Boston University Basics

Founded in 1839, Boston University is the fourth-largest private university in the nation, home each year to more than 32,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Our 17 schools and colleges offer some 250 fields of study. A leading global research institution, BU was backed by over $326 million in sponsored program awards last year and offers study abroad programs in more than 30 cities on 6 continents. Our 300,000 alumni can be found in every sector and corner of the world. More basic facts and figures about Boston University can be found here.

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Learn more about the University’s research dollars, faculty, and enrollment or how they’ve grown over time.View BU’s Annual Fact Sheets

Our Economic Impact

Boston University is the third-biggest private employer in Massachusetts (and 13th-largest overall statewide). In Fiscal Year 2018, BU’s financial impact on the state’s economy totaled nearly $4 billion, including $275 million spent by its students and their out-of-state visitors. The University also purchases approximately $175 million in goods and services annually from Boston vendors.

The University is a robust resource to the City of Boston, the cities and towns in the Boston Metropolitan Area, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Local citizens and businesses benefit from Boston University’s spending, the employment opportunities University spending generates, and the many cultural, educational, and social services University faculty, staff, and students offer the community. More information on BU’s impact on its home state’s economy can be found here.