Northeastern University

Northeastern University (NU or NEU) is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts, established in 1898. It is categorized as an R1 institution (Doctoral Universities: Highest Research Activity) by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[4] The university offers undergraduate and graduate programs on its main campus in Boston. The university has satellite campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; San Jose, California; and Toronto, Canada, that exclusively offer graduate degrees. Northeastern recently purchased the New College of the Humanities in London and plans to open an additional campus in Vancouver, Canada. The university's enrollment is approximately 18,000 undergraduate students and 8,000 graduate students.[5]

Northeastern University
Lux, Veritas, Virtus (Latin)
Motto in English
Light, Truth, Courage
Established1898 (1898)
Endowment$831 million (2018)[1]
PresidentJoseph Aoun
ProvostJames C. Bean
Academic staff
1,830 (Fall 2018)[2]
Students27,133 (Fall 2018)[3]
Undergraduates18,448 (Fall 2018)[3]
Postgraduates8,685 (Fall 2018)[3]
Location, ,
United States

42.339944°N 71.088194°W / 42.339944; -71.088194
CampusUrban, 73 acres (30 hectares)
ColorsNortheastern Red, White, Black and Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division ICAA, Hockey East, EARC

Northeastern features a cooperative education program, more commonly known as "co-op", that integrates classroom study with professional experience and contains over 3,100 partners across all seven continents.[6] The program has been a key part of Northeastern's curriculum of experiential learning for more than a hundred years and is one of the largest co-op/internship programs in the world. While it is not required for students of all academic disciplines to participate in the co-op program, participation is nearly universal among undergraduate students as it helps distinguish their university experience from that of other universities. Northeastern also has a comprehensive study abroad program that spans more than 170 universities and colleges.[7]

Northeastern is a large, highly residential university. Most students choose to live on campus but upperclassmen have the option to live off campus. More than 75% of Northeastern students receive some form of financial aid. In the 2019–20 school year, the university has committed $296.2 million in grant and scholarship assistance.[8]

The university's sports teams, the Northeastern Huskies, compete in NCAA Division I as members of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) in 18 varsity sports. The men's and women's hockey teams compete in Hockey East, while the men's and women's rowing teams compete in the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) and Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC), respectively.[9] Men's Track and Field has won the CAA back to back years in 2015 and 2016. In 2013, men's basketball won its first CAA regular season championship, men's soccer won the CAA title for the first time, and women's ice hockey won a record 16th Beanpot championship.[10] The Northeastern men's hockey team won the 2018 and 2019 Beanpot, beating out Boston University, Boston College, and Harvard.[11]


The Evening Institute for Younger Men, located at the Huntington Avenue YMCA, held its first class on October 3, 1898, starting what would transform into Northeastern University over the course of four decades. The School of Law was formally established that year with the assistance of an Advisory Committee, consisting of Dean James Barr Ames of the Harvard University School of Law, Dean Samuel Bennett of the Boston University School of Law, and Judge James R. Dunbar. In 1903, the first Automobile Engineering School in the country was established followed by the School of Commerce and Finance in 1907. Day classes began in 1909. In 1916, a bill was introduced into the Massachusetts Legislature to incorporate the institute as Northeastern College. After considerable debate and investigation, it was passed in March 1916.[12]

On March 30, 1917, Frank Palmer Speare was inaugurated as the new College's first President. Five years later the school changed its name to Northeastern University to better reflect the increasing depth of its instruction.[13] In March 1923, the University secured general degree-granting power from the Legislature, with the exception of the A.B., the S.B., and the medical degrees.

The College of Liberal Arts was added in 1935. Two years later the Northeastern University Corporation was established, with a board of trustees composed of 31 University members and 8 from the YMCA. In 1948 Northeastern separated itself completely from the YMCA.[14]

Following World War II Northeastern began admitting women. During the postwar educational boom, the University created the College of Education (1953), University College (now called the College of Professional Studies) (1960),[15] and the Colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing (1964) (later combined into the Bouvé College of Health Sciences). The College of Criminal Justice (1967) followed, then the College of Computer Science (1982).

By the early 1980s the one-time night commuter school had grown to nearly 50,000 enrollees including all full- and part-time programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level. By 1989–1990 University enrollment had reduced to about 40,000 full, part-time, and evening students, and in 1990 the first class with more live-on-campus than commuter students was graduated. Following the retirement of President Kenneth Ryder 1989, the University adopted a slow and more thoughtful approach to change. Historically, it had been accepting between 7,500 and 10,000 students per year based on applications of about 15,000 to 20,000 with acceptance rates between 50% and 75% depending on the program. Attrition rates were huge, with a 25% freshmen dropout rate and graduation rate below 50%, with only 40% of 5,672 undergraduate full-time day students enrolled in the Fall of 1984 graduating by 1989.

When President John Curry left office in 1996 the university population had been systematically reduced to about 25,000. Incoming President Richard Freeland decided to focus on recruiting the type of students who were already graduating as the school's prime demographic. In the early 1990s, the university cut its freshman class size from around 4,500 students to 2,800 in order to become more selective and began a $485 million construction program that included residence halls, academic and research facilities, and athletic centers. Between 1996 and 2006 average SAT scores increased more than 200 points, retention rates rose dramatically, and applications doubled.

During the University's transition, students experienced a reorganization of the co-operative education system to better integrate classroom learning with workplace experience. Full-time degree programs shifted from a four-quarter system to two traditional semesters and two summer "minimesters", allowing students to both delve more deeply into their academic courses and experience longer, more substantive co-op placements.

