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 #40 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2019? And what is the catalyst that prompts 35,472 students to call BU their home? 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 poets laureate, Presidential Award 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 $579.4 million in grants and contract awards in FY2019. In fall 2012, BU was invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of 64 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, D.C., and more than 20 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 (FY2019)

How many freshmen matriculated last fall? What is the student to faculty ratio? Do you know how many continents BU spans?

  • 3,612 freshmen
  • 10 students for each faculty member
  • Programs on 6 continents

There are so many numbers, statistics, facts, and figures about BU, you could scroll for miles. Here’s a quick overview for FY2019…

Student body35,472
Undergraduate17,286
Graduate & professional15,997
Nondegree2,189
Instructional & research faculty3,989
Total employees10,348
Living alumni390,700+
Boston locationsCharles River Campus, Medical Campus & Fenway Campus
Campus area169 acres
Buildings317
Classrooms834
Libraries21
Laboratories1,681
Schools & colleges17
Programs of study300+
Study abroad programsOver 80 in 20+ cities in 15+ countries
Student/faculty ratio10:1
Average class size27
Total degrees awarded10,595
Master’s, doctoral/professional degrees6,042
Research awards$579.4 million in FY2019
BMC Clinical Research Grants$176.2 million in FY2019
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based)$27,581,128
Total grants & scholarships (need-based)$263,575,662
Average need-based grant/scholarship$38,201
Average total need-based financial aid$43,571
Undergraduate students living on campus75%
Community service hours80,000+
Alternative Service Breaks participants300+
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers900+
Student organizations450+
Art & performance organizations70+
Academic & professional organizations100+
Community service & justice organizations100+
Cultural & religious organizations50+
BU on Socialnew accounts daily
Faculty publications6,000+
Student participants in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program450+
Centers & institutes130+
Students’ origins10,500+ international students from 130+ countries
Cultural student groups40+
Global initiatives300+
Global Days of Service18,834 hours/2,566 volunteers/159 cities/289 projects
Alumni abroad180+ countries
Varsity sports24 (14 women’s, 10 men’s)
Club sports34 teams
Intramural sports & tournaments15+
Intramural and club sports participants7,000+
Fitness & recreation classes100+ for credit and hundreds of non-credit classes
FitRec usersOver 6,500 visits daily