How to Get into Boston University: Admission Requirements and Tips

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

How to Get into Boston University: Admission Requirements and Tips

Boston University (BU) is a prestigious institution, renowned for its diverse academic offerings and vibrant campus life. However, getting admitted is a challenge. The competitive applicant pool and rigorous admission criteria can seem daunting to aspiring students.

This article will guide you through the process of applying to Boston University. We’ll offer clear, practical advice and insights to enhance your application, boosting your chances of joining the ranks of successful BU students.

Overview of Boston University

Established in 1839, Boston University has a rich history that contributes to its prestigious reputation today. Located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, the university is situated in a bustling urban setting, providing students with a vibrant and dynamic environment for their academic and social pursuits.

Boston University stands out for its wide range of programs, including highly regarded offerings in law, business, engineering, and the liberal arts. Its commitment to interdisciplinary learning and research opportunities gives students a well-rounded educational experience, preparing them for success in various fields.

In terms of prestige, Boston University holds impressive rankings: #43 nationally in the 2024 edition of Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and #93 globally in the QS World University Rankings 2024. These rankings reflect the university’s commitment to excellence in education and research.

Among its distinguished alumni are Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate in 1964, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an influential American politician and activist. Their achievements underscore the impact and reach of a Boston University education.

When applying to Boston University, it’s essential to understand the university’s history, its esteemed position in national and global rankings, and the notable achievements of its alumni. This knowledge should shape your application, highlighting your aspirations to contribute to and benefit from this esteemed institution’s legacy.

How Hard Is It to Get into Boston University?

With a latest acceptance rate of just 10.7%, Boston University is undoubtedly one of the more selective institutions in the United States. This figure signifies that out of every 100 applicants, fewer than 11 are admitted.

The significance of this acceptance rate cannot be overstated. It serves as a clear indicator of the high standards and rigorous criteria BU sets for its prospective students.

Boston University’s acceptance rate

In the past five years, Boston University’s acceptance rate has been steadily decreasing:

Class Acceptance Rate
Class of 2023 18.9%
Class of 2024 18.5%
Class of 2025 18.3%
Class of 2026 14%
Class of 2027 10.7%

These figures underscore BU’s growing selectivity and prestige. This trend also reflects the university’s commitment to maintaining a high standard of academic excellence and attracting a diverse and talented student body.

For the Class of 2027, Boston University saw a staggering 80,495 total applicants, but only 10.7% of these applicants were accepted. This statistic not only highlights the competitive nature of its admissions process but also the increasing popularity and demand for a place at this renowned institution.

Prospective students should view this acceptance rate as a measure of the competitiveness of Boston University’s admissions. It implies the need for a strong and well-rounded application that stands out in a pool of highly qualified candidates.

Factors influencing the acceptance rate

To understand Boston University’s low acceptance rate, consider these institutional factors:

  • Increasing Applicant Pool: Each year, more students are applying to Boston University, leading to a more competitive selection process.
  • Academic Standards: The university maintains high academic expectations, seeking students who excel in their studies.
  • Diversity Goals: Efforts to create a diverse and inclusive student body influence admissions decisions.
  • Program Popularity: Certain popular programs may have more stringent acceptance rates due to higher demand.

Boston University Admission Requirements

Gaining admission to Boston University requires meeting various academic and personal criteria. These requirements are designed to assess not only your academic prowess but also your potential as a contributing member of the BU community. Here’s an overview of what BU looks for in its applicants:


  • GPA: A strong GPA is essential, reflecting your ability to excel academically and handle challenging coursework. Boston University looks for students who have consistently performed well throughout high school.
  • High School Curriculum: It’s recommended to pursue a rigorous high school curriculum, including advanced courses in areas related to your intended major. This demonstrates your preparedness for the academic challenges at BU.
  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT/ACT): Boston University adopts a test-optional policy, allowing students the choice to submit SAT or ACT scores. While not mandatory, a high score can positively impact your application in a competitive field.
  • Essays: These are your opportunity to highlight your unique experiences, personality, and motivations. Compelling essays can distinguish you in a pool of similarly qualified applicants.
  • Letters of Recommendation: These provide valuable insights into your character and potential, as seen through the eyes of teachers or mentors.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Active participation in extracurriculars showcases your ability to balance academic and other interests, and indicates how you might contribute to campus life.

The admission process at Boston University is holistic, meaning every part of your application is considered. This holistic approach allows for a thorough evaluation, ensuring that not only your academic credentials but also your personal achievements and character are taken into account.

What Does Boston University Look for in Students?

Understanding the core values that Boston University seeks in its students is vital. These values reflect the essence of the university’s culture and its expectations for student contributions both academically and socially. Knowing these values allows you to align your application to demonstrate how you embody them, thus increasing your chances of being admitted.

1. Diversity

At Boston University, diversity is a cornerstone of the educational experience. The university actively seeks students who bring a variety of experiences, cultures, and perspectives to the campus. This commitment to diversity extends beyond ethnicity and cultural background to encompass diverse thoughts, beliefs, and life experiences.

Such diversity of backgrounds enhances the learning environment, fostering a culture of mutual respect, empathy, and global awareness. By embracing diversity, BU ensures a dynamic and inclusive community where every student has the opportunity to learn from others and contribute their unique viewpoint.

2. Academic excellence

Academic excellence at Boston University goes beyond strong grades and test scores. It’s about demonstrating a genuine passion for learning, a curiosity that drives you to explore beyond the standard curriculum.

BU seeks students who are not only academically talented but also intellectually courageous—those who seek out challenges, engage deeply with their studies, and show a consistent desire to grow and excel.

This thirst for knowledge and the willingness to push intellectual boundaries are what define the BU student body. Academic excellence here means being a proactive learner, one who is not afraid to question conventional wisdom and explore new ideas.

3. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is paramount at Boston University. Students are encouraged to develop the ability to think independently, analyze information objectively, and approach problems creatively. BU values students who can look at issues from multiple angles, who are not just content with surface-level answers but delve deeper to understand the ‘why’ and ‘how.’

Critical thinking skills

This skill is essential not only for academic success at BU but also for life beyond university. In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, the ability to critically evaluate information, construct reasoned arguments, and challenge existing ideas is invaluable.

Students who demonstrate these abilities are well-prepared to contribute to BU’s vibrant academic community, marked by a continuous exchange of ideas and innovative problem-solving.

4. Collaboration

At Boston University, collaboration is a fundamental skill. BU values students who show an ability to work effectively in teams, respecting different viewpoints, and contributing constructively to group endeavors. Collaboration at BU is about leveraging the strengths of diverse team members to achieve common goals, whether in academic projects, research, or extracurricular activities.

This skill is vital in today’s world, where many of the most significant challenges require collective efforts to solve. Students who are adept at collaborating not only enrich their own university experience but also prepare themselves for successful careers in an increasingly collaborative global workforce.

Boston University GPA and SAT Requirements

Your GPA and SAT scores are key components of your application to Boston University.

Your high school GPA is a strong indicator of your academic performance. It shows how consistently you’ve maintained good grades and managed challenging courses. A high GPA is a clear signal to Boston University that you’re equipped to handle their rigorous academic standards. It reflects your dedication and ability to excel in a competitive educational environment.

Though Boston University is test-optional, submitting SAT scores can be beneficial. Strong SAT scores can bolster your application, especially if your GPA alone doesn’t fully capture your academic abilities. These scores provide a standardized measure of your skills in critical reading, math, and writing, offering the admissions committee an additional perspective on your academic readiness.

Together, your GPA and SAT scores, if submitted, paint a fuller picture of your academic capabilities. They are critical in helping Boston University’s admissions team assess whether you’re well-suited for the academic challenges and opportunities they offer.

Boston University GPA Requirements

The average GPA of students admitted to Boston University is notably high, at around 3.88.

