The Difference Is 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 #42 in national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2019? And what is the catalyst that prompts 34,262 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, Pulitzer Prize 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 over $486.8 million in grants and contract awards in FY2018. In fall 2012, BU was invited to join the Association of American Universities, an elite organization of 61 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 30 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 (FY2018)

How many freshmen matriculated last fall? What is the student to faculty ratio? Do you know how many continents BU spans? Which professor is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner? (Hint: He also doubles as a dean around campus.)

  • 3,498 freshmen
  • 10 students for each faculty member
  • Programs on 6 continents
  • COM Dean has 2 Pulitzers

There are so many numbers, statistics, facts, and figures about BU, you could scroll for miles. Here’s a quick overview for FY2018…

Student body 34,262
Undergraduate 16,792
Graduate & professional 15,238
Non-degree 2,232
Instructional & research faculty 4,021
Total employees 10,182
Living alumni 377,900+
Boston locations Charles River Campus, Medical Campus & Fenway Campus*
Campus area 134 acres
Buildings 310
Classrooms 544
Libraries 21
Laboratories 2,326

* On June 1, 2018, we welcomed the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, representing the merger of Wheelock College with Boston University’s School of Education. The Fenway Campus is now BU’s third Boston-area campus, adding a dozen buildings in the Fenway and Brookline. The campus numbers above do not include the Wheelock additions. 

Schools & colleges 17
Programs of study 300+
Study abroad programs Over 90 in 30+ cities in 21 countries
Student/faculty ratio 10:1
Average class size 27
Total degrees awarded 9,877
Master’s, doctoral/professional degrees 5,595
Grant & Contract Awards
Research awards $486.8 million in FY2018
BMC Clinical Research Grants $116 million in FY2018
Undergraduate Financial Aid & Scholarships FY2018
Total grants & scholarships (non-need-based) $29,493,799
Total grants & scholarships (need-based) $228,061,398
Average need-based grant/scholarship $36,055
Average total need-based financial aid $42,180
Student Life
Undergraduate students living on campus 75%
Community service hours 80,000+
Alternative Service Breaks participants 300+
First-Year Student Outreach Project volunteers 900+
Student organizations 450+
Art & performance organizations 75
Academic & professional organizations 120
Community service & justice organizations 85
Cultural & religious organizations 62
BU on Social new accounts daily
Faculty publications 5,790
Student participants in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program 475+
Centers & institutes 130+
International Community
Students’ origins 9,742 international students from 130+ countries
Cultural student groups 40+
Global initiatives 300+
Global Days of Service 14,418 hours/2,425 volunteers/147 cities/268 projects
Alumni abroad 180+ countries
Varsity sports 22 (13 women’s, 9 men’s)
Club sports 34 teams
Club sports participants 7,000
Intramural sports & tournaments 15+
Fitness & recreation classes 100+ for credit and hundreds of non-credit classes
FitRec users Over 6,500 visits daily