Northeastern University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Every single professor nows my name (but if you don't want them to that can also be arranged.) My favorite class? There are so many. The only one i didn't like was my freshman year when i failed to heed RateMyProfessor. That site is your best friend and savior. Students study from never to 24/7: i've been in both places. It completely depends on your major, your classes, etc. Class participation is absolutely unescapable, as is conversation. Competitiveness is not something i've really seen outside of the graduate labs. The most unique class i've taken is my technology and philosophy class with Kerry Dugan: a MUST HAVE class no matter what your major. I am in the psych department, and i encourage you to take as many classes as you can with grad student teachers. They connect and excite in the best ways. I spend time with some professors outside of class sometimes, to talk about class things. The academic requirements are high enough that you feel like you're getting your money worth, but reasonable in that you don't feel that need to commit suicide. The education is geared, uniquely, BOTH towards getting a job and learning for it's own sake; learning about what jobs you want for the sake of learning what you do and do not like. It's really a very pragmatic and sensible approach for those of us who plan on living our lives without hating them.


Ain't no Ivy League, but ain't easy either. I have to say, you do have to put some effort in, but there's definitely time to enjoy Boston on the weekends! Classes are typically large, so if you need help you definitely have to go to office hours, but professors are generally apt to help you if you are struggling.


Classes at Northeastern are difficult. However, if you have taken AP/IB classes in high school, you should be completely prepared for the coursework/load. I am getting the chance to take a studio art class, an international affairs class, Spanish, and a few others this year, which is very helpful when trying to determine a major. The students here are happy to engage in an intelligent conversation with each other outside of class, but we do take advantage of our free time for things other than scholarly work. Most professors really do want you to LEARN in their class, instead of just pass the exams, so they're very interactive. Even my calculus class is a 50-50 mix of us talking to the professor and vice versa. The classes here at NEU are geared toward learning for learning's sake, but all professors are willing and excited to talk to you about applying the class to real careers.


I am a Chemistry major at Northeastern, so I can really only vouch for my department. In the Chemistry department, they like to keep it small - they only let in about 30-40 students a year. This keeps our major-related classes very small, so we get to know the teachers well. The department is incredibly helpful in guiding you through the class selection and co-op application process; all they want is for everyone to succeed. Outside of the Chemistry department, it depends on the size of the class. I haven't taken classes in each department at this time, but so far, I haven't had too much of a problem with large classes/not getting time to talk to teachers one-on-one. They generally have multiple office hours, and can usually accomodate you if you cannot make those hours. Students study a decent amount, especially during finals. The library is packed then, but it just shows that we care about our eduation as well. I can say that I am generally studying about once a week or so, for some sort of quiz or test.


Classes within your major tend to be no bigger than 15-30 people. The professors are typically very accessible, and will work with you to figure out the best path to address your needs. The classes are very difficult, and you are expected to attend class at all times (not that attendance is taken, but it is a fast paced environment). You will be challenged, and you will work very hard, but you will constantly see results. This is a school for forward thinking students who want to make an impact on their field of work, and in order to do that they must learn all that they can.


Many people's experiences vary. If you get into the honors program, its great because you have smaller classes. But in the business school, where I study, the class size is usually no bigger than forty, so the professor will definitely get to know you if you participate enough. Depending on your major, you may study a lot, or a little. Engineers and health sciences often study the most. Students can be competitive, especially in the business school, and especially in finance. You just need to try your best to hold your own and you'll be fine. A great education is almost guarenteed.


I can only speak personally about my program which is Psychology. Psychology being one of the larger majors at Northeastern, I'd say the program as a whole is very strong. We have competent and diligent faculty and some of the most well-known researchers. Psychology, being so interdisciplinary and many students outside of the major acquiring a minor, it's refreshing to have diverse students in my recent psychology courses. Many students in this major go on to get their graduate degrees, so it's remarkable to see advisors and faculty aid their students with the process. This past fall, the graduate students in the Psychology department created a Grad School Mentoring program and with my mentor's help, the application process went so much more smoothly. The most interesting course I took in my field was the Psychology of Prejudice. I took this course my fall semester of my freshmen year and I still remember how intrigued and impacted I was by it. Dr. Lane was fabulous in lecturing the psychology behind people's prejudicial and discriminatory thoughts and actions. He broke down each minority group, showed us research and literature, and allowed us to speak candidly.


