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Boston University acceptance rate: what prospective students should know.


Boston University acceptance rate.

Getting into Boston University is no walk in the park – in fact, it’s about as difficult as hiking to the summit of Mount Everest!

BU’s acceptance rate of 29% for the class of 2021 means just over 3 in 10 applicants are fortunate enough to receive that coveted letter of admission. But the climb towards acceptance is a treacherous one!

Each year, over 60,000 daring applicants attempt the expedition up BU’s admissions mountain, hoping to plant their flag at the peak. BU basecamp is already crowded with over 33,000 undergraduate climbers, making it one of the largest camps in the land.

From research getting Boston University admissions is for the serious and prepared students.

Infact, stunning on this blog post is what you need right now. As I would outline the necessary information you need to get admitted into Boston University and achieve your career goals.

Overview of Boston University acceptance rate till 2023.

  •  2023: 18.7% acceptance rate out of 67,753 applicants. This was a record low acceptance rate for BU.
  • 2022: 19.1% acceptance rate out of 70,131 applicants
  • 2021: 18.9% acceptance rate out of 67,313 applicants 
  • 2020: 19.9% acceptance rate out of 64,473 applicants
  •  2019: 24.4% acceptance rate out of 61,006 applicants
  •  2018: 29.9% acceptance rate out of 59,065 applicants
  • 2017: 33.2% acceptance rate out of 60,823 applicants
  •  2016: 33.2% acceptance rate out of 59,910 applicants
  • 2015: 34.9% acceptance rate out of 60,758 applicants
  • 2014: 38.2% acceptance rate out of 60,006 applicants

In summary, Boston University’s acceptance rate has declined steadily over the past decade, from 38.2% in 2014 down to a record low of 18.7% in 2023. The number of applicants has also increased during this time period. BU has become increasingly selective and competitive for admission. The 2023 acceptance rate of 18.7% reflects a very low admit rate, making BU one of the most selective universities in the United States.

Boston University’s acceptance rates and admissions for international students.


Boston University’s acceptance rate for international students tends to be lower than the overall rate, averaging 14-15% in recent years due to high application numbers and competitive programs. Applicants should showcase academic excellence for the best chance of admission.

  •  Overall acceptance rate (2021): 18.9%
  • International student acceptance rate (2021): 14.8% 
  •  International students made up 29% of the accepted class of 2025.
  • SAT average for admitted international students: 1440
  • TOEFL average for admitted international students: 104
  •  IELTS average for admitted international students: 7.6
  •  Boston University received over 32,000 applications for international admission in 2021.
  •  The most competitive programs for international students include business, engineering, communications and international relations. Acceptance rates are lower for these programs.
  • Factors considered for international applicants include grades, curriculum rigor, exam scores, extracurriculars, essays, recommendations and interviews. English proficiency is required.
  • Early decision and early action options may increase chances for competitive applicants. 
  •  Merit-based scholarships are available for eligible international students.

Requirements to enter Boston University

Now let me quickly give you a run down of the requirements needed to get admission into Boston University. They are;

  • Academic records
  • Secondary school report
  • Standardized testing
  • Recommendations
  • Essay
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Application fee
  • Interviews.

Academic Records

Official high school transcript showing a competitive GPA in rigorous coursework. Strong grades in core subjects are expected.

Secondary school report.

 form completed by a counselor evaluating the academic and personal qualities of the applicant.

Standardized Testing.

– SAT or ACT scores are required. Competitive scores compared to other applicants are important for admission. 

  • Optional SAT Subject Test scores can demonstrate proficiency in specific subjects.
  • TOEFL/IELTS may be required for non-native English speakers.


 2 – academic letters of recommendation from high school teachers evaluating academic abilities and qualities.


Personal statement and BU-specific supplemental essays are required. Essays reveal writing skills and personality.

Extracurricular Activities

 Involvement in activities, clubs, sports, arts, community service, internships or other endeavors shows well-rounded interests.

Application Fee

 $75 application fee or an approved fee waiver for qualifying students.


 Interviews are recommended but not required. They provide an additional perspective.


Meeting all requirements in a strong manner demonstrates preparation for the academic rigor at BU. High achievers with diverse pursuits and clear reasons for attending BU are competitive applicants. 

Let’s go further to the grades requirements needed to get admission into Boston University.

Gpc requirements of Boston University

Here are some key GPA and test score requirements for admission to Boston University:

  • GPA: Boston University does not have a fixed GPA requirement, but successful applicants tend to have a GPA of 3.7 or higher. Some programs like engineering and business may require a higher GPA.
  • SAT: The middle 50% range for admitted students is 1340-1500. The 25th percentile score is 1310.
  • ACT: The middle 50% range for admitted students is 30-34. The 25th percentile score is 29.
  • TOEFL: Minimum TOEFL score requirements range from 80-100 depending on the program. The average admitted student scores 100.
  • IELTS: An IELTS score of 6.5 or higher is recommended for admission. Some graduate programs require a minimum of 7.0.

In addition to grades and test scores, BU also considers extracurricular activities, essays, recommendations and other factors in the admission process. Meeting the basic GPA and test scores does not guarantee admission. A rigorous high school curriculum with honors/AP courses is recommended. BU accepts both the Common App and its own application.


