Choosing the right college is a big decision!
If you are thinking about studying in Boston, you might be considering Boston College (BC) and Boston University (BU).
Both are great schools, but they are different in many ways. In this article, we will compare Boston College and Boston University to help you decide which one is right for you!


Boston College vs Boston University



Boston College is located in Chestnut Hill, a suburban area about six miles west of downtown Boston. The campus is beautiful, with lots of green spaces and Gothic-style buildings. It feels like a traditional college campus and offers a peaceful environment for studying.
Boston University is right in the heart of Boston, along the Charles River. BU’s campus is more urban and spread out. You will be in the middle of the city, with easy access to public transportation, restaurants, shops, and cultural activities. If you love city life, BU might be a better fit for you.



Boston College is known for its strong liberal arts education. It is a Jesuit school, which means it has a focus on ethics, service, and social justice. BC offers over 60 majors, with strong programs in business, education, nursing, and the humanities. Class sizes are usually small, which means you can get to know your professors and classmates well.
Boston University is a large research university with a wide range of programs. BU offers over 300 majors and minors, including strong programs in business, engineering, communication, and health sciences. BU is known for its research opportunities and encourages students to get involved in projects early in their academic careers. Class sizes can be larger, especially in the first year, but you will still find opportunities to connect with professors.


Campus Life

Boston College has a close-knit community feel. There are many student organizations, clubs, and sports teams to join. BC is also known for its school spirit, especially around its Division I athletic teams. If you like the idea of a traditional college experience with lots of campus activities, BC might be a great choice.
Boston University offers a vibrant and diverse campus life. With over 500 student organizations, you will find something that interests you. BU has a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and you will meet people from all over the world. The city of Boston itself offers endless opportunities for entertainment, internships, and cultural experiences.



Boston College guarantees housing for all four years, which is a big plus. Most students live on campus in dormitories or apartments. The dorms are comfortable and there are lots of options, from traditional shared rooms to apartment-style living.
Boston University also offers housing, but not all students live on campus for all four years. Many students choose to live in off-campus apartments after their first or second year. BU’s on-campus housing includes dormitories and apartment-style options as well, and living in the city can be an exciting experience.


Tuition and Financial Aid

Boston College and Boston University are both private schools, so tuition can be expensive. However, both schools offer financial aid to help students pay for their education. It is important to apply for financial aid early and explore scholarships, grants, and work-study options. BC and BU are committed to making education affordable for their students.

Sports and Athletics

Boston College has a strong athletic tradition, especially in football and hockey. The school is part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), and games are a big part of campus life. If you enjoy sports, either as a player or a fan, you will find plenty to cheer for at BC.
Boston University also has a strong athletic program, with a focus on ice hockey. BU is part of the Patriot League and Hockey East. The school has a rich history in sports, and the BU Terriers have a passionate fan base. Whether you want to play sports or just support your school, BU offers a lot of opportunities.


Study Abroad Programs

Both Boston College and Boston University offer excellent study abroad programs. BC has over 60 programs in more than 30 countries, and BU offers one of the largest study abroad programs in the country, with opportunities on six continents. Studying abroad can be a great way to experience new cultures and gain a global perspective.

Career Services

Both schools have strong career services to help you prepare for life after graduation. Boston College offers career counseling, job fairs, internships, and alumni networking. BC’s strong alumni network can be a valuable resource for finding jobs and internships.
Boston University also has extensive career services, including career counseling, job fairs, internships, and a large alumni network. BU’s location in Boston provides many opportunities for internships and jobs in various industries, from finance to healthcare to technology.

Alumni Network

Both Boston College and Boston University have strong alumni networks that can help you in your career. BC’s alumni network is known for being very supportive and involved, and many alumni stay connected to the school.
BU’s alumni network is large and diverse, with graduates working in many different fields around the world. Both networks can be valuable resources for finding jobs, internships, and mentorship opportunities.


Campus Safety

Boston College is located in a suburban area and is generally considered very safe. The campus has its own police department and offers various safety programs for students.
Boston University is located in an urban area, so it is important to be aware of your surroundings. BU also has its own police department and offers safety programs, including late-night transportation and emergency alert systems.

Bottom Line

Choosing between Boston College and Boston University depends on what you are looking for in a college experience.
If you prefer a traditional campus with a close-knit community, strong liberal arts education, and lots of school spirit, Boston College might be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you enjoy city life, want a wide range of academic programs, and are excited about research opportunities and a diverse student body, Boston University could be a better fit.
Both schools offer excellent education and opportunities, so you can’t go wrong with either choice. Visit both campuses, talk to current students, and think about what environment will help you thrive. Good luck with your college decision!