Throughout the transformation, President Freeland's oft-repeated goal was to crack the Top 100 of the U.S. News & World Report's rankings.[16] With this accomplished by 2005 the transformation from commuting school to national research university was complete. Freeland stepped down on August 15, 2006 and was replaced by Dr. Joseph Aoun, a former dean at the University of Southern California.[17] Aoun implemented a decentralized management model, giving university deans more control over their budgets, faculty hiring decisions, and fundraising.

As part of a five-year, $75 million Academic Investment Plan that ran from 2004 and 2009[18] the University concentrated on undergraduate education, core graduate professional programs, and centers of research excellence. Faculty was originally to be bolstered by 100 new tenured and tenure-track professors, later expanded to include 300 additional tenure and tenure-track faculty in interdisciplinary fields. Aoun also placed more emphasis on improving community relations by reaching out to leaders of the neighborhoods surrounding the university.[19] In addition, Aoun has created more academic partnerships with other institutions in the Boston area, including Tufts, Hebrew College and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

During this time, Northeastern has advanced in national rankings. It placed 42nd in the 2014–2015 U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges Guide",[20] a 7 position jump from 2013–2014 and a 27 place gain just since 2010–2011. Some have argued that Northeastern's recent rise in the rankings shows that the university has "cracked the code" to academic rankings, while others have suggested that it has figured out how to "game the system".[21][22] The 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked Northeastern 40th in its annual ranking of National Universities.

Whether the rise of Northeastern's ranking was the result of an effort to game the system or not, most would agree that the institution's continual improvements in its placement in U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges Guide" allowed the university to improve rapidly via a significantly larger endowment and a more competitive student body. This explains why it was able to surpass other local universities in rankings such as Simmons College and Wentworth Institute of Technology (which were started around the same time). It can also be said that Northeastern's ranking improvements had a cyclical effect where the improved rankings gave the university access to more resources which in turn allowed them to further improve the quality of the university and therefore their rankings. Regardless, it's objectively evident that the quality of the university has skyrocketed within the last twenty or so years as a result of the introduction of new academic programs, far more competitive applicants, new buildings, a larger endowment, alumni donations, new satellite campuses, and the expansion of their flagship Co-op program.

In early 2019, Northeastern University acquired the New College of the Humanities, a 210 student London-based college founded in 2012 by the philosopher A. C. Grayling. The deal is pending regulatory approval.[23]


Presidents of Northeastern (with tenures in office and campus buildings named in their honor):

Satellite campuses

In addition to Northeastern's main Boston campus, the university operates a number of satellite locations in Massachusetts, including the George J. Kostas Research Institute in Burlington, a Financial District campus in the Hilton Hotel near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, a Dedham Campus in Dedham, and a Marine Science Center in Nahant.[24] The Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, which opened in 2011, contains the Laboratory for Structural Testing of Resilient and Sustainable Systems (STReSS Laboratory). The laboratory is "equipped to test full-scale and large-scale structural systems and materials to failure so as to explore the development of new strategies for designing, simulating, and sensing structural and infrastructure systems".[25]

The University has also launched a number of full-service remote graduate campuses in North America, including in Charlotte, North Carolina, in October 2011, Seattle, Washington, in January 2013, San Jose, California, in March 2015, and Toronto, Ontario, in 2016.[26][27] Additional satellite campuses in Austin, Texas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Vancouver, British Columbia are planned.[28][29]


Fall enrollment statistics, freshmen
2019[30] 2018[31] 2017[32] 2016[33]
Applicants 62,000 62,272 54,209 51,063
Admits 11,160 12,042 14,876 14,747
Admit rate 18.0% 19.3% 27.4% 28.9%
Enrolled - 2,746 3,108 2,676
SAT range - 1360–1540 1360–1520 1960–2240
ACT range - 33–35 32–34 31–34

Northeastern's 2019 acceptance rate is 18%.[34] For the Class of 2023, Northeastern received 62,000 applications, with 11,160 students accepted.[35] In 2018, the record number of applications led to a drop in acceptance rate, eight percentage points lower than the previous year. Additionally, Northeastern was one of the top ten most applied to colleges in 2018.[35]

For the Class of 2022 (enrolling fall 2018), Northeastern received 62,272 applications, accepted 12,042 (19.3%), and enrolled 2,746.[31] For the freshmen who enrolled, the middle 50% range of SAT scores was 670–750 for reading and writing, 690–790 for math, while the middle 50% range ACT composite range was 32–34.[31]

Of those who applied in 2016, 9,500 were international students, up from 1,128 international applicants in 2006.[36] Of those who enrolled, 20% were international students. In the Power of International Education's 2017 Open Doors report, Northeastern was ranked as the fourth-highest institution in the United States to host international students.[37][38][36]

When it comes to both undergraduate and graduate students, the number of international students totals over 13,000 representing 147 different nations and over half of the student body. The number of international students at Northeastern has steadily increased by about 1,000 students every year since 2008.[39]


University rankings
ARWU[40] 67–94
Forbes[41] 182
Times/WSJ[42] 93
U.S. News & World Report[43] 40
Washington Monthly[44] 141
ARWU[45] 201–300
QS[46] 344
Times[47] 173
U.S. News & World Report[48] 200

In the 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report rankings, Northeastern was tied for 40th in the National Universities category.[49] For 2017 and 2018, Northeastern was ranked in the Top 30 Colleges with the Highest Average SAT and ACT Scores for admitted students.[50][51]

