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Universities in Boston, the USA

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Boston has a beautiful mix of architecture, with some important historic areas

Boston, which is located in the state of Massachusetts on the east coast of the USA, is a historic city, with European settlers arriving in around 1625. It is home to many well-ranked universities, including the Ivy League college Harvard University and the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Boston University.

As well as playing host to these universities, Boston also embraces it’s revolutionary past, with the cobbled streets of Beacon Hill and the historic Freedom Trail. The city’s cultural scene is thriving, and students will never run out of things to see or do, such as visit the Museum of Fine Arts, or go to see a theatre performance.

Boston’s harbour not only provides wonderful views, but also acts as a gateway into seafood cuisine, with clam chowder and lobster rolls being popular. As well as the culinary offerings, you can also feel the city’s pride in its sports teams, such as the Red Sox, who play at Fenway Park.

All Universities in Boston

  • Bay State College
  • Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Architectural College
  • Boston University
  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Cambridge College
  • Emerson College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Fisher College
  • Harvard University
  • Labouré College of Healthcare
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • New England College of Optometry
  • New England Law – Boston
  • Northeastern University
  • North Bennet Street School
  • Roxbury Community College
  • Simmons University
  • Suffolk University
  • UMass Boston
  • Urban College of Boston
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology

Top Universities in Boston

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as MIT, is known for its research and innovation. The university has played an important role in the development of science and technology as we know it today. As its name suggests, the historic focus of the university has been on fields related to technology, however there are a wide range of programs outside of this field, and the quality of the education is excellent across the board. International students who choose to study at MIT will be joining an impressive list of alumni, with many well known names having studied at MIT in the past.

Harvard University

Harvard University, a member of the Ivy League, is a university with a long history of providing excellent education to students from around the world. International students will find that the faculty is world class, it has access to great resources, and a global network. As an Ivy League member, Harvard is competitive to get into, but once you are in, you will be welcomed with open arms by its diverse community.

Boston University

Boston University (BU) is situated in the centre of historic Boston, is a well regarded university, known for its research and academic excellence. It offers a range of programs, and its urban campus provides students with easy access to the city, for both work and pleasure. Its popularity means that it has a global network of alumni, an international students would be well placed to join those ranks.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University is set apart from the other universities in Boston by its co-op program, which allows students to blend their academics and real world experiences. Northeastern believes in experiential learning, meaning that students graduate feeling ready for the professional world, whatever their goals. Northeastern is consistently well ranked on international ranking tables, guaranteeing a top quality education.

Boston College

Boston College (BC) anchors itself in Jesuit traditions, and puts an emphasis on personal growth, ethics and serving your community. It is located in the Chestnut Hill area of Boston, meaning that you can get a great education in a picturesque setting. International students will feel at home at BC, as it is proud of its welcoming and supportive student body and faculty members.

University of Massachusetts Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) is a public research university located near the city’s harbour. The university provides a wide range of programs for a diverse community. International students are often drawn to the university’s research opportunities, modern campus and welcoming atmosphere.

Boston Universities World Ranking 2025

Below are the top-ranked Boston universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2025 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2024 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2025Times Higher Education Ranking 2024
Massachusetts Institute of Technology13
Harvard University44
Boston University10878
Northeastern University=396
Boston College631-640251-300
University of Massachusetts Boston1,001-1,200

Tuition and Living Costs in Boston

Boston is known for its highly ranked universities and colleges, which can often come with more expensive tuition fees for international students. Depending on the university and program, you can expect to pay between $25,000 and $60,000 per year. Living expenses are something that will need to be considered and budgeted for, as Boston’s popularity means that it is one of the more expensive cities in the USA. However, international students might be able to access scholarships and grants that will help lower the financial burden of studying in the USA.

Life in Boston for International Students

Boston allows international students to immerse themselves in a historic yet modern city, with the contrast of the cobblestone streets and red brick buildings against the backdrop of the bustling downtown neighbourhoods. You can go for walks along the banks of the Charles River, explore the city streets, or enjoy some sports or music events. Boston truly lives up to its title of America’s college town.

See all universities in the USA.

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