Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 18,448
Institutional Type: Private
Curricular Flexibility: Less Flexible
Academic Rating: 4.5
5. Northwestern Mutual
5. information Technology
1. State Street
2. Fidelity Investments
2. New York City
3. San Francisco
4. Washington, DC
5. Los Angeles
College Scorecard (Early Career): $67,400
EOP (Early Career): $61,800
PayScale (Mid-Career): $109,700
If Northeastern University was a middle-aged person headed to a twentieth high school reunion, it would easily earn the distinction as the least recognized individual in the room. Few institutions have undergone such a substantial metamorphosis in such a short time. Beginning in the 1990s, NU decided to reverse-engineer the US News rankings and make a grab for increased prestige. At the time, the school was ranked the 162nd best university in the nation. Now, it is close to cracking the top forty. Today, the average undergraduate student possesses a 4.2 GPA and a1450+ on the SAT, literally 400+ higher than two decades ago. You read that correctly—400 points!
On the menu for this suddenly top-flight breed of undergrads are all the trappings of a major research university, including ninety-two majors and 142 combined majors available at Northeastern’s seven undergraduate schools. All students are required to walk the NU path, the school’s core curriculum that is “built around essential, broad-based knowledge and skills—such as understanding societies and analyzing data—integrated with specific content areas and disciplines.” There are eleven components to the NU path that involve forays into the natural and designed world, creative expression and innovation, culture, formal and quantitative reasoning, societies and institutions, analyzing data, differences and diversity, ethical reasoning, writing across audiences, integrating knowledge and skills through experience, and a capstone course as you near completion of your chosen major(s).
More than two-thirds of Husky classrooms contain nineteen or fewer students, and 11 percent have single-digit enrollments. Large lecture hall courses crammed with undergrads are rare at this school—only 6 percent of sections sport a student enrollment of fifty or more. A 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio makes these cozy class sizes possible, an impressive feat considering the school has almost 8,700 graduate students to serve as well. Since 2006,Northeastern has added an incredible 650 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Undergraduate research opportunities exist in all departments, and experiential learning of some type is had by virtually all graduates, thanks to the school’s illustrious and robust co-op program. NU students have not only become more accomplished but also more worldly. Last academic year, 3,820 students had a global experience in one of eighty-eight countries, and 538students participated in a co-op program overseas.
The D’Amore-McKim School of Business is a top-ranked school and offers one of the best international business programs anywhere, and both the College of Engineering and the College of Computer Science are highly respected as well. Criminal justice, architecture, and nursing are three other majors that rate near the top nationally. Business/marketing (25 percent) and engineering (17 percent) account for the largest percentages of degrees conferred. The social sciences (12 percent), health-related professions (10 percent), and biology (8 percent) round out the list of most popular majors.
Northeastern is split down the middle in terms of those who live in on-campus housing and those who do not. All freshmen and sophomores are required to live in the dorms, and most have at least one or two roommates. Campus offers six large quad areas and twenty eateries. Greek life is fairly strong with 10 percent of men and 17 percent of women joining frats and sororities. The 73-acre urban campus is situated in the true heart of downtown Boston and within one mile of Fenway Park, Newbury Street, and the Museum of Fine Arts. With such a premier location, the beloved city of Boston is truly an extension of your campus, but there are also plenty of university- sponsored activities to keep you busy. Over 400 student clubs and organizations and the Northeastern University Hus-skiers and Outing Club (NUHOC), student government, and forty club sports teams are among the most popular. In total,3,000 students participate in club and intramural sports. Spectator sports are not a focal point of NU life—the football program was dissolved in 2009— but of the sixteen existing NCAA Division I squads, the Huskies hockey team reigns supreme. The spirit of volunteerism is huge at NU as students have contributed a collective 1.4 million hours since 2006.
Thirty-six counselors, employer relations specialists, and experiential learning coordinators comprise the NU Employer Engagement and Career Design Office (EECD), which doesn’t count admin assistants or IT professionals. Working out to a student-to-advisor ratio of 512:1, NU offers a high level of support for an institution with more than 18,000undergraduates. Northeastern University has long held a reputation as one of the premier career services providers in the nation, and it’s not hard to see why.
