Impressions Of
Northeastern University

Academic Experience

Male Computer Engineering Major C/O 2018

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department did especially well or especially poorly?
The thing they did well was they gave a good overview of all the different subjects you might touch on in your career as a computer engineer or programmer. You see all the different types of problems you might run into and how they connect to each other. The bad part was that they didn’t go very in-depth into certain topics. We didn’t learn as much programming as they do at other [more STEM-focused] schools. That put us at a disadvantage with some of the technical skills.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It wasn’t competitive, which was nice. People were mostly nice to each other and helped each other out. I wouldn’t say it was super friendly, but people weren’t cutthroat. You could just do your own thing and not worry about other people.

Female Nursing Major C/O 2022

Can you describe your weekly coursework for Nursing?
Every week I have a full schedule from around 9AM to 2PM or later every day, except Friday. I have two labs a week which are three hours each. For Nursing specifically we have Clinical Placements as well, so the weekly course load will change because we’ll then have a six-hour hospital clinical once a week.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I picked my major because I thought it was a good undergraduate path for going pre-med as opposed to just doing a Biology major. I don’t regret it at all because I’ve been able to work at a hospital starting freshman year.

Male Business Major C/O 2018

Can you describe the coursework for your major?
You take 4 courses worth 4 credits each. On top of that, you’ll have a co-op class which prepares you for the real world which is worth 1 credit. You can take 2 or 3 of those. From my experience in Business, there are a variety of ways we do the work. Sometimes you have to post in forum threads in Blackboard, and sometimes you have to answer textbook problem sets in a website called Connect. The big grades are exams and a lot of group projects. Business majors especially get a lot of group work.

Did you especially like or dislike anything about the Business department?
They do a really good job preparing you for the real world that you will face, that may be from the co-op program too. Something they could do better is having more networking events. There are not enough opportunities for students to get to know each other or outside professionals to build out a network.

Social Opportunities

Male Computer Engineering Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
It was more bars. Boston’s not a very party friendly city because it’s a tight city and noise is a big factor. There wasn’t much of a big nightlife until I turned 21, then I started going to bars and stuff a lot. Before that, it was just small gatherings of friends. After I turned 21, I would usually just go out on Friday and Saturday night. There’s a place called Howl at the Moon that everyone likes to go to on Thursday nights, so I would go there occasionally. There’s a local bar called Conor Larkin’s that does trivia on Tuesdays and that’s really popular too.

Female Nursing Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Northeastern and [the city of] Boston nightlife meshes pretty well if you are of age. We have a bar near campus that people frequent, but you have to go downtown for the clubs and other nightlife. They are relatively high scale venues with expensive covers and specific dress codes. With my nursing requirements, I don’t usually go out during the weekdays except maybe on Thursdays. On the weekends, I’ll go out with my friends.

How happy were you with the nightlife at Northeastern? If you could change anything, what would you change?
It’s decent. I don’t think we are a party school. We also don’t have on-campus houses for Greek life, like the movies. Our frat houses do what they stereotypically do, but are away from campus. We also don’t have a football team to support, but we do rally around hockey which is fun.

Male Business Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are two lives I’ve had: student life and co-op life. Co-op life is I’m in bed at 10PM and up at 6AM, and I’m going out Friday and Saturday night. When I’m in student life, it can really be any night that I go out. In Boston you need to be 21 to do bars and clubs, so once you hit that you start to go out into the city way more. I’ll go Thursday-Saturday and one weekday. When you’re under 21, you go to other people’s places more often, but it’s hard to do house parties in Boston because you’re mostly in apartments. Then I’d go out Thursday-Saturday.

What have been some of your favorite times at Northeastern?
Holidays are a lot of fun in Boston. Halloween, St. Paddy’s Day, and Marathon Monday are all big.

How happy are you with the weekend options at Northeastern?
It’s okay, I’m having fun. Your class will all do their own thing during freshman and sophomore year. When you get older you go to bars, but if you’re 20 and all your friends are 21 and going to the bar, that’s tough.

