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The Best Places to Study for Finals

A guide to some of the University’s lesser-known haunts


The semester is nearly over. Regular classes wrapped up yesterday and study period begins today, with finals scheduled for May 7 through 11. Students are pouring into Mugar Memorial Library, the GSU Food Court, and nearby coffee shops to finish papers and projects and begin cramming for exams. But finding a seat in those places is often difficult. With that in mind, BU Today asked students their favorite places to study (besides Mugar), and we’ve put together a list of the most popular.

Exterior shot of Kilachand Hall.

Kilachand Hall Study Lounge
91 Bay State Road, ninth floor

Hours: Open daily, 24 hours

Visitors to the top floor of Kilachand Hall will find a study lounge with panoramic views of Boston and the Fenway. Reminder: Kilachand Hall’s study lounge, like those in other residences, is open only to students living on campus and available only to Kilachand residents after 2 am.

Private room in the Educational Resource Center.

Educational Resource Center
Center for Student Services
100 Bay State Road, fifth floor

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9 am to 9 pm; Friday, 9 am to 5 pm; closed Saturday; Sunday, noon to 8 pm

The Educational Resource Center (ERC) has both casual study nooks and private study spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book a private study room, visit the ERC’s fifth floor office. Open to all students with a valid BU ID.

Statue in Pickering Library.

Pickering Educational Resources Library
School of Education, 2 Silber Way

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am to 9 pm; Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; closed Sunday

One of the smaller libraries on campus, the Pickering Library, in the basement of the SED building, offers a quiet place to study. Open to all students with a valid BU ID.

Inside of Science & Engineering Library.

Science & Engineering Library
38 Cummington Mall

Hours: Open daily, 8 am to midnight, through study period and finals

This library is convenient for anyone living on or near East Campus seeking a short commute. It has cubicles as well as communal tables for studying. Find more information about finals week hours here.

Top floor view from study lounge of 575 Commonwealth Ave.

575 Commonwealth Ave., eighth floor

Hours: Open daily, 24 hours

This top-floor study lounge is for those who want a view while hitting the books. The residence hall also has a first-floor multipurpose room with chairs, couches, and a pool table for when you need a break. Open to students living on campus.

CAS Think Tank

CAS Think Tank
College of Arts & Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Ave., Room 105

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 am to 11 pm

One of the newest study space on campus, the Think Tank features individual study cubbies, communal tables, and team meeting rooms with whiteboards, providing a tranquil spot to meet and study. The space can accommodate up to 134 students, and is open to all BU students.

School of Theology book stacks.

School of Theology Library
745 Commonwealth Ave., second floor

Hours: Wednesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 2, 7:30 am to 11 pm; Friday, May 4, 7:30 am to 7 pm; Saturday, May 5, 10 am to 9 pm; Sunday, May 6, 1 to 6 pm; Monday, May 7, through Wednesday, May 9, 7:30 am to 11 pm; Thursday, May 10, 7:30 am to 7 pm; Friday, May 11, 7:30 am to 5 pm

The STH Library has carrels as well as communal tables for studying. There is also a conference room that can be booked for groups of students needing a place to gather. To book the conference room, email sgsmith@bu.edu. The library is open to all students with a valid BU ID.

Students at work in the Ziskind Lounge.

Ziskind Lounge
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave., second floor

Hours: Open daily, noon to midnight

The Ziskind Lounge is a good place for study groups to congregate. You’ll find communal tables as well as comfortable easy chairs throughout the lounge, which is open to all students with a valid BU ID.

Window-side desks in Dean’s Study Lounge.

Dean’s Study Lounge
George Sherman Union, 775 Commonwealth Ave., third floor

Hours: Open daily, noon to midnight

This study lounge is one of the best-kept secrets at BU. It’s quiet, seats about 60, and even has a physical therapy athletic training table for Sargent College students who need to do practice exams.

The African American Studies Student Lounge offers free coffee and snacks.