While BU does not officially state a minimum GPA requirement, this average indicates the competitive nature of its admissions. Most admitted students have excellent academic records, showcasing their ability to handle demanding coursework.

A GPA of 3.88 places Boston University’s admitted students among the top academic performers nationwide. This statistic reflects not only the students’ intelligence and hard work but also BU’s high academic standards. In the broader context of U.S. universities, it signifies that BU students are among the best-prepared for college-level studies.

When looking at this average GPA, you should understand it as a benchmark. It indicates the level of academic excellence BU expects from its applicants. While a GPA close to this average is ideal, remember that Boston University reviews applications holistically, considering various aspects beyond just GPA.

GPA recommendations

Aiming for a GPA of 3.88 or higher can strengthen your application to Boston University. To maximize your chances of meeting BU’s high GPA expectations, consider these tips:

Chinese students studying in a library.

  • Take advanced or honors classes to demonstrate your ability to handle rigorous academic work.
  • If you’re struggling in a subject, don’t hesitate to seek extra help from teachers or tutors.
  • Aim for consistent performance across all your subjects to maintain a strong overall GPA.
  • While challenging yourself is important, balance your course load to ensure you can excel in all areas.
  • Develop strong time management skills to juggle coursework, extracurriculars, and other responsibilities effectively.
  • If your GPA isn’t where you want it to be, focus on showing an upward trend in your grades. Improvement over time can positively impact your application.

Boston University Course Recommendations

Understanding the course recommendations for Boston University is crucial for shaping your high school curriculum to align with what the university seeks in its applicants. Knowing these requirements can help you tailor your high school experience to prepare effectively for the academic rigors of BU.

BU recommends taking the following subjects in high school:

  • English (4 years): Four years of English are recommended to ensure you have strong reading, writing, and analytical skills, which are essential for college-level studies.
  • Mathematics (3-4 years): Taking 3 to 4 years of mathematics, including subjects like algebra, geometry, and pre-calculus, prepares you for the quantitative demands of university courses.
  • Laboratory Science (3-4 years): Engaging in 3 to 4 years of laboratory science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, demonstrates your ability to understand and apply scientific concepts and methods.
  • History and/or Social Science (3-4 years): These subjects are important for developing a broad understanding of society, culture, and historical contexts, enhancing your critical thinking and analytical abilities.
  • Language (2-4 years): Studying a foreign language for 2 to 4 years indicates your ability to grasp complex linguistic skills and exposes you to diverse cultures.

If you are applying to the College of Engineering or Questrom School of Business, however, you are required to take a year of calculus in high school.

Course selection tips

When selecting your high school courses with Boston University in mind, consider the following tips to make informed and strategic choices:

  • Prioritize taking courses in line with BU’s recommended subjects. Focus on achieving depth and breadth in these core areas.
  • Opt for advanced or honors classes where possible, especially in your areas of strength or interest. This demonstrates your readiness for college-level work.
  • While it’s important to challenge yourself, also choose courses that align with your interests and strengths. This balance can help you maintain a high GPA.
  • If you have a specific major or field in mind, take courses relevant to that area. For instance, if you’re interested in engineering, emphasize mathematics and sciences.
  • If you’re aiming for a specific college within BU, like the College of Engineering or the Questrom School of Business, ensure you meet any specific course requirements, such as a year of calculus.
  • If you’re interested in languages or international studies, consider taking more years of a foreign language. This not only meets the language requirement but also shows your commitment to cultural understanding.
  • Work with your high school counselor to ensure your course selections align with your college aspirations and academic abilities.

Boston University SAT Requirements

The SAT assesses your readiness for college by measuring key skills like reading comprehension, mathematical ability, and writing and language skills. It’s designed to provide colleges with a common data point for comparing applicants’ academic preparation.

Unidentified person taking an exam

Boston University does not have an absolute minimum SAT score requirement, but these statistics provide insight into the typical scores of admitted students:

Average SAT Score 25th Percentile SAT Score 75th Percentile SAT Score
1430 1370 1480

The SAT scores of BU students are generally high, reflecting the university’s competitive admissions process. These scores suggest that BU students are among the top performers nationally in terms of standardized testing.

If your SAT score is around the 25th percentile (1370), it’s important to strengthen other parts of your application, like your essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. A score in this range means you’re within the lower end of the spectrum of typically admitted students, so highlighting other strong aspects of your application becomes crucial.

Conversely, scoring in the 75th percentile (1480) indicates that your SAT score aligns with the top quarter of admitted students. This can be a significant advantage in your application, showcasing strong academic preparation.

Use these statistics as a guideline for understanding where your score fits within the range of admitted students. Remember, while a higher score can strengthen your application, BU considers the entire application holistically.

SAT recommendations

Aim for an SAT score at or above the 75th percentile (1480) to be competitive. To enhance your chances of achieving a competitive SAT score, consider these strategies:

  • Begin your SAT preparation well in advance to give yourself ample time to understand the material and identify areas for improvement.
  • Regular practice using SAT practice tests and questions can help familiarize you with the exam format and question types.
  • Identify and concentrate on improving your weaker sections. Utilize resources like tutoring or targeted practice to address these areas.
  • Make use of official SAT preparation materials for the most accurate practice and insight into the test.
  • Simulate test-day conditions when taking practice tests to build stamina and get a realistic sense of your performance.
  • Carefully review your practice tests to understand why you made mistakes and how to avoid them in the future.
  • If self-study isn’t enough, consider enrolling in an SAT prep course for structured learning and expert guidance.
  • Keep informed about any changes to the SAT format or content to ensure your preparation remains relevant.
  • While preparing for the SAT is important, ensure it doesn’t come at the expense of your high school grades.

Boston University ACT Requirements

The ACT is a standardized test that measures a student’s readiness for college. It covers four areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. Unlike the SAT, the ACT includes a science section, which assesses your interpretation, analysis, evaluation, reasoning, and problem-solving skills in the natural sciences.

Boston University does not have a minimum ACT score requirement, but these statistics indicate the typical scores of admitted students:

Average ACT Score 25th Percentile ACT Score 75th Percentile ACT Score
33 31 34

The ACT scores for Boston University students are relatively high, both in the context of the university and nationally. This reflects BU’s selective admissions process and the high academic caliber of its students.

Test score sheet with answers

A score at the 25th percentile (31) suggests that your ACT score is at the lower end among those admitted to BU. To balance this, it’s crucial to strengthen other application components like your personal essay, GPA, and extracurricular activities.

On the other hand, scoring at or above the 75th percentile (34) positions you well within the range of top-performing applicants, potentially giving your application a significant advantage.

These statistics should guide you in understanding where your ACT score stands in relation to other applicants. Aiming for a higher score can strengthen your application, but remember, BU evaluates applications holistically.

ACT recommendations

Aim for an ACT score in the 75th percentile range (34) or higher to be competitive for Boston University. To achieve this goal, follow these effective strategies:

  • Familiarize yourself with the ACT’s structure, including the types and formats of questions in each section.
  • Consistently practice with ACT practice tests to improve your familiarity and comfort with the exam.
  • Identify your weakest section on the ACT and devote extra time to improving in that area.
  • Invest in high-quality study materials, including official ACT prep books and online resources.
  • Practice under timed conditions to simulate the actual test environment and improve your time management skills.
  • After each practice test, review your answers, especially the incorrect ones, to understand your mistakes and learn from them.
  • If self-study is challenging, a structured ACT prep course can provide additional guidance and resources.
  • Ensure that your ACT preparation is balanced with your high school coursework and extracurricular activities.
  • On the day of the test, stay calm and confident. A positive mindset can significantly impact your performance.

Is Boston University Test-Optional?

Boston University has adopted a test-optional policy for undergraduate admissions. This means that submitting SAT or ACT scores is not mandatory for applicants.

If you believe your SAT or ACT scores are strong and reflect your academic potential, you can include them in your application.

