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Everything About Boston University

Everything About Boston University

Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 18,515

Curricular Flexibility: Somewhat Flexible

Academic Rating: 4

Institutional Type: Private

Top Programs

Biomedical Engineering

Business Administration and Management

Communication

Computer Science

Economics

Health Science

International Relations

Psychology

Who Recruits

1. Marriott

2. Turner Broadcasting System

3. TJX

4. General Electric

5. Bloomberg LP

Notable Internships

1. Amazon

2. Boston Scientific

3. BuzzFeed

Top Industries

1. Business

2. Education

3. Operations

4. Media

5. Information Technology

Top Employers

1. IBM

2. Google

3. Amazon

4. Microsoft

5. Oracle

Where Alumni Work

1. Boston

2. New York City

3. San Francisco

4. Los Angeles

5. Washington, DC

Median Earnings

College Scorecard (Early Career): $65,300

EOP (Early Career): $62,000

PayScale (Mid-Career): $113,600

Inside the Classroom

Growing more selective each year, Boston University is a private research institution playing host to more than 18,000 undergrads as well as an additional 15,000 graduate students. It’s hard to imagine a more dynamic locale than BU’s sprawling campus that shares a neighborhood with Fenway Park, the Museum of Fine Arts, MIT, and countless culinary and cultural enticements. In total, the university offers more than 250 programs of study, about half of which are distinct undergraduate degrees spread across ten schools/colleges.

Unique programs include the Kila Chand Honors College that welcomes 150 new students each year and offers a unique, original, integrated four-year curriculum, thematically centered on global challenges and practical solutions. Not shockingly, it’s tough to pin down course requirements with so many colleges within the larger university. College of Arts & Sciences students must satisfy basic requirements in foreign language, mathematics, and writing as part of their 128 credits. Engineering students, on the other hand, must complete sixteen credits in mathematics and twelve in the natural sciences. First-year experience courses are available but not required.

Many classes at BU are reasonably small—62 percent contain fewer than twenty students; only 12 percent contain more than fifty. The student–to-faculty ratio is 10:1, quite an achievement for a school of its size. BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) funded 650 students last year, and many additional students participate in BU’s research for credit, volunteer, work study, and other independent opportunities. More than ninety study abroad sites in twenty-five countries are available for those seeking a global experience. Participation is relatively high—40 percent of arts and sciences students complete a semester on a foreign campus.

The greatest number of degrees are conferred in business/marketing (21 percent), communications and journalism (14 percent), social sciences (14 percent), biology (10 percent), engineering (9 percent), and health professions/related sciences (7 percent). The Questrom School of Business and the College of Engineering are highly regarded as well as the university’s College of Communication and College of Health & Rehabilitation Services. Over the last five years, BU has produced at least five Fulbright Scholars annually.

Outside the Classroom

Three-quarters of the undergraduate student body reside on campus. Greek life has a modest presence at BU—13 percent elect to pledge one of the school’s eight frats and twelve sororities. Nicknamed the Terriers, BU is represented by twenty-three teams (13 women’s, 10 men’s) in NCAA Division I, highlighted by its perennially stellar men’s ice hockey team. In an odd move for a school of its size, BU dissolved its football program in 1997. The basketball team makes an occasional appearance in March Madness. For those a bit less serious about/skilled at sports, 7,000 students participate in intramural athletics. With close to 500 student organizations and offerings from improve to synchronized swimming, just about everyone can find their niche. The student-run Daily Free Press is recognized as one of the top student papers in the country and claims the fourth highest circulation of any paper in Boston. Volunteer spirit runs rampant at BU—the Community Service Center has a volunteer base of over 1,500 students and contributes 75,000 hours of service to the Boston-area community each year. Being located in the heart of Boston, students have limitless choices for nightlife and culture and can conveniently hop aboard the Green Line to explore the farthest reaches of the city.

Career Services

Twenty counselors, recruiters, and outreach coordinators comprise the BU Center for Career Development (CCD). That equates to a student-to-advisor ratio of 925:1, well below average compared to the pool of institutions included in this guide. Despite limited personnel for a school so large, the office is successful at working with those who engage with them. In fact, students who regularly utilized the career center reported 22 percent higher earnings than their peers. Last year, staff conducted 2,437 one-on-one advising sessions. Remarkably for a school of BU’s size, the CCD helps 89 percent of students complete at least one internship over their four years of study.

