Boston University (BU) is considered one of the best schools in the nation. It offers more than 300 rigorous academic programs that prepare students for high-paying careers. However, it’s not easy to get into Boston University, with only one-fifth of the applicants accepted. The Boston University acceptance rate is low, which means you need to work hard to get in.
To ensure you get admitted into this school, you have to carefully prepare your application and make sure you stand out from all other applicants. To help you, we’ve gathered everything you must know about Boston University admission requirements, as well as common professional outcomes for students attending this school.
Is Boston University Easy to Get Into?
No, Boston University is not easy to get into. The school has a low acceptance rate of 20 percent, according to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard. Those admitted to the school usually have an ACT score of 30 or higher. They also have at least a 670 in math and a 640 in critical reading sections of the SAT, scores typical of Ivy League universities.
What Is Boston University’s Acceptance Rate?
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports Boston University’s acceptance rate is 19 percent, with the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard reporting 20 percent. The university itself reports that for the class of 2026, only 3,100 students were admitted out of the 80,794 applicants.
What Is Boston University’s Transfer Acceptance Rate?
The Boston University transfer acceptance rate is 36 percent, according to BU’s official website. Of the 5,751 applicants for the fall of 2021, 2,107 were accepted, and 802 of those students enrolled at the school. Transfer acceptance depends on your secondary school record and current admissions trends.
What Is Boston University’s Early Decision Acceptance Rate?
Boston University’s early decision acceptance rate is 33 percent, according to US News & World Report. If you’re confident BU is the right school for you, early decision admission might be the best fit for you. Keep in mind that early decision is binding, which means you have to attend if you get in.
Boston University Admissions: An Overview
- Number of Applicants at Boston University per year: 75,778
- Boston University Acceptance Rate: 19%
Though Boston University is very selective, the application process is standard. The application is hosted through the Common Application, allowing you to seamlessly use the same forms across different schools. This is especially helpful for high school seniors and incoming freshmen who are applying to many schools at once.
In addition to the Common App, you’ll need to submit your senior-year grades and your overall secondary education transcripts. Boston University currently states that sending in standardized tests is optional. However, applicants on average have a GPA of 3.66, an SAT score of 1350, and an ACT score of 30.
Also required are recommendation letters and evaluations from teachers and counselors. Students applying to a fine arts program will also have to submit a portfolio. Thousands of students apply to Boston University, so you should set yourself apart as a unique prospective student.
Who Gets Into Boston University?
People of all genders and backgrounds get into Boston University. Boston University has an enrollment of more than 36,000 students, of which 58 percent are female and 42 percent are male. The school’s largest ethnic demographics include white and Asian students, according to Data USA. Read more from Data USA’s report below.
Boston University Enrollment by Ethnicity
- White – 38.2%
- Asian – 14.4%
- Hispanic or Latino – 9.49%
- Black or African American – 4.21%
- Two or More Races – 3.39%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders – less than 1%
- American Indian or Alaska Native – less than 1%
Boston University Acceptance Rate by Major
There’s little information available about the acceptance rates for various majors or colleges of study at Boston University. At the time of writing, the only published rate was for Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, whose acceptance rate was 60 to 70 students out of 1,110 to 1,500 applicants, a rate of four to six percent.
Acceptance Rate by Major at Boston University
- College of Fine Arts: 4% – 6%
Boston University Application Deadline: When Is Boston University’s Application Due?
Boston University’s application deadline is November 1 for early decision and January 4 for regular applicants. BU offers two early decision application options for students that want to apply and receive an admission decision early. However, this is a big commitment, as it means committing to attend BU by withdrawing applications to any other schools.
Boston University Application Deadlines
- Early Decision Deadline: November 1
- Early Action Deadline: N/A
- Application Fee: $80 (can be paid through the Common Application)
- Common App: Yes
What Are the Major Reasons to Go to Boston University?
Some of the major reasons to go to Boston University are its reputation, campus life, and the employment outcomes for its graduates. In addition to its rigorous academic strength, this regionally accredited institution offers a wide range of activities and programs to learn outside the classroom.
Boston University is a highly respected and reputable post-secondary institution. It has been ranked as one of the 50 best national universities by US News & World Report. Moreover, it has a strong reputation for academic excellence. The rigorous curriculum of BU’s more than 300 degree programs prepares students for academic and professional success.
