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BU Ranks in Top 50 Universities Nationwide

Climbs one spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list


Boston University moved up one notch, from 42 to 41, in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s colleges and universities. In the just-released rankings, BU also was named to the lists of “high school counselors’ top college picks,” “foreign student factor,” and “best colleges for veterans.”

In compiling this year’s rankings of more than 1,600 four-year colleges and universities, U.S. News considered numerous factors, including peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving.

Jean Morrison, University provost, says she is delighted to see upward movement in the rankings. “At a time of unrelenting competitiveness, we are happy to see the hard work that our great faculty do in teaching and research and scholarship recognized,” she says. “News like this is always welcome, but it is also a reminder of how diligently we need to work in the years ahead to carry this progress forward.”

BU’s overall rank of 41 puts it in a 6-way tie with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Tulane University, University of California, Davis, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

BU was awarded an overall score of 61 on a 100-point scale. The report lauded the University’s “highly ranked graduate schools,” including the School of Law, the Questrom School of Business, the College of Engineering, the School of Education, and the School of Medicine, which it cited for having the “nation’s first combined cancer research and teaching laboratory.”

Princeton University took the top spot in this year’s ranking, followed by Harvard at number two. Other local area schools joining BU in the top 50 include MIT (7), Tufts (27), Boston College (30), Brandeis (34), and Northeastern University (47).

There’s “little doubt” that high school counselors have “the experience and expertise needed to assess academic quality and give prospective students smart direction,” U.S. News writes in its list of 2016 “high school counselors’ top college picks.” The magazine asked 1,300 high school counselors nationwide to rank the quality of a school’s undergraduate academic programs from one to five. That number was then combined with three years of previous scores. BU shared 38th position with 7 other schools; they all received scores of 4.2.

U.S. News went on to identify national universities with the largest proportions of international undergrads, because, as they put it, “in a global culture, befriending and learning to collaborate with students from other countries can be rewarding personally and professionally.” BU reports that 19 percent of its undergraduates (approximately 3,400 students) came from foreign countries during the 2014–2015 school year.

At BU, military veterans and active-duty service members can take advantage of both the GI Bill and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides financial assistance to service members who have served at least 36 months since 9/11. Those factors, combined with BU’s high overall U.S. News ranking, put the school 33rd on the list of best national universities for veterans.

Amy Laskowski, Senior Writer at Boston University Marketing & Communications editorial department
Amy Laskowski

Amy Laskowski can be reached at amlaskow@bu.edu.

10 Comments on BU Ranks in Top 50 Universities Nationwide

  • asdf on 09.18.2015 at 7:05 am

    And all it took were annual tuition hikes 20 times above inflation!

    • Fangge You on 09.18.2015 at 11:34 am


  • Sean Barley on 09.18.2015 at 1:04 pm

    Boston University is Awesome! Proud BU STH 2012 alum!

  • Kerry marowski on 09.18.2015 at 3:30 pm

    Boston University changed my life by making me a smarter and more confident person. It is a top notch university with excellent professors who’s goal is to help you succeed. Make it your first choice and you’ll never regret it!

    • Sean Barley on 09.18.2015 at 5:54 pm

      Definitely…Well said Kerry!

  • Alumnus on 09.18.2015 at 8:56 pm

    For the tuition paid, it should be ranked 20 places above. There is still a lot of work to be done.

    But I still love BU.

  • CAS '14 on 09.19.2015 at 2:15 pm

    Given the University’s incredible resources, remarkably successful fundraising campaign, and worldwide recognition, why is it that we’re only now regaining the position we held in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report rankings? How is it that schools like Brandeis (don’t get me wrong – it’s a good school) are ranked nearly 15 places ahead of us?

    I understand that ranks aren’t everything, but I think the PR madness over moving up one spot should be tempered in favor of a push for bringing our school up to the level that it belongs at, especially given the large cost of attendance.

    • Jose Artigas on 09.22.2015 at 6:19 pm

      Maybe Brandeis spends more on actual instruction, & less on administrative bloat & vanity construction. Just a thought.

  • Xiaohe CHENG on 10.20.2015 at 5:02 am

    awesome! As a Chinese scholar in IR, I’m proud of once being part of BU community.

  • Gerald Collins on 11.21.2016 at 5:22 pm

    I dont understand how Boston College ( the school is really in Newton) scores higher than BU. BU has much more to offer ( except for football) . Boston College was my safe school when I applied.
    I think BC grads contributes more which is one of the criteria with ranking.

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