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BU is categorized as an R1: Doctoral University (very high research activity) in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The University was ranked 37th among undergraduate programs at national universities, and 39th among global universities by U. BU also has Mac Arthur, Fulbright, Truman and Guggenheim Fellowship holders as well as American Academy of Arts and Sciences and National Academy of Sciences members among its past and present graduates and faculty.
In 1876, BU professor Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in a BU lab.
In 1847, the Congregational Society in Concord, New Hampshire, invited the Institute to relocate to Concord and offered a disused Congregational church building with a capacity of 1200 people.In 1869, three trustees of the Boston Theological Institute obtained from the Massachusetts Legislature a charter for a university by name of "Boston University".These trustees were successful Boston businessmen and Methodist laymen, with a history of involvement in educational enterprises and became the founders of Boston University.As reported by Kathleen Kilgore in her book, Transformations, A History of Boston University (see Further reading), the founders directed the inclusion in the Charter of the following provision, unusual for its time: No instructor in said University shall ever be required by the Trustees to profess any particular religious opinions as a test of office, and no student shall be refused admission...on account of the religious opinions he may entertain; provided, nonetheless, that this section shall not apply to the theological department of said University.
The Boston University Terriers compete in the NCAA Division I.