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Boston University

One Silber Way, Boston, MA 2215, USA

Boston University award
Boston University award
US ranking
position: 15
Tuition & fees per year: $62,360
Acceptance rate: 19.00%
Median alumni salary: $51,077
Avg. SAT and ACT: 1440 SAT, 33 ACT
Entrance difficulty: N/A

What is the history of Boston University?

Boston University's rich and complex history dates back to 1839 when it was founded as the Newbury Biblical Institute in rural Vermont by abolitionist Methodists. Officially chartered in 1869, the university aimed to establish an institution open to all, regardless of gender, race, or religion. Early years were marked by financial struggles and controversy, but by expanding its offerings beyond theology into fields such as law, medicine, and the arts, Boston University became a thriving institution with a diverse student body by the turn of the century.

Throughout the 20th century, Boston University continued to grow and evolve. In the 1920s, the School of Education was established, which later became the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. The 1940s saw the university become one of the first in the country to offer a degree in public relations, and in the 1960s, the College of Fine Arts was established, now recognized as one of the top arts programs in the country.

Despite facing a series of scandals in the 1970s, including a violent student protest against the Vietnam War and accusations of financial improprieties against the university's president, John Silber, Boston University continued to grow and expand its offerings. In the 21st century, the university has thrived as a leading research institution. The College of Engineering was established in 2002 and has quickly become one of the top engineering programs in the country. In 2012, Boston University was invited to join the Association of American Universities, a prestigious group of leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

Although Boston University has a nonsectarian affiliation, it retains its historical connection with the United Methodist Church. The university has a long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, being one of the first American institutions of higher education to accept African-American and international students, and the first in the state to award degrees to women. Helen Magill White became the first American woman to receive a Ph.D. when she graduated from Boston University.

Classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity," Boston University is a member of the Boston Consortium for Higher Education and the Association of American Universities. The university operates internship programs in cities around the world, including Washington, D.C., London, Moscow, Peking (Beijing), Madrid, Paris, and Sydney, Australia, and offers study-abroad opportunities in Europe, Israel, Central and South America, and Africa.

For students interested in learning about the university's history, the History of Boston University course, taught by Daryl Healea, provides an opportunity to explore the institution's past through visits to buildings, archival materials, and readings. Students in the course write their own narratives from a particular era in Boston University's history, such as the female experience in the late 1800s, the Black experience during the 1960s, or how World War II impacted the Charles River Campus.

What are the faculties and departments at Boston University?

Boston University boasts a diverse range of faculties and departments, providing students with numerous academic programs to choose from. Within the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, students can find departments such as African American & Black Diaspora Studies, Anthropology, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Economics, among others. The College of Arts & Sciences also offers undergraduate programs in areas like African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Middle East & North Africa Studies, and Muslim Studies. Furthermore, the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies is situated within the College of Arts & Sciences.

Other notable departments and programs at Boston University include the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, which provides undergraduate programs in African Studies, Asian Studies, European Studies, International Relations, Latin American Studies, Middle East & North Africa Studies, and Muslim Studies. The Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) is a unique offering that allows students to study marine science and ecology. All undergraduate students must complete the Core Curriculum, which establishes a foundation in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

In addition to these departments and programs, Boston University also offers interdisciplinary programs such as Cognitive & Neural Systems, Bioinformatics, and Creative Writing. The Department of Romance Studies provides courses in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, while the World Languages & Literatures department offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, German, Hebrew, Hindi-Urdu, Japanese, Korean, Persian (Farsi), Russian, and Turkish. Overall, Boston University presents a wide array of academic opportunities for students interested in pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies.

What is the location of Boston University?

Boston University is situated in the vibrant city of Boston, Massachusetts, in the Northeast region of the United States. The university boasts three urban campuses, with the main campus nestled along the scenic Charles River, straddling the Fenway-Kenmore and Allston neighborhoods. For those interested in pursuing medical studies, the Boston University Medical Campus can be found in the South End neighborhood of the city.

The institution's address is One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215, and the official phone number for inquiries is 353-2000. For prospective students traveling to Boston University, the nearest airport is Logan International, making it convenient for those coming from both domestic and international locations.

What is the mission and vision of Boston University?

Boston University strives to be a leading private research institution with a strong emphasis on research excellence and innovative undergraduate and graduate education. The university aims to prepare its students for the ever-changing global work environment by fostering interdisciplinary connections, which can lead to novel approaches in research and teaching. This interconnectedness is expected to result in bold discoveries and significant research impact.

In addition to its focus on research and education, Boston University is dedicated to embracing state-of-the-art remote, digital, and online technologies. These advancements are intended to enhance in-person programs and expand the university's educational reach. Furthermore, the institution is committed to becoming an even more diverse and inclusive environment, where individuals can find their communities, thrive, and contribute to social and racial justice scholarly work.

The Development & Alumni Relations (DAR) department at Boston University also plays a crucial role in the university's mission and vision. This department aims to engage with friends of the university, connecting their passions with the institution's purpose. DAR works creatively and collaboratively to harness the power of philanthropy, making an excellent education accessible and welcoming to all, while advancing the university's global leadership in research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice. The department's vision is to develop enduring relationships and resources that help Boston University build a better world.

Lastly, the Diversity & Inclusion department at Boston University is committed to embodying the university's founding principles and fulfilling the promise of its legacy. This department focuses on attracting, supporting, and promoting a wide variety of voices and backgrounds at the institution, including those who live with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities, are first-generation college students, or are members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

What is the accreditation of Boston University?

Boston University holds accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), signifying that the institution meets or surpasses the criteria for institutional quality through a thorough peer review process. While this accreditation does not guarantee the quality of every course or program offered, nor the competence of individual graduates, it does provide reasonable assurance regarding the quality of opportunities available to students attending Boston University.

In addition to NECHE accreditation, some of the university's professional programs have received accreditation from other organizations. For instance, programs in health and rehabilitation sciences are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics and the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. Furthermore, the College of Fine Arts at Boston University is accredited by both the National Association of Schools of Music and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Boston University Rankings

See where this school lands in our other Rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution's offerings.

31 Best Value Colleges in Massachusetts in 2023-2024

32 Most Popular Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

65 Most Affordable Colleges in 2023-2024

66 Most Popular Colleges in 2023-2024

176 Best Value Colleges in the Northeast in 2023-2024 US

733 Best Value Colleges in 2023-2024


Boston University Profile - Basic Information

Name of the institution

Boston University

Level of institution

Four or more years

Granulation by control over the institution (public/private)


School type


Setting type

City: Large

Calendar system


Foundation year


Institution size category

20,000 and above

Main student body


Institutional Category

Degree - granting, primarily baccalaureate or above

Boston University Programs and Degrees

iconMaster's degree
iconCertificate of at least 2 years, but less than 4 years
iconBachelor's degree
iconCertificate of less than 1 year
iconPostbaccalaureate certificate
iconCertificate of at least 1 year, but less than 2 years
iconPost-master's certificate
iconDoctor's degree - research/scholarship
iconDoctor's degree - professional practice
iconOther degree
iconAssociate's degree
iconDoctor's degree - other

Alumni Salary for Boston University Degrees


Avg. salary

Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services


Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs


Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services






English Language and Literature/Letters


Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Health Professions and Related Programs




Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities


Mathematics and Statistics


Philosophy and Religious Studies


Physical Sciences




Public Administration and Social Service Professions


Social Sciences


Visual and Performing Arts