Boston University Review

Boston University offers students a great selection of online degree options in information technology, supporting them with nationally recognized student services.

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The Good

Excellent variety of degree concentration options

The Boston University (BU) computer information systems degree program is designed to prepare you for an advanced career in one of six specialties. Options include IT project management, computer networks, security, health informatics, web application development, and database management. In contrast to BU, most of the other top online programs in information technology offer only one or two study options in a narrowly defined specialty. As a BU student, you’ll have a lot of flexibility in your curriculum choices. All students must take the same six core courses, which cover fundamental topics in information systems design and analysis. You then have the flexibility to modify your study plan according to your interests. For example, if a newfound interest in network security emerges as you get deeper into your studies, simply change your area of focus before you finish your core courses. This kind of flexibility is simply not possible as a student in most other online information technology programs.

Highly ranked student services

In the most recent survey of online graduate information technology programs by U.S. News & World Report, Boston University garners high praise for their student services and course delivery technology. Ranked number four in the nation in this category, BU is one of the few top universities to maintain an Office of Distance Education solely dedicated to providing online services, support, and advice to distance education students. BU also provides excellent academic support integrated into every course. In addition to the instructor, each online course has an expert course facilitator whose job is to coordinate online class discussion, answer subject matter questions, help with coursework, and to generally support you as a student. The school’s course delivery platform also ranks as an important advantage for BU, offering the interactive tools and multimedia communication capabilities you need to be engaged and successful.

Strong performance in student retention

Given Boston University’s solid performance in engaging and supporting their online students, it’s not surprising to learn that the school has posted student retention rates of no less than 85% in each of the last four academic years. First-year retention rates are an important measure of how engaged and motivated students are, and BU has been highly successful in this area, especially for an online program with enrollment near 800 students. Although little graduation data is available, it’s clear that BU is performing well when it comes to student success.

No admissions test required

Boston University is one of just a few top online information technology programs that does not require you to submit a GRE or GMAT test score. If you are dead set on attending BU, this is likely to be a great relief, as preparing for a graduate admissions test is a significant undertaking requiring many hours of work. That said, if you plan to apply to multiple information technology programs, it’s likely that you’ll have to take the GRE or GMAT anyway, since most top online information technology programs require you to submit a score. If you would like, you can also submit your scores to BU for consideration with the rest of your application, though this is completely optional.

Six start dates each year

Boston University online courses are generally seven weeks in length, meaning a new semester starts approximately every two months. This scheduling is very convenient for new students, who can apply and get started with their first courses at any time of the year. In comparison, most other top programs offer two or three start dates at the most, usually in early fall, early winter, and sometimes early summer.

The Bad

Compressed seven-week courses

While other programs offer 11- or 15-week courses, BU online courses are compressed into a seven-week course schedule. As a BU online student, you’ll typically take only one course per term, focusing closely on a single topic before moving on after only two months. While some students are sure to appreciate this kind of scheduling, others may miss the variety of information that comes with taking two or three courses at the same time.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 2004-2005
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Application Fee: $80
  • Location: MA
  • Number of Graduate Info Tech Programs: 1
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Other

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • In-State: $840
  • Out-of-State: $840

Degrees

  • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems

Certificates

  • Computer Networks
  • Advanced Information Technology
  • Information Security
  • Information Technology
  • Web Application Development

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 75%
  • Average Student Age: 37
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.26
  • Avg. GRE Analytical Writing: 3.9
  • Avg. GRE Quantitative: 153
  • Avg. GRE Verbal: 155
  • Gender Ratio: 25.7% female, 74.3% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 60
  • Total Enrollment: 766

Faculty

  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 9 years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 11
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 8

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 87%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 87%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 88%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 62%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 61%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 4
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 73/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 9
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 81/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 6
  • Student Engagement Score: 88/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 4
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 71/100

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