how to get into boston university; collegeadvisor.com image: a photo of BU campus

How to Get Into Boston University – General Information

Boston University is a private university located in Boston, Massachusetts. BU was founded in 1839 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 16,000. Boston University is ranked #42 in National Universities according to U.S. News and #83 in Forbes’ Top Colleges list. 

What we’ll cover in this “How to Get Into Boston University” guide: 

  • Average Boston University average GPA
  • Boston University SAT scores
  • Understanding the Boston University acceptance rate
  • Boston University Early Decision deadline
  • Completing your Boston University application 
  • Writing a strong Boston University supplemental essay
  • Boston University admissions, and more

When thinking about how to get into Boston University, you want to consider all parts of the Boston University application. So, maintain a high GPA, explore your interests through extracurricular activities, and use stats like the average Boston University SAT scores or Boston University average GPA to see how you compare to BU’s student body. 

Figuring out how to get into Boston University takes strategy. We can help. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes BU graduates. Want to maximize your admission odds? Create your account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272. 

How can I get into Boston University?

Wondering how to get into Boston University? There are many factors to consider as you begin your “how to get into Boston University” research. This guide will help you build a strong application well before the Boston University application deadline. 

Boston University is one of the most selective universities in the country. So, if you want to learn how to get into Boston University, know that the Boston University acceptance rate is low. To maximize your admissions odds, start preparing early. This means studying for standardized tests, choosing meaningful extracurriculars, and striving for a high GPA. 

In this guide, we will discuss some Boston University admissions statistics, including the Boston University average GPA, Boston University SAT scores, and Boston University acceptance rate. We will also review all parts of the Boston University application, including the Boston University supplemental essay and Boston University Early Decision deadline. 

Is it hard to get into Boston University? 

Boston University admissions is highly competitive. Almost 76,000 students applied last year, a 24% increase from the previous year. This brought the Boston University acceptance rate down to 18.3%

Approximately 43% of the incoming class was accepted to Boston University Early Decision. Although test scores are currently an optional part of the Boston University application process, the average Boston University SAT scores ranged from 1310-1500

In short, keep these statistics in mind as you think about how to get into Boston University. With the ever-increasing competition for Boston University admissions, it is crucial to prepare your Boston University application carefully. It will take much more than just meeting the Boston University average GPA or Boston University SAT scores to stand out. 

What is the average GPA for Boston University? 

The Boston University average GPA for the class of 2025 was 3.9. Although BU does not require a certain GPA, matching the Boston University average GPA will increase your admission odds. 

It is important to always strive for a high GPA, as the Boston University average GPA can change each year. For example, in the BU Class of 2025, most admitted students were in the top 6% of their high school class. Based on the current trend, the Boston University average GPA will likely only increase. 

BU uses your junior year GPA to evaluate your application. So, it is crucial that you do well in your high school classes. That starts with choosing the right courses for you. You will have a better chance of matching the Boston University average GPA if you take advantage of all resources. 

BU looks for students who are highly driven, intellectually curious, and ready to enrich the BU community. So, if your GPA is lower than the Boston University average GPA, don’t worry. There are other aspects of your application that can make up for a lower GPA. 

Wondering how to get into Boston University if you do not meet the Boston University average GPA? Read our article here. You’ll find helpful tips to stand out, even if you can’t meet the Boston University average GPA or Boston University SAT scores. 

What does the Boston University application include?

As you think about how to get into Boston University, you may wonder about the Boston University application. There are multiple parts of the Boston University application. Each one is key to your “how to get into Boston University” plan. You should submit the Boston University supplemental essay and any test scores well before the Boston University Early Decision or RD deadline. 

There are two dates to remember for the Boston University application. The Boston University Early Decision deadline is November 1st. The Boston University Early Decision II and RD deadlines are January 4th

Applicants must submit: 

Optional application materials include: 

  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Major-specific portfolios, auditions, and/or interviews

Boston University admissions has adopted a test-optional policy through spring of 2024. So, you must decide for yourself whether to include test scores with your Boston University application. However, if your test scores match the average Boston University SAT scores, it makes sense to submit them. 

