Academics

Location
Boston, MA
Undergrads
16,722
Tuition
$42,994
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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3 Recent Alumnus

Academics: The academics are good. The workload for some majors is more than others. But academics are good. You definitely learn a lot.

1 Recent Alumnus

Academics: Academics are "ok" here. I say they are "ok" because there is A LOT of grade deflation...meaning some professors will create exams and assignments to intentionally make sure students stay in the "B" range...not the "A" range.

But it's not like BU doesn't want you to succeed...actually that's exactly what it's like.

Work your butt off to a "B" and graduate with a "B".

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am in the business school and the workload is average. The new curriculum still needs work, but the facilities are great. There is a good career center, but most job success is through personal connections. The academics are good, but grade deflation is prevalent.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Some of the professors are fantastic and some of them are complete assholes. The registration process is also difficult, but the workload is fine.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: My doctorate program is great- my professors are all very involved and keep up-to-date on all the newest literature and technology. The facilities were just updated last year, so all the lab time is spent well.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 68th
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants
  • 157th
    Best Course Variety
  • 402nd
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 526th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 545th
    Smartest Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Stephanie Santana
Hometown
Queens, NY
Major
Anthropology/Journalism
View all previous student authors

As with any university, the nature of the classes is largely dependent on the particular professors teaching them. Everyone seems to agree that the best way to choose a class is by first learning about the professor’s teaching style from other students. While some professors fall into anonymity after the last day of class, some directly influence the course of your education. Don’t get frustrated with your 100-level introductory classes—they are universally described as “a waste of time,” “boring,” and “impersonal.” Get through your requirements, but keep in mind that the best classes are the upper-levels.

You can be so inspired by a particular professor that you may even decide to switch majors—only to find out later that it was the individual professor, not the field, that held your interest. Those types of professors, while few and far between, are certainly present and available to any student who seeks them out.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
13:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
1,643
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
1,112
Total FT Faculty
3,214
Faculty with Terminal Degree
78%
Average Faculty Salary
$106,881
Full-Time Retention Rate
92%
Part-Time Retention Rate
100%
Graduation Rate
84%
Programs/Majors Offered
221
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 56%
  • 20 to 49 students: 34%
  • 50 or more students: 10%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Communication
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine Arts
  • College of General Studies
  • College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Hospitality Administration
  • School of Management
  • University Professors Program
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Professional practice
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
  • Post-master's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Business Administration and Management: 6%
  • Communication Studies: 2%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 2%
  • Psychology: 2%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
  • Weekend/evening college
Best Places to Study
  • BU Beach (when it's warm outside)
  • George Sherman Union, especially BU Central, Howard Thurman Center, or the third floor
  • Ingall's: Engineering Library
  • Mugar Library
  • Pardee Library at the School of Management
  • Seventh-floor study lounge of the Hojo
  • Shelton ninth-floor study lounge
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't wait until registration day to choose your schedule. For some things, such as studying abroad or double majoring, all the general requirements you are forced to complete (especially in the College of Arts and Sciences) might get in the way of having that semester of travel and adventure in another country.
  • Stay off campus. While the University provides plenty of opportunities for meeting other students, most of my best friends, and all of my relationships, have been found during trips away from campus life. There are so many people in Boston; do not make the mistake of limiting yourself to the occasionally homogenous BU crowd.
  • Talk to your professors. This is the number-one piece of advice for any student at BU. As I approached my senior year, I regretted the fact that I had allowed my first years at the University to slip by without getting to know my professors. Do not wait until the panic of recommendations to become your professor's best friend.
  • Use the BU Job Board. Quickie Jobs are perfect for making some easy and fast cash. BU offers its students a list of odd jobs (one-time, temporary, permanent, part-time, and full-time options) posted by people and businesses in the Boston area who are looking for help. This is a great way to make enough money to really enjoy city life. Here, money disappears frighteningly fast.
Did You Know?
  • The Core Curriculum Program is an option for the top candidates entering the College of Arts and Sciences, and an excellent opportunity for those of us lacking specific direction or major. Core consists of eight historically-based, integrated courses providing an in-depth study of classic works in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. While Core does emphasize a higher ability for analytical thinking, and certainly requires higher levels of writing and reading comprehension than other programs, it allows students to pursue a coherent interdisciplinary approach to literature, art, music, social, religious, scientific, and philosophical thought, therefore enabling you to sound extra-intelligent at social gatherings and heated debates. Core lectures are always accompanied by small seminar discussions and labs, so get ready for a rocky time at registration. Beware, scheduling around Core classes can prove to be difficult.
  • BU was the first to open all its divisions to women (1872); open a college of music in the United States (1873); admit women to its medical college, the School of Medicine (1873); award PhDs to women in America (1877); offer a college degree in public relations (1947); open a graduate school in dentistry (1963); combine cancer research and a teaching laboratory (1965)

Student Polls

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 27 responses

  • 45% Martin Luther King Jr. (Ph.D.) - civil rights leader
  • 12% Howard Stern - radio personality
  • 9% Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy - wife of John F. Kennedy Jr.
  • 9% Bill O'Reilly (MA) - radio and TV personality
  • 7% Geena Davis - actress
  • 5% Jason Alexander - actor
  • 5% Emily Deschanel
  • 3% Ginnifer Goodwin - actress
  • 2% Julianne Moore (actress)
  • 2% Alfie Woodard
  • 2% Tipper Gore (Al Gore's wife)
  • 0% Rocco DiSpirito - chef, TV personality

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 88 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 86 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.
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