergraduate students live on the main Boston campus (freshman are required to live in campus housing). It also has a long history of inclusion and acceptance. In fact, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. developed his peaceful philosophy while pursuing his PhD in theology at Boston University and, in 1872, BU was the first university to open up fully to female students. Located in central Boston, the BU campus gives students easy access to major sites and attractions throughout the city. Students can join over 40 cultural groups on campus, including a host of multicultural organizations, or over 450 student groups. It’s easy for students to find classmates who share their interests since there is something for everyone—the Anime Club, Beekeepers, BosTones a Capella Group, Knitting Club, or the Shakespeare Society, just to name a few. Some of the BU traditions include tagging the BU Rock, the Beanpot Ice Hockey Tournament, Lobster Night in the dining hall, Marathon Monday, and playing intramural broomball. The BU Terriers, with more than 20 NCAA Division I varsity sports, are best known for their accomplished hockey teams.
Applying to Boston University
Prospective students may apply to BU Early Decision (November 1 deadline), Early Decision 2, or Regular Decision (January 1 deadline). If you apply ED or ED2, you will receive your decision early, but are committed to attending BU if accepted and must withdraw all other applications.
100% of financial need is met for admitted first-year students from the U.S, but students may also apply to one BU’s many merit scholarships, some of which cover full tuition. These awards, based on academic achievement and other readership, don’t require a financial aid application. Those awarded merit-based scholarships generally rank in the top 5% of their high school class and have SAT scores above 1500 and ACT scores above 33.
Last year, the Boston University application included two required supplemental essays:
- What about being a student at Boston University most excites you? (250 words)
- Additional Information (optional): Please use this space if you have additional information, materials, or writing samples you would like us to consider.
In addition to these questions, there was one supplemental essay required for the Accelerated Program in Liberal Arts and Medicine applicants:
- The Accelerated Programs Admission Committee is interested in learning more about you. Please write an essay on why you wish to enter the health professions, including what experiences have led you to this decision and what you hope to gain from your chosen profession. Please make sure your essay is completely distinct from the one you submitted on the Common Application. (750 words)
Kilachand Honors College applicants were asked to respond to one of the following questions in an essay (600 words):
- Option A: What about the Kilachand Honors College resonates with you, and how would Kilachand’s curriculum fulfill your academic, creative, intellectual, and/or professional goals?
- Option B: If you could create a new Kilachand course, what would it be? How would your imagined course align with the core values of Kilachand?
Admissions Wrap Up
Last year’s incoming class of 3,100 students were selected out of an applicant pool of 61,006 for an acceptance rate of 18.5%. Most students were ranked in the top 7% of their high school class and had an overall high school grade average of an A- or 3.9 GPA. The mean SAT range was 1420-1540 and the mean ACT score was 32-35. Out of all admitted students, 50% were accepted Early Decision.