Boston University vs NYU: Which University Is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student smiling at the camera while in a library.

Boston University vs NYU: Which University Is Right for You?

Choosing the right university can be an overwhelming decision. With so many options available, it’s important to research and compare the schools that appeal to you. Boston University (BU) vs New York University (NYU): two highly esteemed universities in the northeastern region of the United States, and we’ll be comparing them today to help you make an informed decision on which institution is right for you.

City Campus

When it comes to location, BU and NYU both have a lot to offer. BU is located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, while NYU is situated in Greenwich Village, a bustling and vibrant neighborhood in New York City. Depending on your personal preferences, either location may suit you.

BU’s urban campus is fully integrated into the city’s landscape. The hustle and bustle of the city are felt on campus, making it a great location for students who enjoy an urban vibe. In contrast, NYU’s campus is spread out throughout the Greenwich Village neighborhood, offering a more neighborhood-like feel, with a strong sense of community.

Group of students talking while walking in the campus.

Another factor to consider when choosing between BU and NYU is the size of the campus. BU’s campus is spread out over a larger area, with more buildings and green spaces. This can be a great option for students who prefer a larger campus with more opportunities to explore.

On the other hand, NYU’s campus is more compact, with buildings and facilities located closer together. This can be a great option for students who prefer a more intimate campus setting, with everything they need within easy reach.

Campus Culture: BU’s Terriers vs. NYU’s Violets

When it comes to campus culture, BU and NYU are quite different. BU is known for its strong sense of community, with a close-knit student body. The university offers a social atmosphere that is conducive to building lasting friendships.

In contrast, NYU offers a more independent and individualistic atmosphere. It boasts a diverse student body, which creates a stimulating and dynamic environment for students to thrive in.

Another notable difference between BU and NYU’s campus culture is the location. BU is located in the heart of Boston, which offers students access to a vibrant city with a rich history and culture. Students can easily explore the city and take advantage of the many opportunities it offers.

On the other hand, NYU is located in the bustling city of New York, which provides students with endless possibilities for internships, networking, and cultural experiences. The city is a hub for various industries, making it an ideal location for students who want to pursue careers in fields such as finance, media, and the arts.

Academic Programs: Boston University vs NYU

BU and NYU are both renowned for their academic programs, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and research. BU has a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including highly regarded programs in the sciences, business, and humanities. NYU offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, with a wealth of resources and opportunities to support academic success.

However, BU has a unique program called the Kilachand Honors College, which offers a challenging and interdisciplinary curriculum for high-achieving students. The program includes small, seminar-style classes, research opportunities, and a capstone project.

On the other hand, NYU has a strong emphasis on global education, with study abroad programs in over 50 countries and a campus in Abu Dhabi. Students can also take advantage of NYU’s extensive network of alumni and industry connections for internships and job opportunities.

Admissions Requirements: Boston University vs NYU

When it comes to admissions requirements, BU has a slightly lower acceptance rate and higher admission standards than NYU. BU’s average GPA for admitted students is around 3.9, while NYU’s average GPA is around 3.8.

Both universities accept applications through the Common Application and require a personal statement. In addition, BU may require supplemental materials such as a portfolio or additional essays, depending on the program you are applying for.

It is important to note that both BU and NYU also consider factors beyond academic performance in their admissions decisions. Extracurricular activities, community involvement, and work experience can all play a role in demonstrating a student’s potential for success at the university level. BU, in particular, values leadership and service and encourages applicants to highlight these qualities in their application materials.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that both BU and NYU offer a variety of resources to help students navigate the admissions process. From virtual information sessions and campus tours to one-on-one consultations with admissions counselors, there are many ways to learn more about what each university has to offer and how to put together a strong application. Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of these resources and reach out to admissions staff with any questions or concerns.

