Boston

Boston University

Boston
#73 / #29
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
#56
Most Desirable School
Private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Boston University Featured Rankings

About Boston University

By James Barham, PhD

Boston University (universally known as “BU”) traces its roots to a Methodist Church training college, the Newbury Biblical Institute, founded in Newbury, Vermont, by a group of Boston-based Methodist ministers and elders. Ten years later, in 1849, the school was transferred to the much larger town (and state capital) of Concord, New Hampshire, where it operated as the Concord Biblical Institute for 20 more years. Finally, in 1869, it moved again, this time to Boston itself, under the new name of the Boston Theological Institute.

Just two years after that, in 1871, the school’s name was changed one last time—to Boston University. BU was built up piecemeal over a period of many years, in several different Boston locations, including the Beacon Hill and Copley Square neighborhoods. It only came to occupy its present main campus—in the Back Bay neighborhood along the south bank of the Charles River across from MIT—during the 1930s.

Despite BU’s origins as a Methodist Church training institute, its new 1871 charter stated that there should be no religious test for entrance to the university at large (the School of Theology excepted), placing BU among the ranks of the first American universities to officially sever their ties to their religious past. BU was also early in admitting women and African Americans to its student body on an equal basis with white men.

From today’s perspective, the transplantation of the school to Boston was prescient, as the city and its immediately surrounding region now have the highest concentration of top-ranking colleges and universities in the US. In addition to BU, the greater Boston area is home to Northeastern University and Emerson College (also in Boston proper), to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (in Cambridge), to Boston College (in Chestnut Hill), to Brandeis University (in Waltham), and to Tufts University (in Medford and Somerville).

Nine persons connected with Boston University have won the Nobel Prize. Of these, the best known are the:

  • American particle physicist, Sheldon Glashow—physics
  • American novelist, Saul Bellow and the Saint Lucian-born poet, Derek Walcott—literature
  • Romanian-born novelist, Holocaust-survivor, and prolific non-fiction author and political activist, Elie Wiesel— peace

Then there is the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the Baptist minister and primary leader of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s until his assassination in 1968, who obtained his doctorate in systematic theology from BU in 1955, and who received the Noble Peace Prize in 1964.

It is also worth noting that King’s dissertation advisor at BU was Edgar Sheffield Brightman, who taught philosophy there for more than 30 years. Brightman’s own teacher, Borden Parker Bowne, was the founder of the American philosophical movement known as personalism; he, too, taught at BU for 30 years. Finally, one of Brightman’s students, Peter A. Bertocci, also taught for three decades at BU, where among other things he edited MLK’s papers. Thus, the three most important figures in the history of American personalism all made their long and distinguished careers at BU, which may be considered the beating heart of that significant American philosophical movement.

Another well-known philosopher, the Kant-scholar, and conservative public intellectual, John Silber, served as President of BU for some 25 years.

Among other well-known BU-connected individuals, we may mention:

  • Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone at BU in 1875
  • Philosophers, Alasdair MacIntyre & Roger Scruton
  • Poets, Robert Lowell & Sylvia Plath
  • Novelist, Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Folk singer, Joan Baez
  • Actors, Faye Dunaway, Geena Davis, Alfre Woodard, Julianne Moore, Marisa Tomei, & Emily Deschanel
  • Radio personality, Howard Stern
  • Television personalities, Rosie O’Donnell and Bill O’Reilly
  • Prominent, recently elected member of the US House of Representatives, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Finally, William Howard Taft lectured at BU’s law school between 1918 and 1921, in between serving as the 17th President of the United States and the 10th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. Taft is the only person ever to hold both of those high positions.

According to Wikipedia, Boston University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. BU was founded in 1839 by a group of Boston Methodists with its original campus in Newbury, Vermont, before being chartered in Boston in 1869. It is a member of the Association of American Universities and the Boston Consortium for Higher Education.

Boston University's Online Degrees

Graduate Certificate in Applied Business Analytics
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Corporate Finance
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Data Analytics
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Financial Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Fundraising Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Global Marketing Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in International Finance
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Investment Analysis
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Project Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Supply Chain Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MLaw in Taxation Law
  • Required Credits: 24
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Applied Data Analytics
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Applied Business Analytics
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Enterprise Risk Management
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Financial Management
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Global Marketing Management
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Project Management
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Supply Chain Management
Degree Concentrations
  • Global Business
  • Logistics Management
  • Quantitative Approaches
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Insurance Management
  • Required Credits: None Reported
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Advanced Information Technology
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Database Management & Business Intelligence
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Information Security
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Information Technology
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in It Project Management
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Visual And Digital Health And Communication
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Web Application Development
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Software Development
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Computer Information Systems
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Crime Analysis
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity & Cybercrime
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Digital Forensics
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management In Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Criminal Justice
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MA in Art Education
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MMA in Music Education
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Music Education
  • Required Credits: 32
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
HEA in Higher Education Administration
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
DMA in Music Education
  • Required Credits: 44
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
EdM in Curriculum And Teaching
  • Required Credits: None Reported
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
BS in Undergrad Completion Program
  • Required Credits: 64
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MSW in Social Work
  • Required Credits: None Reported
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Clinical Investigation
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Medical Information Security And Privacy
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Public Health
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
MS in Health Communication
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
OTD in Occupational Therapy
  • Required Credits: 40
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported
Graduate Certificate in Food Studies
  • Required Credits: 16
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: None Reported

