Boston University vs UCLA: Which University is Right for You?

October 24, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Boston University vs UCLA: Which University is Right for You?

Deciding on which university to attend can be a daunting task for any student. With thousands of colleges and universities to choose from, it can be challenging to determine which institution is the perfect fit for you. Two universities that are often compared are Boston University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In this article, we will compare Boston University vs UCLA across categories such as location and campus size, academic programs offered, costs, financial aid opportunities, student life, housing options, campus diversity and inclusion efforts, career services, admission requirements, faculty and research opportunities, athletics programs and facilities, student success stories, campus safety, online learning options, student support services, study abroad opportunities, campus amenities, reputation, and student testimonials.

Location and Campus Size: Boston University vs UCLA

Boston University is situated in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts. Its campus is spread across 135 acres and includes more than 400 buildings. On the other hand, UCLA is located in Los Angeles, California, and its campus spans over 419 acres. Both universities are located in cities that offer plenty of cultural and entertainment opportunities.

Multiracial university students

Boston University’s location in the heart of Boston provides students with easy access to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, such as Fenway Park and the Freedom Trail. The university’s campus is also located near several museums, theaters, and restaurants, making it an ideal location for students who want to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant culture.

UCLA’s location in Los Angeles offers students access to some of the most popular attractions in Southern California, including Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica Beach. The university’s campus is also home to several museums, art galleries, and theaters, providing students with ample opportunities to explore the city’s rich cultural scene.

Academic Programs Offered: Boston University vs UCLA

Boston University and UCLA offer a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Boston University has 10 undergraduate schools and colleges, while UCLA has 12.

Both universities have renowned programs in fields such as Business, Engineering, Computer Science, and Film. Boston University, however, is known for its exceptional programs in Communication, Journalism, and Health & Medical Fields, whereas UCLA is particularly renowned for its courses in Law, Education, and Performing Arts.

In addition to these fields, both universities also offer unique and specialized programs. Boston University has a highly regarded program in Archaeology, which includes opportunities for fieldwork and research. UCLA has a top-ranked program in Environmental Science, which focuses on sustainability and conservation.

Both universities also offer programs in areas such as Public Health, Social Work, and International Relations, providing students with a diverse range of academic options.

Cost of Attendance: Boston University vs UCLA

Attending either Boston University or UCLA comes at a significant cost. Boston University’s tuition fees are around $59,000 per year on average, including room, board, and other expenses. Meanwhile, UCLA’s total cost of attendance, including tuition fees and room and board, may range from $34,000 to $57,000 per year on average, depending on residency status.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both universities may increase each year due to inflation and other factors. Additionally, students may also incur additional expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses, which can add up to several thousand dollars per year.

However, both Boston University and UCLA offer various financial aid options, including scholarships, grants, and loans, to help students cover the cost of attendance. It is recommended that students explore these options and apply for financial aid as early as possible to ensure they receive the maximum amount of aid available to them.

Financial Aid Opportunities: Boston University vs UCLA

Boston University and UCLA provide financial assistance to students to make attending affordable. Students at Boston University can receive aid in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs. Similarly, UCLA provides financial assistance with a commitment to cover the full demonstrated financial need of every student who qualifies for financial aid.

financial aid for students

It is important to note that financial aid opportunities vary by institution and may have different eligibility requirements. It is recommended that students research and apply for financial aid as early as possible to increase their chances of receiving assistance.

Additionally, some private organizations and foundations also offer scholarships and grants to students pursuing higher education. Students should explore all available options to help finance their education and minimize student debt.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA have vibrant student communities, offering a wide range of extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations. Boston University is located in a lively college town, offering plenty of opportunities for students to explore unique recreational and cultural events, ranging from sports to music festivals.

UCLA, on the other hand, is located in a bustling city and is well-known for its vibrant cultural scene and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Additionally, both universities offer various opportunities for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. Boston University has a strong commitment to service, with numerous programs and initiatives aimed at addressing social issues and promoting civic engagement.

UCLA also has a robust community service program, with students participating in projects ranging from tutoring and mentoring to environmental conservation and healthcare outreach.

Housing Options: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA offer students several on-campus housing options, including traditional dorms, apartments, and suite-style living arrangements. However, where housing costs are concerned, UCLA’s prices are relatively more affordable compared to Boston University’s. Living off-campus is also a viable and common option for students at both universities.

At Boston University, students have the option to live in themed housing communities, such as the Global House or the Arts House, which provide a unique living experience centered around a specific interest or theme. Additionally, BU offers a limited number of on-campus housing options for graduate students, including studio and one-bedroom apartments.