However, if you feel that your scores do not adequately represent your abilities, or if you were unable to take the tests, you can choose not to submit them. This allows other aspects of your application, like your GPA, coursework, essays, and extracurricular activities, to carry more weight in the admissions decision.

Boston University adopted the test-optional policy to make college admissions more accessible and equitable. Recognizing that standardized test scores may not equally reflect the potential of all students, particularly those from underrepresented or disadvantaged backgrounds, the policy aims to level the playing field.

It allows for a more holistic review of each applicant, considering the full spectrum of their abilities, experiences, and achievements. This approach aligns with BU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, ensuring that all students have a fair opportunity to be considered for admission.

Does Boston University Superscore SAT and ACT?

Boston University officially practices superscoring for both the SAT and ACT. This means that if you choose to submit multiple test scores, BU will consider the highest individual section scores across all test dates and combine them to create the highest possible composite score.

SAT and ACT books

As an applicant, superscoring is advantageous. It allows you to focus on improving specific sections in subsequent test sittings without worrying about the other parts.

For instance, if you excel in math but want to raise your critical reading score, you can retake the SAT and concentrate on improving just that section. BU will then use your highest math score from your previous test and the highest critical reading score from your retakes to calculate your superscore.

This approach can potentially increase your overall composite score, making your application more competitive if you opt to submit your test scores.

Boston University Application Essays

The application essays are a crucial component of your Boston University application. They provide an opportunity for you to showcase your personality, experiences, and viewpoints.

Unlike test scores and grades, essays give you the chance to speak directly to the admissions committee and convey your individuality and what makes you unique. A well-crafted essay can make a significant impact on your application, especially in a competitive admissions environment like BU.

Boston University requires two main essays: a personal statement and a supplemental essay.

Personal statement

This is your Common Application essay. Here, in 250-650 words, you have the chance to share your story, experiences, or insights that have shaped who you are.

This essay should reflect your voice and character, and it’s an opportunity to discuss aspects of your life that aren’t apparent from other parts of your application.

Supplemental essay

BU requires you to respond to this prompt:

Boston University is dedicated to our founding principles: “that higher education should be accessible to all and that research, scholarship, artistic creation, and professional practice should be conducted in the service of the wider community—local and international. These principles endure in the University’s insistence on the value of diversity in its tradition and standards of excellence and its dynamic engagement with the City of Boston and the world.” With this mission in mind, please respond to one of the following two questions in 300 words or less:

  • Option A: Reflect on a social or community issue that deeply resonates with you. Why is it important to you, and how have you been involved in addressing or raising awareness about it?
  • Option B: What about being a student at BU most excites you? How do you hope to contribute to our campus community?

Each of these essays plays a distinct role in your application. The personal statement is more about you as an individual, while the supplemental essay is about how you connect with BU’s values and community. Both require thoughtful reflection and should be approached with the intent of providing deeper insights into who you are as a student and a person.

Essay tips

Crafting compelling essays for your Boston University application is key to standing out. Here are some specific tips to help you make the most of this opportunity:

a male student writing something

  • Give yourself plenty of time to brainstorm ideas. Reflect on experiences and aspects of your identity that are meaningful and unique to you.
  • Your essays should reflect your true self. Avoid writing what you think admissions officers want to hear; instead, be genuine and speak in your own voice.
  • Make sure you address all parts of the prompt. Each element is there for a reason and should be considered in your response.
  • Use specific examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points. This makes your essay more engaging and personal.
  • Your essays should be well-organized and easy to follow. Each paragraph should flow logically into the next.
  • Particularly for the supplemental essay, reflect on how your experiences have shaped you and how you intend to bring that growth to BU.
  • Mistakes in grammar or spelling can be distracting. Proofread your essays multiple times and consider having someone else review them as well.
  • Adhering to the word count shows that you can follow instructions and express your thoughts concisely.
  • For the supplemental essay, specifically align your response with BU’s principles and mission. Show how your goals and values resonate with the university’s ethos.

Boston University Recommendation Letters

Recommendation letters are a vital part of your application to Boston University. They offer a unique perspective on your academic and personal qualities, providing insight that grades and test scores cannot.

These letters, typically written by individuals who have closely interacted with you in an academic or professional setting, highlight your strengths, work ethic, character, and potential. They can significantly influence how the admissions committee perceives you as a candidate.

Boston University requires two specific types of recommendation letters:

  • Counselor Recommendation: This should come from your high school counselor. It generally covers your overall performance in the context of your high school, including academic rigor, extracurricular involvement, personal growth, and any challenges you’ve overcome.
  • Teacher Recommendation: Choose a teacher who knows you well and can speak to your abilities in the classroom. This recommendation should focus more on your academic strengths, classroom contributions, and intellectual engagement in a particular subject.

Both the counselor and the teacher should submit their evaluation forms found on the Common Application.

It’s important that these letters are thoughtful and detailed, offering specific anecdotes and insights into your abilities and character. Select recommenders who can provide a comprehensive and positive view of your capabilities and potential.

Tips for requesting recommendation letters

Securing effective recommendation letters for your Boston University application requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some tips to help you:

  • Select recommenders who know you well and can speak about your strengths and abilities in detail.
  • Give your recommenders plenty of time to write a thoughtful letter. Rushed letters may not reflect your best qualities.
  • Give your recommenders an overview of BU and what you’re trying to highlight in your application.
  • Providing a resume or a list of your achievements can help recommenders tailor their letter to your strengths.
  • Let your recommenders know your educational and career aspirations. This can help them align their letter with your future plans.
  • Gently remind them as the deadline approaches, and don’t forget to thank them for their time and effort.

a female student being coached by her female teacher

Tips for recommenders

As a recommender, your insight can significantly impact a student’s application to Boston University. Here are some tips for writing an effective recommendation letter:

  • Include specific anecdotes and examples that illustrate the student’s abilities and character.
  • Focus on qualities like intellectual curiosity, leadership, teamwork, and resilience.
  • Explain how the student stands out in your experience as an educator or counselor.
  • If applicable, mention how the student has grown or overcome challenges during their time with you.
  • While it’s important to be honest, also emphasize the student’s strengths and potential for success.
  • Ensure the letter meets BU’s requirements, including any specific questions or formats requested.
  • Use a formal tone and professional language, and remember to proofread the letter for errors.

Extracurricular Activities for Boston University Application

Extracurricular activities play a crucial role in your Boston University application. They offer a window into who you are beyond academics, showcasing your passions, talents, leadership skills, and contributions to your community.

These activities can significantly enhance your application, particularly at a holistic and competitive institution like BU, where admissions officers are keen to see how you might contribute to and enrich the university community.

Boston University values extracurricular activities that align with its core values and academic programs. Given BU’s emphasis on diversity, academic excellence, critical thinking, and collaboration, activities that demonstrate these qualities are particularly impactful.

For instance, involvement in cultural organizations or community service projects highlights your commitment to diversity and social awareness. Participation in academic clubs, research, or competitive academic teams showcases your dedication to academic excellence and intellectual curiosity.

Leadership roles, whether in student government, sports teams, or clubs, can illustrate your ability to lead and work collaboratively. BU also appreciates activities that reflect personal passions and pursuits, as they bring unique perspectives and energy to the campus.

If you’re applying to a specific program, like the College of Engineering or the School of Business, relevant activities such as coding competitions or entrepreneurship clubs can underscore your commitment and readiness for your chosen field.

In summary, BU looks for activities that not only reflect your interests and talents but also demonstrate how you embody the values and qualities they cherish. These extracurriculars should paint a picture of you as a well-rounded, engaged, and proactive individual who will contribute positively to the BU community.

Extracurricular activities tips

Effectively presenting your extracurricular activities can greatly enhance your Boston University application. Here are some tips to help you showcase them effectively:

  • Focus on a few activities where you’ve made a significant impact, rather than a long list of superficial involvements.
  • Highlight any leadership roles or initiatives you’ve taken in your activities. BU values students who show leadership potential.
  • Emphasize activities where you’ve been involved for an extended period, as this shows dedication and persistence.
  • If possible, align your extracurricular activities with your intended field of study to show your passion and commitment to that area.

