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? And what is the catalyst that prompts 33,119 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 $350.3 million in grants and contract awards in FY2014. 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 L.A., D.C., and more than 30 other cities on six continents.

A city within a city: Today, 78 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.)

  • 3,900 freshmen (Fall 2014)
  • 12.5 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…

* Numbers based on the 2013/2014 Boston University Fact Sheet, published June 2014.

Student body 33,119
Undergraduate 16,496
Graduate & professional 13,954
Non-Degree 2,699
Faculty 3,884
Total Employees 9,978
Living alumni 342,454
Boston locations Charles River Campus & Medical Campus
Campus area 135 acres
Buildings 323
Classrooms 544
Libraries 23
Laboratories 2,300
Schools & colleges 17
Programs of study More than 250
Study abroad programs Over 75 in 36 cities in 26 countries
Student / faculty ratio 12.5:1
Average class size 27
Total degrees awarded 6,622 (May 2015)
Total doctoral/professional degrees 3,145 (May 2015)
Grant & Contract Awards
Research Awards $350.3 million in FY2014
BMC Clinical Research Grants $110 million
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based) $39,531,931
Total grants & scholarships (need-based) $177,197,745
Average need-based grant/scholarship $28,243
Average total need-based financial aid $35,633
Student Life
Students living on campus 78%
Community service hours 100,000+
Alternative Spring Break participants 400+
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers 900+
Student organizations Over 450
Performing arts organizations 56
Media & art organizations 18
Community service organizations 22
Cultural & religious organizations 57
Concerts & performances on campus Over 500
Facebook pages & groups Over 100
Twitter accounts Over 100
Exhibitions 59
Dissertation & thesis defenses 271 open to the public
Conferences, lectures & symposia 1,771
Faculty experts in the news 2,424 annually
International Community
Students’ origins 7,143 international students from 130 countries
Language houses 7
Cultural student groups 31
Global initiatives 400+
Global Days of Service 25,000 hours/4,000+ participants
Alumni abroad 180+ countries
Varsity sports 24 (14 women’s, 10 men’s)
Club sports 32 teams / 28 sports
Club sports participants 900
Intramural sports & tournaments 17
Fitness & recreation classes Nearly 700 credit and non-credit, per semester
FitRec users 4,000–5,000 visits daily