Boston University Academy

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Boston University Academy
Motto Nil Doctis Arduum (Nothing Daunts a Scholar)
Type Independent secondary School
Established Founded in 1993
Principal Ari Betof
Administrative staff
Students 163
Location Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Colors Scarlet, White and Black
Nickname BUA
Affiliations Boston University, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges
Mascot Rhett 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 49 communities. 48% come from independent schools, 44% from public schools, 2% from parochial schools and 6% are from home schools or international schools. 34% are students of color and 34% of students come from multilingual households (representing 22 languages). BUA provides need-based tuition assistance to approximately 38% of the students as of 2013–2014.[1]

Academic rigor[edit]

BU Academy student SAT scores [2] 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. [3] Nearly 100% (38 of 39 members) of its graduating class of 2012 were National Merit Commended Scholars.[4] (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.


Boston University Academy was proposed and founded in 1993 by Peter Schweich,[5][6] then the vice president of Boston University, and authorized by John Silber,[7] then the president of Boston University. Peter Schweich was its first headmaster, and served in that role until 1999, when he was succeeded by Dr. Jennifer Bond Hickman. Dr. James Tracy replaced Hickman and served until the spring of 2006, when he was replaced by 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.

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 the 2014–2015 school year: $37,988. Thirty-eight percent of students receive some sort of need-based financial aid, with the average grant covering $19,665 in 2013–2014.[8]

Notable faculty[edit]

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.[9] BUA Model UN website[10]
  • 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. [11]
  • Science Team, a large team who competes to demonstrate their science skills in the Western Suburban Science League.[12]
  • Robotics, The BUA Robotics team competes in the FIRST league and many local competitions.[13]
  • 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
  • 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
  • "Gay Straight Alliance"
  • Mandatory community service


  1. ^ "Boston University Academy ~A High School for the Intellectually Curious". 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  2. ^ College Board, SATs, 2006,
  3. ^ "Boston University Academy ~A High School for the Intellectually Curious" (PDF). 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  4. ^ "The 50 Best Private Day Schools in the United States". The Best Schools. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  5. ^ Innerst, Carol (1997-06-08). "High school at Boston University directs students into academic life". The Washington Times. p. 2. 
  6. ^ Fitzgerald, Brian (1999-06-11). "BU Academy seen as educational model". Boston University Bridge. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  8. ^ "Boston University Academy ~A High School for the Intellectually Curious". 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  9. ^ "America's Best High School Model UN Teams: 2011–2012 Spring Rankings Top 150". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "BU Academy Model UN Conference". Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "BU Academy Model UN Conference - Home". Retrieved 2016-06-24. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved December 21, 2006. 
  13. ^ "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