Caltech undergraduate requirements for internation students

  • Discuss what you’ve learned from these activities and how they’ve helped you grow personally and intellectually.
  • If you have a range of activities, include them to show your versatility and ability to engage in different communities.
  • If you’re involved in something unique or less common, make sure to explain it so the admissions committee understands its value.
  • Provide specific examples and genuine reasons for your involvement in each activity, avoiding generic descriptions.

Boston University Application Requirements

When applying to Boston University, understanding and fulfilling the application requirements is crucial for a successful submission. This comprehensive list breaks down the mandatory and optional components, along with additional requirements for specific programs, providing you with the information needed to complete your application effectively.

Mandatory requirements

  • Common Application or Questbridge Application: These platforms include your personal information, academic history, and extracurricular activities. Ensure all sections are accurately filled out and double-check for any errors or omissions.
  • Application Essays: These include a personal statement and a BU-specific supplemental essay. Take time to craft thoughtful and reflective essays that showcase your personality and fit with BU.
  • High School Transcript: This must be submitted by a school official. Verify with your school that your transcript includes all relevant grades and coursework.
  • Senior Year Grades: This is often submitted as a mid-year report. Maintain strong academic performance throughout your senior year, as these grades are considered.
  • School Report and Counselor Recommendation: These documents are to be submitted by your school counselor. Discuss with your counselor about highlighting key aspects of your academic and personal growth.
  • Teacher Recommendation: Choose a teacher who knows you well. Provide your teacher with a resume or summary of your achievements to help them write a detailed recommendation.
  • Application Fee or Waiver: The fee is $80. If the fee is a financial burden, consider requesting a waiver through the Common Application.

Optional requirements

  • Standardized Test Scores (SAT/ACT): BU is test-optional. Submit scores if they are strong and you feel they enhance your application.

Other requirements

  • Audition and/or Portfolio: These are required for applicants to the School of Theatre, School of Music, and School of Visual Arts. Check the College of Fine Arts’s website for specific requirements and prepare thoroughly to showcase your talent and proficiency in your chosen field.

How to Apply to Boston University

Navigating the application process to Boston University can be a complex but rewarding journey. This guide will walk you through each major phase, from initial preparation to awaiting your admission results, ensuring you have a clear understanding of the steps involved.

1. Preparation and research

Begin by researching Boston University’s programs, values, and culture to understand how they align with your goals and interests. This is also the time to gather information about application deadlines, requirements, and financial aid options. Utilize BU’s website, attend virtual information sessions, and connect with current students or alumni for deeper insights.

a female student studying with her laptop and looking at the camera

2. Academic and extracurricular preparation

Focus on your academics and extracurricular activities to build a strong profile. Ensure your coursework aligns with BU’s recommended high school curriculum and engage in meaningful extracurriculars that showcase your talents and interests. Aim for a balance between academic rigor and extracurricular depth, showing both intellectual curiosity and personal initiative.

3. Application compilation

Start compiling your application components, including your Common or Questbridge Application, essays, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Ensure you have all the necessary materials and information to fill out your application thoroughly. Create a checklist of all required documents and deadlines to stay organized and on track.

4. Submission and follow-up

Once your application is complete, submit it before the deadline. After submission, follow up to ensure all components, including test scores (if submitting), have been received and your application is complete. Double-check all elements for accuracy and completeness before submitting and keep copies of all documents.

5. Awaiting results

After submission, the waiting phase begins. Use this time to continue your academic and personal development, and explore other college options as well. Stay engaged in your current studies and activities, and be prepared for any outcome, keeping a positive and open-minded attitude.

How to Submit Supplemental Materials to Boston University

Submitting supplemental materials to Boston University is a crucial step for certain applicants, especially those applying to specialized programs.

Boston University requires the submission of portfolios for applicants to the College of Fine Arts programs, which include the School of Theatre, School of Music, and School of Visual Arts.

Supplemental materials, such as portfolios, are submitted through the Acceptd platform. This platform is specifically designed for artistic submissions and is widely used by universities for similar purposes. The use of this platform ensures that your supplemental materials are securely and efficiently processed.

Step-by-step guide

By carefully following these steps, you can smoothly navigate the process of submitting supplemental materials to Boston University, ensuring that your talents and skills are properly showcased to the admissions committee:

  1. Begin by completing your main application to Boston University, either through the Common Application or the Questbridge Application. This is a prerequisite before you can submit any supplemental materials.
  2. After submitting your main application, you will receive a university ID number from Boston University. This number is essential for the next steps in the application process.
  3. With your university ID number, proceed to apply to the specific College of Fine Arts program you are interested in (School of Theatre, School of Music, or School of Visual Arts).
  4. Depending on your chosen program, prepare your portfolio according to the guidelines provided by the school. This may include artwork, performance recordings, or other relevant creative work.
  5. Once your portfolio is ready, submit it through the Acceptd platform.
  6. After submitting your portfolio, ensure you receive a confirmation of submission. Keep an eye on your email and the Acceptd platform for any communication or additional steps required by Boston University.

Boston University Scholarships and Financial Aid

Boston University offers a comprehensive range of financial aid options to support students in their educational journey. This includes both need-based and merit-based aid, ensuring a commitment to making education accessible to all admitted students.

student searching scholarship site using her laptop

For U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are admitted as first-year students, BU meets 100% of demonstrated financial need. Notably, 92% of the aid distributed by Boston University is need-based, which is designed to bridge the gap between the cost of attendance and what a family can afford to pay.

The remaining 8% of aid is merit-based, awarded to students based on their academic, artistic, or leadership achievements. This diverse array of financial support reflects BU’s dedication to attracting and retaining talented students from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Scholarship tips

Navigating financial aid and scholarships effectively can greatly reduce the financial burden of college and allow you to fully focus on your academic and personal development at Boston University. To do this, follow these tips:

  • Apply early. Meet all financial aid deadlines to ensure you are considered for the maximum amount of aid.
  • Complete the FAFSA and CSS profile. These forms are critical for determining your eligibility for need-based aid.
  • Look into BU’s merit-based scholarships and understand their criteria and application processes.
  • Explore scholarships from outside sources to supplement your financial aid package.
  • Carefully review your financial aid offer from BU and understand each component.
  • Consider your total college costs over four years and plan accordingly.
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to BU’s financial aid counselors for advice or clarification on your aid options and requirements.

Boston University Regular Decision vs Early Decision

Choosing between Regular Decision and Early Decision is a significant part of your college application strategy. Understanding the differences between these options at Boston University can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your academic and personal goals.

At Boston University, applicants have the choice of applying through Regular Decision or one of two Early Decision (ED) plans. Regular Decision is the standard application process. Regular decision applicants have no binding commitment to BU and are free to consider other college offers.

On the other hand, Boston University offers two ED plans, both of which are binding agreements. This means if you apply ED to BU and are accepted, you are committed to attending BU and must withdraw applications from other institutions.

ED applicants typically apply by an earlier deadline and receive their admissions decisions sooner than regular decision applicants. Moreover, ED applicants also have higher acceptance rates.

Which application plan to choose

If BU is your absolute first choice and you have researched it thoroughly, applying through early decision can demonstrate your strong interest and commitment to the university. It’s important, however, to be confident in this decision, as it is binding.

On the other hand, if you’re still exploring options or need more time to strengthen your application, the regular decision might be the better path. This allows you more time to prepare a competitive application and weigh different college offers.

Boston University Application Deadlines

For applicants planning to apply to Boston University, it’s crucial to be aware of the specific deadlines for each application option. Here are the key dates:

Application Option Deadline Notification Date
Early Decision I November 1 Mid-December
Early Decision II January 4 Mid-February
Regular Decision January 4 Late March

Adhering to these deadlines is essential for ensuring your application is considered. Make sure to prepare all required materials well in advance of these dates.