BU ranks number 36 for employability by Times Higher Education. Furthermore, it offers plenty of internship opportunities for students who want to gain professional experience. Because of this, 90 percent of BU students find employment or placement in graduate programs and fellowships within six months of graduation.
BU is located in one of the biggest college towns in the country, and because of this, approximately 75 percent of undergraduate students decide to live on campus. Moreover, students on campus can join one of 24 athletic teams or one of more than 450 student clubs. They can also participate in a wide variety of activities on campus.
Tips for Applying to Boston University
Boston University is known for its highly selective admissions process. Only 20 percent of applicants get admitted into this school every year, which is similar to other elite universities. Speak to admissions officials to learn more about Boston University admissions. To increase your admissions chances, read the Boston University admissions tips below.
Some tips you can follow when applying to BU are submitting your application on time, preparing all the requirements in time, and choosing your recommendations wisely. Keep reading to learn how these tips can help you get into Boston University.
Meet the Application Deadlines
It’s important to know the application deadlines for Boston University. This will allow you to start working on your application early enough to complete and submit it before the deadlines. If you want to apply for early admission, then it’s important to make sure you have everything you need for your application before November 1.
Choose Recommendations Wisely
In order to complete your application to BU, you’ll need to submit recommendation letters. Consider asking a teacher or counselor who knows you well, both inside and outside the classroom, to write a letter for you. Make sure to ask for their help with enough time in advance so they have enough time to write their recommendations before the application deadline.
Prepare Application Materials in Advance
To apply to BU, you’ll have to submit an online application, either the Common Application or the QuestBridge Application. It’s important to make sure you have everything you need before starting your application. To ensure you’re not forgetting something, go to BU’s website and make a checklist of all the admission requirements.
Boston University Admissions Requirements: First-Year Applicant Checklist
To apply to Boston University, first-year applicants have to submit an online application, academic transcripts, recommendation letters, and a teacher evaluation. Below we’ve gathered everything you need to apply to BU. The SAT and ACT statistics shared in the following sections are from the National Center for Education Statistics.
- Online application (Common Application or QuestBridge Application)
- Official high school transcripts
- Recommendation letters
- Teacher evaluation
- Standardized test scores (optional)
- Completion of college preparatory programs
Boston University SAT Requirements
Although it’s optional, plenty of students submit their SAT scores when applying to BU. Below, we show you the SAT scores required to get accepted into Boston University. A 25th percentile figure shows that 25 percent of students scored at or below that number, while a 75th percentile figure tells us that 25 percent scored above that number.
- Students Submitting SAT Scores: 32%
- SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 660 (25th percentile); 740 (75th percentile)
- SAT Math: 700 (25th percentile); 780 (75th percentile)
Boston University ACT Requirements
Submitting standardized test scores is not a requirement to apply to Boston University. However, plenty of students submit their ACT scores. Below we show you the average ACT scores required to get accepted into this school. A 25th percentile figure shows that 25 percent of students scored at or below that number, while a 75th percentile figure shows that 25 percent scored above that number.
- Students Submitting ACT Scores: 13%
- ACT Composite: 31 (25th percentile); 34 (75th percentile)
- ACT English: 32 (25th percentile); 35 (75th percentile)
- ACT Math: 28 (25th percentile); 34 (75th percentile)
Acing Your Boston University Application: What Is the Best Way to Prepare for the SAT and ACT?
Once you know the date of your exam, create a timeline to ensure you have enough time to prepare for the test. This can help you determine how to incorporate your studies into your daily life in a way that fits you best. It’s also important to determine how much time you’ll dedicate to preparing for the different sections of the test.
Study With Prep Books
Prep books and guides are a great way to study for standardized testing. There is an array of resources that can help you understand the material you’re studying and let you practice what you learn. There are plenty of ACT and SAT guides and prep books you can choose from. You can start with official prep books such as the Official SAT Study Guide and the Official ACT Prep Guide.
Take Practice Tests
Practice tests are a great way to prepare for standardized tests. They allow you to practice what you’ve learned and they give you an idea of what to expect when doing the SAT or the ACT. There are plenty of free practice tests available online. Some examples are Princeton Review’s free ACT practice tests and Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice.
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Boston University GPA Requirements: What GPA Do I Need to Get In?
Boston University does not have a minimum GPA requirement. Despite this, students applying for any of BU’s undergraduate and graduate programs must submit their academic transcripts and their high school or college senior grade point average. Because BU’s admission process is highly competitive, having a high GPA can give you an advantage over other applicants.
