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BU Grad School: What's It All About?

by Vanessa Ullman

photography courtesy of Pexels

First, there’s high school. Then, there’s college. Then, there’s more college.

Graduate school is often the next step for many undergraduate students once they complete their four years at BU. Whether it’s in Questrom, ENG or CFA, some graduates choose to stay on Commonwealth Avenue for a few more years to dive deeper into their area of interest before venturing out into the career world.

Boston University has a graduate student body of 15,238 students. This number is comparable to the 16,792 undergraduate students, though many undergraduate students tend to imagine that the graduate school is much smaller.

BU offers many impressive graduate programs, such as the School of Public Health, ranked #8 by US News, or the #1 Occupational Therapy Master’s Program, tied only with Washington University in St. Louis. The other 17 graduate schools at Boston University have a ton to offer, beyond high rankings, to students looking to further their education past the traditional four years.

The graduate school culture at BU might be unknown to many undergraduate students. However, both undergraduate and graduate students participate in the same campus activities, sports teams and arts programs on campus. Graduate students are able to work out at FitRec, compete on D1 sports teams, study at Mugar, eat in the GSU and much more.

The housing options for graduate students are slightly different than the undergraduate dorms. While 75% of undergraduate students live on-campus all four years, the numbers are slightly lower for graduate students. This can be a way for them to venture off the BU strip and into the city, while also saving on rent expenses. However, from on-campus options, to off-campus options, with help from the BU Real Estate office, students can get assistance finding off-campus apartments to rent out for the school year.

Individual schools also offer their own specialty graduate experiences. The Wheelock College of Education and Human Development has students, both undergrad and graduate, student-teach in classrooms in the Boston area. In the respective master’s programs, the areas of specialty range from education policy, to deaf studies, to science education, with 22 other options as well. The Master of Arts in Educational Policy was offered for the first time this fall, which could demonstrate the growth of the Wheelock School within one year of its merger with Boston University.

Wheelock’s neighbor on Commonwealth Avenue, the Questrom School of Business, also boasts a number of master’s programs for those looking to enhance their future careers. With part-time or full-time MBA programs, students can choose how they want to complete their master’s in Business Administration. Questrom also offers M.S. degrees in Mathematical Finance, Management Studies, and Business Analytics, as well as MBA+ Joint Degrees and Executive MBAs.

For some undergraduate students, their graduate school education starts before their senior year. For students in the 4+1 School of Public Health program, for example, begin their graduate education while an undergraduate senior and complete it after just one year of graduate school.

Similarly, the six-year accelerated program for physical therapy in Sargent College has students’ complete undergraduate courses in their first three years and graduate courses in their final three years. If this Bachelor of Health Science and combined Doctor of Physical Therapy sounds challenging, that’s because it is. This program accepts high achieving freshmen undergraduate students and allows them to become a licensed physical therapist with a complete Doctorate Degree in just six years.

Though there are some differences between the youngest and oldest Terriers on campus, it is clear that there are amazing opportunities afforded to students of all degrees. Many students also take advantage of extracurricular positions such as research opportunities, or Teaching Assistant positions, some of which may provide funding to help cover the cost of grad school. However, much like undergrads, graduate students are able to apply for financial aid, scholarships and other grants to help cover the high tuition cost of BU.

Next time you think about your post-grad plans, check out the programs that are already in front of you. You might not see yourself on Commonwealth Ave. for five or six years, but with so many high-ranking graduate schools right here, you might want to reconsider leaving the BU Bubble.

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