How Hard is It to Get into Boston University?

Boston University’s admission process is highly competitive, with the acceptance rate for the Class of 2027 standing at about 10.7%. This selective nature indicates that getting into BU requires more than just above-average academic credentials.

The average high school GPA of admitted students hovers around 3.8, signaling the university’s emphasis on academic excellence. However, BU’s holistic admissions approach also scrutinizes other aspects of an applicant’s profile.

The university’s test-optional policy, which extends through the fall 2025 and spring 2026 admissions cycles, broadens the applicant pool. This policy allows students who may not excel in standardized testing to showcase their strengths in other areas.

However, this also means that the admissions committee pays closer attention to essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation.

Applicants must distinguish themselves in a pool of thousands of other high-achieving students. This can be achieved through demonstrating unique skills, talents, or experiences that align with BU’s values and academic ethos. Additionally, students must effectively communicate their potential to contribute positively to the university community.

Given these factors, prospective students must understand that while academic performance is significant, BU seeks well-rounded individuals. Students who exhibit a blend of intellectual curiosity, community involvement, and personal achievements have a stronger chance of admission.

The university values diversity in its student body, not just in academic and intellectual terms but also in cultural, geographic, and experiential backgrounds.

Prospective applicants should, therefore, focus on building a comprehensive profile that aligns with BU’s values. This includes excelling academically while engaging in meaningful extracurricular activities, pursuing personal interests, and developing a strong sense of social responsibility.

Crafting thoughtful and reflective essays that truly capture one’s personality and aspirations is also vital. These essays offer a window into the applicant’s character and potential to enrich the BU community.

High school friends talking to each other in a room.

Benefits of Attending Boston University

Boston University is a premier destination for higher education, offering a unique blend of academic excellence and practical experience. Nestled in the bustling city of Boston, it provides an ideal environment for students to learn, grow, and prepare for their future careers. Now, let’s look at the benefits of attending this prestigious institution.

Comprehensive Academic Opportunities

Boston University is renowned for its wide array of rigorous academic programs. These programs are designed to foster intellectual growth and prepare students for successful careers in various fields.

BU’s curriculum is characterized by its flexibility, allowing students to tailor their educational experience to align with their interests and career goals. The university offers numerous interdisciplinary programs, encouraging students to explore and integrate different fields of study. This approach equips students with broad skills and a diverse knowledge base, making them versatile in the job market.

Research and Innovation

As a leading research institution, BU provides students with ample opportunities to engage in groundbreaking research. Under the mentorship of faculty members who are experts in their fields, students can participate in innovative projects and contribute to significant discoveries.

This exposure to research cultivates critical thinking and problem-solving skills, preparing students for academic and professional success. The university’s commitment to research also means that students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources, further enhancing their learning experience.

Global Perspectives and Diverse Community

Boston University’s diverse student body and global focus offer an enriching educational environment. Students from all over the world bring a wealth of perspectives, creating a vibrant and inclusive community.

This diversity fosters a deeper understanding of different cultures and global issues, preparing students to work in an increasingly interconnected world. The university’s numerous study abroad programs and international partnerships provide further opportunities for students to gain global exposure and experience.

Career Development and Networking

BU’s location in the heart of Boston and its strong connections with industries provide students with unparalleled career development opportunities. The university’s extensive alumni network and career services offer guidance, internships, and job placements, giving students a competitive edge in their future careers.

Networking events, career fairs, and workshops facilitate connections with professionals and alumni, enabling students to build valuable relationships that can aid their professional growth.

Vibrant Campus Life

Life at BU extends beyond academics, with many extracurricular activities, clubs, and organizations for students to explore. The university’s vibrant campus life encourages students to pursue their passions, develop new interests, and build lasting friendships.

There is something for everyone, from cultural and artistic events to community service and athletic programs. This dynamic environment enriches the student experience, fostering personal growth and a sense of community.

How Can an International Student Get into Boston University?

Boston University (BU) offers a vibrant academic environment for international students, with specific requirements and opportunities that cater to their unique needs. Understanding the application process and the components required for a successful submission is crucial for international applicants.

Understanding the Application Essentials

To begin, international students must submit a Common Application. This is a standardized application form used by many US colleges, which simplifies the process of applying to multiple institutions. Additionally, BU requires secondary school records, including senior year grades, to assess your academic history and capabilities.

Recommendations play a crucial role in your application. You will need a counselor recommendation, a School Report Form, and a Teacher Evaluation. These documents provide insights into your character, work ethic, and suitability for BU’s rigorous academic environment.

English Proficiency and Standardized Testing

Since BU defines an international student as a non-US citizen or non-US Permanent Resident, demonstrating English proficiency is vital. You can do this through TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or the Duolingo English Test (DET). For instance, a competitive TOEFL iBT score would be around 90-100, with at least 20 in each section.

Similarly, a total score of 7 or higher in IELTS also satisfies BU’s requirements. It’s important to note that BU requires all test scores and subscores, ensuring that applicants have a consistent level of English proficiency across all areas.

While BU is test-optional for standardized tests like the SAT and ACT, international students must submit English proficiency test scores. If you submit SAT or ACT scores, BU offers the advantage of super scoring, considering only the highest scores from multiple test dates.

Financial Documentation and Visa Requirements

Proof of financial support is necessary for students applying for an F-1 Student Visa or J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. You must submit financial documents, such as bank statements, confirming your ability to cover educational expenses. This documentation is critical for BU’s application process obtaining your student visa, and entering the United States.

Additionally, you need to provide a copy of the data page of your passport, ensuring that all your details are correctly recorded in your application.

Optional Interviews and English Language Programs

BU recommends scheduling an optional interview with InitialView or Vericant to demonstrate English language proficiency further. Suppose your English test scores are below the required minimum. In that case, BU’s Center for English Language & Orientation Programs (CELOP) offers intensive English courses to help you meet the required proficiency level before classes begin.

Embracing the Opportunities: Merit Scholarships

International students at BU can access merit scholarships like the Trustee, Presidential, and Alumni & Friends Scholarships. These scholarships recognize outstanding academic achievements and can significantly aid in financing your studies at BU.

How to Get into Boston University as a Transfer Student

Boston University (BU) is an institution that appreciates and actively seeks the diverse experiences and perspectives that transfer students bring to its campus.

Every year, BU becomes a new academic home for over 700 transfer students, a testament to its welcoming and dynamic community. If you’re considering transferring to BU, here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating the process effectively.

To start your journey to BU, you’ll need to complete the Common Application. It’s important to note that transfer students must declare a major at the time of application and cannot apply as undeclared. BU offers an extensive list of majors, so review them carefully. Some programs may have restrictions on January admissions, so plan accordingly.

A crucial part of your application includes several key documents:

  • College Transcript(s): Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended are necessary. Students from Chinese universities must also submit additional verification reports in English and Chinese.
  • Transfer Report(s): This report, available on the Common Application or BU’s website, should be completed by a college official who can access your disciplinary record.
  • High School Transcript and Proof of Graduation: BU requires official secondary school transcripts. GED or equivalency exam results are acceptable if you haven’t graduated high school.
  • Essay: A critical component of your application, the essay (no more than 600 words) allows you to share your story and motivations for transferring to BU.
  • Application Fee: An $80 application fee can be paid through the Common Application. Fee waivers are available for those who qualify.

Additional steps for a smooth transfer:

  • Submit Your Course Syllabi: For a timely credit evaluation, submit your course syllabi immediately after applying. These should be uploaded as PDFs on the MyBU Applicant Portal.
  • Standardized Tests: Good news for transfer applicants – BU does not require SAT or ACT scores for transfer admission.
  • Previous Applicants: If you’ve applied to BU before and were denied, you can reapply after completing a full academic year of coursework at another institution. If you previously received but did not accept an offer to the College of General Studies, reapplying to BU is possible after completing a semester elsewhere.

