21 Best Colleges In Boston in 2024 – MA, Acceptance Rate, Tuition

By | February 14, 2024

Best Colleges In Boston – The best colleges in Boston are an all-around great choice for college students. They offer high-quality education and the perfect environment for success. Colleges like Boston University, Suffolk University, Northeastern University and more make Boston’s best colleges a flourishing, diverse community of scholars with a wide range of majors and subjects. In this blog post, we’ll go over some important factors to consider when deciding on which college is right for you.

21 Best Colleges In Boston in 2022 - MA, Acceptance Rate, Tuition

Massachusetts is a common destination for students looking to pursue higher education. With its rich history, Boston has been home to many famous and influential people in the world of science, politics, and social reform. The world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology is just one example of the prestigious institutions in Massachusetts.


The best colleges in Boston vary, with some focusing on specific fields while others offer the most money-saving options. Many different types of students are drawn to these schools with 29% of graduates going into public service or education professions such as teaching. But not all Massachusetts colleges are worth your time, with some having high acceptance rates and tuition rates that exceed what you’re willing to pay for your degree. Here are Boston’s best colleges based on affordability and prestige.

About Boston, Massachusetts | Education

Boston is Massachusetts’ capital and largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Covering 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, makes it the most populous city in New England.

Some of the most renowned and best-ranked universities in the world are near Boston. Three major universities in the city, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts, are located on the outskirts of Boston, in the cities of Cambridge and Somerville, known as the Brainpower Triangle.


Furthermore, four members of the Association of American Universities are in Greater Boston (more than any other metropolitan area): Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, and Brandeis University. In addition, Greater Boston contains seven Highest Research Activity (R1) Universities as per the Carnegie Classification. This includes, in addition to the four mentioned above, Boston College, Northeastern University and Tufts University.

It is by far the highest concentration of such institutions in a single metropolitan area.  Also, Greater Boston Metropolitan hospitals, universities, and research institutes received more than $ 1.77 billion in grants from the National Institutes of Health in 2013, more than any other metropolitan area in the United States.

Greater Boston has more than 100 colleges and universities, with 250,000 students enrolled in Boston and Cambridge alone.

21 Best Colleges in Boston, MA

Before we look at the 21 best colleges in Boston, Ma, let’s take a look at these three prestigious colleges on the outskirts of Boston. Do well to click on their online program and the official website for more information.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1861 and with its location presently at Cambridge. It is made up of 30 departments across 5 schools.

MIT admits students in the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels whose strengths, interests and values are a good match for MIT.

Also, the Institute is built on the idea that talent and good ideas can come from anywhere and this makes them a remarkably diverse community, drawing students from all 50 states and from 127 countries.

MIT is ranked #1 in the world by the QS World University Rankings® 2021 and ranked #3 in the USA by the US News & World Report. In addition, most undergraduate and graduate programs of the school are among the best & high ranking in the US and the world.

Some of the highly ranked graduate schools include the School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management, in addition to strong programs in economics, psychology, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, and mathematics.

MIT’s commitment to education also extends beyond the classroom and includes opportunities to learn online or pursue advanced certificates.

Tuition & Fees: $53,450 (each academic session)

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Graduation Rate: 91%



Harvard University

Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States. It is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally.

Based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard has an enrollment of over 20,000-degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

The institution comprises of 13 schools and institutes, including the top-ranked Business School and Medical School and the highly ranked Graduate Education School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School and John F. Kennedy School of Government. Harvard’s extensive library system houses the oldest collection in the United States and the largest private collection in the world.

Harvard is ranked #3 in the world by the QS World University Rankings® and ranked #2 in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $47,730 (every academic session)

Acceptance Rate: 5%

Graduation Rate: 98%



Tufts University

Founded in 1852, Tufts University is one of the best universities in the United States with its location approximately five miles northwest of Boston. Tufts enjoys a worldwide reputation for academic excellence and student preparation as leaders in a wide range of professions.

Also, the Carnegie Foundation recognizes it as an ” RU/VH: Research Universities (very high research activity)” institution based on the scope of the basic and clinical research conducted.

Tufts offers extensive and highly regarded liberal arts, sciences and engineering programs that attract outstanding students from around the world with the highest academic performance and classification.

