What Does It Take to Get Into Boston University?

Strategies by School
August 6, 2020
Every Year, Boston University Seeks To Fill Its Next Class With Students Who Will Take Initiative And Give Back To Their Communities...

The Boston area is one of the best cities in the world for students because it's home to countless colleges like Harvard, Berklee, Cambridge, and Tufts. The thriving student community creates multiple opportunities for people from all of Boston’s colleges to meet up, collaborate, and take advantage of the city together.

If your child is interested in applying to Boston University, keep reading to learn how they can tailor their application, write an eye-catching essay, and show Boston University admissions why they belong there!

What You’ll Find In This College Guide:

Boston University's Ideal Student

The average GPA and standardized test scores for incoming Boston University students are:

  • GPA: 3.59
  • SAT: 1420
  • ACT: 31

Boston University accepts students who graduated in the top 7% of their class. Each year, Boston University looks for students who pursue a healthy balance of excelling in their grades and taking ownership of their education. Essentially, they’re looking for the go-getters: the students who lead well, develop goals for themselves, and know how to use available tools and resources to go after what they want.

Boston University’s ideal student also understands that the difference between a good education and a quality education is diversity. Boston University admissions will be looking for students who sought out different kinds of classes, extracurricular activities, and volunteer efforts to round out their four years at high school.


The student who takes initiative usually takes direction well, and feels confident enough to put their own unique spin on assignments, papers, or research projects. They’re creative and active, and they love to employ new tactics for approaching common schoolwork.

Boston University’s ideal student is skilled at taking initiative because Boston has a challenging educational atmosphere. Students must learn how to hit the ground running and do their best with assignments, even if it means doing work they weren’t expecting to do.

  • Explain a circumstance where you had to get creative in order to complete an assignment, paper, or project.
  • How do you plan on taking initiative at Boston University?


Boston University admissions wants to see students who took advantage of upper-level courses like AP, IB, or honors courses during high school. Academics at Boston University are challenging and intense, so admission officers use this part of their ideal student profile to make sure that incoming freshmen are well-prepared for the challenge.

  • How did you take advantage of your school’s upper level courses?
  • How did these classes challenge you? What did you learn about yourself and your work ethic through these courses?


Diverse experiences always look better on a college application than a one-track list of activities! Students applying to Boston University should highlight specific areas of their extracurriculars, sports, or volunteer efforts that show diversity and a wide range of interests.

  • How did you pursue a wide range of activities to participate in outside of school?
  • Did any of these new experiences challenge you?
  • Which of your activities do you plan on continuing at Boston University?


Lastly, Boston University constantly looks for ways for their students to use their gifts and talents to give back to the community. Students interested in going to Boston University should highlight any community service efforts or volunteer-based projects they participated in during high school.

  • Why do you think giving back to your community is important?
  • How do you plan on joining Boston University’s community service efforts?


Boston University is a large college, and they rank #11 of big colleges in the U.S. Universities of a larger size tend to have a hard time making professors accessible to students or even providing students with resources that don’t require a waiting list. Fortunately, Boston University does a great job at giving its students the classic big college experience, but with all the accessibility of a small liberal arts college.


Boston University’s ideal student takes initiative with their education and seeks out opportunities to grow outside the classroom. They have excellent test scores and balance out their academic achievement with plenty of diverse activities.

Students who are interested in applying for Boston University should draw attention to any upper-level courses they took in high school, their diverse extracurricular activities, and a record of their participation in community service efforts.

What You Need To Get Accepted Into Boston University

Boston University’s requirements are designed to showcase a student’s abilities, whether or not Boston University ends up being the best college for them. When students are working on their application, they should strive to follow all instructions given by Boston University admissions because they’re set in place to guide students to success.


Students can use one of the following two platforms to start their Boston University application:

One of the first things that applicants need to specify is their intended major. Even if a student doesn’t know what they want to study, they’re encouraged to select the School or College in Boston University’s program that is as close as possible to what they’re considering as a major. If they want to keep their options open, students can always select “Undecided” for now.


Boston University admissions asks students to include their official transcripts as well as a detailed report of the classes they took in high school and their corresponding grades.


Students need to include two evaluations: one from a teacher and one from the student’s counselor, and they should choose the teacher that taught their favorite class or the course subject that is as close as possible to the student’s desired major.


Boston University admissions does not require students to include their SAT or ACT scores with their application.


Applicants need to write two essays to include with their Boston University application. One will be the general Common App Writing Supplement and the second will be a Boston University-specific essay. The Boston-specific essay prompt will automatically be included in the application.


The only students who need to provide supplementary materials on their applications are the students who are applying for Boston University’s College of Fine Arts or the Accelerated Medical Program.

These materials may include a video audition, a portfolio of artwork, and separate interviews.


Students must pay a non-refundable $80 fee along with their application, though fee waivers are available through the Common App, the Coalition App, or their counselor. Students should also note these important deadlines:

  • Early Decision: November 1
  • Early Decision II: January 1
  • Regular Decision: January 1


Students who begin working on their Boston University application early, follow the instructions, and submit it by their desired deadline have a great foundation to build off of. The most vibrant applications are honest, filled with the student’s personality, and are clearly the product of their hard work.