UCLA’s on-campus housing options include residential halls that are specifically designed for transfer students, as well as apartments that are reserved for upperclassmen. The university also offers a unique housing option called the “Transfer Experience Community,” which is a living community exclusively for transfer students that provides academic and social support.

Campus Diversity and Inclusion Efforts: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA are committed to inclusivity and diversity in their student bodies. BU is known for having a highly diverse student population, with a high number of international students and students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Similarly, UCLA has a robust Student Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiative that includes an array of programs, support services, and resources to promote social justice and diversity on campus.

Portrait of diverse student in a room

At Boston University, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers a variety of programs and initiatives to support students from diverse backgrounds. These include mentorship programs, cultural celebrations, and workshops on topics such as implicit bias and microaggressions. Additionally, BU has a Multicultural Greek Council that promotes diversity and inclusion within the Greek community.

Meanwhile, UCLA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office provides resources and support for students, faculty, and staff to create a more inclusive campus environment. This includes training programs for faculty and staff on topics such as unconscious bias and inclusive teaching practices, as well as student-led initiatives such as the Diversity Peer Leaders program and the Social Justice Referendum.

Career Services and Alumni Network: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA offer robust career services and support for students and alumni, with opportunities for internships and job placements. BU has an extensive alumni network in areas such as Business and Media, while UCLA’s graduates have gone on to achieve immense success in fields like Entertainment and Technology.

At Boston University, the career services team offers personalized career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and mock interviews to help students prepare for the job search process. They also host career fairs and networking events throughout the year, connecting students with employers in various industries. Additionally, BU’s alumni network provides mentorship opportunities and job leads for recent graduates.

Meanwhile, UCLA’s career center offers similar services, including career counseling and job search resources. They also have a strong focus on entrepreneurship, with programs and resources to help students start their own businesses. UCLA’s alumni network is particularly strong in the entertainment industry, with many graduates working in film, television, and music production.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity Rates: Boston University vs UCLA

Boston University and UCLA have highly competitive admissions processes, with acceptance rates ranging from approximately 9% to 14%. Both universities require students to submit standardized test scores, transcripts, and essays as part of their applications. However, UCLA’s admission rate is slightly more selective than BU’s and has a tougher SAT score requirement, typically requiring a score of 1400 or higher.

In addition to the required application materials, both Boston University and UCLA also consider extracurricular activities, letters of recommendation, and demonstrated interest in the university when making admissions decisions.

BU places a strong emphasis on community service and leadership experience, while UCLA values a diverse range of extracurricular involvement. It is important for prospective students to showcase their unique strengths and interests in their applications to increase their chances of acceptance.

Athletics Programs and Facilities: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA offer exceptional facilities and athletic programs, with several national championships earned by their teams. BU competes in the Division I Patriot League, with programs like Ice hockey being particularly renowned.

On the other hand, UCLA’s Division I Athletic Program has achieved tremendous success in sports like gymnastics, basketball, and volleyball.

Additionally, Boston University has recently invested in a state-of-the-art fitness center equipped with the latest technology and equipment. The center offers a wide range of fitness classes, personal training sessions, and wellness programs to cater to the needs of all students and faculty members.

Meanwhile, UCLA’s athletic facilities include the iconic Pauley Pavilion, which has hosted numerous NCAA basketball championships. The university also boasts a world-class aquatic center, which has been used for Olympic trials and other major swimming events. In addition, UCLA’s athletic program emphasizes the importance of community service and encourages student-athletes to participate in various volunteer activities throughout the year.

Campus Safety and Security Measures: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA prioritize the safety and well-being of their students. BU has a devoted team of campus safety officers who work in partnership with the Boston police department and regularly conduct emergency drills. Similarly, UCLA has its own police department that offers several services, including campus escorts, lost and found, and emergency response.

Additionally, both universities have implemented various safety measures to ensure the security of their campuses. BU has installed security cameras throughout the campus, and students are required to carry their ID cards at all times. UCLA has also installed security cameras and has emergency call boxes located throughout the campus. Both universities also have a system in place for reporting any suspicious activity or potential threats.

Online Learning Options for Remote Students: Boston University vs UCLA

Online learning is becoming increasingly popular, and both Boston University and UCLA offer distance-learning options. BU has a wide range of online courses and has even created an online Global Health Program. Similarly, UCLA offers online courses through the UCLA Extension, which includes certificates students can earn in addition to their traditional degree programs.

In addition to BU and UCLA, many other universities and colleges are also offering online learning options for remote students. This is especially beneficial for those who may not have the ability to attend classes in person due to work or family obligations.