Many people's experiences vary. If you get into the honors program, its great because you have smaller classes. But in the business school, where I study, the class size is usually no bigger than forty, so the professor will definitely get to know you if you participate enough. Depending on your major, you may study a lot, or a little. Engineers and health sciences often study the most. Students can be competitive, especially in the business school, and especially in finance. You just need to try your best to hold your own and you'll be fine. A great education is almost guarenteed.


Over all, Northeastern has been a great experience. It is located right in the middle of Boston, yet maintains an actual "campus" in a city setting, which is rare. At about 15,00 students, it is a medium sized school, however Northeastern is not built to hold so many students. It is a bit crowded, especially in the gym and library. Many of the classrooms have state of the art technology and most of the dorms are very nice. That being said, everything is expensive. The Co-op program is worth the extra year of school and worth paying private tuition.


Academics are tough but focused on actual applications. I'm a computer science and cognitive psychology major and most of my classes are catered towards actual work specific uses since my school focuses on co-op so heavily. For homework it's typically 2 hours per class, maybe a bit more dependent on your major.


Now, I am a international student in Global pathway program. I don't have many professional course. This program is offer to help international students meet the English proficiency. Teachers are very kindbut sometimes too strict to students. As a student who is majored in electrical engineering, I think professors in my field are not very authority. Boston University, for example, hires many professors who graduated from top university in USA like MIT, Sanford and are members of IEEE. However, the professors are quite young at Northeastern, so in the next decades Northeastern will have more improvement.


Northeastern is a very diverse school with international students, jocks, hipsters, artists… we have it all… we aren’t very school spirited unfortunately. Our best sports team is hockey. Most people know Northeastern for our co-op, or internship program, making us a 5 year school. We are definitely a party school. Work hard, but play harder… There is a stereotype that Boston is the worst dressed city (not necessarily solely Northeastern) because of girls wearing Uggs and sweatpants all the time. This is very true, but definitely does not define our college stereotype.


very good. most professors are really good but its always worth it to check rate my professor. strong corriculum for business.


The academic experience at Northeastern is generally very good. Professors are extremely intelligent and dedicated, class rooms are state of the art (at least for the Business, Health Sciences, and Engineering programes). Students are extremely intelligent and driven, you will never feel like you are the smartest person in the room, which I think is an extremely good thing. Northeastern places a huge amount of emphasis on getting real world experience, all students are required to complete between 1 and 3 coops in order to graduate. A coop is a 6 month period during which the student works full time. Students do not pay tuition for coops, and some coops within Business, Computer Science, and Engineering programes will pay upwards of 25 dollars/hour. The coop program is fantastic, as it allows you to explore many fields of interest, and build your resume/network at the same time. Professors are always willing to help out after class, some professors are even likely to hang out with you at Connor Larkins (the local dive bar) for pitchers after classes. The atmosphere is excellent, and there is a real sense of communication and idea sharing between both students and professors, and between students.


As an architecture student my academic experience may be very different from other majors. We work hard all day (and often all night). Our classes are all small, with the exception of a few lectures, and all my professors know my name. Studio class is the best/most unique where you work on all of your design projects. Since we work on our projects so very much a camaraderie among the architecture students definitely develops. Though some of us are certainly competitive, we are generally supportive of each other. I am often impressed by the credentials of our teachers. I would say most of my teachers received Ivy League educations and most if not all had advanced degrees. Since we're a smaller major you really get to know your professors well which is great come time for needing recommendations.


Like many schools, Northeastern has a range in the quality of its professors. My regulatory cell biology professor and functional human neuroanatomy professor have been so fantastic that they've basically confirmed my choice to go to medical school for neurology. On the other hand, I've had a couple teachers that I thought were doing their lectures on prehistoric animals from first-hand experience. In general, the classes will definitely challenge you. You can know that when you leave here, you will have a handle on whatever discipline you were in. As I currently look for research jobs in the neuroscience field, I feel confident in my knowledge level. But if you sit in the back of the class and doze off all the time, then maybe you won't. Professor's do care and are willing to help, but not if you're not willing to put in the effort.


