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 #43 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2023? And what is the catalyst that prompts more than 37,000 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 $645.6 million in sponsored research awards in FY2023. In fall 2012, BU was invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of leading research universities in the United States and Canada.

World-class students: Elite students from all 50 states and 140+ 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 (FY2023)

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

  • 3,635 freshmen
  • 11 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 FY2023…

Student body37,557
Graduate & professional18,476
Instructional & research faculty4,309
Total employees10,674
Living alumni431,000+
Boston locationsCharles River Campus, Medical Campus & Fenway Campus
Campus area140 acres
Schools & colleges17
Programs of study300+
Study abroad programsOver 80 in 25+ cities in 20+ countries
Student/faculty ratio11:1
Average undergraduate class size30
Total degrees awarded (2021/22)11,665
Master’s, doctoral/professional degrees (2021/22)6,843
Research expenditures$554.0M
Sponsored research awards$645.6M
BMC Clinical Research Grants$82M in FY2022
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based)$26.5M
Total grants & scholarships (need-based)$388.4M
Average need-based grant/scholarship$53,029
Average total need-based financial aid$57,237
Undergraduate students living on campus75%
Community service hours130,000+ annually
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers400+
Student organizations450+
Art & performance organizations60+
Academic & professional organizations140+
Community service & justice organizations70+
Cultural & religious organizations80+
BU on Socialnew accounts daily
Faculty publications7,000+
Student participants in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program475+
Centers & institutes130+
Students’ origins10,000+ international students from 140+ countries
Cultural student groups60+
Global initiatives300+
Alumni abroad180+ countries
Varsity sports24 (14 women’s, 10 men’s)
Club sports36
Intramural sports & tournaments12+