Specialty rankings

  • 1st in "Best Co-ops/Internships" (U.S. News & World Report) (2020)[49]
  • 1st in "Best Schools for Internships" (Princeton Review) (2017, 2018)[52]
  • 1st in "Best Internships/Career Services" (Princeton Review) (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • 2nd in "Best Graduate Psychology Programs"(2018)[53]
  • 2nd in "Best Physician Assistant Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 3rd in "Best Nursing-Anesthesia Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 3rd in "Best Career Services" (Princeton Review) (2016, 2017, 2018)[54]
  • 4th in "Top 25 Entrepreneurship: Ugrad" (Princeton Review) (2017, 2018) [55]
  • 4th in "Best Health Care Law Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 6th in "Most Innovative Schools" (U.S. News & World Report) (2018) (up from 7th in 2017)[56]
  • 9th in "Best Undergraduate International Business Programs" (U.S. News & World Report) (2018)[57]
  • 12th (tied) in "Freshman Retention Rate" – 97%(U.S. News & World Report) (2018)[58]
  • 12th in "Best Graduate School Programs in Criminology" (2017)[53]
  • 19th in the nation for "Undergraduate Business Schools" (Bloomberg Businessweek) (2014)[59]
  • 23rd in Top 50 Game Design: Ugrad (Princeton Review) (2017, 2018)[60]
  • 30th in "Best Clinical Training Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 30th in "Best Speech-Language Pathology Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 32nd in "Best Graduate Industrial / Manufacturing / Systems Engineering Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 32nd in "Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs"
  • 33rd in "Best Graduate School Programs in Pharmacy" (2017, 2018)[53]
  • 33rd in "Lowest Acceptance Rate" (2018)(U.S. News & World Report)[61]
  • 34th in "Best Graduate Engineering Schools" (2019)[53]
  • 37th in "Best Online Graduate Business Programs" (Excluding MBA) (2018)[53]
  • 38th in "Best Audiology Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 39th in "High School Counselor Rankings" (U.S. News & World Report) (2018)[62]
  • 40th in "Best Graduate Physical Therapy Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 42nd in "Best Online MBA Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 47th in "Best Graduate Sociology Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 49th in "Best Computer Science Graduate School Programs", with the Programming Language specialty ranked 12th.(2018)[53]
  • 54th in "Best Business Graduate Schools" (2018)[53]
  • 54th in "Best Graduate Environmental / Environmental Health Engineering Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 54th in "Best Graduate Materials Engineering Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 55th in "Best Graduate Mathematics Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 56th in "Best Graduate Physics Programs" (2018)[53]
  • 57th in "Best Nursing Graduate Schools" (2018)[53]
  • 59th in "Best Business Program" (2018)[53]
  • 60th in "Best Law Schools" (2018)[53]
  • 65th in "Best Nursing Graduate Schools" (2018)[53]
  • 65th in "Best Law Schools" (2018)[53]
  • 67th in "Best Graduate English Programs"(2018)[53]
  • 67th in "Best Value Schools"(2018)[53]
  • 77th in "Best Graduate Public Affairs Programs" (2018)[53]


Northeastern offers undergraduate majors in 65 departments. At the graduate level, there are about 125 programs. A Northeastern education is interdisciplinary and entrepreneurial. Founded in 2009, IDEA is Northeastern University's student-led Venture Accelerator, which provides entrepreneurs, including students, faculty, and alumni in the Northeastern community with the necessary support and educational experience towards developing a business from core concept to launch. Academics at Northeastern is grounded in a liberal arts education and the integration of classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities, including cooperative education, student research, service learning, and global experience, including study abroad and international co-op. The university's cooperative education program places about 5,000 students annually with more than 3,000 co-op employers in Boston, across the United States, and around the globe. In 2014, College Prowler gave Northeastern an "A+" rating for the quality of classes, professors, and overall academic environment.[63]

Undergraduate class size

Class Sections2-910-1920-2930-3940-4950-99 100+
11.7%55.4%7.1%10.4%8.9%4.9% 1.5%

Colleges and schools

Colleges listed including schools and degrees offered:[64]

  • College of Arts, Media and Design (BA, BFA, BLA, BS, M.Arch., MA, M.Des., MFA, MS, Graduate Certificate)
    • School of Architecture
    • Department of Art + Design
    • Department of Communication Studies
    • Department of Media and Screen Studies
    • Department of Music
    • Department of Theatre
    • Games at Northeastern
    • School of Journalism
  • D'Amore-McKim School of Business (BSBA, BSIB, BS, MBA, MS, MSA, MSF, MSIB, MSIM, MST, Graduate Certificate)
    • School of Technological Entrepreneurship
  • Khoury College of Computer Sciences (BACS, BS, BSCS, BSIS, MS, MSCS, MSIA, PhD, Graduate Certificate)
  • College of Engineering (BS, BSBioE, BSCE, BSCHE, BSCompE, BSEE, BSIE, BSME, MS, MSBioE, MSCHE, MSCivE, MSCSE, MSECE, MSECEL, MSEM, MSENVE, MSIE, MSME, MSOR, MSSBS, MSTSM, PhD, Graduate Certificate)
    • Department of Bioengineering
    • Department of Chemical Engineering
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
    • Gordon Institute of Engineering Leadership
  • Bouvé College of Health Sciences (AuD, BS, BSN, CAGS, DPN, DPT, MPH, MS, MSCP, PharmD, PhD, Graduate Certificate)
    • Department of Applied Psychology
    • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
    • Department of Health Sciences
    • Department of Physical Therapy, Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences
    • The School of Nursing
    • The School of Pharmacy
  • College of Professional Studies (BS, BSET, DLP,[65] DPT, EdD, MA, MAT, MEd, MPS, MS, MSLD, Graduate Certificate, Undergraduate Certificate)
    • English Language Center
    • School of Education
    • Lowell Institute School
    • School Health Institute
    • World Languages Center
  • College of Science (BA, BS, MS, MSOR, PhD, Graduate Certificate)
    • Biochemistry Program
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
    • Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences
    • Department of Mathematics
    • Department of Physics
    • Department of Psychology
    • Linguistics at Northeastern
  • College of Social Science and Humanities (BA, Bachelor of Science, MA, MPA, MS, MSCJ, PhD, Graduate Certificate)
    • Asian Studies Program
    • ASL Program
    • Department of African-American Studies
    • Department of Economics
    • Department of English
    • Department of History
    • Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
    • Department of Philosophy and Religion
    • Department of Political Science
    • Department of Sociology and Anthropology
    • Human Services Program
    • International Affairs Program
    • Jewish Studies Program
    • School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs
  • School of Law (MS, JD)

Student organizations

Northeastern University offers students the opportunity to join various Ethnic, Cultural, and Political organizations along with numerous honor societies, special interest groups, fraternities, and sororities.