The focus at Northeastern is on real world experiences, so naturally the level of academic rigor is not comparable to other universities in the area. That being said, the course work is by no means easy. Professor quality varies greatly program and major, but most are very willing to help students out.


Academics at Northeastern are what one would probably expect at a typical college. They're nothing out of the ordinary. There are sooo many majors to choose from. Because of the career-oriented top majors (Business, Engineering, Nursing, Pharmacy, etc.) and the co-op program it often feels like everyone is on a set track and knows where they are going, which can leave those, like myself, who would rather explore their academic interests and try different majors feeling like time-wasting outcasts. When you really get to know people; however, you find that most people more or less on the same page. College Writing, the required freshman course, is seminar style and will likely be most students' (myself not included) least favorite class but a lot of people look back on the intimate experience fondly. I entered the school as a psychology major but took Shakespeare fall of my third year and was so inspired and impressed that I changed my major. The English department is arguably the BEST at the school. Being a fairly small major with a number of amazing professors makes for an enjoyable niche.


Professors here have an ultra modern take on education in comparison to other schools. Most of them are pretty understanding and helpful. The architecture professors here are crazy. They all come from very impressive backgrounds and have very firm beliefs in what they love. They are typically unforgiving and cut throat but you're always learning. Don't be surprised if most of your classmates are "addied up" all night just to get that final presentation PERFECT. The students in turn are very aggressive and competitive (because the competition for COOP jobs)- don't even think about asking your peers for help.


Classes can be hit and miss. I'm now pre-med and compared to other schools I think we have it easy...I know BU has like 5 hours bio labs every week which is not the case here. Social science classes have mostly been a joke and ridiculously easy whereas science classes are more difficult but not even that hard to get an A. People are not really competitive even where you would think they would be (majors like pre-med/pharmacy or honors classes). Most competition comes when you apply for co-op jobs. Best class so far has been is an asshole but a veryy good lecturer. I can't really say that I've had any other AMAZING classes, just good ones and then some mediocore ones.


professors pretty much become your friends. meaning that if they know you are not doing great in their class, they personally write you an email or call you at the end of the class to let you know and see how they can help. all of my treachers have known my name.


In my experience, Northeastern's academics are rigorous, but fulfilling. The business program is no joke as well as the Sciences, Architecture and Engineering programs. Professors love class participation and it can take you a long ways. Students here are very competitive and will sometimes speak in class for no reason. Some students will show you up just because they can. Most students speak with professors outside of class, it is a norm here. I keep my intellectual conversations inside the classroom where they belong. I spend a lot of time studying because college academics move fast. There is no such thing as "going back a day."


As a freshman, I had three general science lectures, all of which were prerequisites for some major and so these classes were very large. However, my freshman English class was only thirteen students and a French Composition 2 class was nine. In the lecture halls, as can be expected at any school, the professors did not know my name. But they showed a great desire to get to know and meet with as many students as possible. I have found that there is an extraordinary balance between work and play and that Northeastern students understand how to organize their time. Students are engaged in class and oftentimes class topics will carry on outside of the classroom. Students are driven to succeed and perform at their best but are not competitive in the traditional "Whatjaget?" sense. If one students succeeds, all of his or friends celebrate his or her success. I am a pharmacy major and all of the professors are leaders in their fields and anxious to pass on their knowledge. Pharmacy is one of the most competitive in terms of admissions and so all of the students are top-notch. The academic requirements vary from college to college, but there are a few "NU Core" classes that have to be taken. Towards filling this requirement, I took "An Economic History of the Middle East" and found many new ways in which economics have come to shape the region that we call the Middle East. This course has opened my horizons and taught me to be more critical and questioning and to think outside of the box. The learning at NU balances between getting a job and learning for its own sake. Some majors, like Criminal Justice, are more job-oriented while others such as history fulfill a student's curiosity. The NU Core helps students from one end of the spectrum reach to the other end of the spectrum and connect the two worlds.