Boston University wants each application to be the first glance at their next admitted student - they’re on your student’s side! Encourage your child to work hard, plan out their time, and get started early to ensure that they can submit an application they will be proud of.

Boston University's Campus Life

To balance out challenging classes, Boston University’s campus culture has tons of opportunities for students, regardless of the activities they like to do. Their housing and dining programs are also integral to the close-knit community students will find on campus.


Boston University has over 450 diverse on-campus organizations for its students. Students can find a club to help them discover a new hobby, skill, or service effort, and they also have the option to join a professional organization. These are different because they’re connected to the student’s area of study and help them prepare for their future career. Boston University’s professional organizations help students have fun with their major, make connections in their field, and learn about what it’s like to use their degree in the workplace.

Boston University also has Greek Life, with 12 fraternities and 12 sororities. Students have countless opportunities for connection at Boston University; they can join a club, Greek Life, participate in volunteer efforts and use their breaks to travel somewhere new and serve a new community. Students should also venture out into Boston and find opportunities outside of school. Boston is a hub for law, art, politics, and music, so it’s easy for students to have their hands full on the weekends!


Boston University has 23 NCAA Division I athletic teams. For students who would like to participate in a non-competitive sport, they have 40 club and intramural sports to choose from throughout the year.

Boston University also has impressive recreational facilities so students can take fitness classes, fit in a workout in between classes, or try a new skill like rock climbing.


While the housing office encourages upperclassmen to check out off-campus housing, Boston University has more than enough room for its students. To support this, Boston University housing guarantees each of their students on-campus housing, all four years. Because of this sweet deal and the variety of dorms offered, more than 75% of students choose to stay on campus from their freshman through senior year.

Students can choose to live in a sleek and modern apartment-style dorm, an antique brownstone, or the classic college dormitory.

Boston University also has one of the best dining programs in the U.S. They offer a wide variety of food options, so whether a student enjoys international cuisine or they have specific food allergies, Boston’s dining program has them covered.

Students have 5 dining plans to choose from in addition to over 25 restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, and food trucks to grab a bite to eat.


It took years before Boston University found a name that they stuck with. When the school was founded in 1839, it was known as the Newbury Biblical Institute. In 1847, they changed their minds and became The Methodist General Biblical Institute. Then, in 1863, that name didn’t cut it, so Boston’s Beacon Hill College was born. But, that didn’t seem to be good enough either because they changed the school’s name to Boston Theological School. Finally, two years later, it was settled that the school would be called Boston University… and it stuck!

Names are clearly important to this college because some notable alumni have graduated from Boston University like actress Julianne Moore, Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, and Howard Stern.

From Application To Career: What You'll Experience At Boston University

Boston University is a vital stepping stone for many professionals in the workplace today. Whether they’re writers, politicians, artists, musicians, or teachers, their journeys all started with their Boston University application.


Students should send Boston University admissions an excellent application by  following the instructions, paying attention to important deadlines, and most importantly, highlighting the areas of their background that they’re proud of.

Students should hone in on important parts of their school history like upper-level courses, a diverse array of extracurricular activities, and volunteer efforts. Students should also find opportunities to tie in their personal goals with Boston University’s mission. This connection could help the admissions team decide whether or not Boston University is the ideal school for them.


In their Boston University-specific essay, students should use their own unique voice, talk about their past experiences with authenticity, and give Boston University admissions a good idea of what they would like to accomplish with their future degree.

The more that a student can reiterate the “why” behind their reason for choosing Boston University and their preferred degree, the more honest they will come across. At the end of the day, Boston University admissions will always want to read an essay that is well-thought-out, honest, and polished, so students shouldn’t skimp out on the editing, either!


Boston is an excellent place to study; not only is the city home to multiple colleges, but it’s also a super fun place to live. Its historical significance, art community, and diverse neighborhoods provide Boston University students with plenty of things to do on the weekends and job opportunities.

While living on campus, students should join a club that helps them learn a new skill, and make tons of friends through community life and classes.


Students should definitely take their time in college; those four years seem like an eternity in the moment, but they go by so fast. By the time they reach their junior or senior year, students can begin utilizing Boston University’s Career Center to find summer internships or job opportunities that will prepare them for their future career.

In 2019:

  • 92 percent of students secured employment by graduation
  • The average starting salary for graduates was $60K

Your Future At Boston University

If your child is interested in applying to Boston University, they’ve chosen one of the best schools in the nation for diversity, challenging academics, and career connections. Boston University has more than enough resources for students from all backgrounds, perspectives, and interests.

However, with this school being one of the best in the country, the admission process is very competitive. If your child needs any assistance with connecting their goals with what Boston University is looking for, don’t hesitate to contact WeAdmit’s college counselors! We’re standing by and ready to help your child get into their dream school.



Need more Information?

Gain all the information you need by getting in touch with our admissions team or booking a free 30-minute counseling session.