Career counselors received incredibly high reviews from students as 96 percent report progress on their career goals after only one session; 100 percent felt it was worth their time to return for a follow- up. The EECD has forged relationships with over 3,000 employers and, through its employer-in-residence program, representatives from those organizations spend up to one day per week for an entire year interacting with students, making personal connections, and offering career tips. Last year's fall Career Fair was attended by 260 employers and the spring Engineering and Technology Career Fair usually draws 4,000+ students and 140 companies. Perhaps the most impactful role of this office is to facilitate co-op placements. Ninety-six percent of NU graduates spend at least one semester in a co-op placement, and 50 percent of students receive a job offer from their co-op partner; 2,900+ employers participate each year. By almost any metric, the Employer Engagement and Career Design services stand out from the pack, easily earning its staff near universal praise.
Nine months after leaving Northeastern, 92 percent of students have landed at their next employment or graduate school destination. Huskies entering the job market are quickly rounded up by the likes of State Street, Fidelity investments, IBM, and Amazon, all of whom employ 500+ Northeastern alums. Between 200 and 500 employees at Wayfair, Google, Amazon, Oracle, IBM, and Apple have an NU lineage. Whether or not they originally hailed from New England, the vast majority of graduates remain in the Greater Boston area. Next in popularity are New York City, San Francisco, DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Starting salaries are above average, in part due to the stellar coop program, and compensation is in the same range as other highly selective schools including Fordham and Boston University.
Strange for a school with such excellent career services, Northeastern does not publicize its law school or med school acceptance rates or release a list of the most frequently attended graduate schools by NU alumni. The highly ranked Northeastern University School of Law does take a large number of its own undergraduates. More than one alum is currently enrolled at such law schools as Suffolk, Harvard, Fordham, and Boston College. While Northeastern does not have its own medical college, many graduates go on to attend top institutions. Multiple recent grads are currently attending such medical schools as UMass, Harvard, UConn, and Tufts. In short, while NU is strangely mysterious about its graduate/professional school outcomes data, it has no reason to be; Huskies routinely continue their educations at some of the best universities in the United States.
• “You have the city at your fingertips. It’s not too big of a city. The actual Boston Proper part is easy to get around.”
• “The campus is a little separated from the city so we have the best of both worlds in that regard.”
• “Accessibility. If you want to go anywhere you can just hop on the train. It’s also fairly bike-able.”
• “Diversity. There are lots of people from different backgrounds around you.” [Boston’s population is about 45% White, 23% Black, and 19% Hispanic.]
• “You’re in the education capital of the world.”
• “The harshness of the seasons can get to you. There are days when the snow is piled up to your chest.”
• “Depending on who you are as a person, the city can feel cold people-wise. My friends from the South and other
countries have felt that when they try to be nice to strangers. Bostonians will look at the ground and mind their own business.”
• “Being in Boston gives the school less of a university vibe because there are businesses and adults around you.”
• “Since we’re in the middle of the city, our campus is not very big and there is not a lot of green space.”
• “The co-op program. It can significantly increase your chances of getting the job you want or figuring out what you want to do or not do.”
• “Northeastern is on the rise. It’s a good time to get in and ride that wave because it’s getting very hard to get into.”
• “It’s in Boston, which is a huge city with lots to do. It’s also cleaner and less busy than New York City.”
• “The life-minded individual. You’ll find people that are already thinking about work and trying to be successful.”
• “Co-ops are a way to make connections and lots of money during college.”
• “The professional skills you gain, like resume building and job search skills.”
• “School spirit. It’s hard to get people to go to games. The school spirit is tampered down to an extent because everybody is focused on other things.”
• “People are coming and going constantly because of co-op. You might not see your friends for a long time. You also grow up very quickly because of co-op and it sometimes feels rushed. If you’re the person that likes stability and continuity, you’re not going to like it. I didn’t see one of my good friends from freshman year until my fifth year.”
• “Living in Boston and paying for Northeastern gets very expensive.”
• “If you’re really into the liberal arts, you probably want to go somewhere else because Northeastern is a business and engineering-focused school.”
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