I am in the Bouve school of health sciences and I think the program is challenging but wonderful. Northeastern doesn't get enough credit for the difficulty of it's classes and the amazing professors we have. There is so much research going on in the university that you can (even as a freshman like I did) be involved in some research.


My favorite class, hands down, was Jazz. It was about a 500 student lecture in Blackman auditorium. I had Professor Price - he's the best! You learn everything from the beginnings of Jazz right up through to how it has influenced music today. It was a great elective!


As a chemistry major I was accepted as the class of 2009 along with only 21 other majors in my year. I am on a first name basis with all of the professors in the department. I can go to any of them for anything, and I haven't even had a class with some of them yet! I got to know everyone my freshman year through my workstudy job as an assistant in the front office. Because I'm a tourguide I know that those big lecture-hall style classes only make up less than 1% of all the classes here. My freshman year, my organic chemistry class had only 12 students. My synthesis course this past spring had only 9! But classes are totally different depending on the subject and the professors teaching style. Most of the time the professors are very engaging, even in the big classes. I remember Prof. Gilmore (who is unfortunately retiring this year) used to pick on specific individuals for answers, especially when they seemed like they were sleeping, in a class of 50 kids. Seminar style classes are the best, they facilitate intellectual discussion that is very stimulating, and very easy to apply in every day life, beyond the classroom. The honors classes here are also great, and if you're not accepted into the program as an incoming freshman you will be automatically accepted once you get here and achieve a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Most departments have the option of hosting perspective students to sit in on classes that might seem interesting to them.


Professors are very professional and very good. They have lots of experience simply because before Neu they worked in companies.


While Northeastern is known for being a competitive school, my experience with other students baffles me. I went to a preparatory school, scored very high on my SATs and graduated with a 3.8 in high school. I expected to be the "dumb one" in all my classes. And yet, when I came to school here, I was surprised that the majority of my classmates barely knew some of the things I learned by my Freshman year of high school. There are a lot of very, very intelligent students who belong at Ivy League schools, but the majority of students have surprised me with their lack of knowledge.


The class sizes are either small or very large, depending on the class. Honors classes are usually 15 students - but not many honors courses are offered to upperclassmen. Regular classes are around 40 students, and lecture halls have about 100 students. Most of the classes are geared toward getting a job, and practical education. It's difficult to take courses not related to your major.


I was a mathematics major, and the department was amazing. Professors not only knew your name, but they knew who you were. The department was extreamly close, and hanging out together outside of class was not uncommon. Class sizes were not tiny, but not huge either. I would say I had an average of 30 people in my classes, but they were usually the same 30 people, so we became a close group. Different majors at northeastern have different levels of difficulty. A communications or criminal justice major may not be seen as acedemic as a physics or engineering major. Our business school is top ranked in the country. Our research labs are amazing. I believe NU students can be among the smartest students in the country (although we also have our share of low achieving students as well..) and depending on what you're looking for at NU, I believe you'll find it. Since our university is so large, there are groups of students who get together for intellectual conversations, and there are groups who never mention acedemics outside of the classroom. Group projects are popular as are students getting together at the library to work on homework. The best part of acedemics at NU is being able to apply them to real world experiences through co-op. NU is constantly answering the question of "when am I ever going to use this in real life" which to me makes learnign that much better.


I am a dual in Informational Sciences and Business and I have already had one of the best academic experiences here at Northeastern. I broke my arm in my first semester playing Rugby for Northeastern and was out a right-arm all semester. Not only where the professors accommodating, but they made it a point to help me out, tutor me, and make sure I wasn't falling behind. Even though my overall GPA wasn't what I hoped it to be by the end of that semester, I came out feeling that I leard more in those main courses than I did in any course in high school.


Psych 101 is probably the biggest class size with maybe 250 people in a lecture hall. Other than that most of my classes were about 50 people. English classes are smaller, and so were many advanced level classes. Math classes were around 30. Once again, you can have a relationship with your professor if you want to (and you don't even have to go to office hours). Just ask questions... or what I found best was asking questions AFTER class. So it was a little one on one time. You can become a face in a crowd for classes you want to ... but if you make an effort you can have a relationship with your professor. Also ask about research opportunities with the professor. I was very competitive in class, and I surrounded myself with others who were too. We did the all-nighters for our hard tests. I know many, though, who got good grades without doing all-nighters (I must remind you I'm premed/bio major). There are still others that were not competitive. There's a mix of everyone - surround yourself with what you are/want to be.


