• One of the nation’s largest private research universities
  • 16,000+ undergraduates from 130+ countries
  • Around 24% international
  • 80% out-of-state
  • BU has a long history of being a diverse and inclusive community – and using shared experiences and shared conversation to build community
  • An active and socially aware campus – strong tradition of volunteer work
  • Cooperative and competitive academic environment – students need to be proactive to find their niche
  • Average class size = 27
  • 10:1 students faculty ratio. Strong international faculty and mentorship


  • Three urban campuses in central Boston
  • University blends into the city
  • ‘A small town in an urban environment’
  • Boston has over 250,000 college students
  • Steeped in history
  • Compact – easy to get around by foot, bike or public transport
  • Free shuttle bus between campuses


  • 12 undergraduate schools and colleges: College of Arts & Science, College of Communication, College of Engineering, College of Fine Arts, College of General Studies, Kilachand Honours College, College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, Faculty of Computing & Data Science, Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, Questrom School of Business, School of Hospitality Administration, and the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
  • Programs across schools = Pre-Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Law and Pre-Vet. Science
  • 300+ programmes of study
  • All programmes combine theory with real-world experiences
  • Most popular programmes: Business Administration, Communication, Engineering, Psychology, Economics, Health Professions
  • Options for dual degree programmes
  • Selectivity is pretty equal across the schools and colleges
  • Apply directly to one school/college but students have the flexibility to move across divisions if they change their mind
  • Exception is any of the conservatoire programmes that require additional portfolios or interview for admission
  • Can apply undecided to the College of General Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences
  • General Education Program = BU Hub. Around 600 students who all start in January and complete a spring term and then move to London for a 6-week summer term. Students are broken into teams of 100 students. Fairly structured 2 year programme before students move into a major. Space for electives to explore potential majors in each semester.
  • Some students apply directly for BU Hub, but can also pick it as their 2nd choice if there is no space on their 1st choice programme.
  • UROP – Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. 1 million dollar annual budget to fund undergraduate research projects – students can apply for financial support for their ideas. UROP also makes faculty connections for budding researchers.
  • 7 year medical program – undergraduate + medical school. Highly competitive.
  • 27 different languages
  • 650+ courses that address global and international themes
  • 70+ study abroad programmes in 20+ cities across 15+ countries – internships, fieldwork, research, language study and liberal arts programs.
  • Possible for every major and around 40% participate.
  • 89% of students have done at least one internship by graduation.
  • Kilachand Honours College – 4 year programme with small classes, close faculty contact and a communal atmosphere. Runs in tandem to a major. Students from all different disciplines coming together – suits students who have intellectual curiosity across disciplines. Residential component in the first year. 1 extra essay is required for application.


  • BU receives over 70,000 applications from 163+ countries – first year admit around 3,100 + 790+ transfer students
  • Around 41% submit test scores (Admitted class of 2025 – 42% submitted test scores)
  • Has grown in selectivity over the past 10 years
  • Accepts Common App and Coalition
  • Comprehensive review – all pieces of the application are considered together
  • A student’s available high school curriculum is carefully considered – have they challenged themselves within the school context?
  • Average GPA – 3.8 unweighted (A-)
  • Test optional – mid 50% = ACT 32-35 / SAT 1420-1540
  • Pay close attention to the BU supplementary question – Why us?
  • 1 teacher reference + 1 counsellor reference
  • Extra curricular and personal highlights are also important – what is your passion and how are you engaging and investing in it?
  • BU does track demonstrated interest – attending virtual programmes, campus visits. Influence depends on the applicant pool
  • 50% ED / 50% RD
  • Early Decision 1 = 1st November
  • Early Decision 2 = 1st January
  • Regular Decision = 1st January


  • Tuition fee = $61,050 (2022/23)
  • Total estimated cost of attendance = $82,766 (2022/23)
  • Meets 100% need for all admitted domestic students
  • Financial aid is 91% need-based / 9% merit-based
  • $52,000 = average financial package for domestic students
  • 320+ athletic scholarships
  • International students can apply for the Trustee Scholarships, Presidential Scholarships and Alumni & Friends Scholarships
  • Financial aid is not tethered to test scores

Student Support

  • Despite the size there is a lot of support for students, but it does have to be sought out
  • Academic advising
  • Orientation programmes for freshmen and transfer students
  • Centre of Career Development works with students from their first year and hosts multiple fairs each year
  • International Students and Scholars Office
  • Pre-professional Advising Office
  • Educational Resource Centre offers peer tutoring, language classes, test-prep, writing help, and help with time-management
  • Huge global alumni network


  • Campus housing is guaranteed for all 4 years – lottery system
  • 84% live on campus
  • 1st years must live on campus
  • Flexible meal plans are available
  • Range of options from large/small traditional dorms, apartment living, student villages, and Living-Learning and Speciality shared-interest communities


  • First Year Student Outreach project – allows freshmen to come to campus a week early and undertake community service
  • Alternative Service Breaks – students can volunteer in the US and Canada
  • 40+ club and intramural sports
  • 24 Division 1 Varsity Athletics – ice hockey is the ‘big’ sport. BU are also very successful at women’s soccer, women’s field hockey and men’s basketball.
  • Boathouse on the Charles River for rowers
  • Small but active Greek community
  • 450+ clubs and organisations
  • Student government

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