Top Universities in Boston, USA for International Students

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Allaa Ashraf

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31 October, 2023

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5 mins read

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The United States has plenty of pretty awesome cities with timeless charm: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, to name a few. But then, there’s Boston.

Boston, a vibrant and cosmopolitan city in Massachusetts and often referred to as the "Athens of America," is renowned for its rich history and distinctive culture and is a prominent hub for international education.

Home to some of the world's most prestigious universities, the city attracts students from across the globe, offering them a wealth of opportunities for academic excellence, cultural immersion, and career development. They’ll also find plenty of affordable Boston student housing options, making their budgeting plans a bit easier.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore the top universities in Boston, USA, and delve into the reasons why it's a prime destination for international students. Let’s get right down to business!


Why Study in Boston?

Studying in Boston, USA, as an international student provides you with various advantages and opportunities, including:

Academic Excellence and World-Class Education

Boston is home to some of the world's top-ranked universities, including Harvard University, MIT, Boston University, and Tufts University. These top-notch institutions attract students from all over the world.

Diverse Academic Programmes

Boston's universities and colleges offer a diverse range of academic programmes and majors for postgraduate and undergraduate students, from STEM to the arts and humanities, preparing students for success in any field.

Scholarship Opportunities in Boston

Boston's universities offer a variety of scholarships and financial aid to international students, making education more affordable.

Rich and Diverse Culture

Boston is one of the largest cities in the US and is quite the melting pot of cultures, with a rich history and a wide range of cultural experiences, making it a welcoming and enriching place for international students. This diversity is reflected in the city's food, music, art, and more.


Strong Economy and Access to Leading Companies

Boston's strong economy and thriving job market, especially in technology, biotechnology, finance, and healthcare, offer international students good employment opportunities after graduation.

Vibrant, Quality Life

Boston is a vibrant city with a lot to offer students, including museums, theatres, restaurants, parks, and professional sports teams. The city also offers a high quality of life with excellent healthcare, public transportation, and safety. Quite the city, huh?

Global Network Access

Boston's diversity and location make it an ideal place to build a global network. Interacting with students from all over the world will expand your perspective and create valuable connections for your future career!

Top Universities in Boston, USA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Starting with Boston’s most popular educational institution, MIT!

Renowned for its cutting-edge technology and research, MIT is a private research university that consistently ranks as one of the world's top universities, with a strong focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The institute is particularly attractive to international students interested in STEM fields, and its alumni include Nobel laureates, astronauts, and CEOs. MIT offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programmes, making it a great choice for those pursuing STEM careers. You see now why it’s so popular? Also, there are plenty of MIT student housing options for those seeking them!

Also, if you want to consider your options when it comes to STEM courses, check out our blog on STEM Courses in the USA for International Students!


Harvard University

Founded in 1636, Harvard University stands as one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions globally and is renowned for its rich history and academic excellence. The university offers a diverse range of programmes, ensuring that international students find their ideal field of study, and its commitment to research and innovation provides ample opportunities for global scholars. 

Harvard's illustrious alumni list includes presidents, Supreme Court justices, and Nobel laureates, making it an ideal choice for students seeking a challenging and stimulating academic environment. If you do choose to study at this terrific university, we have plenty of Harvard University student housing options on offer!

Boston University

Another one of the top universities in Boston, USA, is Boston University. Boston University is located in the heart of Boston and boasts a diverse and inclusive community with plenty of Boston University student housing options, making it quite the choice for international students. 

The university's extensive range of academic programmes and strong emphasis on research make it a top contender for global scholars, providing ample opportunities for intellectual growth. With its vibrant urban campus experience, Boston University offers a dynamic and cosmopolitan environment for students seeking a diverse and enriching university experience.

Northeastern University

Northeastern University, known for its experiential learning programmes, is a leading global research university with a strong commitment to preparing students for success in the workforce. The renowned co-op programmes provide international students with invaluable practical experience, while the university's strong industry connections facilitate a seamless transition into the job market. 

Northeastern's emphasis on experiential learning makes it a standout choice for those seeking hands-on preparation for their future careers. If you’ve decided on this university, we have various Northeastern University student housing options to check out!


Tufts University

Tufts University, another one of the top universities in Boston, USA, is renowned for its commitment to undergraduate education and emphasis on social impact, offering international students a unique opportunity to make a difference. 

The university provides various disciplines, including the renowned Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, allowing students to explore various fields of interest. Situated in the greater Boston area, Tufts offers a blend of urban and suburban experiences, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a small and intimate university setting.

Brandeis University

Brandeis University's strong commitment to social justice and global awareness makes it a perfect match for international students who share these values. The university provides robust liberal arts and sciences programmes and a vibrant campus atmosphere that fosters both personal and academic growth. Situated in close proximity to Boston, Brandeis ensures that students have access to a wide array of cultural and career opportunities while pursuing their passion for positive change in the world.

Boston College

Boston College is a renowned institution with a strong focus on academics and character development, making it an ideal choice for students seeking intellectual and personal growth. The university offers a blend of liberal arts, social sciences, and professional programmes, catering to a wide range of interests and passions.

Situated on a stunning campus with a rich Catholic heritage, Boston College creates a unique environment that fosters a deep sense of community while providing students with a strong academic foundation. There are also plenty of Boston College student housing options available if you decide to attend this institution!


University of Massachusetts, Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston, commonly known as UMass Boston, is a prominent institution within the dynamic educational landscape of Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1964, this public research university has consistently prioritised accessibility and diversity in higher education. 

Situated on a scenic waterfront campus overlooking Boston Harbour, UMass Boston offers a unique blend of urban and natural beauty, with many UMass Boston student housing options nearby. The university is renowned for its strong commitment to community engagement and social justice. 

UMass Boston provides various undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programmes in various disciplines, attracting a diverse student body. With its dedicated faculty, cutting-edge research initiatives, and the cultural vibrancy of Boston as its backdrop, UMass Boston remains a hub for academic excellence and a nurturing environment for students to grow and thrive.

And there you have it! Studying in the USA is a great experience, and Boston is a superb option for international students. Its universities offer a wealth of opportunities for academic excellence, cultural immersion, and career development. With its rich educational landscape and cultural diversity, Boston is an ideal destination for international students. To know more about what to expect, check out our blog on studying in the USA: Expectation Vs Reality.

Whether you aspire to be a part of groundbreaking research, immerse yourself in arts and culture, or engage in social impact, these top universities in Boston USA have something exceptional to offer. Your academic journey in Boston will not only be about gaining knowledge but also about embracing a global perspective and experiencing personal growth.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Boston a good place for international students?

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Yes, Boston is a great place for international students. It is home to some of the world's top universities, including Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Boston University. The city also has a large and diverse international student population, which makes it easy for international students to feel welcome and supported.

What is the number one university in Boston?

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Harvard University is one of the most popular universities in Boston.

Does Boston University have a lot of international students?

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Yes, Boston University has a large international student population. In the 2022-2023 academic year, international students comprised about 25% of the total student body.