I am an engineer at Northeastern, and the only complaint I have to date about the university is the cost of tuition and its physics department. Where is the logic behind attending a class when you cannot understand what the professor is saying? Personally I find it embarassing that the university hires such incoherent individuals to attempt to convey knowledge to students. The physics department is abysmal, and is in serious need of a complete overhaul. Be prepared to have all of your homework online, that will be graded. In addition to that, NU does not offer classes that teach students proE and solidworks, two essential computer aided programs for engineers to know.


There are two types of classes. Your introduction classes with 80-532 people (our biggest classroom) and everything else. Professors know your name. You learn everyones name within your major. You can choose ow interactive your want your classes to be. And as I'm going through the motions I am seeing how many places I can take my degree and watching my schools reputation rise.


Yes in most of my classes, even the large ones, the professor knew my name but of course it won't happen if you don't make the effort to participate in class discussions Students pretend they are not competitive sometimes but the truth is that people study a lot and they party a lot as well I like the classes in general I just wish we had more choices for out art requirements and ethical requirements and stuff like that and I wish I had more practical classes in communication because most seam really theoretical


Professors are always mad chill. I'm pretty good friends with two of my professors. We hang out on lunch breaks and talk about rats or any other random stuff.


I was a dual major in Human Services and International Affairs with a Sociology minor. In human services, the professors are awesome. They are great teachers and really care about their students. With International Affairs, I would say the same. Although some professors I've had were pretty bad, the professors I've had within my 2 majors have been awesome.


When you're in a smaller class, the professor tends to get to know you better. I had taken a couple of French courses taught by Professor Dunand. She was excellent. The classes were small and you really got to know everyone in the class including the professor. I think one of my favorite classes was a theatre history class. I am not a theatre major by any means, but I do like history. It was a fun class. My least favorite class was my Business Statistics class. This is my own fault because I just couldn't get my brain to wrap around the problems and information. I've gotten better at studying over the past two years. I think I would do better in the class now then I did in freshman year. I think the amount of time that students study varies. I think more often then not that a lot of students leave their work and studying to the last minute. I know I did. I'm not proud of it but there's not other way for me to do it because I work well under pressure. Class participation is very common. Most professors will encourage participation. There are many clubs that students can join to exercise their intellect. You have political clubs, clubs geared toward your major, philanthropic clubs and social activist clubs. Here students gather to discuss their interests. I'm sure that there is a degree of competition among students but not a great deal. The atmosphere is easy and more laid back then it is competitive. Students tend to want to help each other then try to "one up" each other. The most unique class I've taken was my Theatre History class. It's the only theatre class I've taken here at Northeastern but it was very interesting. There were less boundaries in this class. I am currently an International Business Major with a concentration in International Affairs. The business program at NU requires you to complete TWO co ops before graduation and if you are in the international business program, you are REQUIRED to go abroad. When I first enrolled into the program, I wasn't aware that going abroad was required. But I stayed in the program and am now planning on going abroad in less then four months. I am extremely excited because it's a great opportunity. I do not spend much time with my professors outside of class. I will meet with one or two of them for office hours. I think NU's academic requirements are good. We have a set of core requirements that we have to take and this sets up a nice diverse foundation. Northeastern's curriculum is geared towards both getting a job and learning. The co op program is great. You get to learn if you like the working environment and what kind of jobs suit you better. It's a great experience.


The physics department is terrible. The math department is great. The college of engineering is great.


However, some teachers are not as great and you have to learn on your own, case of statistics and operation management. class participation is a big thing here, which is good and bad at the same, you have the same people who participate all the time, but you learned a lot about different ways of thinking and experiences.


