BU: A History of Firsts

The School of Music at Boston University, founded in 1872, is the oldest degree-granting music program in the United States.

Since its founding in 1869, Boston University has been at the forefront of some of the 19th and 20th centuries’ most significant cultural, social, and technological changes.
• BU: the first university to open all its divisions to female students
• BU: the first university in the United States to have a college of music and grant degrees in music (1872)
• BU: the first American university to exchange professors with European universities
• BU: the first to admit women to its medical school, the School of Medicine (1873)
• BU: the first university in America to award a Ph.D. to a woman, classical scholar Helen Magill (1877)
• BU: the first university to offer a degree in public relations (1947)
• BU: the first symphony to perform Carmina Burana on the east cost (1954)
• BU: the first university to have a graduate school of dentistry (1963)
• BU: the first university in the nation to have a combined cancer research and teaching laboratory (1965)
• BU: pioneered the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (1955) and was the first university in the world to offer an online D.M.A. in Music Education (2005)
• BU: the first to stage Owen Wingrave in Boston (2013)