Online learning allows students to complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule while still receiving a quality education. Some universities even offer fully online degree programs, allowing students to earn their degree entirely online.

Student Support Services, Counseling, Health Services, Disability Resources: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA offer comprehensive student support services, including disability resources, counseling, and health services.

BU’s Student Health Services offers regular physical health checkups and counseling services, and similarly, UCLA’s Student Health Center provides students with a range of health care services, including general medicine, mental health, and physical therapy.

Group of student working on a table.

Additionally, both universities have dedicated counseling centers that offer individual and group therapy sessions to students. BU’s Counseling Center provides services such as stress management, relationship counseling, and support for students dealing with trauma.

Similarly, UCLA’s Counseling and Psychological Services offers a variety of counseling services, including crisis intervention, substance abuse treatment, and support for students with eating disorders.

Study Abroad Opportunities: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA offer study abroad programs for their students. BU has programs in more than 80 countries worldwide, allowing students to immerse themselves in different cultures. UCLA also offers study abroad opportunities in over 130 countries, enabling students to explore new academic and cross-cultural experiences.

Additionally, students who participate in study abroad programs often report increased confidence, independence, and adaptability. They also have the opportunity to learn or improve their language skills, which can be a valuable asset in today’s global job market.

Furthermore, many study abroad programs offer internships or volunteer opportunities, allowing students to gain practical experience in their field of study while also making a positive impact in the local community. These experiences can be a great addition to a student’s resume and can set them apart from other job candidates in the future.

Campus Amenities like Libraries, Dining, and Recreation Facilities: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA provide numerous amenities, such as libraries, dining areas, and recreational facilities. BU has a highly developed and expansive library system, eight dining halls, and recreation facilities such as fitness centers and swimming pools.

UCLA also has numerous libraries, dining areas, and recreational facilities, including world-class athletic facilities such as the Pauley Pavilion and the Wooden Center, built in memory of legendary basketball coach John Wooden.

Additionally, both universities offer unique amenities that cater to the interests of their students. Boston University has a state-of-the-art music practice facility, which includes soundproof rooms and recording studios for music students.

UCLA, on the other hand, has a planetarium that offers shows and educational programs for astronomy enthusiasts. Both universities also have art galleries and museums that showcase the works of their students and faculty.

Future Prospects based on University Reputation: Boston University vs UCLA

Both Boston University and UCLA have a solid reputation amongst employers and institutions of higher learning. BU graduates are respected in fields such as Healthcare, Business, Media, and Law and are accepted into renowned graduate schools such as Harvard and Yale Law Schools.

Group of students studying on a table.

Similarly, UCLA graduates are known for their success in various areas, including the entertainment industry, with alumni receiving Academy and Emmy Awards.

Furthermore, both universities have strong alumni networks that provide graduates with valuable connections and opportunities. BU alumni are known for their active involvement in the university’s community, with many serving as mentors and offering internships to current students.

UCLA’s alumni network is also extensive, with graduates working in various industries and providing support to current students through career services and networking events.

Student Reviews and Testimonials on Social Media Platforms: Boston University vs UCLA

Student testimonials on social media platforms are a crucial aspect of understanding the student experience at any university. Reviews from current students and alumni provide valuable insights into the quality and character of the institution.

Additionally, reviews on websites such as Rate My Professors can offer valuable guidance while selecting courses. BU and UCLA both have vibrant student communities on social media platforms, providing reviews and testimonials that give a deeper look into their educational experiences.

One important thing to keep in mind when reading student reviews on social media platforms is to take them with a grain of salt. While they can provide valuable insights, they are often subjective and may not reflect the experiences of every student. It’s important to read a variety of reviews and consider the overall consensus before making any decisions based on them.

Another benefit of reading student reviews on social media platforms is that they can provide information on extracurricular activities and campus life. Students often share their experiences with clubs, sports teams, and other organizations, giving prospective students a better idea of what life is like outside of the classroom. This can be especially helpful for students who are looking for a well-rounded college experience.

View of students walking in the school campus


In conclusion, selecting the perfect university can be overwhelming, but this article provides an in-depth comparison between Boston University and UCLA to help make that decision easier.

Boston University offers a unique academic curriculum that has earned it a reputation as a leading institution in Health & Medical Fields and Communication, while UCLA is renowned for its courses in Law, Education, and Performing Arts. Both universities offer fantastic student life, housing options, and support services, but Boston University’s tuition fees tend to be higher.

Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal and academic preferences, area of interest, and financial situation. Before deciding, it is always advisable to visit the campus, talk to current students, and do the necessary research to find the perfect fit for you.

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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