Size Matters: Boston University vs NYU

BU has a student population of around 33,000, while NYU has around 58,000 students. This difference in size means that NYU can offer a wider variety of resources and opportunities, as well as a more diverse student body. However, some students may prefer the smaller community feel offered by BU.

a group of students enjoying social life

Another factor to consider when comparing student populations is the student-to-faculty ratio. BU has a student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1, while NYU has a ratio of 16:1. This means that BU students may have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors, while NYU students may have larger class sizes and less individual attention.

In addition to size and student-to-faculty ratio, location is also an important consideration. BU is located in the heart of Boston, a city known for its rich history and vibrant culture. NYU, on the other hand, is located in the heart of New York City, offering students access to endless opportunities for internships, networking, and cultural experiences. Ultimately, the decision between BU and NYU will depend on individual preferences and priorities.

Cost of Attendance: Boston University vs NYU

The cost of attendance at both universities varies depending on your personal circumstances. BU and NYU both have relatively high tuition and fees. However, both universities offer generous financial aid packages to qualified students. It’s important to research financial aid options thoroughly to make an informed decision.

When considering the cost of attendance, it’s important to also factor in additional expenses such as housing, textbooks, and transportation. Both BU and NYU offer on-campus housing options, but they can be expensive. Off-campus housing may be a more affordable option, but it’s important to research the cost of living in the surrounding area. Additionally, textbooks can add up quickly, so consider purchasing used or renting them. Finally, transportation costs can vary depending on whether you live on or off campus and how far you need to travel to get to class.

On-Campus Housing: Differences and Similarities

BU and NYU both offer on-campus housing options for students. However, the style and cost of housing differ between the two universities. BU offers a variety of traditional residence halls, while NYU has apartment-style housing. Both universities have various dining options available on campus.

Another difference between BU and NYU’s on-campus housing is the availability of single rooms. BU offers a limited number of single rooms, while NYU has a higher percentage of single rooms available. Additionally, BU’s on-campus housing tends to be more affordable than NYU’s, with lower overall costs for room and board.

Despite these differences, both universities prioritize creating a sense of community within their on-campus housing. BU and NYU both offer various events and activities for residents to participate in, such as movie nights, game tournaments, and community service opportunities. Living on campus can provide a unique and enriching experience for students, regardless of the specific style or cost of housing.

Student Life: Boston University vs NYU

There is no shortage of extracurricular activities available at either BU or NYU. Both universities offer a wide range of clubs and organizations to get involved with, as well as NCAA Division I athletic programs.

BU’s sports teams are known as the Terriers, while NYU’s sports teams are known as the Violets. Both universities have a strong emphasis on community service and offer many opportunities to give back.

Group of students walking side by side in the school campus.

At BU, some of the most popular clubs include the BU Outing Club, which organizes outdoor adventures like hiking and camping, and the BU Debate Society, which competes in national tournaments.

NYU has a thriving arts scene, with clubs like the NYU Sketch Comedy Group and the NYU Film Society. Both universities also have a variety of cultural and identity-based clubs, such as the BU Asian Student Union and the NYU LGBTQ+ Center.

For sports enthusiasts, BU offers 24 varsity sports teams, including ice hockey, basketball, and soccer. NYU has 23 varsity sports teams, including fencing, volleyball, and cross country. Both universities also have extensive intramural sports programs, allowing students of all skill levels to participate in sports like flag football, dodgeball, and ultimate frisbee.

Faculty and Staff: Quality and Accessibility

BU and NYU employ highly qualified faculty and staff who are devoted to student success. Both universities have a strong commitment to research and offer resources for undergraduate students to get involved. In terms of accessibility, both universities offer office hours and other support services to assist students in their academic pursuits.

Additionally, BU and NYU have implemented programs to promote diversity and inclusivity among their faculty and staff. Both universities have established diversity committees and offer training and resources to ensure that all students feel welcome and supported on campus.

This commitment to diversity and inclusivity extends to the classroom, where faculty members strive to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for all students.

Career Services: Boston University vs NYU

BU and NYU both offer robust career services to help students prepare for success after graduation. BU has a highly regarded Career Development Office, which collaborates with employers to offer internships and job opportunities to students. Similarly, NYU offers a career center that provides students with resources to prepare for the job search process.