Honors Program

The University Honors Program offers selected students an enhanced curriculum. These students are selected from the regular applicant pool with no separate application and represent the applicants with the highest GPA and SAT/ACT scores that year. The culminating experience is advanced specialty work in a major field through college-specific choices including specialized advanced honors seminars and an independent research project.[66] In addition, students in the Honors Program exclusively can live in a Living-Learning Community housed in West Villages C[67] and F. In Fall 2009, the university began housing first-year Honors students in the lower nine floors of the newly constructed International Village residence hall. Starting in Fall 2017, these students are housed in the lower floors of the even newer 17 story East Village residence hall. 2017 also marked the beginning of the Honors Discovery course and the introduction of the Student Assessed Integrated Learning (SAIL) app.[68]

Co-op/internship program

Northeastern has one of the largest co-op/internship programs in the world.[69] Started in 1909, NU's co-op program is one of the oldest in the nation. In the co-op program, students alternate periods of academic study with periods of professional employment (usually paid) related to their major. Most majors offer a four-year graduation option with fewer co-op placements, but the five-year program is slightly more popular with students. Students on co-op do not pay tuition and students not living on campus do not pay room and board. The co-op program typically begins the spring of the second year or fall of the third year (after a more traditional program for the first semesters on campus). Students usually take anywhere between one and three with 96% participating in one and 78% participating in two or more.[70]

Co-op placements range from small start-up companies to large multinational companies, including many Fortune 500 corporations. The program also places students with government agencies, branches of government, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations. Northeastern students can be found interning in the United States Congress, the White House, United Nations, and at NASA. Student placements usually last six months and most of the time, students are paid. Students may live in the university residence halls on campus during co-op employment, and the university currently leases housing for students co-oping in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. and assists elsewhere.[71]

Northeastern co-op students staying in Boston usually benefit from the fact that the city's most prominent industries have numerous offices/headquarters there. Boston's most consequential industries such as its financial sector, technology sector, and medicine/life sciences sector tend to hire many co-ops in these fields especially to big-name companies. When it comes to D'amore-Mckim Business students, many co-ops end up working for large financial firms such as State Street and John Hancock Financial. Accounting firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Deloitte & Touche as well as consulting firms such as Boston Consulting Group tend to hire many co-ops every cycle as well. Retail companies like TJX Companies and Staples tend to hire several marketing students every cycle.[72]

Some students also decide to develop their own co-ops if they wish to do something that is not offered. This usually involves starting a new company or reaching out to a company Northeastern does not have a partnership with and facilitating the creation of a co-op partnership. Many companies continually pass down their co-op opportunities to Northeastern students so these new partnerships are documented in Northeastern's co-op database, known as NUCareers, to be given to future Northeastern students. Students that decide to start their own companies are usually involved with IDEA, Northeastern's Venture Accelerator, and will sometimes spend their entire two or three co-ops solely developing their companies. They might also join the Husky Startup Challenge which also helps develop student-run companies. If a company is successful in either IDEA, the Husky Startup Challenge or both, they often to move onto MassChallenge in Boston which is a huge global non-profit startup accelerator and competition.[73]

All Northeastern students take at least one class which prepares them for their co-op and the expectations of a given industry. Some schools like D'amore-Mckim have students take three different one-credit classes to prepare them for their co-op. During these classes, students work with advisers inside and outside of class to pursue potential co-ops as well as work on strategies to make themselves more competitive against other candidates.[74]

The co-op program has led to the university's high reputation when it comes to job placement. 50% of Northeastern students receive a job offer from a previous co-op employer as of 2017.[6] 92% were either employed or enrolled in graduate school 9 months after graduation.[75] This has also led Northeastern to consistently rank within the top 5 in the Princeton Review's list for "Best Career Services/Internships" within the last decade, mainly taking the top spot. The list split into "Best Career Services" and "Best Internships" in 2016 and Northeastern currently ranks 3rd for career services and 5th for internships in the United States.[76][77]

Senior Capstone

The Senior Capstone is an advanced-level course related to the student's major. The course requires the student to integrate what they have learned through their academic coursework and their experiential learning experience (co-op, research, study abroad, and service).[78][79][80][81]

Pre-med program

The university partnered with Tufts University School of Medicine to create an early-acceptance BA/MD Program.[82] This program has been since discontinued. Northeastern's campus is just a few blocks from the Longwood Medical and Academic Area where Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine are located along with their associated teaching hospitals.

