Boston University vs Notre Dame: A Comprehensive Analysis

August 9, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Boston University vs Notre Dame: A Comprehensive Analysis

If you have been exploring universities to attend, Boston University and Notre Dame are two great options that might have caught your attention. These institutions offer unique experiences, but choosing the right one for you can be a daunting task. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a comprehensive comparison of Boston University vs Notre Dame. Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about location and campus, admissions, tuition costs, academics, student body, housing and dining, athletics, career opportunities, extracurricular activities, alumni network, faculty and research, community engagement, and student support services.

Location and Campus: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Boston University and Notre Dame are located in different regions of the United States, which provide unique experiences in sightseeing and attraction exploration. Boston University is situated in the prestigious city of Boston, Massachusetts, while Notre Dame is located in South Bend, Indiana. Boston University’s campus is urban, and it provides students with easy access to the city’s historical, cultural, and entertainment venues. Notre Dame’s campus, on the other hand, is situated in a more traditional campus setting, which includes stunning architecture and foundational greenery.

Notre Dame’s campus is larger  University’s, with approximately 1,265 acres compared to Boston University’s 135 acres. However, Boston University’s campus has impressive modern structures and a wide range of amenities, which make up for its small size. Regardless of location and campus, both universities offer fantastic experiences for students.

Admissions: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Admissions into Boston University and Notre Dame are highly competitive and await significant preparation. Upon application, there are numerous avenues for standardized tests to undertake such that admission officers can comprehend applicants’ abilities. Boston University requirements include SAT or ACT standard exams and writing essays, while Notre Dame preconditions for standardized tests SAT or ACT and the writing portion of standard exams.

Another aspect of the admission process entails supporting documents such as letters of recommendation, resume details, and transcripts. A review of extracurricular activities, personality, academic ability, and responses to writing prompts is done before making final decisions.

It is important to note that both Boston University and Notre Dame have a holistic approach to admissions, meaning that they consider the whole applicant and not just their test scores and grades. This means that applicants should focus on showcasing their unique qualities and experiences in their application materials.

Additionally, both universities offer various resources and support for prospective students throughout the admissions process. This includes campus visits, information sessions, and virtual tours. It is highly recommended that applicants take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of the universities and to make informed decisions about their applications.

Tuition Costs: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both Boston University and Notre Dame are private universities with significantly comparable tuition and financial costs. Notre Dame’s tuition and fees cost $60,301, not including the accommodation, and other related expenses. Boston University’s tuition and fees, on the other hand, cost $62,360. Financial aids such as scholarships, stipends, loans, grants, and fellowships are available in both colleges as part of financial support for students with financial needs.

However, it is important to note that the cost of attending a university goes beyond just tuition and accommodation. Other factors such as the cost of living in the surrounding area, transportation, and textbooks can also add up. In this regard, Boston University may be a more affordable option for students as it is located in a city with a lower cost of living compared to Notre Dame, which is located in a more expensive area. Additionally, Boston University offers a wide range of affordable housing options for students, including on-campus dormitories and off-campus apartments, which can help reduce the overall cost of attending the university.

Academics: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Boston University and Notre Dame both offer excellent academic programs, majors, and minors across many fields. Boston University has over 300 active undergraduate programs, while Notre Dame has fewer but equally specialized majors.

Additionally, both universities have excellent facilities such as research centers, libraries, and other amenities that aid academic achievement.

Furthermore, Boston University has a strong emphasis on experiential learning, offering students opportunities to engage in internships, co-op programs, and study abroad programs. These experiences allow students to apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations and gain valuable skills and connections in their field of study.

On the other hand, Notre Dame has a unique approach to academics, with a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies. The university encourages students to explore different fields of study and offers a variety of interdisciplinary majors and programs, such as the Program of Liberal Studies and the Glynn Family Honors Program.

Student Body: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both Boston University and Notre Dame strive to have diverse and inclusive representations of students on campus. Notre Dame has a population of approximately 12,000 students, with 25% of the student population being international students. Boston University, on the other hand, enrolls approximately 35,000 students, with 27% being international.

Both universities offer numerous efforts to celebrate students from different backgrounds through cultural events, student organizations, and a range of programs.

Group of students walking in the campus.

However, there are some differences in the diversity of the student body at each university. Boston University has a higher percentage of students who identify as LGBTQ+ and students of color. In fact, BU has been one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly univLGBTQ+-friendly countries. Notre Dame, on the other hand, has a higher percentage of students who identify as Catholic, due to its affiliation with the Catholic Church.

Despite these differences, both universities are committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of their background or identity.

Housing and Dining: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Boston University offer numerous strategic and unique housing and dining options for students. Notre Dame offers housing in various residence halls, apartments, and even themed houses, which students apply for. Boston University also provides students with access to its student residences in townhouses, apartment-style, and dormitory-style accommodations.

In terms of dining, both universities offer unique dining programs that integrate cultural and regional experiences. Notre Dame’s program, themed ‘Notre Dame Food Services,’ offers organic products and American cuisine. Boston University’s ‘Dining Services’ offers vegeServicesosher, halal, and vegan options.

Additionally, both universities have meal plans that allow students to choose from a variety of dining options on campus. Notre Dame offers a Flex Point system, which allows students to use their meal plan at various on-campus dining locations. Boston University offers a Dining Points system, which can be used at any of the university’s dining locations, including cafes and food trucks.

Athletics: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both Boston University and Notre Dame offer top athletic programs that include various sports and the provision of excellent sports facilities. Notre Dame plays in prominent leagues such as the Atlantic Coast Conference and fields a wide range of teams from football to hockey as well as intramural sports. Boston University is part of the Patriot League and offers sports such as basketball and Soccer. The university also houses a modern fitness center with an Olympic-sized swimming pool and other facilities. Fan culture at both universities is vibrant with schools offering different student sections and fanfare opportunities during events.