Boston University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual ApplicationsAcceptanceGraduation RateMedian SAT ScoreMedian ACT Score
75,77819%89%140532

How Much Does Boston University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)
$59,816
Price by Family Income
IncomeAverage Net Cost
0 - 30K$12,982
30K - 48K$11,782
48K - 75K$18,458
75K - 110K$29,925
110K+$50,125

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

How Much Do Boston University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Boston University, then you can expect to earn an average of $75,900 per year. You also have a 92% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Boston University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student BodyUnder-GradsGraduates
40,49220,20420,288

Where is Boston University?

Boston University is located at One Silber Way, Boston MA 02215

How Safe is Boston University?

Boston University has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%. Boston has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Boston University Known For?

Boston University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Boston University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Literature
#31
World Rank
#57
Historical Rank
#14
USA Rank
literature Degrees
Social Work
#17
World Rank
#17
Historical Rank
#15
USA Rank
social-work Degrees
Communications
#51
World Rank
#62
Historical Rank
#17
USA Rank
communications Degrees
Religious Studies
#74
World Rank
#90
Historical Rank
#18
USA Rank
religious-studies-hub Degrees
Education
#63
World Rank
#67
Historical Rank
#23
USA Rank
education Degrees
Political Science
#70
World Rank
#70
Historical Rank
#24
USA Rank
political-science Degrees
Business
#51
World Rank
#51
Historical Rank
#26
USA Rank
business Degrees
History
#66
World Rank
#74
Historical Rank
#27
USA Rank
history Degrees
Philosophy
#92
World Rank
#123
Historical Rank
#28
USA Rank
philosophy Degrees
Physics
#102
World Rank
#137
Historical Rank
#29
USA Rank
physics Degrees
Sociology
#79
World Rank
#82
Historical Rank
#30
USA Rank
sociology Degrees
Medical
#77
World Rank
#80
Historical Rank
#32
USA Rank
medicine Degrees
Law
#112
World Rank
#119
Historical Rank
#32
USA Rank
Anthropology
#77
World Rank
#93
Historical Rank
#32
USA Rank
anthropology Degrees
Psychology
#54
World Rank
#70
Historical Rank
#33
USA Rank
psychology Degrees
Biology
#111
World Rank
#136
Historical Rank
#35
USA Rank
biology Degrees
Earth Sciences
#150
World Rank
#175
Historical Rank
#38
USA Rank
earth-science Degrees
Economics
#142
World Rank
#162
Historical Rank
#39
USA Rank
economics Degrees
Computer Science
#105
World Rank
#105
Historical Rank
#43
USA Rank
computer-science Degrees
Mathematics
#171
World Rank
#218
Historical Rank
#43
USA Rank
math Degrees
Criminal Justice
#58
World Rank
#62
Historical Rank
#47
USA Rank
criminal-justice Degrees
Engineering
#159
World Rank
#177
Historical Rank
#48
USA Rank
engineering Degrees
Chemistry
#232
World Rank
#256
Historical Rank
#59
USA Rank
chemistry Degrees

Who Are Boston University's Most Influential Alumni?

Boston University's most influential alumni include professors and professionals in the fields of Social Work, Business, and Literature. Here are some of Boston University's most famous alumni:

Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
An American civil-rights activist and leader, Nobel peace prize laureate .
Sheldon Glashow
Sheldon Glashow
An American theoretical physicist.
Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson
An American science fiction writer.
Ray Hyman
Ray Hyman
An American professor of psychology.
Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale
An American writer and minister .
Tipper Gore
A Second Lady of the United States .
Albert-László Barabási
Albert-László Barabási
A Hungarian-Romanian physicist.
Steven M. Wise
An American legal scholar.
Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson
An American science fiction writer.
Bernard Berenson
Bernard Berenson
An American art critic and collector.
Daniel C. Tsui
Daniel C. Tsui
A Chinese-American physicist, Nobel laureate.
Bill Simmons
An American sports columnist, author, and podcaster.

Who Are Boston University's Most Influential Faculty?

Boston University's most influential faculty include professors in the fields of Social Work, Business, and Literature. Here are some of Boston University's most famous alumni:

Adil Najam
Adil Najam
A Pakistani scientist.
Ibram X. Kendi
Ibram X. Kendi
An American author and historian.
Tobias Preis
Tobias Preis
A German scientist, University of Warwick.
Azer Bestavros
An Egyptian computer scientist.
Benjamin K. Sovacool
Benjamin K. Sovacool
An American sustainability advocate.
Mikhail Lukin
A Russian physicist.
Ruha Benjamin
A Sociologist from Ethiopia.
Sandro Galea
Sandro Galea
An American physician.
Immanuel Bloch
A German physicist.
Mark Hersam
Mark Hersam
An American materials scientist.
Ana Maria Rey
A Colombian physicist.
Carmela Abraham
An American neuroscientist.