Campus Culture

Male Business Major C/O 2017

How would you describe the social scene?
I didn’t feel a social pyramid because of co-op. Once you’re a working professional and you’re making money and trying to get experience, you don’t care if somebody’s an athlete. There are cliques, like the people that always go play basketball, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing because you find the cliques that you like. It’s not like Mean Girls.

Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
At Northeastern, yes. As an RA, my role is to make sure people are mixing. I’m also exposed to more people in general. I think they do mix but it is hard. It’s not like a lovey-dovey scene. There are people that stick to their group, like there are groups of African-Americans that just hang out together but when it comes to a situation where there is mixing we can do it. In terms of mixing there is some work to be done. Racially, Black people are a small group. There can be a lack of diversity at times. If you are a minority here you will sometimes be the only person representing your culture in a class. [About 6% of the student body is Black.]

Male Entrepreneurship Major C/O 2017

How was doing your first semester abroad with the N.U. In Program?
I did my first semester of freshman year abroad in Ireland. I made some really good friends abroad. I felt uncomfortable when I got back because you move into a dorm where kids have already become tight, and you don’t want to be alone so you hang out with your abroad friends so that can be isolating. It’s something I’m glad I did because you learn a lot about yourself, but the level of education wasn’t great. I also gained some bad habits because it’s so easy to drink when you’re abroad.

How did you meet your closest friends?
Ireland study abroad [through the N.U. In Program]. Living with them in Ireland was awesome. Outside of that, I rushed a frat and then decided not to join after receiving a bid. One of my close friends joined and I ended up hanging out with them afterward.

Male Computer Engineering Major C/O 2018

How would you describe the overall social scene at Northeastern?
It’s pretty good. It’s a serious school. People take their studies very seriously, so having fun and socializing can take a backseat. People are very friendly and, if you make an effort, there are fun things to do and lots of ways to make friends.

What impact has co-op had on your social experience?
It gives it somewhat of a weird social dynamic. It’s weird because there is only like half of the student body on campus at a time. You might go on co-op for six months and then your friend might go on co-op after that for six months, so you won’t see them for a whole year. That happened to me with a couple of my friends and that definitely affects your friendship. I wouldn’t say I lost any friends or anything super drastic, but it does force you to be open to meeting new people and not just stick with the same people all the time because you might not see one of your friends for a long time.

Boston, MA

Pros of

  • “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.”

Cons of

  • “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.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Entrepreneurship Major C/O 2017

What is something you wish you knew about Northeastern before entering as a freshman?
I wish I understood when kids are deciding between a big school and a small school that it is a big school. If I had known that I may have chosen a small school. [There are about 18,100 students at Northeastern.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The gym is awesome, so check that out. I highly encourage them to explore Boston to make sure it’s the right city for you. Find out what you really like to do and see if Boston is a place where that’s possible. I love to drive and Boston is a miserable place for that.

Female Nursing Major C/O 2022

What is something you wish you knew about Northeastern before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew how many opportunities there were to travel here. There are study abroad options and we also have dialogues.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
They’ll miss a lot of the cool areas that aren’t necessarily on campus but are around campus. They probably won’t visit the Museum of Fine Arts and the surrounding restaurants and other attractions that are really close to us. I would most recommend visiting the Museum of Fine Arts.

Female Nursing Major C/O 2020

What is something a prospective student of color should know that has not been mentioned?
It can be challenging to navigate the campus, classes, and dorms as a person of color because you may not see people that look like you all the time. Once you find that niche and the support through groups on campus, you will have it the rest of your time here. I want to hammer home that whatever you want on campus either exists or can be created as long as you take the initiative.

What is something you wish you knew about Northeastern before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the co-op programs because they are one of the drawing factors of the university.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Northeastern University

To Attend

  • “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.”

To Not Attend

  • “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.”
Notice: Northeastern University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Northeastern University.

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