On average, the GPA of BU’s applicant pool for 2022 was 3.6, according to Boston University’s official website. This applies both to undergraduate and graduate students, and the actual GPA can vary by program.
For example, competitive applicants seeking to enroll in one of BU’s School of Medicine graduate programs typically have a GPA of more than 3.5. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher are automatically admitted to BU’s College of Engineering master’s program.
Boston University Tuition: How Much Does It Cost to Attend Boston University?
The cost of attending Boston University is $82,760 per year. The cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and transportation expenses. BU’s cost of attendance is above average. According to the Education Data Initiative, the cost of attendance at private nonprofit institutions is approximately $53,000 per year on average.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to pay for college at Boston University. The National Center for Education Statistics states that 58 percent of students attending Boston University receive some form of financial aid. BU also offers plenty of merit and need-based scholarships for domestic and international students.
Common Majors at Boston University
The most common majors at Boston University are business administration and management, communication, and economics. According to Data USA, approximately 1,400 degrees were awarded to undergraduate students enrolled in these programs in 2020. Keep reading to learn more about BU’s academic programs for these majors.
Business Administration and Management
Boston University’s Questrom School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with 17 concentration options. Some concentration options include accounting, finance, law, marketing, retailing, real estate, and information systems. Accepted students can expect to network in the field and get jobs quickly.
Best Jobs for Business Administration and Management Graduates
- Director of Finance
- Business consultant
Boston University’s College of Communication offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees across six fields of study, including advertising, film and TV, journalism, and public relations. BU offers communications students plenty of internship opportunities and activities to gain professional experience. Some examples are BU’s News Service and the Daily Free Press.
Best Jobs for Communication Graduates
- Multimedia journalist
- Marketing manager
- Art director
Boston University has been ranked as one of the 30 best economics schools by the US News & World Report. It offers undergraduate and graduate programs in economics that prepare students for careers in business, finance, law, government, and nonprofit organizations. BU’s Institute for Economic Development offers graduate students plenty of research opportunities.
Best Jobs for Economics Graduates
- Investment banker
- Asset manager
Boston University Attendance Outcomes
Boston University has a high graduation rate of 89 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. BU graduates are prepared for plenty of professional opportunities, with 53 percent finding employment within six months of graduation. As well, one-third of BU graduates, 29 percent, go on to pursue graduate or professional education.
According to the US Department of Education’s College Scorecard, the median annual wage for BU graduates is $75,642. Some of the most common Boston University career outcomes include positions such as manager, physician, lawyer, and teacher. Among the highest-paying jobs for BU alumni are surgeon, physician, and financial specialist.
Most Common Jobs for People Who Attended Boston University
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Elementary and middle school teacher||$61,400||7%|
Boston University Alumni Highest-Paying Jobs
|Position||Median Salary||Job Outlook|
|Architectural and engineering manager||$152,350||4%|
|Securities, commodities, and financial services sales agent||$77,300||6%|
Should I Apply to Boston University?
Yes, you should apply to Boston University because it’s one of the best private universities in the nation. BU offers more than 300 degree programs with rigorous curricula that aim to prepare students for academic and professional success. BU alumni can land high-paying professional opportunities with salaries above the national average.
However, if you want to attend BU, you have to take into consideration that it is a very selective school with a low acceptance rate. You’ll have to compete with thousands of highly qualified applicants to attend this school, so it will be important to find a way to stand out. A good GPA and academic achievements can help you with this.
Boston University Acceptance Rate FAQ
Yes, Boston University is a good school that is recognized for its rigorous academic programs. It has been ranked number 27 among the best US colleges by Times Higher Education, and it’s a member of the Association of American Universities. Because of this, BU alumni land plenty of professional opportunities upon graduation.
No, Boston University does not require you to submit your ACT or SAT scores. In recent academic years, BU has adopted a test-optional admissions policy for all undergraduate applicants. Despite this, a large percentage of applicants decide to submit their ACT or SAT scores to boost their chances of admission.
Boston University does not have a minimum GPA requirement for admission. However, it is a highly selective university, which means that typically applicants with higher GPAs and more academic achievements are admitted. In fact, students that applied to join BU’s incoming class of 2022 had an average GPA of 3.6, according to its official website.
Boston University’s application process includes submitting an online application and paying the application fee. Applicants must also submit documents such as official academic transcripts, recommendation letters, and a teacher evaluation. Some colleges at Boston University, like the College of Fine Arts and the School of Medicine, have additional requirements such as prerequisite courses.
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