To learn more about Boston University admissions requirements, visit their website

What extracurriculars does Boston University like? 

Want to know how to get into Boston University? Start by identifying your passions and interests. 

Aside from the Boston University average GPA and Boston University SAT scores, BU wants to see that you have chosen activities that highlight your intellect, ambition, and curiosity. As you select your extracurriculars, think about the quality of your involvements rather than the quantity. 

Because the Boston University acceptance rate is so low, make sure you emphasize your interests and passions through your extracurriculars. In addition to academics, extracurricular activities help make up your candidate profile. The candidate profile is a 1-2 sentence description of who you are, what you do, and why colleges should admit you. So, a key part of your “how to get into Boston University” approach should be to craft a strong candidate profile that sets you apart. 

Curious about what extracurriculars to include on your Boston University application? Check out our guide on how to ace the Common App. 

What is Boston University’s acceptance rate? 

The Boston University acceptance rate is another factor to consider in your “how to get into Boston University” plan. The Boston University acceptance rate was 18.3% for the BU Class of 2025. 

For some context, Boston University admissions received 75,778 total applications for the BU class of 2025. Roughly 4,011 students enrolled. 57% enrolled through the RD deadline, and 43% did so through the Boston University Early Decision deadline. 

The Boston University acceptance rate depends on several factors. This includes the total number of applicants and the available space in the freshman class. 

Although BU currently has a test-optional policy through spring of 2024, we encourage you to take standardized tests if you can do so. In the class of 2025, the average Boston University SAT scores ranged from 1310-1510, and the average ACT score ranged from 30-34. 

You should plan to take your first test during your junior year. This gives you time to retake the test if necessary. BU superscores both the SAT and ACT, so you should include all your test scores on your Boston University application. 

Be sure to study for the test well in advance of the Boston University Early Decision and RD deadlines. Doing so can help you match the average Boston University SAT scores. 

Does Boston University require interviews? 

As you explore how to get into Boston University, you might be curious if the Boston University application requires an interview. However, there’s no need to brush up on your interview skills—Boston University admissions does not offer an interview. 

However, an interview is required if you are applying to BU’s accelerated medical program

How do you write a Boston University supplemental essay? 

As you near the end of your “how to get into Boston University” research, you might wonder how to approach the Boston University supplemental essay. So, let’s look at the Boston University supplemental essays together. 

In addition to your Common App essay, there is one required Boston University supplemental essay. There is also one optional prompt. Because the Boston University acceptance rate is so low, we recommend completing both prompts to stand out. 

“Why this school” essay

The first Boston University supplemental essay is BU’s version of the “Why Us” essay prompt. This Boston University supplemental essay asks you to explain why you want to attend BU over any other college. 

This “Why Us” Boston University supplemental essay has a maximum of 250 words. Since your word count is so limited, it’s best to select one topic to discuss in your Boston University supplemental essay. 

Not sure how to choose one thing to talk about in your Boston University supplemental essay? Make a list of what excites you most about BU. Be specific—is there a particular course or student club that you can’t wait to join? Mention it by name! You want your Boston University supplemental essay to stand out, so the more details you can include, the better. 

The second Boston University supplemental essay is optional. The prompt asks you to use the space (2000 words maximum) to include any additional information, materials, or writing samples that you want a Boston University admissions officer to review along with your application. 

Here are some ideas of what you can submit for this Boston University supplemental essay: 

  • Speech
  • Poem
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Special circumstances

Since the Boston University acceptance rate is so low, we recommend you complete the optional Boston University supplemental essay. This is especially important if you plan to apply by the Boston University Early Decision deadline. 

If you can’t meet the Boston University average GPA or Boston University SAT scores, the Boston University supplemental essay is a great chance to strengthen your application. So, we suggest writing the BU essays well before the Boston University application deadline. 