Study abroad

Northeastern has semester-long study abroad programs with placements in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. Some participating schools include: University of Cambridge and London School of Economics, England; University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Reims Management School, France; European School of Business, Germany; University of Cape Town, South Africa; University of Auckland, New Zealand; Swinburne University of Technology, Australia; Obirin University, Japan; American College of Thessaloniki, Greece and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile and also Antarctica.[83]

Northeastern's International Business program is a member of the International Partnership of Business Schools. Through this program International Business students have the opportunity to be awarded a dual-degree from Northeastern as well as from a sister school abroad.[84]

Since the arrival of President Aoun in 2006, the school has also been emphasizing co-op abroad, in an effort to make the school more global and internationally engaged. There are many programs being offered including social entrepreneurship in the Peru, Kenya, and South Africa.[85]

Dialogues of Civilizations

Northeastern also has the notable Dialogues of Civilizations program, which features dozens of one-month-long programs (usually taking place in the summer) where a faculty member will teach a group of students in a foreign country related to the curriculum of a specific class. A sort of "mini" study abroad, each program has an area of focus – for example, the Geneva program focuses on small arms and multilateral negotiations while the South Africa program is based in non-governmental organizations. This program is meant to be a communicative experience and an exchange of ideas and cultures. It is open to all majors and all years, and is the most popular study abroad option at Northeastern.

The program is used by some Northeastern students to gain extra credits for a minor or concentration and can also be used by students trying to graduate in 4 years while also participating in one or more co-ops. The program will sometimes take place in multiple locations. Entrepreneurship and Global Consulting in Israel is a dialogue that starts in Boston and eventually has students go to Tel-Aviv and Beer Sheva, Israel.[86] Some dialogues span multiple countries with one being taught in Marrakesh, Morocco, then in Amsterdam and concluding in Paris.[87]

In addition to the Dialogues of Civilizations program, Northeastern also offers a program called "", primarily for first-year students who choose to start their first semester studying abroad. This program accepts students into the university but has them spend their first semester studying at a foreign university partnered with Northeastern. Students take classes in English and these credits transfer over to Northeastern when they arrive on campus in the spring. The program began in 2007 with the creation of Australia and only had the option for students to go abroad during their fall semester (before coming to the home campus in Boston). Now, students of any year can go on during a fall or spring semester (however, the majority of those who complete the program, complete it their fall of freshman year). In 2008, Greece and England were added as options for

Since the early 2010s, the program has started accepting students to the university, then selecting students to admit to the program. The idea behind this is to bring students with more diverse experiences back to the Boston campus by presenting students motivated by travel with the opportunity to immediately study abroad. It is also used to introduce students, professors, and communities across the globe to Northeastern students which could help with the university's global presence. Northeastern's goals for global expansion are outlined in their Northeastern 2025 campaign stating "Northeastern 2025 will build on the university's network of campuses around the world to create intercultural hubs for lifelong experiential learning: expanded study-abroad programs, international co-op opportunities, international dialogues, and coursework embedded with employer partners."[88]

By 2012, 500 students enrolled in the program which at the time offered the destinations of London, Dublin, Thessaloniki (Greece), Sydney, and San José (Costa Rica). By 2017 that number grew to 1,100 students and the program had expanded to Shanghai, Rome, Berlin, Montreal, Melbourne, and removed San José as an destination. Students in the program study at some of the top college campuses around the world, including McGill University for Canada students and the University of Sydney for Australia students. For some locations including Australia, England, and Ireland, Northeastern is partnered with two universities to give students more options of where they would like to study. As of 2019, locations include Australia, Canada, England, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and the Czech Republic.[89]


Research Centers and Institutes at Northeastern include:[90]

The university provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to engage in research through the Center for Experiential Education,[102] CenSSIS Research Experience for Undergraduates,[103] Honors Research, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation program,[104] and Provost's Office research grants.[105] In FY 2007, annual external research funding exceeded $78 million.[106] In FY 2009–2010, the research funding is close to $82 million.[107] In 2002, Northeastern's Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems was designated an NSF Engineering Research Center. In 2004, Northeastern was one of six institutions selected by the National Science Foundation as a center for research in nanotechnology. In 2010, Northeastern was granted $12 million by an alum for a Homeland security research facility,[108] to be named the George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security, after its chief benefactor.[108]


Northeastern had 1,352 full-time faculty, 94.7% of whom possess a doctorate or the terminal degree in their field, and 479 part-time faculty in Fall 2018.[2] Northeastern faculty members direct more than 35 research and education centers, including a National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center, an NSF Nanomanufacturing Center, and two NSF Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship programs.


Northeastern University is accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)[109]

Empower Campaign

The Empower Campaign was launched in May 2013. Its goal was to raise $1 billion by 2017 with $500 million of that being from philanthropic support and $500 million being from industry and government partnerships. The goal was raised to $1.25 billion in 2015. The campaign was inspired by Richard D'Amore and Alan McKim's $60 million donation to the university's business school in 2012.

The money was raised for student support (co-ops, study abroad, student research, student ventures), financial aid, faculty advancement/expansion, innovation in education (further development of the co-op program), and research.[110]

In October 2017, Northeastern revealed that the final total of the Empower campaign was $1.4 billion. More than 100,000 individuals and over 3,800 organizations donated to Empower. These donors came from 110 different nations across the globe. The university was able to surpass its goal twice and surpassed the goal set in 2015 by $150 million.[111]

Student activities

Northeastern has over 19 varsity teams in the NCAA, over 30 club sports teams, and over 200 student organizations. Several prominent student-run organizations, including the Resident Student Association (RSA), Student Government Association (SGA), Northeastern University Television (NUTV), Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL), and the Council for University Programs (CUP) organize activities for Northeastern students as well as the surrounding community.


Fourteen of eighteen Northeastern varsity sports teams have been competing in NCAA Division I's Colonial Athletic Association, since 2005.[112]

The school sponsors the following sports teams:[112]

The NU mascot is Paws. The school colors are red and black with white trim. The fight song, "All Hail, Northeastern", was composed by Charles A. Pethybridge, Class of 1932.

