Not Your Parents’ Northeastern University (Tips!)

A photo illustrating college advisor South Florida at International College Counselors offers information and Northeastern University tips.

One of the most popular colleges for our students at ICC to consider is Northeastern University and we offer a lot of Northeastern University tips. Founded in 1898 and located within minutes of Boston University, Boston College, Harvard, and MIT, this private university of 16,300 undergraduates makes the ideal urban campus for many applicants. But students and parents should know that compared to many colleges, Northeastern has undergone huge changes in a very short time, especially in its admit rate. No longer is it Boston’s “back-up” school that accepts over 80% of its applicants. Northeastern now reviews almost 100,000 applications each year and published a 2023 admit rate of just 5.6%! This means that while we still encourage Northeastern for many students, the university now falls into the “reach” category for the great majority.

Northeastern offers four application options, with Early Action and Early Decision 1 and 2 giving applicants the strongest chance of acceptance. ICC recommends that applicants avoid Regular Decision if possible, as this option has the lowest admit rate:

Early Action (Nov 1 deadline): Applicants hear back by February 15.

Early Decision 1 (Nov 1 deadline): Applicants hear back by January 1.

Early Decision 2: (January 1 deadline): Applicants hear back by March 1.

Regular Decision: (January 1 deadline): Applicants hear back April 1.

In addition to the above application options, Northeastern is test optional, meaning applicants do not need to submit test scores of any kind to be considered for admission. That said, students who do test well are encouraged to send scores, as strong test takers have higher admit rates. Additionally, as of the date of this blog, Northeastern does not require any supplemental essays, making it incredibly easy for students to apply.

While its location is ideal for many, Northeastern is also known for its robust co-op program managed by the Office of Employer Engagement and Career Design. In effect for many years, this program assigns each student a co-op coordinator who helps connect them with paid co-op opportunities based on major. 96% of Northeastern’s students have at least one co-op in which they do not attend classes, but rather work full time for six months in their chosen field (an experience that can lead to permanent employment with that employer upon graduation). Additionally, co-op employers are located in 90 countries and 36 states and can view any Northeastern student’s resume via the university’s NUworks database.

The Seven Colleges

Academically, Northeastern offers programs of study for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and is thus classified as a research institution. For undergraduates, this means access to 58 majors and over 30 minors among the following:      

College of Engineering

College of Health Sciences

College of Science

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

College of Computer Science

College of Arts, Media, and Design

College of Business

Of special note for engineering students is an impressive variety of major combinations that allows students to choose from eight single majors or combine a single major with an outside STEM major. In total, this means 28 degree options for engineering students! For non-engineering majors, Northeastern also offers several programs not found at every university, namely nursing, game design, pharmacy sciences, and architecture. Regardless of chosen major, all students who attend Northeastern have access to up-to-date facilities, strong instruction, and academic support. 

Applicants who demonstrate exceptionally strong academic ability are invited to be considered for the John Martinson Honors Program. Recently rejuvenated as the result of a $5M gift, this program provides special advising and classes, Honors housing, unique research opportunities through Honors faculty, and the opportunity to connect with Honors Program graduates via the Honors Alumni Mentoring Network. In addition, students each have the chance to be considered for Honors scholarships as well as access to a $6,000 “Global Bank Account” they can use to facilitate research and cultural experiences abroad.   

Last but not least of our Northeastern University tips, Northeastern has global outreach through two programs designed just for first-year students: the Program and the Global Scholars Program. requires that freshmen study abroad at one of ten colleges during their fall semester before returning to Boston for the spring (Scotland, Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, The Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Ireland, or Northern Ireland). The country of study is assigned according to the student’s selected major, with each location being staffed with full-time support professionals. Global Scholars requires freshmen to study abroad for one full year (one semester each at Northeastern’s Central London campus and Oakland, CA campus) before transferring to the Boston campus.

Considering its prime location, wide array of academic choices, proven co-op program, Honors Program, and study abroad options, Northeastern promises prospective students a fantastic college experience and strong academic preparation for what lies ahead. 

Erik McLeod, a Director of College Advising at International College Counselors, is the writer of this week’s blog.

Increase your student’s chances of securing a spot at their top-choice institutions! Contact us at International College Counselors or call 1-954-414-9986 for personalized assistance to navigate the complexities of the college admission process.