Every spring and fall the CCD organizes an All-Majors Career Fair with over one-hundred guest employers; individual colleges within BU also host discipline-specific career fairs in business, engineering, non-profit leadership, and public health. In total, 725 employers attended BU fairs, and 770 recruited on campus last year. That led to 600+ on-campus interviews being facilitated by the CCD. Freshmen are encouraged to attend a seminar called Career Directions: Starting Your Journey that gives tips on how to maximize one’s educational experience with an eye on life beyond college. Through the Career Advisory Network, the CCD also works to connect students with over 6,000 participating alumni who are employed in a wide spectrum of fields. Even with a less-than-ideal number of counselors, BU’s career services staff works hard to reach students through seminars, job fairs, and online resources.

Professional Outcomes

Six months after graduation, 96 percent of BU grads have found their way into the world of employment or full-time graduate study. A recent survey of corporate recruiters with international companies revealed that Boston University alums have the sixth highest employability ranking, directly behind the likes of MIT, Caltech, Harvard, and Stanford. Recent graduating classes have seen more than ten graduates join employers like EY, PwC, Deloitte, and TJX Companies. Healthy numbers of engineering grads found their way to Amazon, IBM, Lockheed Martin, and Pfizer. Across all graduating years, companies employing more than 250 BU alums include Google, Oracle, Accenture, and Wayfair. Starting salary data is highly dependent on which school within BU one attended. For last year's Class, grads of the Questrom School of Business earned a starting salary of roughly $63k, College of Engineering grads averaged $70k, and Arts & Sciences students came in just shy of $50k. Respect for the BU degree comes from more than just the corporate world. Of the 19 percent of last year's grads who moved directly into graduate school, many were welcomed onto the campuses of elite graduate programs. For example, engineering students found new academic homes at MIT, Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and Columbia. Most top law schools have some level of representation from BU alumni including BU Law itself, a top twenty-five institution that accepts a significant number of its own undergraduates. Those aiming to become medical doctors can apply for the Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program that leads directly to study at the BU School of Medicine. Overall, the university saw almost 300 undergraduates apply to med school in the last year alone, the eighth highest total in the nation. Whether attending grad school or starting their careers, the greatest number of BU grads remain in Boston with New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, DC, and Philadelphia next in popularity.

Students' Voice: Pros and Cons of Location

Pros of Boston, MA

• “You’re really close to everything. Fenway Park is right next to you and there is good nightlife nearby. You’re in

the middle of Boston, which is cool.”

• “There is public transportation less than a block from campus.”

• “It has everything you would look for in a city. There are the big sports teams, historic landmarks, and pretty

good food.”

• “The city has so many schools and so many college students.”

• “It’s easy to get to if you have to fly, which is really nice.”

Cons of Boston, MA

• “It’s very cold and the winters are brutal.”

• “Sometimes people have had trouble transitioning into a big city if they come from a smaller area. I got lost a lot

when I first came to campus, so learning to navigate it can be difficult.”

• “If you wanted to have a car, it’s not the best place to have a car given that the weather will hurt your car and

there isn’t a ton of parking.”

• “It’s expensive.

Students' Voice: Reasons to attend and not to attend

To Attend

• “First and foremost, if you come into BU with any goal, you can accomplish it. The resources are there for you to

do that. There’s funding in all kinds of places that you couldn’t even imagine. No matter what field you want to study,

you can find a program through extracurriculars or classes.” [See Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.]

• “You’re in Boston, which is a great place to be as a young person. There are so many college students in Boston,

so there’s a lot of youth culture.”

• “The professors are some of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met in my life.”

• “Being in a big city.”

• “The diverse student body. One of the coolest things about BU is the diverse set of people I interact with and

people who have become my best friends.”

• “The resources as far as getting a job. It’s a great place to go for your career.”

To Not Attend

• “Weather. The winter’s terrible and the summer can be really humid.”

• “If you’re intimidated by being in a large city with a lot of other students, this could be a hard thing to get over.”

• “It’s really competitive and can feel cutthroat at times. Sometimes you’ll spend 80 hours in a week doing work

and you have to wake up the next week and do it again. You have to be ready for that. You can accomplish the goals

that you want, but you really have to know that that’s what you want to do.”

• “If you don’t join a club, it can be hard to find a real friend group. I struggled a little bit freshman year and I know

a lot of people who have as well, but if you get involved in clubs and are outgoing you will be able to make some

long-lasting friends.”

• “If you don’t like big classes.”

• “The grade deflation.”

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