Some notable athletes have played for Northeastern's sports teams. Dan Ross played football at Northeastern long before setting the Super Bowl record for receptions in a game. Reggie Lewis still holds the men's basketball career scoring record. Jose Barea played point guard for the Huskies and averaged 21 points, 4.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists per game as a senior. Barea was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in 2006. Carlos Peña was named Major League Baseball's American League Comeback Player of the Year in 2007 and an AL Gold Glove winner in 2008. The U.S. Olympic women's ice hockey teams have included Northeastern alumni Shelley Looney and Chanda Gunn.

The baseball team has competed in one College World Series and played in the NCAA regionals seven times.[112]

In its first year in the CAA, the men's basketball team finished in 6th place (out of 12 teams) and advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament. The CAA proved to be a competitive conference in the 2006 NCAA Basketball Tournament, as George Mason University advanced all the way to the Final Four. In 2007, its second year in the CAA, the women's track team captured the conference championship, while the volleyball team finished second. The women's basketball team won 10 more games in 2008 than the previous year, the biggest one-year turnaround in the CAA, and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals.

Northeastern's men's and women's hockey teams compete in the Hockey East Conference. During the 2007–2008 season, the men's team ranked as high at #7 in the country and held the top spot in the conference before finishing the season in sixth place in Hockey East. Both teams also participate in the annual Beanpot tournament between the four major Boston-area colleges. Northeastern's men's team has won the annual event 4 times in its 54-year history, while the women's team has captured the Beanpot 14 times. During the 2008–2009 season, the men's team ranked as high as 3rd in the nation and held the top spot in Hockey East until the last weekend of the season; the team made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1994, the Beanpot championship game for the first time since 2004, and goalie Brad Thiessen made the Hobey Hat Trick, only the second Northeastern player to do so. Northeastern won the 2018 Beanpot championship by defeating Boston College 3-0 in the first match and defeating Boston University 5-2 in the final match. The victory came after Northeastern attained the highest placement in the 2017-2018 standings of the Beanpot competitors. The Beanpot also presents two awards to individual players. One is for the most valuable player and one is to the best goalie (determined by best save percentage). The second award is named the Eberly award after Glen and Dan Eberly who were goalies at Northeastern and Boston University. In addition to winning the Beanpot title, Northeastern took home both awards with the award for most valuable player being presented to Adam Gaudette and the Eberly Award being presented to Cayden Primeau who had a save percentage of .974 (making him the goalie with second highest save percentage to win the award in the 44 years the award has been given).[113]

The Northeastern Crew team consistently ranks as one of the top 10 teams in the nation.[114] In the 2008 National Championship, the team made the Grand Finals and placed fourth behind University of Wisconsin–Madison, University of Washington, and University of California, Berkeley, while beating Brown University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.[115]

Northeastern offers 40 club sports, including sailing, judo, rugby, lacrosse, Olympic-Style taekwondo, alpine skiing, squash, cycling and ultimate frisbee. In 2005 the women's rugby team finished third in the nation in Division II, while in the same year the men's rugby team won the largest annual tournament in the United States. Recently, the women's rugby team competed and placed 11th at the Collegiate Rugby Championship. The men's lacrosse team began the 2008 season ranked in the Top 10 nationally. The men's and women's squash team finished the 2008 season ranked in the Top 20 nationally. In the 2008–2009 academic year the Northeastern Club Field Hockey and Women's Basketball teams won their respective National Championships. From 2007 to 2009, the Northeastern Club Baseball team won three straight New England Club Baseball Association championships.[116] The Club Taekwondo team placed 1st overall in Division II for the 2018-19 Season in the Eastern Collegiate Taekwondo Conference.[117]

On May 25, 2010, the club baseball team defeated Penn State to win the National Club Baseball Association Division II World Series and the national championship.[118]

Citing sparse attendance, numerous losing seasons and the expense to renovate Parsons Field to an acceptable standard, the university's Board of Trustees voted on November 20, 2009, to end the football program. According to president Joseph Aoun: "Leadership requires that we make these choices. This decision allows us to focus on our existing athletic programs."[119]


Northeastern is located in Boston's Fenway, Roxbury, South End, and Back Bay neighborhoods adjacent to Huntington Avenue near the Museum of Fine Arts and Symphony Hall. The area is also known as the Fenway Cultural District.[120]

Although located in the heart of Boston, the Northeastern campus is still filled with trees, flowers, and grassy quads. Since the late 1990s, Northeastern has been considered a model of design for urban universities and has twice won the "most beautiful new or renovated exterior space" award (presented by the American Institute of Architects) in 2001 and 2004.[121] In 2019, the campus was officially designated as an arboretum by ArbNet, making it the only campus in Boston to receive the designation.[122][123]

The first baseball World Series took place on the Huntington Avenue Grounds, now part of the Northeastern University campus. The site is commemorated in front of Churchill Hall by a statue of Cy Young.[124]


The 2011 Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card issued Northeastern a grade of "A-" for its environmental sustainability efforts and programs.[125] Additionally, the Princeton Review rated Northeastern as one of the top 15 "Green Colleges" in the nation in 2010.[126] In 2011, the GreenMetric World University ranking evaluated Northeastern as the second greenest university in the world, and first in the US.[127] Northeastern placed first in the rankings again in 2014.[128]

In accordance with a Boston zoning code amendment in 2007,[129] International Village residence hall was certified as a LEED Gold building in 2010.[130] Dockser Hall was the first building on campus to achieve LEED certification, also Gold, with the completion of its renovation in 2010.[131] East Village was rated LEED Silver in 2016 and the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex was rated LEED Gold in 2018.[132][133]

