Boston University Ranking

Boston University is a major global research institution, creating breakthroughs in everything from African studies to zebrafish genetics. With over 34,000 part-time and full-time undergraduate and graduate students and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff spread across 17 schools and colleges, BU’s three city campuses are always humming. Established in 1869 by three Methodist businessmen, Boston University has since evolved into the largest university in Boston and the fourth-largest private university in the country. In 2018, U.S. News & World Report ranked BU 37th in the nation and 39th among global universities. The faculty features a Pulitzer Prize winner, a MacArthur fellow, a former US Poet Laureate, and dozens of Guggenheim fellows. Our graduates are among the most employable in the country and the world—5th and 6th, respectively, according to Times Higher Education.

BU is a member of the Association of American Universities, an invitation-only group of 62 of North America’s most prestigious research universities. One of only four Boston-area members, BU boasts particular interdisciplinary breadth and depth of excellence in cloud computing and cyber security; engineering biology; infectious diseases; neuroscience; photonics; urban policy; education; and the humanities. Home also to a medical school and teaching hospital, in FY2017 BU landed more than $400M in federal research dollars. In the commercial sector, some 200 companies are developing and selling products based on BU discoveries.BU is also a global university, with thousands of international scholars, faculty, and students on campus at any given time. By the same token, thousands of Terriers and faculty members get their passports stamped each year for study, research, and internship opportunities on all seven continents.
With an alumni base of more than 300,000 graduates, Boston University has produced many notable alums including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The University counts 11 current or former governors of US states, 7 United States senators, and 32 members of the United States House of Representatives among its alumni. And a slew of Hollywood stars, including Geena Davis, Julianne Moore, Faye Dunaway, and Jason Alexander, call BU their alma mater, as do a number of other celebrated artists and thinkers.
BU is nestled in the heart of Boston, a hotbed of high tech and biomedicine, and the birthplace of American history, serving as an extended classroom for students, offering study, internship, and professional opportunities with some of the world’s most influential leaders in fields from art to finance to biotech. It’s no wonder BU is called “Boston’s university.”

Boston University Rankings

See where this school lands in our other rankings to get a bigger picture of the institution’s offerings.

  • #42 in National Universities (tie)
  • #47 in Best Value Schools
  • #42 in Most Innovative Schools (tie)
  • #237 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (tie)
  • #53 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (tie)
  • At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
    • #11 in Biomedical (tie)
    • At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
    •  Mechanical
    • At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
  •  Business Programs
    •  Accounting
    •  Entrepreneurship
    •  Management
    •  Marketing
  •  Computer Science
  • #13 in Study Abroad (tie)
  • #37 in Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects (tie)

Boston University Ranking Factors

Boston University is ranked #42 in National Universities. Schools are ranked according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence. Read more about how we rank schools.

Boasting world class reputation, Boston University ranks among the world’s top 60 universities. One of the major contributing factors to the large international student presence (27%), Boston University rankings make it one of the most coveted private universities in the US.

Apart from being recognized among the world rankings, Boston University also makes its mark in Graduate Employability Rankings, National Rankings, and Subject Rankings.

Boston University ranks #54 among World University Rankings by Times Higher Rankings 2021. It is also one of the only three universities in Cambridge and Boston named to the prestigious Association of American Universities.

University's Ranking Climbs | BU Today | Boston University

Boston University World Ranking

Boston University World Ranking by various top agencies are listed below:

YearTimes Higher EducationQS RankingsARWUCRWU

Though Boston University ranks have dropped slightly, the university maintains a long lasting reputation in the world ranks. Represented below are the Boston University rankings for the past 4-years.

Subject Rankings

  • #72inArts and Humanities
  • #65inBiology and Biochemistry (tie)
  • #9inCardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
  • #53inCell Biology (tie)
  • #370inChemistry (tie)
  • #50inClinical Medicine
  • #107inComputer Science
  • #31inEconomics and Business
  • #344inElectrical and Electronic Engineering (tie)
  • #49inEndocrinology and Metabolism
  • #364inEngineering (tie)
  • #105inEnvironment/Ecology (tie)
  • #92inGeosciences
  • #75inImmunology
  • #38inInfectious Diseases
  • #311inMaterials Science (tie)
  • #89inMolecular Biology and Genetics (tie)
  • #47inNeuroscience and Behavior
  • #240inOncology (tie)
  • #33inPhysics
  • #48inPsychiatry/Psychology
  • #31inPublic, Environmental and Occupational Health (tie)
  • #125inRadiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging (tie)
  • #44inSocial Sciences and Public Health
  • #218inSpace Science
  • #118inSurgery (tie)

2021 Indicator Rankings

Thirteen indicators were used to calculate this institution’s overall Best Global Universities rank. Here is a breakdown of how this institution ranked relative to other schools for each indicator.READ THE METHODOLOGY

Global Universities

  • #57inBest Global Universities

Global score


Global research reputation


Regional research reputation








Normalized citation impact


Total citations


Number of publications that are among the 10% most cited


Percentage of total publications that are among the 10% most cited


International collaboration – relative to country


International collaboration


Number of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited


Percentage of highly cited papers that are among the top 1% most cited


Boston University Ranking 2020 and Admission Rate : Current School News

Arts and Humanities

Biology and Biochemistry

Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Cell Biology


Clinical Medicine

Computer Science

Economics and Business

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Endocrinology and Metabolism





Infectious Diseases

Materials Science

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Neuroscience and Behavior




Public, Environmental and Occupational Health

Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Social Sciences and Public Health

Space Science