How does Boston University review applications? 

We’ve reviewed the Boston University acceptance rate, Boston University average GPA, Boston University SAT scores, and Boston University supplemental essay. Now, let’s move on to the next step of your “how to get into Boston University” strategy. 

After the Boston University Early Decision and RD deadlines have passed, Boston University admissions officers will begin the review process. 

The Boston University admissions office will take the following into account as they review your application: 

  • Academic achievements
  • Activities inside and outside of the classroom
  • Academic environment
  • Life experiences
  • Personal background

BU looks for students who are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and ready to enrich campus live. So, be sure to highlight these qualities in your Boston University application.

Want more tips on how to get into Boston University? Check out the Stories page of the Boston University Admissions website.  

Will Boston University consider my social media accounts? 

As you explore how to get into Boston University, you might wonder if your social media presence will affect your application. However, no need to worry—BU does not use social media in their review process. 

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should post offensive content on your social media accounts. While these kinds of posts might not directly affect your Boston University admissions odds, they could impact other areas of your life. For example, many employers will review social media accounts during the interview process. 

Above all, we suggest you use social media responsibly. Although it isn’t likely that BU will check your Twitter or Instagram accounts, there is always a chance. 

Is Boston University a good school for me? 

As you reflect on how to get into Boston University, it is important to ask yourself whether BU is the right school for you. Yes, the BU acceptance rate is highly competitive. And yes, students who attend BU will benefit from the 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and unique Terrier Traditions such as the annual Lobster Night dinner. However, this doesn’t mean that BU is the right place for everyone. 

BU is the epitome of an East Coast school. When you think of Boston University, you might picture the landmarks near campus or daydream about how you will get to experience all four seasons. However, you should weigh the pros and cons of attending an East Coast vs. a West Coast college as you decide whether BU is right for you. 

Aside from the Boston University average GPA or Boston University SAT scores, financial aid is another factor to think about in your “how to get into Boston University” research. Regardless of your family’s means, BU is committed to meeting 100% of your demonstrated need. Merit scholarships are also available to all students, regardless of need. 

As the number of college applicants increases each year, it is important to solidify your “how to get into Boston University” strategy early. If BU is your “dream school,” consider applying by the Boston University Early Decision I or Boston University Early Decision II deadline. 

As you think about how to get into Boston University, ask yourself the following: 

  • Am I interested in attending a large university that is committed to creating reflective and resourceful leaders? 
  • Does BU offer the major I want to study?
  • How can BU help me achieve my future goals? 

If you decide that BU is the right place for you, be sure to submit all materials by the Boston University Early Decision or RD deadlines. 

Click here to take a virtual tour of the BU campus. Trying to decide between Boston University and Boston College? Then, watch our webinar to hear some insider perspectives on both schools. 

Additional tips to get into Boston University: 

Build your candidate profile 

As you craft your “how to get into Boston University” approach, keep in mind that BU looks for students who want to understand the world and develop their own innovations. Pursue your academic interests and seek out experiences that will strengthen your candidate profile. 

Write compelling Boston University supplemental essays

Be sure to write a genuine, thoughtful response to the first Boston University supplemental essay. Then, use the second Boston University supplemental essay to share more details about your passions, background, or special circumstances. 

Apply early

Because the Boston University acceptance rate is so low, consider applying to Boston University Early Decision to maximize your admission odds. However, you want to build the strongest application possible, so give yourself plenty of time to do so. 

Don’t let the Boston University average GPA, Boston University SAT scores, or Boston University acceptance rate stop you from applying. Although there is no guarantee that you will be admitted to BU, following the tips and advice in our “how to get into Boston University” guide will help you prepare the most competitive application possible. Good luck!


This guide was written by Claire Babbs, UT Austin ’12. If you want to know how to get into Boston University, we’ve got you covered. CollegeAdvisor.com’s network of 300+ Admissions Experts (and former admissions officers) includes BU graduates. Create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.