Public safety

The Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) is a full-service law enforcement agency with full powers of arrest on university property or property used by Northeastern students and faculty. In 2019 NUPD received Advanced Accreditation with Excellence from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, one of six agencies in Massachusetts to receive CALEA accreditation.[134][135] The campus is adjacent to the Boston Police Department's Headquarters. A 2008 Reader's Digest survey ranked NU as the second safest school in the United States after Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.[136][137]

Public transportation

Northeastern is bracketed by the MBTA's Orange Line and Green Line "E" Branch. Six stations serve the campus: Massachusetts Avenue and Ruggles on the Orange Line; and Symphony, Northeastern, Museum of Fine Arts, and Longwood Medical Area on the Green Line. The Green Line is paralleled by the #39 bus. Ruggles also serves the Needham, Providence/Stoughton, and Franklin Lines of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, and 14 local bus routes.[138]

Campus development background

Northeastern's campus is mostly located along Huntington Avenue in an area known as the "Fenway Cultural District" which is part of Boston's Fenway and Back Bay neighborhoods. Other notable institutions in the district include: the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Symphony Hall, the Huntington Theatre Company, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Christian Science Center, Mary Baker Eddy Library, and Harvard School of Public Health.

Northeastern's campus is something of an urban oddity; despite its location in central Boston, Northeastern is home to a significant amount of green open space and quads.[139]

A site master planning competition awarded a contract to revive and rejuvenate the campus; the process was started in 1988 with the creation of the new Northeastern Quad and Mt Ryder. A small oval of land centrally located at the campus main entrance was refurbished by the donations of the graduating class of 1989.

What was once a concrete square, outside of the library and student center, was transformed with brick pavers and granite curbstones, in a scalloped design that would eliminate all square corners, a concept developed by the outgoing class of 1989 in a "Northeastern News" poll and suggestion to President Ryder and Assoc. Dean of Students Harvey Vetstein was presented to the board of Trustees in March 1988. The "No Corners" campaign kicked off with a fundraiser at the Ell Student Center on Parents weekend in October 1988. The later selection of a nationally recognized green space landscape architect in 1990 started a renewal plan that continues today. Since the late 1990s, Northeastern has twice won the "most beautiful new or renovated exterior space" award presented by the American Institute of Architects in 2001 and again in 2004. In 2008, West Village Building F was recognized in American Institute of Architects New England 2008 Merit Awards for Design Excellence.[140]

In 2004, Northeastern was awarded the prestigious gold medal by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for its Dedham Campus.[141]

Notable Buildings

Residential Halls

Residential halls at Northeastern vary quite significantly from low-rise former Boston apartment buildings to purpose built high-rise dormitories. Residential halls vary in size from as little as 50 students to as many as 1,000 per building.

Traditional Accommodations     

  • Hastings Hall
  • Kerr Hall
  • Light Hall
  • Melvin Hall
  • Smith Hall
  • Speare Hall
  • Stetson East
  • Stetson West
  • White Hall

Suite-Style Accommodations

  • 153 Hemenway Street
  • Kennedy Hall
  • International Village
  • East Village

Apartment-Style Accommodations

  • Davenport Commons (A & B)
  • West Villages (A, B, C, E, F, G, H)
  • 10 Coventry
  • 780 Columbus Ave
  • 106, 110, 116, 122 St Stephen St
  • 319, 337 & 407 Huntington Ave
  • Burstein Hall
  • Loftman Hall
  • Rubenstein Hall
  • Willis Hall
  • 144 Hemenway St

First-year students are usually divided into groups called Living Learning Communities (LLCs) which place student's with certain majors, interests or hobbies together. LLCs host events related to specific area of interest for members of that LLC to participate in. LLCs can span sections of floors in a residential hall, entire floors, multiple floors or entire buildings.

East Village

East Village is Northeastern's newest dorm building and only houses freshmen and upperclassmen who are in the University Honors Program.[142] The building is located at 291 St. Botolph Street and opened in January 2015.[143][144] Honors freshman live in its suite-style rooms whereas upperclassmen can choose full apartments with kitchen facilities. The building also contains 5 classrooms in the basement and an event space on the 17th Floor.[145]

West Village

The West Village complex includes eight buildings serving mainly as residence halls and classrooms.

  • Building A (opened 1999): Residence Hall (two sections, West Village A North and South).
  • Building B (opened 2001): Residence Hall.
  • Building C (opened 2001): Residence Hall (several floors for upperclassmen honors students) and one classroom.
  • Building D – Behrakis Health Science Center (opened 2002): classrooms and laboratories
  • Building E (opened 2002): Residence Hall.
  • Building G (opened 2004): Residence Hall and several classrooms.
  • Building H (opened 2004): Residence Hall. Open to students who are over the age of 21. Single rooms only. It's the new home of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences (several classrooms, offices and computer labs). Building H was originally reserved for honors student, but that rule was dropped.
  • Building F (opened 2006): Residence Hall for upper-class students, classrooms, John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute, Admissions Visitors Center.

