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Last updated on Feb 27, 2020

Boston University Online Programs Review

Award-winning online curriculum, but limited program offerings for online students ​
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Michelle Clardie

By Michelle Clardie Contributing Writer

Boston University Review

Located on the Charles River in beautiful downtown Boston, Boston University is a well-regarded research institute with a diverse student body and a reputation for academic excellence. BU’s online programs, which launched in 2002, are consistently recognized with honors and awards. Through BU Online, you can earn a certificate, a Bachelor’s Degree through the Undergraduate Degree Completion Program, a Master’s Degree, or even a Doctorate.

Quick Facts
  • Number of online programs available: 43 (many programs offer multiple levels of learning so you can use the same program to complete a certificate or earn a degree)
  • Number of degrees/certificates available: 28 certificate programs, 18 Master’s Degree programs, two Doctorate programs, and one Bachelor’s Degree program
  • Cost information: $480-$985 per credit hour (a class worth three credit hours could cost between $1,440 and $2,995). $54,720 per year for full on-campus course load
  • Overall acceptance rate: 18.9% (for incoming students in the fall of 2019)
  • Overall graduation rate: 85%

Boston University’s Online Programs

Certifications
Undergraduate
Postgraduate
Art and Design
x
x
Business
x
Engineering
x
x
x
Health and Nursing
x
Law
x
x
Professional Studies
x
Science
x
x
x
Social Studies
x

*All information accurate as of Jan. 15, 2020.

Art and Design

The only art and design program currently offered online at Boston University is the Master of Arts in Art Education. This Master’s Degree program requires 32 credit hours and takes an estimated 18 to 24 months to complete. There are optional experiences on campus and through the study abroad program, but if you choose not to take advantage of those experiences, you can complete the entire program entirely online.

Business

Boston University’s online business programs are concentrated in management. You can earn a certificate or a Master’s Degree in areas like project management, financial management, global marketing management, and supply chain management. Master’s Degree programs range from 32 to 40 credit hours, typically taking between 16 and 24 months to complete. Certificate programs generally cover 16 credit hours and take around nine months to complete. The cost per credit hour varies by program.

Health and Nursing

The online health and nursing options are limited at Boston University. You can earn a Master’s Degree in health communication or a certificate in either clinical investigation or visual and digital health communication. The Master’s program consists of 40 credit hours over 18 to 20 months. And the certificate programs each consist of 16 credit hours over eight to 12 months. The cost per credit hour varies by program.

Law

The only law program currently available through Boston University’s online platform is a Master’s Degree program in taxation law. This program consists of 24 credit hours. If you decide to attend on a full-time basis, the program will take two semesters. But there are also part-time options available for those who prefer to spend fewer hours each week over a longer period of time. Using the part-time option, you can take up to four years to complete the program.

Professional Studies

Boston University offers a nice selection of professional studies programs online. Choose from varied areas like analytics, criminal justice, cybersecurity, education, fundraising, occupational therapy, project management, public health, social work, and software development. Many of these areas offer both Master’s Degrees and certificate programs. You can even earn an online Doctorate degree in occupational therapy or music education.

Social Sciences

Boston University’s online offerings in the field of social sciences may be limited, but there are a few options. For example, you could choose a certificate program in public health or a Master’s Degree program in social work. Certificate programs typically cover 16 credit hours. Master’s Degree programs vary, and some (like the Online Master of Social Work) offer multiple program tracks, depending on your ambitions. These programs can be between 40 and 65 credits, taking as many as nine semesters to complete.

Boston University Financial Aid: How Do I Pay for My Degree?

Financial aid for Boston University is available in a few forms:

  • The Affordable BU program was created because “everyone admitted to BU deserves the opportunity to attend BU.” To make BU accessible to all admitted students, Affordable BU makes up the difference between what your family can afford (based on your FAFSA information) and the total cost of your degree program.
  • With the Affordable BU program, student loans can be minimized, but it’s still an option if you’re in need. Unlike Affordable BU grants and merit-based scholarships, which do not need to be repaid, loans will need to be paid back with interest.

Boston University Admissions: What Do I Need to Know Before Applying?

For many non-degree online programs, anyone can simply enroll and pay the course fee to take the course. But degree programs require an application. To apply, you’ll need to submit an application, as well as several supporting documents: high school transcripts, counselor recommendation, teacher evaluation, and ACT or SAT scores (minimum required test scores are not listed on BU’s website). An application fee of $80 will also need to be paid online. And transfer students will also need to provide college transcripts.

Application due dates are as follows:

  • Early Decision applications: November 1
  • Regular Admission applications: January 6
  • Transfer applications for September-starts: March 1
  • Transfer applications for January-starts: November 1

Boston University FAQ

The Bottom Line

Because of Boston University’s reputation for academic rigor, a certificate or degree from Boston University will likely carry some weight with future employers and open doors for your career. The online curriculum is award-winning, the university has a global reach, and the Affordable BU program makes this high-quality education accessible.

The downside is the limited online program offerings. If you are interested in earning a Master’s Degree in analytics, management, or education, or you happen to want a Doctorate in Music Education or Occupational Therapy, Boston University might be a solid fit for you. But if you’re looking for a specific undergraduate degree or a Master’s Degree in popular fields like nursing, engineering, or the sciences, BU online simply doesn’t offer a program for you at this point.