Transferring to Boston University can be a transformative step in your academic journey. By meticulously preparing your application and aligning it with BU’s requirements and values, you can increase your chances of becoming a part of this diverse and vibrant community.

Remember, BU is seeking more than just academic excellence; they seek transfer students who will thrive and contribute meaningfully to their campus life.

Four students walking next to a building.

Can an Average Student Get into Boston University?

Boston University’s selective admissions process may seem daunting, especially for students who consider themselves average. However, understanding what “average” means in the context of BU’s applicant pool is key. Here are some insights:

  • Academic Threshold: The average GPA of admitted students is around 3.8. While this is high, it’s important to remember that BU practices a holistic admissions process. This means that factors beyond GPA, such as extracurricular activities, personal essays, and recommendations, are also considered.
  • Test-Optional Policy: BU’s test-optional policy allows students who may not excel in standardized tests to focus on strengthening other application components.
  • Diverse Applicant Pool: BU values a diverse student body. This diversity isn’t limited to ethnic or geographical diversity but includes various academic and extracurricular experiences.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Active engagement in extracurricular activities, particularly those demonstrating leadership and commitment, can significantly enhance your application.
  • Personal Essays and Recommendations: These application elements provide a platform to showcase your unique personality, goals, and motivations, offering a more comprehensive picture of who you are beyond grades.

How to Get into Boston University with a Low GPA

Gaining admission to Boston University (BU) with a lower GPA can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here’s how you can enhance your application:

  • Exemplary Letters of Recommendation: Secure recommendations from teachers or mentors who can vouch for your potential and character. Their insights can compensate for a lower GPA by highlighting your strengths and capabilities.
  • Compelling Personal Essay: Use your essay to tell your unique story. Explain any circumstances that may have impacted your GPA and demonstrate your resilience and commitment to academic growth.
  • Showcase Your Talents and Achievements: Whether in arts, sports, community service, or another area, your talents and achievements can illustrate your potential to contribute positively to the BU community.
  • Demonstrate Interest in BU: Engage with BU through campus visits, virtual events, and direct communication with admissions officers. Showing genuine interest can sometimes sway the decision in your favor.
  • Consider Alternative Admission Programs: BU may offer alternative pathways for admission. Research these programs to see if they align with your academic profile and goals.
  • Explain Your Academic Journey: If your GPA was affected by specific challenges or circumstances, be transparent about these in your application. A clear explanation can provide context to your academic record.

By focusing on these areas, you can build a strong application highlighting your abilities and potential, offering a more comprehensive view of your candidacy beyond just your GPA. BU’s holistic review process means every part of your application counts.

What Makes Boston University Unique?

Boston University is a premier institution distinguished by its unique blend of urban dynamism, academic rigor, and inclusive community. It offers students a rich educational experience, melded seamlessly with the opportunities and experiences of city life.

Here, let’s explore the distinctive attributes that set Boston University apart from other higher education institutions.

A Diverse and Inclusive Community

Boston University’s commitment to diversity is not just a statement; it’s a living, breathing part of campus life. The student body includes individuals from all 50 states and over 100 countries, creating a melting pot of cultures and perspectives.

This diversity fosters an environment of mutual respect and broadened worldviews, enriching the educational experience. BU’s initiatives to welcome students from varied backgrounds, including underrepresented groups, add depth and vibrancy to the campus culture.

Emphasis on Academic Excellence

At BU, academic excellence is paramount. The average GPA of admitted students hovers around 3.8, reflecting the university’s high academic standards. BU’s wide array of programs across various disciplines, from engineering to liberal arts, are designed to challenge students intellectually and prepare them for successful careers.

The faculty, recognized leaders in their fields, are dedicated to teaching and research, providing students with cutting-edge knowledge and hands-on experience.

Test-Optional Admissions

BU’s test-optional policy, extended through the fall of 2025, represents a progressive approach to admissions. This policy allows students to apply without standardized test scores, recognizing that potential and talent extend beyond quantifiable metrics.

It opens the university’s doors to a broader and more diverse applicant pool, enhancing educational inclusivity and accessibility.

Urban Campus Experience

BU’s urban campus is pivotal to its uniqueness. Located in central Boston, the university offers students unparalleled access to cultural landmarks, internships, and professional networks.

Group of students talking while staring at the screen.

What Does the Boston University Application Look Like?

Applying to Boston University is a process designed to capture a holistic view of each applicant. The university’s application process is thorough, seeking to understand applicants beyond academic achievements and test scores.

Here, we break down the key components of the Boston University application, giving prospective students a clear understanding of what to expect and how to prepare.

  • Application Form: The Common Application, used by BU, streamlines the application process for students, allowing them to apply to multiple universities efficiently.
  • Supplemental Essay: This 250-word essay provides a platform for students to express what excites them about becoming a part of the BU community. It’s a chance to showcase personality and passion.
  • High School Transcripts: Submission of official high school transcripts is critical, as it reflects the student’s academic journey and accomplishments.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations from teachers or counselors offer insights into the student’s character, work ethic, and academic potential, adding depth to the application.
  • Test Scores (Optional): Aligning with BU’s test-optional policy, submitting SAT or ACT scores is optional, underscoring the university’s holistic admission approach.
  • English Proficiency Test: For non-native English speakers, proficiency tests like TOEFL are required to assess language skills essential for academic success.
  • Financial Documentation: International students must provide proof of financial resources, ensuring they can support their education and stay in the U.S.
  • Interviews: BU does not conduct interviews as part of its application process, placing greater emphasis on essays and recommendations.
  • Demonstrated Interest: Showing interest through campus visits, interactions with admissions, and attending BU events can positively influence an application.

This comprehensive application process at Boston University is designed to assess not just the academic capabilities but also the unique qualities and potential of each applicant.

Is Boston University a Good School for You?

Determining whether Boston University is the right fit is a multifaceted decision that depends on individual preferences, academic goals, and personal values. Here, let’s explore various aspects of BU that potential students should consider, helping them assess if BU aligns with their aspirations and lifestyle.

Academic and Career Opportunities

For students seeking a challenging academic environment and diverse career opportunities, BU is an excellent choice. The university offers various programs designed to foster critical thinking, creativity, and practical skills.

BU’s emphasis on research and practical experience equips students with the tools needed for success in their future careers. Additionally, Boston University’s location in a major economic and cultural hub provides students with ample opportunities for internships, networking, and exposure to various industries.

Campus Life and Activities

The vibrant campus life at BU is another critical aspect to consider. The university is home to over 450 student groups and cultural organizations. This diversity of activities ensures that every student can find a community that aligns with their interests.

BU’s inclusive environment and rich extracurricular activities make it an excellent choice for students seeking a well-rounded college experience.

Financial Considerations

Financial factors are a significant consideration when choosing a university. BU’s commitment to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for U.S. students and offering various merit-based scholarships makes it accessible to a diverse student population.

However, prospective students should carefully evaluate their financial situation, available aid, and the long-term implications of their investment in a BU education.

Personal Fit

Finally, attending BU should resonate with your personal and academic aspirations. BU’s inclusive environment, academic rigor, and urban location are well-suited for students who thrive in dynamic, challenging settings.

Prospective students should consider how BU’s offerings align with their personal goals, interests, and preferences, ensuring a fulfilling and enriching college experience.

How Selective is Boston University?

Boston University’s selection process is notably competitive, reflected in its low acceptance rate and the high caliber of its applicants. For the Class of 2027, the acceptance rate was approximately 10.7%, making it one of the more selective universities in the United States.

This rate signifies that out of every 100 applicants, fewer than 11 are admitted, highlighting the university’s rigorous standards.

The typical profile of an admitted student includes an average high school GPA of around 3.8, with many taking challenging AP or IB courses. Despite the university adopting a test-optional policy, a significant portion of applicants still choose to submit their standardized test scores.