Matthews Arena

Opened in 1910 and originally known as the Boston Arena, Matthews Arena is the world's oldest surviving indoor ice hockey arena.[146] Located on the east edge of Northeastern University's campus, it is home to the Northeastern Huskies men's and women's hockey teams, and men's basketball team as well as the Wentworth Institute of Technology's men's hockey team. The arena is named after former Chair of the Board of Trustees George J. Matthews and his wife, the late Hope M. Matthews. The arena is the original home of the NHL Boston Bruins and the WHA New England Whalers (now the NHL Carolina Hurricanes). It was also the secondary home to the NBA Boston Celtics in the 1940s. It has hosted all or part of the America East Conference men's basketball tournament a total of seven times and hosted the 1960 Frozen Four. The arena also served as the original home to the annual Beanpot tournament between Boston's four major college hockey programs.[147]

Marino Recreation Center

Named after Roger Marino, co-founder of EMC Corporation, the Marino Center is an indoor fitness center. Its first floor contains an atrium with two cafés (Tatte and b.good) and a food market (Wollaston's). The second floor includes a student exercise area, a multipurpose room used for aerobics classes and martial arts clubs, and a gymnasium consisting of three basketball courts. The third floor has a state-of-the-art resistance training area and a fully equipped free weight room. A three-lane suspended track is available for either walking or jogging, and rowing ergometers are available.[148]

Centennial Common

Centennial Common was created to mark the 100th anniversary of the University in 1998. It also serves as a gateway to the West Campus. The area is a large grass oval that spans a few hundred feet and contains lawnchairs for students to relax on as well as a flagpole that displays the U.S. flag. The area is frequently used by students for recreational purposes or organizations/clubs who have booths.

Library facilities

The NU Libraries include the Snell Library and the John D. O'Bryant African-American Institute Library. The NU School of Law Library is separately administered by the NU School of Law.

The Snell Library opened in 1990 at a cost of $35 million, and contains 1.3 million volumes.[149] The main library is open 24 hours a day, allowing students to research or study at any time they wish.[150] The Digital Media Design Studio within the library is a collaborative and interdisciplinary learning environment for creating course-related multimedia presentations, projects, and portfolios.

The library is home to the Favat Collection, a current collection of children's literature and K-12 curriculum resources, instructional materials, and related information to support courses offered by the School of Education. It contains three computer labs operated by NU Information Services. Two are available to all NU students, faculty, and staff; the other is a teaching lab.

The Snell Library is also home to the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections department, which includes the Benjamin LaGuer papers collection. The Special Collections focus on records of Boston-area community-based organizations that are concerned with social justice issues.[151]

The NU Libraries received federal depository designation in 1963.[149] As a selective depository, the Libraries receive 45% of the federal publication series available to depository libraries.

In June 2016, the library staff adopted an open-access policy to make its members' professional research publicly accessible online.[152]

Spiritual Life Center and Sacred Space

Within the urban environment that characterizes the campus as a whole, NU has carved out a quiet, peaceful space in the centrally located Ell Building for the Spiritual Life Center's Sacred Space. The nondenominational Sacred Space, the Center's main assembly hall, can be configured with carpets, mats or chairs. It has a distinctive ceiling consisting of 3 hanging domes made of overlapping aluminum tiles with an origami-like effect, warm wood floors and accents, and glass-paneled walls that lean outward slightly, their shape and material giving a sense of openness and volume to the space. Faucets for ablution are available in a flanking antechamber, and the Center also contains a smaller meeting space and library.[153] The Sacred Space opened in 1998. The architects Office dA (Nader Tehrani & Monica Ponce de Leon) received the 2002 Harleston Parker Medal from the Boston Society of Architects for the design.

South Campus (Columbus Avenue)

Northeastern University's southernmost section of campus is located along Columbus Avenue in Roxbury, parallel to the Orange line. The University expanded south into Roxbury at the same time as they were building West Village. In 2001, Davenport Commons was opened, providing 585 students housing in two residence halls while 75 families representing a range of incomes have been able to purchase a condo or townhouse at or below Boston's market value. Davenport Commons also created commercial space on Tremont Street.[154]

During the summer of 2006, Northeastern University proposed a new residence hall further away from the main campus, at the corner of Tremont Street and Ruggles Street. Construction began in late February 2007. In the Spring of 2009, The complex was named International Village and opened later that Summer. It consists of three interconnected residential towers, an office tower, administration building, and a gym.[155] A 400-seat dining hall is available to all members of the Northeastern community as well as the public.

The following buildings make up the South Campus:

Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex

On February 21, 2014, Northeastern University had its groundbreaking ceremony for the new Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Complex (ISEC) on Columbus Avenue.[156] Completed in 2017, the 220,000-square-foot (20,000 m2) building provides research and educational space for students and faculty from the College of Science, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, College of Engineering, and Khoury College of Computer Sciences. The centerpiece of the complex includes a large atrium, a spiral staircase, and a 280-seat auditorium.[157]

Dodge Hall

Dodge Hall is mainly used for Northeastern's business programs. From 1953 until Snell Library opened in 1990, it served as the university's main library.[149] Dodge Hall has five floors. The basement houses a computer lab and is connected to the university's large network of tunnels.

Classrooms and a lounge area occupy the first floor. The D'Amore-McKim School of Business undergraduate office is on the second floor, and the graduate[158] office is on the third floor. The School of Professional Accounting office is on the fourth floor.

Directly behind Dodge Hall is the YMCA where Northeastern was founded.

Ell Hall

Ell Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus and hosts Northeastern's largest auditorium, Blackman Auditorium. Blackman hosts many different types of events for classes, theatre groups, dance teams, musical groups, choral groups, fraternities, sororities, and orchestral ensembles. Blackman has hosted many talented individuals from Dr. Maya Angelou to Seth Meyers.[159] Like Dodge Hall, Ell Hall has five floors and also connects to the tunnel network. The building also contains classrooms and an art gallery.

Gallery 360 is Northeastern University's art gallery, which is free and open to the public throughout the year. The 1,000-square-foot (93 m2) space houses temporary exhibits of artworks by visiting artists, students, faculty, and the surrounding community. Curation and administration is under the supervision of the College of Arts Media and Design (CAMD).[160]

Notable alumni and faculty

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

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