Additionally, BU’s Career Development Office offers career counseling services to students, helping them identify their strengths and interests and align them with potential career paths. The office also hosts career fairs and networking events, connecting students with employers in various industries.

Similarly, NYU’s career center offers workshops and seminars on topics such as resume writing, interviewing skills, and job search strategies. The center also provides access to job and internship databases, allowing students to search for opportunities that match their interests and qualifications.

Alumni Network: Connections and Resources

The alumni networks for both universities are substantial and provide a wealth of resources for graduates. BU and NYU both have strong alumni associations that offer networking opportunities, career services, and social events for alumni.

BU’s alumni network is particularly strong in the fields of business, law, and healthcare. Graduates from these programs have access to exclusive job postings, mentorship programs, and industry-specific events. Additionally, BU’s alumni association offers a variety of online resources, including webinars and career development workshops.

Students holding their book while talking.

NYU’s alumni network is known for its global reach, with alumni living and working in over 180 countries. The university’s alumni association hosts events around the world, providing opportunities for graduates to connect with each other and build their professional networks. NYU’s alumni also have access to a range of career services, including resume reviews, interview preparation, and job search assistance.

International Opportunities: Boston University vs NYU

Both universities have a strong commitment to international education and offer a wide range of study abroad programs to suit students’ interests and academic goals. BU and NYU both have international campuses and offer opportunities to study abroad in over 100 countries. These experiences can help students develop a global perspective and gain valuable cultural immersion.

Furthermore, students who participate in study abroad programs often report increased confidence, independence, and adaptability. These skills can be highly valuable in today’s globalized job market, where employers seek candidates with cross-cultural competencies.

In addition to study abroad programs, both universities also offer opportunities for international research, internships, and service learning. These experiences allow students to engage with global issues and make a positive impact in communities around the world. By participating in these programs, students can gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of our world and develop skills to become global citizens.

Research Opportunities: Centers, Labs, and Funding

Research is an integral part of both BU and NYU’s academic culture. Both universities have a multitude of research centers and labs that offer funding for research projects. Students have the opportunity to work alongside faculty and engage in meaningful research in their field of study.

At BU, the Center for Systems Neuroscience is a leading research center that focuses on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying behavior and cognition. The center offers funding for research projects and provides students with the opportunity to work with renowned faculty members in the field of neuroscience.

Similarly, NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering has several research labs that offer funding for research projects in areas such as robotics, cybersecurity, and data science. Students have the opportunity to work on cutting-edge research projects and gain valuable experience in their field of study.

Campus Safety and Security: Boston University vs NYU

BU and NYU both prioritize campus safety and have policies and procedures in place to keep students safe. Both universities provide regular updates on campus safety and have emergency response plans in place. Statistically, both universities have relatively low levels of crime.

In summary, deciding between BU and NYU ultimately comes down to personal preferences. BU offers a close-knit community and a more traditional campus feel, while NYU offers a diverse and dynamic environment in the heart of New York City. Both universities offer excellent academic programs, resources, and opportunities to support student success.

a group of student's social life at princeton

It is important to note that both BU and NYU have implemented additional safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include mandatory mask-wearing, increased cleaning and sanitization, and social distancing protocols. Both universities also offer testing and contact tracing for students and staff. Students can feel confident that their health and safety is a top priority at both BU and NYU.


In conclusion, choosing between Boston University (BU) and New York University (NYU) is a significant decision that depends on your individual preferences and priorities. Both universities have much to offer, and your choice should align with your academic, social, and lifestyle preferences.

Your decision should align with your goals, preferences, and ambitions. Take the time to research and visit both campuses, engage with current students and faculty, and consider the unique opportunities and experiences each university offers.

Your educational journey at either BU or NYU will be marked by excellence and the chance to grow academically and personally. So, weigh your options carefully, and trust that your choice will lead you to a path of academic and personal growth.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.


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