African American Studies Program Building
138 Mountfort St., South Campus

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm

One of the best-kept secrets for studying is the small student lounge in the African American Studies Program building, which has both tables and desks. There’s also a classroom and seminar room available to students. And as an added draw, the department offers free coffee and snacks. The space is open to all students with a BU ID.

Students on their laptops at Buick Street Market & Café.

Buick Street Market & Café
10 Buick St.

Hours: Open daily, 7 am to midnight, through study period and finals

Here’s a place for those who study best surrounded by food and a crowd. Choose from the market’s ample selections of sandwiches and salads. As an added incentive for those in need of fresh coffee, the Dunkin’ Donuts will have extended hours during study days and finals, closing at midnight. The market and café are open to all students with a valid BU ID.

View of Boston from the StuVi II study lounge.

StuVi II Study Lounge
33 Harry Agganis Way, 26th floor

Hours: Open daily, 24 hours

Many consider this to be Boston University’s premier studying spot. The lounge offers sweeping views of Boston and Cambridge (a fascinating distraction when you need a break from reading) and is especially popular with students who live on West Campus. Open to all students living in BU housing.

A student studies for his boards in the Boston University School of Medicine Alumni Medical Library

BU Medical Center Alumni Medical Library
72 East Concord St., 11th, 12th, 13th floors

Hours: For the 11th floor: Monday to Thursday, 6 am to 11:45 pm, Friday, 6 am to 9:45 pm; Saturday, 8 am to 9:45 pm; and Sunday, 8 am to 11:45 pm; for the 12th and 13th floors: Monday to Thursday, 7:30 am to midnight; Friday, 7:30 am to 10 pm; Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm; Sunday, 10 am to midnight

This Medical Campus library is open to all students with a valid BU ID. Spread over three floors, it has long communal tables, group rooms for quiet study (available on a first-come, first-served basis), and computers. The 13th floor is reserved for quiet study.

Have suggestions for other study spots on campus? Add them to the Comment section below.

Connor Lenahan can be reached at lenahan@bu.edu; follow him on Twitter at @ConnorLenahan.


8 Comments on The Best Places to Study for Finals

  • Art Jahnke, BU Today on 12.09.2016 at 8:00 am

    Thank you for your note. The address has been corrected. We regret the error.

  • Andy on 12.09.2016 at 11:46 am

    Hi Holly,

    Senior med student here. There is study space at the BU Alumni Medical Library (the library on the 12th floor) and there is a quiet study space in the 11th floor. These spaces are shared with the resident physicians, fellows, dental, public health, and post-bacc students as well, so spots fill up quickly. And often times the stress is very palpable :) Take it from me–I love the med campus (72 East Concord), but the study spaces on the undergrad side are much more pleasant. Of course, you’re always welcome to join us!


  • Student on 12.11.2016 at 8:43 pm

    I understand your frustration completely regarding housing costs, but the article lists several places that do not require swiping in. Also, you can be swiped into StuVi by someone who lives there. If you’re focusing on studying why does it really matter if you are in the fanciest building or not? There are so many places to study on campus, truly.

    • Hanna on 05.05.2017 at 7:49 am

      It matters, because in Mugar for instance, it is so freaking cold, that it’s really impossible to focus on studying!

  • Michael Zank on 12.12.2017 at 7:22 am

    People are also welcome to use the Elie Wiesel Center library at 147 Bay State Road, 2nd floor.

  • Thomas J Casserly on 12.12.2017 at 12:15 pm

    24/7 Study: Mugar Library will be open 24 hours beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, December 13 at 7am and ending Thursday, December 21. The library provides an on-campus shuttle back to students’ rooms between Midnight and 6am.

  • Gc on 05.07.2018 at 12:51 pm

    BU CAS 1977. So many places to study now. I loved school of theology for divine inspiration and ability to open window. I don’t know why they got rid of the beautiful oak tables
    Top of Shelton always good place to study especially after 1 am.

    • Terrier'20 on 05.08.2018 at 6:41 pm

      as a current student in the midst of finals, can verify that Kilachand (Shelton’s new name) and its 9th flr study lounge is awesome at night!

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