Generally, Tufts comprises of the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering that serves both undergraduate and graduate students, and a number of graduate and professional schools, including the highly ranked School of Medicine and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Tufts is ranked #204 in the world by the QS World University Rankings® 2021 and #27 in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $56,382

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Graduation Rate: 93%



List of the 21 best colleges in Boston

  • Boston University
  • Bay State College
  • Emerson College
  • Fisher College
  • Boston Architectural College
  • Emmanuel College
  • Massachusetts College of Art and Design
  • MCPHS University
  • New England College of Optometry
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • Northeastern University
  • Simmons University
  • Wentworth Institute of Technology
  • Suffolk University
  • New England College of Business and Finance
  • Berklee College of Music
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Wheelock College
  • University of Massachusetts – Boston

Boston University

Boston University is a leading global research institution, which creates breakthroughs in everything from African studies to zebrafish genetics. With more than 34,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students, and nearly 10,000 faculty and staff in 17 schools and colleges, the BU’s three urban campuses are constantly humming.

Founded in 1869 by three Methodist entrepreneurs, Boston University became the largest university in Boston and the fourth-largest private university in the country.

In addition, Boston University’s highly ranked graduate schools include the School of Law, School of Management, School of Medicine, College of Engineering and School of Education.

Boston University is ranked #79 in the world by the QS World University Rankings® 2021 and ranked #42 in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $56,382

Acceptance Rate: 25%

Graduation Rate: 93%



Bay State College

Founded in 1946, Bay State College is a private institution with a mission of providing students with a quality education that prepares them for professional careers and increasing levels of higher education. The institution has 15+ programs, Associate and Bachelor Degrees.

Bay State College is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Boston, MA. With a class cap size of 15 students, learners get individual attention and access to a huge suite of online services, including technical support, advising, and tutoring. Online library and bookstore services are also available, ensuring that no student feels as though they are not a part of the Bay State College experience.

In addition, Bay State College is ranked between #36-#47 in Regional Colleges North in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $22,320

Acceptance Rate: 38.6%

Graduation Rate: 35.2%



Emerson College

Founded in 1880, Emerson College is an urban school that focuses on writing, communications and the liberal arts. The school offers majors such as writing, literature and publishing and political communication. Minor options include fiction, music appreciation and business studies in communication and the arts. Fittingly, the Literary-focused school has a wide variety of student publications, including the Emerson Review, a literary magazine, and Concrete Literary Magazine, which presents student poetry and photography.

In addition, Emerson College is ranked between #6 in Regional Colleges North and #10 in Most Innovative Schools in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $46,852 

Acceptance Rate: 48%

Graduation Rate: 80%



Fisher College

Fisher College, founded in 1903, is a Boston-based accredited independent college, offering curricula that integrate a liberal education with career and pre-professional programs designed to meet the changing needs of both traditional and non-traditional students. Through its degree level and certificate programs, Fisher College has strived to create a learning environment that fosters the intellectual growth of its students, promotes respect for self and others, and seeks to develop the inherent capacities of each individual student to prepare for a full, satisfying, and productive professional and cultural life.

In addition, Fisher College is ranked between #21 in Regional Colleges North and #10 in Most Innovative Schools in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $31,384

Acceptance Rate: 32%

Graduation Rate: 68%



Boston Architectural College

Boston Architectural College is a nonprofit professional college founded in 1889. The institution offers undergraduate, graduate and online degree programs in architecture and design. BAC students learn by working concurrently as paid employees in professional design firms, and in classrooms and studios, earning nearly one-third of their education credits toward their degrees for their time in the field. Students are eligible for licensure immediately upon graduation.

In addition, the institution is one of the schools offering online masters degree programs in Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuition & Fees: $21,894

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduation Rate: 45%



Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College, a private institution that was founded in 1919, is a co-educational, residential institution with a 17-acre campus in the heart of Boston’s educational, scientific, cultural and medical communities.

Also, the institution’s more than 60 programs offered within its five schools (School of Humanities & Social Sciences; School of Business & Management, School of Science & Health; School of Education; and School of Nursing) foster spirited discourse and substantive learning experiences that honor the College’s Catholic educational mission to cultivate the whole person and prepare students for effective and ethical leadership in the 21st century.

In addition, the college is one of the schools in Boston that offers an online degree in graduate and professional programs and also, Online RN-to-BSN Degree Program.

Tuition & Fees: $39,804 

Acceptance Rate: 73%

Graduation Rate: 66%



Massachusetts College of Art and Design

If you fall into any of these categories, then Massachusetts College of Art and Design is the place for you: Makers, artists, creators, disruptors, listeners, searchers, collaborators, activists in pursuit of remarkable, color-drenched futures.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design, founded in 1873  is a four-year independent public college of art, located at the heart of Bostons Fenway Cultural District. The College offers broad access to a high-quality professional arts education, accompanied by a strong general education in the liberal arts. Twenty-two concentrations in fine arts, design, media, and art education lead to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Also, students participate in small classes and work on independent projects with faculty members who are professional, working artists.