For instance, 41% of Class of 2027 applicants submitted test scores, with the average submitted SAT and ACT scores being 1441 and 32, respectively.

Boston University’s commitment to diversity is also evident in its selection process. The Class of 2027 saw applications from all 50 US states and 182 countries, indicating the university’s global appeal. This diversity adds another layer of competitiveness as applicants compete with peers from their region and high-achieving students worldwide.

Should You Apply to Boston University?

Deciding whether to apply to Boston University involves several considerations. Here’s a list to help you evaluate if BU is the right fit for you:

  • Academic Rigor and Interests: If you have a strong academic record with a high GPA and challenging coursework, BU could be a good match. The university values academic rigor and looks for students who have excelled in their studies.
  • Test Scores: Although BU is test-optional, strong SAT or ACT scores can bolster your application if you choose to submit them. Consider applying if your scores align with or exceed the university’s average submitted scores.
  • Diverse Background or Experiences: BU values diversity in its student body. If you have unique life experiences and cultural backgrounds or have engaged in activities demonstrating your diverse interests, BU might be a good fit.
  • Interest in Global Perspectives: With students from over 182 countries, BU is ideal for those looking to immerse themselves in a globally diverse environment.
  • Field of Study: BU offers a wide range of programs. If your academic interests align with the programs offered at BU, it’s worth applying.
  • Career Goals: Consider how BU’s resources, alumni network, and career services can help you achieve your career aspirations.
  • Financial Considerations: BU meets 100% of the demonstrated financial need for admitted US students. If financial support is crucial for you, BU could be a strong choice.
  • Campus Culture: If you thrive in an urban setting and value a campus with diverse activities and organizations, BU’s vibrant campus life could be appealing.
  • No Interviews Policy: If you prefer a college application process without an interview, BU’s application process aligns with this preference.
  • Test-Optional Policy: If standardized tests are not your strength, BU’s test-optional policy allows you to focus on other strengths in your application.

View of Video game design students talking in front of a computer.

How Does Boston University Review Applications?

Boston University employs a holistic application review process, considering many factors beyond academic performance. This approach ensures a thorough evaluation of each applicant’s potential to contribute to and benefit from the university’s diverse and dynamic community.

  • Academic Record: The primary focus is on an applicant’s academic performance, including GPA and the rigor of their high school curriculum. BU looks for students who have challenged themselves with advanced courses like AP or IB and have excelled in them.
  • Test Scores (Optional): Although BU is test-optional, submitted test scores are considered. Around 41% of applicants for the Class of 2027 submitted SAT or ACT scores, indicating that while not mandatory, scores can be supportive in the application.
  • Extracurricular Activities: BU seeks students who are engaged in activities beyond academics. This includes leadership roles, community service, sports, and other interests showing well-rounded character.
  • Personal Essays: Essays are a critical component, offering insight into an applicant’s personality, values, and goals. BU is particularly interested in how applicants articulate their fit with the university’s ethos and academic programs.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Recommendations from teachers and counselors provide a third-party perspective on an applicant’s academic abilities and personal qualities.
  • Demonstrated Interest: While not a primary factor, demonstrated interest can be a plus. This includes campus visits, interactions with admissions officers, and attendance at BU events.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: BU values diversity, so aspects of an applicant’s background, including cultural, socioeconomic, and geographical diversity, are considered.
  • Special Talents or Achievements: Unique talents, achievements, and experiences can enhance an application, especially if they align with BU’s values and academic offerings.

Does Boston University Require Interviews?

Boston University’s admissions process is unique because it does not include interviews in its standard application procedure. This decision reflects a broader trend in higher education admissions, where the focus is increasingly on the written components of the application.

Without the opportunity for a personal interview, the importance of other elements, such as your essays, letters of recommendation, and the overall quality of your application, is magnified.

When preparing your application for Boston University, it’s crucial to understand that every part of the submission plays a pivotal role in depicting your academic abilities and personal character.

The absence of interviews means that your written statements must speak on your behalf. They should reflect your academic achievements and your personal journey, interests, and aspirations.

Moreover, the university’s decision not to conduct interviews aligns with its commitment to equitable admissions. This approach ensures that all applicants, regardless of their geographic location or personal circumstances, have an equal chance of admission.

Focusing on written applications allows a more comprehensive and fair review process, evaluating students based on their academic records, personal essays, and extracurricular involvements.

What Extracurriculars Do You Need for Boston University?

When applying to Boston University, your extracurricular activities are significant in admissions. They provide a window into your interests, commitments, and character. Here’s a list of extracurriculars that can strengthen your application:

  • Leadership Roles: Positions like student body president, club leader, or team captain demonstrate your ability to lead and manage teams.
  • Community Service: Volunteering at local charities, organizing community events, or participating in service trips shows a commitment to helping others.
  • Arts and Culture: Involvement in music, drama, dance, or art displays creativity and dedication to cultural pursuits.
  • Sports Participation: Playing on a sports team, especially at competitive levels, indicates teamwork skills and discipline.
  • Academic Clubs: Membership in clubs such as the Math League, Science Olympiad, or Model United Nations reveals a passion for learning and intellectual engagement.
  • Entrepreneurial Endeavors: Initiating a startup, developing an app, or running a small business showcases innovation and a proactive mindset.
  • Research Projects: Engaging in scientific or academic research, particularly if it leads to publications or presentations, shows a high intellectual curiosity and expertise.
  • Internships: Completing internships, especially in fields related to your intended major, indicates professional experience and a clear career direction.

Boston University values a diverse and engaged student body. Your extracurriculars should reflect your unique interests and passions, illustrating how you will contribute to the university community.

What Should You Write About in Your Personal Statement to Get into Boston University?

Your personal statement for Boston University is a critical component of your application. It’s your opportunity to showcase your unique personality, experiences, and aspirations. Here are key areas to focus on:

Demonstrate Your Academic Passion

Your statement should reflect a genuine enthusiasm for learning. Discuss your academic interests, favorite subjects, and any relevant projects or research you’ve undertaken. Highlight how these experiences have shaped your desire to study at Boston University.

Share Personal Growth Experiences

Admissions officers are interested in how you’ve grown and learned from your life experiences. Share personal stories that have had a significant impact on your character development. This could include overcoming challenges, learning from failures, or moments of self-discovery.

Highlight Extracurricular Involvements

Elaborate on extracurricular activities that are meaningful to you. Explain your involvement, what you’ve learned, and how these experiences have prepared you for university life. Focus on activities that align with your intended field of study or showcase your leadership and teamwork skills.

Discuss Your Future Goals

Outline your aspirations and how Boston University will help you achieve them. Discuss how BU’s programs, faculty, or resources align with your academic and career objectives. This demonstrates that you have a clear vision and purpose for wanting to attend BU.

Reflect Your Personality

Your personal statement should give a sense of who you are. Let your personality shine through by writing in an authentic voice. Share what motivates you, what you’re passionate about, and what values are important to you.

In crafting your personal statement for Boston University, aim to create a coherent, engaging narrative that reflects your true self. Remember, this is your chance to make a lasting impression on the admissions committee.

Man in front of the computer

How do you write a Boston University supplemental essay?

A compelling supplemental essay for Boston University requires strategic thinking and clear articulation of your interests and experiences. Here are key steps to help you create an impactful essay:

  1. Understand the Prompt: The supplemental essay for Boston University typically asks what excites you about being a student there. Comprehend the prompt’s core question and reflect on how BU’s unique offerings align with your academic and personal goals.
  2. Highlight Specific BU Features: Research specific programs, faculty, resources, or aspects of campus life at BU that appeal to you. Demonstrating specific knowledge about the university shows genuine interest and thoughtfulness.
  3. Connect Personal Experiences: Share personal stories or experiences that showcase your passion, talents, or achievements. Relate these experiences to how they have prepared you for the challenges and opportunities at BU.
  4. Showcase Your Individuality: Your essay should reflect your unique perspective and personality. Consider what differentiates you from other applicants and how your presence would enrich the BU community.
  5. Maintain Clarity and Conciseness: Write clearly and concisely. Avoid jargon and overly complex language. Each sentence should contribute to presenting a cohesive and compelling narrative.
  6. Proofread and Revise: Thoroughly proofread your essay to avoid grammatical errors and ensure clarity. Feedback from teachers or mentors can provide valuable insights for revisions.
  7. Align with BU’s Values: Ensure that your essay aligns with BU’s values and culture. Understand and reflect the university’s emphasis on diversity, academic rigor, and community involvement.

