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 33,747 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, and the first biomedical engineer ever to receive a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award,” 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 $366 million in grants and contract awards in FY2012. 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 143 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, 80 percent of our undergrads live on campus, which could explain our 500+ 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.)

  • 3,877 freshmen
  • 12.7 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 2012/2013 Boston University Fact Sheet, published June 2013.

Student body 33,747
Undergraduate 16,545
Graduate & professional 14,132
Non-Degree 3,070
Faculty 3,878
Living alumni 339,153
Boston locations Charles River Campus & Medical Campus
Campus area 135 acres
Buildings 322
Classrooms 490
Libraries 24
Laboratories 2,003
Schools & colleges 16
Programs of study More than 250
Study abroad programs Nearly 100 in 36 cities in 23 countries
Student / faculty ratio 12.7:1
Average class size 27
Total degrees awarded 9,448 FY2012
Total doctoral/professional degrees 1,143
Grant & Contract Awards
Total dollars awarded $366.3 million in FY2012
Number of awards 1,706
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based) $28,923,096
Total grants & scholarships (need-based) $185,264,080
Average need-based grant/scholarship $25,047
Average total need-based financial aid $37,038
Student Life
Students living on campus 80%
Community service hours 100,000+
Alternative Spring Break participants 422
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers 1,268
Student organizations Over 500
Performing arts organizations 55
Media & art organizations 16
Community service organizations 27
Cultural & religious organizations 58
Concerts & performances on campus 523
Facebook pages & groups 200 and growing
Twitter accounts 262
Exhibitions 59
Dissertation & thesis defenses 271 open to the public
Conferences, lectures & symposia 1,771
Faculty experts in the news 2,466 annually
International Community
Students’ origins 6,602 international students from 143 countries
Language houses 7
Cultural student groups 41
Global initiatives 400+
Global Day of Service 24,229 hours/3,000+ participants
Alumni abroad 180+ countries
Varsity sports 25 (14 women’s, 11 men’s)
Club sports 32 teams / 28 sports
Club sports participants 1,007
Intramural sports & tournaments 16
Fitness & recreation classes Nearly 700 credit and non-credit, per semester
FitRec users 4,000–5,000 visits daily