A truly urban, residential campus fully integrated into a major city? Check.
A major research university with a small and personalized average class size of 27? Check.
A long-established university (founded in 1839) that reveres historical feats (like Alexander Graham Bell being on faculty when he invented the telephone) but constantly reinvents itself as it moves through the early stages of the twenty-first century? Check and check.
My fellow counselors discovered all of these characteristics and more when we spent the morning before the start of the spring conference of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) visiting with the folks at Boston University.
As the fourth largest teaching and research university (among private universities), BU offers over 250 majors and minors to students as part of its 10 undergraduate colleges and schools and seven professional divisions. But don’t let the scope of its academic programming fool you – the university leans heavily on a foundation of the liberal arts and strongly encourages students to pursue their interests across disciplines and customize their education as they choose.
BU students are typically described as “smart, talented, and creative” and a wealth of resources and support for undergraduate research through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) makes it possible for them to spread their wings and explore in whatever areas interest them. Popular majors and programs at BU include physical therapy, journalism, hospitality, and the highly-competitive, conservatory-style fine arts program (music, dance, etc.). The university also boasts the only full undergraduate archaeology program in the U.S. and in the fall of 2017, new facilities that marry the sciences with technology for a more in-depth look at how the two disciplines interconnect will be completed and join the recently-completed engineering design/testing/technology center. And not to leave artists out of the picture, the university will soon break ground on 250 seat theater that will also open in the fall of 2017 and will support students studying in the areas of theater technology, design and performance.
Despite its city setting, however, equestrians need not fear that their riding careers will have to go on hold if they select BU for their undergraduate years. The university is home to a club hunt seat team that competes as a part of the IHSA. The barn is approximately 40 minutes from campus, which means the team rides only once per week, but for students who wish to have the best of both worlds (a big, urban campus and the opportunity to continue riding and competing), the university might just provide the perfect answer. (Besides, the view of the Charles River can’t be beat!)