Boston University Academy

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Boston University Academy
Other name
MottoLearning Without Limits[1]
TaglineHigh School with a College Education
TypeIndependent Secondary School
Head of SchoolDr. Rosemary White (interim)[2]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsScarlet, White and Black
AthleticsNew England Preparatory School Athletic Council – Massachusetts Bay Independent League, Girls’ Independent League
AffiliationsBoston University, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges
MascotRhett the Boston Terrier

Boston University Academy (BUA) is a private high school operated by Boston University. Founded in 1993 and located on the Boston University campus, the Academy is geared toward college preparatory work. As part of its integration with the university, students are able to take college courses for credit their junior and senior years, and are guaranteed acceptance to Boston University upon maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in Boston University courses.

BUA's student body is drawn from 62 communities. 47% come from public schools, 42% from independent schools, 4% from parochial schools and 7% are from home schools or international schools. 50% are students of color and 46% of students come from multilingual households (representing 25 languages). BUA provides need-based tuition assistance to approximately 33% of the students as of the 2017–2018 academic year.[3]

Academic rigor[edit]

BU Academy student SAT scores[4] are consistently high: Its reported average SAT score in 2013 of 2148 was among the highest of any public or private high school in Massachusetts.[5] Nearly 100% (38 of 39 members) of its graduating class of 2012 were National Merit Commended Scholars.[6] (National Merit Commended Scholars generally score in the top 2% of all PSAT/NMSQT test-takers.)

The focus of the school, however, is not on standardized test taking or college admission. Rather, the school seeks to introduce its students to the rich western tradition while giving a solid background in academics.


The Academy is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is a member of both the Secondary School Admission Test Board and the Association of Independent Schools of New England.[citation needed]


Boston University Academy was proposed and founded in 1993 by Peter Schweich,[7][8] then the vice president of Boston University, and authorized by John Silber,[9] then the president of Boston University. Peter Schweich was its first headmaster, and served in that role until 1999, when he was succeeded by interim head of school Dr. Jennifer Bond Hickman. Dr. James Tracy replaced Hickman and served until the spring of 2006, when he was replaced by Dr. James Berkman. On August 21, 2014, Berkman announced that he would retire after the 2014–2015 academic year. On November 14, 2014, Provost Jean Morrison announced the appointment of Dr. Ari Betof to replace Berkman effective July 1, 2015. On July 10, 2018, Boston University announced the departure of Dr. Betof following an allegation of sexual misconduct.[10] Following his departure, Dr. Rosemary White succeeded him as interim head of school, effective immediately.[2]

When BU Academy was founded, it covered grades 9-12; an 8th grade of approximately 20 students was added in 1999. The 8th grade was dropped in 2005.


Tuition and fees for 2018-2018 is $44966. Thirty-six percent of students receive need based financial aid. The average financial aid award is $27863. Financial aid awards range from $966 to $44286. The average income of families that receive financial aid is $156067.[11]

Notable faculty[edit]

  • Philip Gambone, a published author, primarily taught freshman English during his 13-year tenure from 2004 until his retirement in 2017[12].
  • Brett Abigaña, a noted composer and co-founder and Associate Director of the Boston Composers' Coalition[13].

Student activities[edit]

  • Model United Nations, a student run club including nearly one-third of the school's student population. BUA's Model UN team was recently ranked in the top 125 high school teams in North America.[14][15]
  • BUAMUN, a middle school Model UN conference run and staffed by Academy students. Each year, BUAMUN creates thousands of dollars in revenue for the school, which is used to fund travel expenses of the BU Academy Model UN team. BUAMUN is a recognized middle-school Model UN conference by Best Delegate, and recently has expanded to host over 300 delegates. A favorite of the BUA community, many students at BUA volunteer to run this conference, showing the immense dedication to support their classmates. [16]
  • Science Team, a large team who competes to demonstrate their science skills in the Western Suburban Science League.[17]
  • Robotics — The BUA Robotics team competes in the FIRST league and many local competitions.[18]
  • South Asian Students Association, a club founded by two Indian members of the Class of 2015 which focuses on reclaiming the heritage of South Asian students and spreading awareness about the culture of South Asia.
  • Sports such as: Basketball, Crew, Cross country running, Fencing, Sailing, Soccer, Tennis, and Ultimate Frisbee.
  • Dance Team
  • Debate Club
  • Film Club
  • Map Club
  • Photography Club
  • Yearbook
  • Performing Arts Outing Club, which attends one Boston area theater performance or concert each month.
  • Math Team
  • Environmental club — A club which helps the environment through an extensive recycling program.
  • Literary Magazine (LitMag) and LitCafe, where student authors and artist can publish and share their works with the school community.
  • BU Academy Press — A student-run and edited newspaper that brings the important news to the students.
  • Art Club
  • Drama, usually consisting of one straight play in the fall, a musical in the spring and a senior run play in the beginning of the spring semester.
  • Many Students help in admissions, performing such functions as Tour Guides and Hosting visiting applicants
  • Student Council, which organizes most student activities and functions.
  • Peer Tutors — A group of students who help their peers by tutoring them in subjects where they need help.
  • Peer Advisors — A group of students who help new students transition to the academy.
  • Chess Club - A club for chess lovers that meets every Thursday at lunch.
  • Gay–Straight Alliance
  • Computer Science Club — a small group of 3-4 students code
  • Anime Club — one of BUA's newest additions, founded in 2018 where students watch, discuss, and enjoy various animes of all school appropriate genres
  • Chinese Culture Club — a place for students to drink tea, socialize, and discuss Chinese culture


  1. ^ "Announcing BUA's New Brand!". Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  2. ^ a b Fernandes, Dierdre (10 July 2018). "Head of school at Boston University Academy is suddenly out". Boston Globe. John W. Henry. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Boston University Academy ~Quick Facts". Archived from the original on 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  4. ^ College Board, SATs, 2006,
  5. ^ "Boston University Academy ~A High School for the Intellectually Curious" (PDF). 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-06-24.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "The 50 Best Private Day Schools in the United States". The Best Schools. Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  7. ^ Innerst, Carol (1997-06-08). "High school at Boston University directs students into academic life". The Washington Times. p. 2.
  8. ^ Fitzgerald, Brian (1999-06-11). "BU Academy seen as educational model". Boston University Bridge.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Boston University Academy Retrieved 12/03/2018. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "Veteran English Teacher Phil Gambone Announces His Retirement at the End of Academic Year". Boston University Academy. Retrieved 3 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Biography". Brett Abigana. Retrieved 3 July 2017.
  14. ^ "America's Best High School Model UN Teams: 2011–2012 Spring Rankings Top 150". Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  15. ^ "BU Academy Model UN Conference". Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  16. ^ "BU Academy Model UN Conference - Home". Retrieved 2016-06-24.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "BUA Robotics | Boston University". Retrieved 2016-06-24.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′03″N 71°06′35″W / 42.350956°N 71.10982°W / 42.350956; -71.10982