Tuition & Fees: in-state $13,700; New England Resident (CT, ME, NH, RI, VT)$30,400; out-of-state $38,400 (per year)

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 70%


MCPHS University

Founded in 1823, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is a private university with its focus on medical programs and located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts. It is a healthcare-focused university with a full spectrum of healthcare programs.

In addition, they offer a variety of programs spanning the healthcare spectrum including bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and graduate certificate online programs. Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings for 2018 puts MCPHS graduates on top as #1 University in the U.S. for Earning Power.

Tuition & Fees: $33,600 (each academic year)

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 84%



New England Conservatory of Music

New England Conservatory of Music is a private institution that was founded in 1867. The institution educates and trains musicians of all ages from around the world, drawing on the talent and deep reservoir of experience of our distinguished faculty.

Furthermore, NEC students not only immerse themselves in their musical studies with an intense focus but also encouraged to expand their perspectives and cross boundaries. The result of this process is the discovery of the individual authentic voice.

Tuition & Fees: Undergraduate, Masters, PhD-  $49,580 ; Diploma – $48,340 ( per year)

Acceptance Rate: 35%

Graduation Rate: 88%



Northeastern University

Founded in 1894,  Northeastern University is an experiential research institution, focused on global and contemporary world issues.

The school offers a wide range of courses and initiatives including the IDEA Venture Accelerator which provides support for aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs offering gap funding and links to investors. This school offers a whole host of degree programs, ranging from bachelor’s programs to doctorate and specialist programs.

Also, Northeastern University offers some of the best online bachelor’s programs. Students from a variety of fields, such as law, engineering, education, and the humanities, can find online degrees at this affordable university.

Northeastern University is ranked #397 in the world by the QS World University Rankings® 2021 and ranked #44 in the USA by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $51,387 

Acceptance Rate: 29%

Graduation Rate: 82%



New England College of Optometry

The New England College of Optometry is a private optometry college in Boston, Massachusetts. New England College of Optometry, NECO, prepares the next generation of eye care providers, educators, and innovators through a rigorous curriculum and extensive clinical experiences. Also, NECO graduates compassionate and skilled optometrists prepared to practice in diverse settings.

Furthermore, New England College of Optometry is the oldest continuously operating school of Optometry in the United States with its formation in 1894 as the Klein School of Optics.

Tuition & Fees: $42,592

Acceptance Rate: 42%

Graduation Rate: 93%


Simmons University

Founded in 1899, Simmons University is a small private institution in the heart of Boston. Our core purpose is transformative learning that links passion with lifelong purpose.

Simmons has established four colleges, each incorporating a complementary selection of academic fields where they offer over 60 pioneering undergraduate and graduate programs that combine theory, practice, and real-world experience that will challenge you to see more broadly, think more deeply and prepare you for leadership in the world.

In addition, the school is among universities that offer an online masters program in Boston. Simon is ranked #11 in Regional Universities North#4 in Best Value Schools#274  in Business Programs by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $54,860

Acceptance Rate: 64%

Graduation Rate: 65%



Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wentworth Institute of Technology is a private, technical design and engineering university in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1904, it offers career-focused education through its 21 bachelor’s degree programs as well as master’s degrees. Also, the university is distinguished by its quality classroom instruction and its practical application of technology through extensive laboratory and studio training.

Wentworth Institute of Technology’s bachelor’s degree programs include mechanical engineering, computer science, biomedical engineering, architecture, and civil engineering. The university also offers master’s degrees in applied computer science, architecture, civil engineering, construction management, facility management, and technology management.

In addition, Wentworth Institute of Technology offers a growing number of online programs through its College of Professional and Continuing Education. These programs continue Wentworth’s tradition of academic excellence and innovation through courses that combine theory-based learning with a practical approach to problem-solving.

Wentworth is ranked #62 in Regional Universities North#70 in Best Value Schools#35 in Engineering Programs by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: Undergraduate – $34,970; masters $37,700 (per year)

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 74%



Suffolk University

Founded in 1906, Suffolk University, a private institution is a talent catalyst that recognizes and develops student potential. It provides a student-centered experience with an emphasis on strong connections among its students, faculty, and staff.

