Boston University (BU) sits across the street from Fenway Park on the bank of the famed Charles River. Known for its undergraduate research opportunities and flexible curriculum, BU has seen it's application numbers rise exponentially and its acceptance rates drop in the last decade. The 4th largest private liberal arts school in the nation, BU has 10 undergraduate schools and colleges, which include distinctive programming in biomedical engineering, journalism and fine arts conservancy.
There are some grassy lawns, but BU is a true urban campus, with buildings blending in to area shops, restaurants and office buildings. Students are guaranteed housing for all 4 years, and the dorms (including apartments and suites) at the new Hancock Village recreational and residential center have been ranked as some of the best campus housing in the nation. All athletic facilities have been rebuilt within the last 5 years, and the state-of-the-art fitness center includes a lazy river. With more than 500 clubs and organizations, there is no shortage of activities, and the BU Terriers participate in more than 20 NCAA Division 1 sports. The hockey team has been especially decorated, with multiple national championships under its belt. Freshman retention is high at 92.5% and more than 80% of students graduate within four years.
Academics are first-rate, and BU graduates are highly sought after in the US and abroad. Most popular majors (among the more than 250 available programs of study!) include Business, Marketing, Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Science and Health Sciences. New offerings include an Honors College and College of International Studies, as well as a major in Theater Design & Production. The College of Engineering recently opened a 15,000-square-foot facility, the Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC), to provide hands-on experience and training to future engineers. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1 and nearly 60% of classes have fewer than 20 students. BU was one of the first colleges to have a study abroad program, which now offers more than 90 international programs.
- Undergraduate enrollment: 18,017
- 29% admit rate; 15% from MA; large growth among minority applicants as well as out-of-state students
- Freshman profile: most top 9% or higher; grades junior year are critical, with average GPA 3.7; 70% come from public schools
- SAT average 1407; ACT average 31; essay not required
- 32% of freshman admitted from one of the ED deadlines (which have lower average test scores)
- Life experiences stand out on applications, which are read first by region and then by college
- BU bridge is one of only three places in the world where a a plane can fly over a car driving over a train going over a boat, all simultaneously
- The fourth floor of Shelton Hall (dorm for writing majors) is supposedly haunted by the ghost of playwright Eugene O'Neill, who died in the building when it was a Sheraton Hotel
- The West Campus dining hall, famous for great food, hosts Lobster Night, a visiting chef series and Dessert Night
- Notable alum include: Martin Luther King, Jr., Actors Geena Davis, Julianne Moore, Jason Alexander and Ginnifer Goodwin, author/Pulitzer winner Jhumpa Lahiri, J.Crew CEO/Chairman Mickey Drexler and Burger King co-founder David Edgerton
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