Boston's reputation as "the Athens of America" derives in large part from the teaching and research activities of more than 100 colleges and universities located in the Greater Boston Area, with more than 250,000 students attending college in Boston and Cambridge alone.
In fact, with over 35 colleges and universities in the area, a significant percentage of the population in Boston is directly involved with academics in one form or another. Of the city's 3 million residents, one out of five is involved with higher education as a student, staff person, or similar affiliation. Massachusetts Public Higher Education served 262,903 students during fiscal year 2003, and the city is a national leader in per capita graduation rates in many fields including Computer Sciences, Engineering, Business Management, Medicine and Physical Sciences. In addition to these popular choices, students at Boston colleges and universities can study for careers that may not be offered at schools in other parts of the country, including Biobehavioral Studies, East Asian Studies, Geographic Information Technologies, and Labor Studies.
Students can choose from a wide variety of schools in both public and private categories. In addition, Boston is home to numerous specialty and professional schools that allow students to focus on a particular area of study.
Public Colleges & Universities
Private Colleges & Universities
In addition to Harvard and MIT, other private schools in the Boston area include:
- Boston College
- Boston University
- Emmanuel College
- Gibbs College
- Northeastern University
- Simmons College
- Suffolk University
- University of Phoenix - Boston Campus
Professional & Specialty Schools
- Art Institute of Boston
- Boston Architectural Center
- Emerson College
- New England Institute of Arts and Communication
As the above list indicates, one significant aspect that stands out about higher education in Boston and the surrounding communities is that there are so many private colleges to choose from. According to Richard Doherty, President of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (AICUM), Massachusetts is the only state in the country with more students in private schools than are in public institutions.