The Difference Is Our DNA

What compelled the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to award Boston University a grant to fight newborn mortality in Zambia? Why did Martin Luther King, Jr. adopt BU as a place where he could hone his message of justice and equality? Why is Boston University ranked #39 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017? And what is the catalyst that prompts 33,106 students to call BU their home every semester? It’s in our DNA: an inherent desire in each of our students, faculty, and staff to vigorously and dauntlessly pursue knowledge—and embrace the unlimited possibilities that come with it.

A Community Unlike Any Other

As you can see below, it takes people, ideas, and a little luck (Boston, you’re our town) to make BU what it is today: one of the most dynamic universities in the world.

Celebrated thinkers: On any given day, students will find themselves mesmerized by Nobel Prize winners, poets laureate, Pulitzer Prize winners, and Fulbright Scholars, among others.

Extraordinary teaching: When a classroom starts to percolate with new ideas, it’s because our faculty of scholars and accomplished practitioners know how to ignite students’ imaginations. That’s why we reward our best teachers with BU’s most prestigious honor: The Metcalf Cup and Prize.

Groundbreaking research: With faculty dedicated to a creative, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, BU has become a leading global research institution—propelled forward by over $368.9 million in grants and contract awards in FY2016. In fall 2012, BU was invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of 61 other leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

World-class students: Elite students from all 50 states and 130+ countries pursue higher education on BU campuses in Boston and at programs in LA, DC, and more than 30 other cities on six continents.

A city within a city: Today, 75 percent of our undergrads live on campus, which could explain our 450+ student activity groups alone.

The greatest college town in the world: Boston. ’Nuff said.

BU Basics

How many freshmen matriculated last fall? What is the student to faculty ratio? Do you know how many continents BU spans? Which professor is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner? (Hint: He also doubles as a dean around campus.)

  • 3,629 freshmen (Fall 2015)*; 3,558 freshmen (Fall 2016)
  • 10 students for each faculty member
  • Programs on 6 continents
  • COM Dean has 2 Pulitzers

There are so many numbers, statistics, facts, and figures about BU, you could scroll for miles. Here’s a quick overview…

* Student counts are based on Fall 2015 mid-semester information. Also see 2015/2016 Boston University Fact Sheet, published August 2016.

Student body* 33,106
Undergraduate 16,478
Graduate & professional 14,150
Non-Degree 2,478
Faculty 3,920
Total Employees 9,962
Living alumni 300,000+
Boston locations Charles River Campus & Medical Campus
Campus area 133 acres
Buildings 322
Classrooms 544
Libraries 23
Laboratories 2,326
Schools & colleges 17
Programs of study More than 250
Study abroad programs Over 90 in 35 cities in 25 countries
Student / faculty ratio 10:1
Average class size 27
Total degrees awarded 6,661 (May 2016)
Master’s, doctoral/professional degrees 3,171 (May 2016)
Grant & Contract Awards
Research Awards $368.9 million in FY2016
BMC Clinical Research Grants $130 million in FY2016
Undergraduate Financial Aid & Scholarships
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based) $27,684,458
Total grants & scholarships (need-based) $191,118,660
Average need-based grant/scholarship $32,397
Average total need-based financial aid $38,952
Student Life
Undergraduate students living on campus 75%
Community service hours 100,000+
Alternative Spring Break participants 400+
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers 900+
Student organizations Over 450
Art & performance organizations 69
Academic & professional organizations 79
Community service & justice organizations 55
Cultural & religious organizations 48
Concerts & performances on campus Over 500
Facebook pages & groups Over 90
Twitter accounts Over 80
Exhibitions 50+
Dissertation & thesis defenses 250+ open to the public
Conferences, lectures & symposia 1,500+
Faculty experts in the news 2,000+ annually
International Community
Students’ origins 8,452 international students from 133 countries
Language houses 6
Cultural student groups 30+
Global initiatives 400+
Global Days of Service 25,000 hours/4,000+ participants
Alumni abroad 180+ countries
Varsity sports 22 (12 women’s, 10 men’s)
Club sports 30+ teams / 30+ sports
Club sports participants 7,000
Intramural sports & tournaments 15+
Fitness & recreation classes 100+ for credit and hundreds of non-credit classes
FitRec users Over 6,500 visits daily