What enrichment opportunities will help you get into Boston University?

Participation in enrichment activities can significantly enhance your application to Boston University. Consider engaging in opportunities that align with your interests and demonstrate your readiness for university-level challenges:

  • Leadership Roles: Assume leadership positions in school clubs, community organizations, or sports teams. BU values students who exhibit leadership qualities and can contribute positively to campus life.
  • Community Service: Engage in meaningful community service activities. Volunteering shows a commitment to social responsibility and a willingness to contribute to the community.
  • Internships or Work Experience: Gaining practical work experience or internships, especially in your field of interest, demonstrates initiative and a commitment to career goals.
  • Research Projects: Participate in or initiate research projects. This is particularly relevant if you’re interested in BU’s research-intensive programs.
  • Arts and Creativity: If you’re inclined towards the arts, participation in music, theater, or art shows can highlight your creativity and dedication to the arts.
  • Academic Competitions: Participating in academic competitions like math leagues, science fairs, or debate teams showcases your academic prowess and competitive spirit.
  • Summer Programs: Enroll in summer programs or camps, especially those focusing on academic or leadership skills. These programs can provide a glimpse into college-level coursework and life.

Do you need to take AP courses to get into Boston University?

Taking AP courses demonstrates your ability to handle challenging coursework, a quality Boston University values in its applicants. Here are some considerations regarding AP courses and BU admissions:

  • Show Academic Rigor: AP courses indicate that you have pursued an academically rigorous high school curriculum, aligning with BU’s preference for students who have challenged themselves.
  • Reflect Your Interests and Strengths: Choose AP courses in subjects that interest you and where you can excel. This reflects both your academic strengths and passions.
  • Balance Course Load: While taking AP courses is advantageous, balancing your course load is essential. Overloading AP courses at the expense of your GPA or extracurricular involvement can be counterproductive.
  • Consider Your School’s Offerings: If your high school offers a limited number of AP courses, BU admissions will consider the context of your school’s offerings. Focus on excelling in the most challenging courses available to you.
  • Highlight AP Achievements: If you perform well in AP courses and exams, highlight these achievements in your application. They can serve as evidence of your readiness for college-level academics.
  • Explore Alternatives: If AP courses are unavailable, consider other challenging options like International Baccalaureate (IB) or dual-enrollment classes.
  • Understand BU’s AP Credit Policy: Research how AP scores are used at BU for credit or placement. This understanding can help you decide which AP courses to take.

A student writing a essay

Does Boston University Accept AP Credit?

Boston University recognizes the hard work students put into their Advanced Placement (AP) courses and exams. This understanding is reflected in their policy regarding AP credits. Students who score well on AP exams may be eligible to receive college credit or placement into higher-level courses upon their admission to Boston University.

This policy presents a valuable opportunity for students to advance their academic journey and potentially reduce their university education’s overall time and cost.

AP Credit Policy at Boston University

  • Score Requirements: Generally, Boston University awards credit for AP exam scores of 4 or 5. Some departments may accept a score of 3 for credit in certain subjects.
  • Credit Allocation: The amount of credit awarded varies depending on the subject. For example, a score of 4 or 5 in AP Calculus BC might earn more credits than the same score in AP Psychology.
  • Department-Specific Policies: Some departments have specific requirements for awarding AP credit. It’s important to check with the relevant department or the university’s admissions office for detailed information.
  • Impact on Degree Progress: AP credits can count towards degree requirements, potentially allowing students to skip introductory courses or take more advanced classes in their first year.
  • Limitations: There may be a limit to the total number of credits a student can earn through AP exams. This limit ensures that students still complete a significant portion of their degree at Boston University.

Students considering Boston University should carefully plan their AP courses and exams in line with their intended major. Successfully leveraging AP credits can provide a significant advantage, both academically and financially.

Will Boston University Look at Your Social Media?

Many students wonder if Boston University scrutinizes their social media profiles during admissions. While no explicit policy at Boston University states that admissions officers systematically check applicants’ social media accounts, it’s crucial to understand the broader context of social media’s role in college admissions.

  • Not a Standard Practice: Typically, admissions officers at Boston University do not have the time to examine each applicant’s social media profiles due to the high volume of applications.
  • Possible Reviews for Red Flags: In certain situations, when an applicant has achieved notable public attention or specific concerns are raised, admissions officers might review social media content.
  • Impact of Negative Content: Harmful, offensive, or inappropriate content found on social media can negatively impact an applicant’s chances. It’s essential to maintain a clean and respectful online presence.
  • Positive Use of Social Media: On the flip side, a positive and engaging social media presence can showcase an applicant’s interests, achievements, and character, although this is not a primary factor in the decision-making process.
  • Privacy Settings: Students are advised to manage their privacy settings effectively and be mindful of their online footprint.

It is always wise to be cautious and thoughtful about what is shared on social media. While it’s unlikely that Boston University will systematically review applicants’ social media, maintaining a positive digital presence is beneficial for various reasons, including potential future employment opportunities.

Will Visiting Boston University Help You Get In?

Visiting Boston University can be a transformative experience for prospective students. It provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in the campus culture, meet current students and faculty, and get a tangible feel for the university environment. However, the situation is nuanced when it comes to the direct impact of such visits on admission chances.

The impact of campus visits on admission is as follows:

  • Demonstrated Interest: Boston University considers demonstrated interest in its admissions process. A campus visit can strongly indicate an applicant’s genuine interest in the university.
  • No Direct Admission Advantage: While visiting the campus shows interest, it does not directly influence admission decisions. Academic achievements and the overall strength of the application are the primary determinants.
  • Informed Application: A visit can enrich an applicant’s understanding of BU, leading to a more personalized and compelling application. Insights gained from the visit can be reflected in application essays or interviews.
  • Understanding Fit: Visiting helps applicants assess how well they fit with the university’s culture and offerings, which is crucial for making an informed decision about where to apply.
  • Alternative Ways to Show Interest: For those unable to visit, engaging in virtual tours, attending online information sessions, or communicating with admissions representatives can also demonstrate interest.


Applying to Boston University requires careful attention to various aspects of the application process. From understanding the importance of GPA and standardized test scores to crafting compelling essays, securing strong recommendation letters, and showcasing meaningful extracurricular activities, each element plays a crucial role in your application.

Boston University

Additionally, considering the financial aid and scholarship opportunities, choosing between regular decision and early decision plans, and adhering to application deadlines are all key to a successful application to BU.

The competition for admission to Boston University is undeniably tough, but don’t let this discourage you. Instead, use it as motivation to prepare a strong application that highlights your unique strengths and experiences.

Remember, BU values a holistic approach, so every part of your application is an opportunity to showcase who you are and what you can bring to their campus. Stay focused on your goals, seek guidance when needed, and maintain a positive outlook throughout this journey.

We can help you figure out how to get into Boston University

At AdmissionSight, we understand the intricacies and challenges of the college admissions process.

Our expertise and experience can guide you in crafting an application that stands out. We offer personalized strategies, essay review services, interview preparation, and comprehensive support tailored to your individual needs and aspirations.

If you’re aiming for a spot at Boston University, let us help you put your best foot forward. Contact us for a free consultation, and let’s take the first step together towards realizing your college dreams.

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