Boston University (BU), which was officially chartered in 1869, was closely associated with the Methodist church during its early years. However, the school’s three founders stipulated that religious ideology would not influence admittance and hiring practices for BU students and faculty members respectively; special allowances were made for the university’s theology school. Today, the school is categorized as a private research university, and it offers a full range of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs. Some of the areas of study include theology, medicine, law, business, liberal arts, social work, communication, engineering, education and fine arts. Several BU academic programs have attained respectable rankings through U.S. News and World Report surveys. For instance, the school’s law, medical and engineering programs are rated 20th, 29th and 35th in the nation respectively. BU is also known for its competitive business and social work degree programs.

BU’s main campus is currently located along Boston’s Charles River, but it took years for the university to develop the cohesive, river-front campus for which the school is famous. Financial set-backs that were caused by the Great Boston Fire of 1872 and the Great Depression of 1929 prevented BU from expanding and growing its main campus extensively until the mid to late 20th century. Today, the school’s main academic, administrative and student housing facilities occupy 135 acres of waterfront property, and competitor schools such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University are located just across the river. BU also has satellite campuses that facilitate its mission to provide students with study abroad and international internship opportunities. Current satellite campuses are located in London, Paris and Sydney. Domestic satellite campuses are in Los Angeles and the District of Columbia.

Several Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished scientists and other accomplished professionals are associated with BU. Martin Luther King Jr., who earned his doctorate at the school, is perhaps the most famous Nobel Prize-winning graduate of BU. Notable BU faculty members include Alexander Graham Bell, Daniel Tsui and Saul Bellows. Famous actors like Jason Alexander, Geena Davis and Marisa Tomei are also BU graduates.

Boston University Accreditation Details

BU is regionally accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Boston University Application Requirements

The admission’s guidelines for freshmen entering BU is straightforward. Candidates are evaluated based upon their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, self presentation and writing quality. The documents that must be submitted to complete the application process include the common application, grade school transcripts, standardized test scores, grade school faculty recommendations and senior year grades.

The common application is used by many colleges and universities to streamline the admission process for schools as well as students. While many schools accept the common application in addition to their own unique documents, BU only accepts the common application. In addition to standard personal and academic information, BU candidates must indicate their chosen university college, department and major within the common application. Since some students are undecided about their academic majors, BU allows applicants to identify their majors as “undeclared” within its College of General Studies or its College of Arts and Sciences. These BU students have two years to choose their majors. Freshmen candidates must have official copies of their high school transcripts sent to the BU admission office. BU admission officers look for candidates who have successfully completed at least three years of English, math, laboratory science, history and foreign language study.

International students and BU candidates who want to enroll in one of the school’s fine arts programs must submit additional information. For example, international students whose native language is not English must submit their English proficiency test results. Prospective fine arts students are required to submit samples of their work.

Tuition and Financial Aid

BU’s annual tuition and fees for incoming freshmen who enroll as full-time students total approximately $70,656. Full-time student status refers to students who take between 12 and 18 credit hours of courses. BU offers its students a number of financial aid options that include scholarships, grants, work-study programs and loans. By completing and submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, BU students can find out about some of the financial aid awards for which they are eligible to receive.

Students must complete separate applications for some need-based scholarships that are sourced from private funds. BU also offers merit-based scholarships that are awarded for excellence in academics, athletics, the performing arts and other areas. Some of these financial aid gifts are awarded through an evaluation of grades, nominations from faculty members or student applications. Most BU scholarships are given to qualified candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents. However, international students are eligible to receive financial awards as Trustee Scholars and Presidential Scholars. Most of the BU scholarships are renewable throughout the students’ four years at the university.

BU encourages students who receive need-based financial aid to take advantage of its federal work-study program. Working on a part-time basis enforces time management skills for students, and it makes invaluable networking opportunities available to them. Students who are U.S. citizens are allowed to participate in BU’s federal work-study program. Students who are not eligible for work-study jobs can still find employment on campus through the school’s student employment office.

Inspiring Societal Change Through Computer Science

BU is known for its rich mix of academic excellence in the arts and sciences, and it brings a human focus to the study of computer science. The school encourages students to use the problem-solving skills that they learn through its computer science programs to effect positive changes within their spheres of influence. For example, students learn from research-focused faculty members who develop hardware and software tools that make computer use by the physically disabled more user-friendly. BU students benefit from engaging and inspirational professors as well as a computer science curriculum that is based on critical thinking and problem solving.

Some of the core course topics that undergraduate computer science majors take include algorithms, structures, probability and programming languages. Students are expected to learn about all aspects of the software and hardware design and development processes. The students’ assignments also require them to efficiently solve real-world problems using mathematical processes. Boston University computer science students can customize their educational experiences by choosing among a number of concentration areas such as artificial intelligence, data analysis and network security.


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