Also, the university comprises Suffolk University Law School, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Sawyer Business School. It also has an international campus in Madrid, as well as a satellite campus in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

In addition, Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts provides students with the opportunity to complete their master’s degree online without the need for campus programs.

Suffolk University is ranked #177 (tie) in National Universities, #220 in High School Counselor Rankings#193-#205 in Engineering Programs by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $38,566

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: —



New England College of Business and Finance 

Founded in 1909, New England College of Business and Finance is a proprietary institution offering accredited undergraduate and graduate online business degrees, as well as Professional Development Certificates.

The mission of New England College of Business is to provide high-quality, affordable, and accessible undergraduate and graduate degree programs, as well as professional training, for students interested in careers in business, public administration, information technology, and healthcare.

Also, they are one of the lowest tuitions among all private four-year colleges in New England (U.S. Department of Education Affordability and Transparency Center, 2011-2017).

In addition, The institution has been awarded Best Online Programs for their MBA, Graduate Programs and Bachelor’s programs from U.S. News & World Report; the 2014 Gold Best Practices Award for Distance Learning Programming from the U.S. Distance Learning Association and the ACHE Award for Creative Use of Technology

Tuition & Fees: $11,240

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Graduation Rate: 48%



Berklee College of Music

Founded in 1945 and with its location in Boston, in Boston, the Berklee College of Music is a private institution that offers specialized majors such as Composition, Professional Music, and Music Therapy to its students. The school is broken up into Music Technology, Professional Education, Professional Performance, and Professional Writing departments, and the average class size is typically just 11 students.

With a focus on global learning, the Berklee campus in Valencia, Spain, offers graduate programs and study abroad opportunities, while Berklee Online serves distance learners worldwide with extension classes and degree-granting programs.

However, in June 2016, the Boston Conservatory merged with Berklee, creating the world’s most comprehensive and dynamic training ground for music, dance, theater, and related professions.

Tuition & Fees: SUMMER each year (Degree program: $19,005, Diploma program: $16,355); FALL each year (Degree program: $22,180, Diploma program: $19,110); SPRING 2021 (Degree program: $22,180, Diploma program: $19,110)

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Graduation Rate: 53%



Boston Conservatory

The Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a performing arts conservatory located in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. It grants undergraduate and graduates degrees in music, dance, and theater.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee provides a progressive learning environment where students are challenged to realize their potential as artists and inspired to pursue their dreams. Long recognized for its specialized training in dance, music, and theater, the Conservatory’s recent merger with Berklee now combines this rigorous, focused instruction with unparalleled access to a broad range of academic and creative opportunities.

Set in the cultural, historical, and educational hub of Boston, this extraordinary institution represents the future of performing arts education.

Tuition & Fees: Check Berklee School Above.

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Graduation Rate: —


Wheelock College

Founded in 1888, Wheelock College of Education & Human Development offers academic programs for educational professionals at every stage of their careers.

However, on June 1, 2018, Wheelock College formally merged with Boston University. A significant aspect of this merger was the creation of Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development, a new college at Boston University that combines many of the resources and programs of the former Wheelock College and Boston University School of Education.

It has programs of study for aspiring and practicing educational professionals at the undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral & advanced level.

Wheelock College is ranked #105 in the 2019 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities-North by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: $36,200

Acceptance Rate: 84%

Graduation Rate: 56%



University of Massachusetts – Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston, also known as UMass Boston, is an urban public research university and the third-largest campus in the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. The university is on 120 acres on the Columbia Point peninsula in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, United States.

In addition, the scenic waterfront campus, with easy access to downtown Boston, is located next to the John F. Kennedy Library and Presidential Museum, the Commonwealth Museum and Massachusetts State Archives, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate.

The institution has 10 colleges and schools where it offers 77 undergraduate programs (bachelor’s degrees, undergraduate certificates, post-baccalaureate certificates) and 130 graduate programs (master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, graduate certificates, CAGS, and post master’s certificates).

The University of Massachusetts Boston is ranked #191 in National Universities by the US News & World Report.

Tuition & Fees: Undergraduate – in-state 7,083.50; out-of-state 16,983.00; NE Regional 13,389.50.

For more information on the University of Massachusetts undergraduate tuition, click on the link below:

Graduate – in-state $6,920.50; out-of-state 16,820.00

For more information on the University of Massachusetts graduate tuition, click on the link below:

Acceptance Rate: 75%

Graduation Rate: 59%




We hope this article containing the list of 21 best colleges and universities in Boston, Ma and nearby areas, with the necessary informations regarding their ranking, tuition, acceptance & graduation rates, helps you in making your choice.


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