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Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private nonprofit research university located in Boston, Massachusetts.


360 Huntington Ave


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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Mission Statement
To educate students for a life of fulfillment and accomplishment. To create and translate knowledge to meet global and societal needs.
Northeastern University Paws
Grey Black Red

College History


Founded in 1898 as the "Evening Institute for Younger Men" at the Huntington Avenue YMCA, the first evening class was held on October 3, 1898. 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 of the country was established. In 1907, the School of Commerce and Finance was established. In 1909, the school began offering day classes. In 1916, a bill was introduced with the view to incorporate Northeastern College into a definite university system. In March 1916, after considerable debate and investigation, the bill was successfully passed, and the corporate existence of Northeastern College commenced. On March 30, 1917, Frank Palmer Speare was inaugurated as the first President of Northeastern College. In March 1923 a significant step was taken, the University securing from the Massachusetts Legislature the general degree granting power, with the exception of the A.B., the S.B., and the medical degrees. For a long time it had been felt that the work of the University was sufficiently extensive to warrant this significant step and, in a sense, the securing of the general degree granting power is the culmination of a long period of development marking the gradual growth from an evening engineering institute to a high grade university, offering most of the things universities customarily offer. As a preliminary to the securing of the degree granting privileges, on March 15, 1922, the name of the University had been changed from Northeastern College to Northeastern University, a name that more adequately covered the multitude of activities conducted by the University. In 1935, the College of Liberal Arts was added to Northeastern, and the university's name was simplified to "Northeastern University." In 1937 The Northeastern University Corporation was established, creating a board of trustees made up of 31 members of the NU Corporation and 8 members of the YMCA. In 1948 Northeastern separated itself completely from the YMCA. Following World War II, Northeastern began admitting women, and in the boom of postwar college-bound students, Northeastern created the College of Education (1953), University College (now called the College of Professional Studies) (1960), the College of Pharmacy and the College of Nursing (1964). The College of Pharmacy and the College of Nursing were subsequently combined into the Bouv� College of Health Sciences. Northeastern also added the College of Criminal Justice (1967) and the College of Computer Science (1982), since renamed the College of Computer and Information Science. Similar to a number of other urban universities, Northeastern began as a commuter school with many part-time and evening students, and by the early 1980s had grown to nearly 60,000 enrollees. By 1989-1990 the enrollment was reduced to about 40,000 full, part-time and evening students, and in 1990 the university had its first graduating class with more live-on-campus than commuter students. President Kenneth Ryder retired in 1989 and the University adopted a slow and systemic system of change. Historically, the University 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. The attrition rates were huge, with a nearly 25% dropout rate among freshmen and only a 50% graduation rate. The incoming class of 1984 accepted 5,672 undergraduate full-time day students, yet only some 2,287 graduated in 1989. When President John Curry left office in 1996 the university population stood at about 25,000. Richard Freeland decided to focus on the kinds of students who were already graduating as the prime demographic of students accepted In the early 1990s, the university reduced the number of enrolled students in order to become a "smaller, better" university and began building more residence halls on campus. It cut its freshman class size from around 4,500 students to 2,800 students. Robert J. Shillman Hall constructed in 1995 From 1996 to 2006, under President Richard Freeland, average SAT scores increased more than 200 points, retention rates rose dramatically, and applications doubled. President Freeland oversaw Northeastern's largest expansion ever, with $485 million in new facilities, including residence halls, academic and research facilities, and athletic centers. The institution also became substantially more selective, leading to a more academically talented student body. During the transition, students experienced a reorganization of the co-operative education system to better integrate classroom learning with workplace experience. The university also switched its full-time undergraduate and graduate programs to a new academic calendar comprising two traditional semesters and two summer "minimesters," replacing the four-quarter system. This new calendar allowed students to delve more deeply into their academic courses and to 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 rankings, which was accomplished in 2005. With this goal accomplished and the transformation from commuting school to national research university complete, he stepped down from the presidency on August 15, 2006. His successor, Dr. Joseph Aoun, formerly a dean at University of Southern California, implemented a decentralized management model, giving the academic deans of the university more control over their own budgets, faculty hiring decisions, and fundraising. Northeastern's historic Ell Hall on Huntington Avenue As part of Northeastern's five-year, $75 million Academic Investment Plan, the University is concentrating on three areas: undergraduate education, core graduate professional programs, and centers of research excellence. The Plan centers around the addition of 100 tenured and tenure-track professors between 2004 and 2009. This plan was recently expanded to provide for the hiring of an additional 300 tenure and tenure-track faculty in interdisciplinary fields. Aoun has also placed more emphasis on improving town relations by reaching out to leaders of the communities surrounding the university. 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. Under Aoun's leadership, the university continues to climb in the rankings. In the 2014 edition of U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges Guide," Northeastern increased its ranking to 49th, up 7 spots from 2013.

College Specialty


Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global, experiential, research university. Northeastern provides unprecedented worldwide experiential learning opportunities, grounded in its signature co-op program. The university�s research enterprise is strategically aligned with three universal imperatives: health, security, and sustainability.



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Urban, 73 acres