Boston University SAT requirements, listed extensively.

  • Score Range: Boston University accepts SAT scores between 1160-1460 for admitted students.
  • -Middle 50% SAT Score Range: The middle 50% of admitted students score between 1340-1500 on the SAT. This range gives a good indication of the SAT scores of accepted students.
  • Average SAT Score: The average (mean)SAT score at BU is around 1410.
  • 25th Percentile SAT Score: 1300 is the SAT score that 25% of admitted students scored below. This indicates a competitive threshold
  • 75th Percentile SAT Score: 1510 is the SAT score that 25% scored above, indicating scores of admitted applicants.
  • SAT Math: The middle 50% scored between 670-770 on the SAT Math section
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: The middle 50% scored between 650-740 on the EBRW section.
  • Super Scoring: BU super scores the SAT, meaning they take the highest section scores across test dates.
  • SAT Essay: The essay section is optional and not required by Boston University.

So in summary, Boston University looks for strong SAT scores in the 1300-1500 range for admitted students, with math and evidence-based reading/writing sections both valued. Scores above 1510 put applicants in the top quarter.

Admission deadline for Boston University 

Here are some deadlines for Boston University. As an aspiring student just make sure you meet up this deadlines

  • Early Decision Round 1: November 1st 
  • Early Decision Round 2: January 1st  Regular Decision: January 1st
  • Transfer Deadline: March 1st (fall), October 1st (spring)

Some additional details on the deadlines:

  •  Early Decision is binding, meaning if admitted, you must attend BU. It may increase chances of admission.
  • Regular Decision is non-binding – you have until May 1st to accept an offer of admission if given one.
  • Freshman applicants are encouraged to apply Early Decision or Regular Decision by January 1st for full consideration.
  • Transfer applicants have a later deadline of March 1st for fall and October 1st for spring.
  • Notification dates: ED applicants notified in mid-December, RegularDecision by April 1st, Transfers get decisions on a rolling basis.
  • Accepted students must submit their enrollment deposit by May 1st to secure a spot.
  • BU requires the Common Application along with additional supplements for all applicants.
  •  Test scores and letters of recommendations are also due on the application deadline.

Boston University scholarship 

  • BU meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for undergraduates through scholarships, grants, loans and work-study..
  • erit scholarships are offered to exceptional applicants, ranging from $2,000 to full-tuition Presidential Scholarships. These are awarded at time of admission.
  • Trustees Scholarship is the top merit award, covering tuition plus orientation costs. Eligibility is based on academic excellence.
  •  BU also offers talent scholarships in areas like music, art, debate, LGBTQ leadership, community service, and athletics. Auditions or applications are required.
  • Need-based financial aid includes grants, subsidized loans, and federal work study. The CSS Profile form is required for need-based aid consideration.
  • The Scholarship for Service awards up to $30,000 per year for committing to work in public service after graduation. 
  • Transfer Merit Scholarships are available for qualifying transfer students up to $22,000 per year. A 3.5 GPA is usually required.
  • Boston University has partnerships with organizations like Posse Foundation and Say Yes to Education that provide full tuition scholarships. 
  • International students are eligible for merit scholarships and some need-based aid. Awards range from $2,000 to 50% tuition coverage.

Boston University provides generous merit aid and meets full demonstrated need to make the university affordable. Both domestic and international students can qualify for these scholarships.

So in summary, aim for November 1st, January 1st or March 1st deadlines depending on your admission type to Boston University. Applying early improves chances.

Boston University admissions portal:

– The portal can be accessed at: https://www.bu.edu/admissions/apply/

  • This is where you will create an account and submit your online application for undergraduate or graduate admission.
  • Through the portal you will provide biographical information, submit essays, list your activities, request transcripts and test scores, check application status, etc.
  • The application deadlines are:

   – Early Decision I – November 1

   – Early Decision II – January 1

   – Regular Decision – January 1

  •  You will need to pay the $80 application fee to submit your application. This can be paid online through the portal.
  • You can check the status of your submitted application through the portal. Decision letters will also be posted here.
  • If admitted, you will accept your offer of admission and pay your enrollment deposit through the portal as well.
  • Technical help with the portal is available by emailing admissions@bu.edu or calling 617-353-2300.

In summary, the BU admissions portal allows you to easily submit and monitor your application entirely online. Be sure to submit all required documents and follow all instructions to ensure your application is complete. The portal makes applying to Boston University straightforward.


Boston University remains a fairly selective private university, evident by its 18% acceptance rate for the Class of 2026. Gaining admission to BU takes strong academic preparation, with admitted students typically having GPAs of 3.7+, SATs over 1300, and a top 10% class rank. While BU has seen small fluctuations in acceptance rates recently, the overall trend shows consistently rigorous admissions standards. Prospective applicants can use this data on acceptance rates, academic profiles, and admission trends to better understand their probability of admittance. Preparing a thoughtful and well-rounded application that showcases academic talents as well as extracurricular engagement and fit for BU will be important. With holistic and competitive review, those students who stand out as contributing members of BU’s vibrant community will have the best chance of joining the approximately 18% offered admission each year.



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