Notre Dame has a rich history of athletic success, with their football program being one of the most storied in college football history. The Fighting Irish have won 11 national championships and have produced numerous NFL players. Boston University, on the other hand, has a strong hockey program, with their men’s team winning five national championships and their women’s team winning four.

Both universities also prioritize the academic success of their student-athletes. Notre Dame has a graduation success rate of 98%, while Boston University has a 94% graduation success rate for its student-athletes.  Its emphasis on academics ensures that student-athletes are not only successful on the field but also in the classroom and beyond.

Career Opportunities: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both Boston University and Notre Dame offer excellent career services and guidance regarding internships, jobs, and resume-building tiresome-buildings. Notre Dame’s career service center networks with students in the business world, industry experts, and alumni to help in career building. Boston University’s career center integrates early career planning with comprehensive career preparation tailored to students’ interests.

a young man shakes someone's hand after being interviewed

Graduate outcomes for both universities are impressive, with a high percentage of students securing employment within six months of graduation. Boston University graduates have gone on to work for top companies such as Amazon, Google, and Goldman Sachs, while Notre Dame graduates have found success in fields such as finance, consulting, and healthcare.

In addition to career services, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs that can help students develop skills and gain experience in their desired fields. Boston University’s student-run consulting group, for example, provides students with the opportunity to work on real-world projects for local businesses, while Notre Dame’s investment club allows students to manage a real investment portfolio.

Extracurricular Activities: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both universities offer numerous student clubs, organizations, and events that supplement students’ academic pursuits. These activities include music and theater groups, political activism clubs, language societies, and cultural celebrations. Not only do they strengthen talent and versatility, but they also increase students’ leadership abilities and social skills in a fun way.

At Boston University, students can participate in the BU Outing Club, which organizes outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and skiing. The club provides a great opportunity for students to explore the natural beauty of Massachusetts and New England while also building teamwork and problem-solving skills. Additionally, BU has a strong entrepreneurship community, with clubs such as BU Spark! and BU Innovate that offer resources and support for students interested in starting their own businesses.

Notre offers a variety of service-oriented clubs and organizations, such as the Center for Social Concerns and the Appalachia Seminar. These groups provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful service projects and learn about social justice issues. Notre Dame also has a thriving sports culture, with many students participating in intramural and club sports teams. From ultimate frisbee to quidditch, there is a sport for everyone to enjoy and stay active.

Alumni Network: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Notre Dame and Boston University have extensive and supportive alumni networks that offer professional opportunities for alumni. The Notre Dame alumni network boasts professional branches in healthcare, business, aerospace, and other industries. Boston University alumni networks offer unique services such as career counseling, networking, and mentorship opportunities.

Additionally, both universities have active alumni associations that organize events and activities for alumni to connect and engage with each other. These events range from professional development workshops to social gatherings and provide a great opportunity for alumni to expand their network and stay connected with their alma mater. Both universities also have online platforms where alumni can connect virtually and access resources such as job postings, alumni directories, and news updates.

Community Engagement: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both universities are dedicated to community service and engagement through outreach, philanthropic endeavors, and volunteerism. Notre Dame sponsors initiatives like the annual Notre Dame Day fundraising event, while Boston University has numerous outreach programs like the ‘Kids of Courage’ initiative.

Notre Dame also partners with local organizations to provide resources and support to underprivileged communities in the South Bend area. This includes programs like the Robinson Community Learning Center, which offers educational and enrichment opportunities to children and families in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Boston University, on the other hand, has a strong focus on sustainability and environmental initiatives. The university has implemented several green initiatives such as the installation of solar panels on campus buildings and the promotion of sustainable transportation options like biking and public transit. Additionally, BU hosts an annual sustainability festival to raise awareness and encourage action on environmental issues.

Student Support Services: Boston University vs Notre Dame

Both Boston University and Notre Dame offer comprehensive support services to assist students in dealing with health, academic, and psychological concerns. These services include health services, counseling, disability services, and legal counseling. The institutions are dedicated to providing students with the appropriate help as they progress.

a female psychologist on a session with a patient

At Boston University, the Student Health Services provides a range of medical services, including primary care, women’s health, and mental health services. The Counseling Center offers individual and group counseling, workshops, and outreach programs to help students manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Disability Services provides accommodations and support for students with disabilities, including physical, learning, and psychological disabilities.

Similarly, Notre Dame’s University Health Services offers medical care, counseling, and wellness programs to support students’ physical and mental health. The University Counseling Center provides individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, and outreach programs to help students cope with personal and academic challenges. The Sara Bea Center for Students with Disabilities offers accommodations and support for students with disabilities, including academic accommodations, assistive technology, and disability-related counseling.

Conclusion: Which University is the Best Fit for You?

When considering your major, it’s important to research the programs offered at each university and determine which one aligns with your academic interests and career aspirations. For example, if you’re interested in pursuing a business career, Boston University’s Questrom School of Business may be a better fit for you than Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the extracurricular activities and resources available at each university. Notre Dame is known for its strong athletic programs and Catholic identity, while Boston University offers a diverse range of clubs and organizations, as well as access to the city’s cultural offerings.

If you’re still undecided, the best way to choose between Notre Dame and Boston University is to consider your unique needs and preferences. The decision should consider personal factors such as major, location, cost, and cultural fit.

Remember, your university experience is unique, and the ideal choice should resonate with your personality, social needs, and career goals. Good luck in your decision-making process!


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