I've had completely different experience in my two different majors: Business and Graphic Design. Business is less personal program, the quality of classes is usually high (intro classes can be slow), they are group-oriented, and you really take out of it what you put into it. They have mostly all been challenging and they do prepare you for senior-level experiences faster programs at other institutions (as I have compared with business majors at other schools.) In the business program, education is a means to an end. Quite oppositely, Graphic Design is about problem solving. Much of the education exists to elevate your level of thinking past the skills you need just to secure a job. Classes are smaller, interpersonal relationships with teachers are fostered, and you are on a first-name basis with most of the students and faculty in the department.


Academics are currently being revamped at Northeastern for a good reason. College I think overall is what you make it. It's not high school, no one's going to hold your hand anymore. There are intellectuals at Northeastern but you have to actively engage them. My department has been supportive, mostly because I think of the secretary as my second mom and my co-op advisor has always helped me reach my goals for co-op. My favorite class was budgeting and taxation, which most people would think is a bore, but the professor does a simulation where everyone in the class is a congressman/woman and has to make a balanced budget by negotiating with Republicans and/or Democrats. You have to act in your congresspersons beliefs though, not your own! It was really great to have a class experience that wasn't a lecture for an hour.


Getting much better but students need to stay on top of administration to make sure changes don't hurt the students. The administration actually listen to the students which is the greatest aspect of the growth of Northeastern, and makes this school more unique than almost all others.


Academics is ok. It's not terribly outstanding, but it's not easy either. I enjoy getting real-world experience through co-op and coming back to campus, because our professors are very well connected to the real-world. They are not just scholars/involved in academics, but they have experience in international organizations, government, corporations, etc.


I’m a nerd. I’m old enough and secure enough to admit that. So I would have to say, yes there are definitely a few professors who know my name. I make it point to be engaged in most of my classes. Plus, now that I’m an upperclassman (and because I’m not in any large science/engineering lecture classes) my classes are relatively small, so there are a lot of opportunities to get to know my professors. I’ve also definitely had “intellectual conversations” outside of class. I’ve had debated politics over brunch, argued about educational values by a campfire, and discussed the role of news media at bars. Due to the emphasis on co-op, I love that Northeastern is more geared toward real-world learning experiences – applying what you’ve learned to develop as a person and find the right career path (or a few you now know are definitely wrong).


Academics have plus and minus. The professors are on the whole great. They know your name and in my program at least you'll only have one class which has around 300 people (intro class that everyone has to take). Other than that, they will be from 40-75 and if they have 75+ you'll have smaller classes with TAs. In any case professors know your name, and are generally willing and able to help you on a one to one basis if needs be. NU seems to have a mix of getting an education for a job and for its own sake. We have classes like everyone else but we are able to mix in our real world experiences thanks to coop and the teaching styles of some/most professors. As for the students and intellectual converstations, I think it really depends on the group you hang out with. The advantage of NU is that while it's not incredibly big, there really is a bit of everyone on campus and you're bound to find people who have common interests/views/pastimes (whether it be partying or intellectual conversations or both).


professors can usually recognize your face but probably dont know your name. classes are hit or miss bc nu is trying to raise rank really quickly and isnt pulling it off so well necessarily.


I am a poli-sci major and I really couldn't be happier with my department. I know a couple professors rather well and I feel like I'm learning valuable things from my teachers and classes. Now freshman year you are going to think you are taking the worst possible pre-requisite classes ever, and you are, but every freshman has to and they lead to greater things and professors. It Depends on what diploma you are want to get and how you make your education tailored to you. That is how you know whether you want to get a job out of college, a pure learning education or both. I feel like this is something that northeastern provides, but the students need to take advantage of, a good education can't be handed to you, you need to work at it.


Most upper level classes are small and the professors defiantly knew who I was. I always found it interesting when a Harvard Prof would come in and teach and NU for a semester because they wanted to work with undergrads.


Most professors know my name. Classes are fairly small in my major, and lots of seminars. Participation depends on the class - English majors tend to be quieter as a whole so there is not usually tons. I'm taking a class called Rhetoric and Poetics that's pretty unique - we get to design a lot of the syllabus ourselves and are doing a website project to promote community awareness of some monuments to racial issues that took place in the 70s, which is very cool. I don't spend time with my professors outside of class really. I don't really study too much either usually. Education is completely geared towards getting a job, I think. Academic requirements are alright - I've had to take some pretty stupid classes for my core curriculum though.