A copy of each graduate degree program as approved by the Board of Trustees and as officially amended is on file in the Office of the Provost. This record contains the goals, learning objectives, and all requirements for the program. All descriptions of the program in the university, college, and department publications must conform to this officially approved record.
Standards of admission are specific to certificate and degree programs and are found in the Graduate Catalog.
Prior to beginning a graduate program at Northeastern, students must have met one of the following criteria:
- Received a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university
- Received a master’s degree or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university
- Received a first professional or equivalent degree from an accredited college or university
- Been accepted into an approved bachelor's-to-graduate-degree program at Northeastern University
A student who has not provided required documentation for admission by the due date for final grades for the student’s first academic term will not be permitted to register for a future term.
Transfer credits from other institutions (or other programs within the university) will only be accepted at the discretion of the student’s destination academic unit and the associated college with the following constraints:
- For graduate certificate programs, a maximum of 3 semester hours or 4 quarter hours of credit earned at another institution may be accepted toward the credential being pursued at Northeastern, provided the credits meet the above-listed standards.
- For master’s degree programs, a maximum of 9 semester hours or 12 quarter hours of credit earned at another institution may be accepted toward the degree being pursued at Northeastern, provided the credits:
- Consist of work taken at the graduate level for graduate credit
- Carry grades of 3.000 or better
- Have been earned at an accredited institution
- Have not been used toward any baccalaureate or advanced degree or certificate at another institution
- Graduate course credits earned at Northeastern by undergraduate students enrolled in a PlusOne program will be double counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees as prescribed by the graduate program in which the student is enrolled, not to exceed 16 semester hours or 12 quarter hours. Transfer credit may not be applied to graduate degrees that are completed as part of a PlusOne program.
- Students may credit-share specified courses taken while in undergraduate status for both the bachelor's and PhD degrees. A student who departs from the program before receiving PhD candidacy may opt to use those courses toward a master's degree earned. However, such credit sharing cannot be used for more than two credentials, i.e., degrees and certificates. Please see above for limits on credit sharing between credentials.
- Graduate programs may approve advanced standing credit toward its degree programs from industry-based courses deemed equivalent to, or in place of, degree requirements, not to exceed 9 semester hours or 12 quarter hours. In each case the degree program curriculum committee must approve of the course assessments or provide an assessment to evaluate learning outcomes.
- For doctoral programs, a maximum of 25 percent of the total semester hours of required coursework may be granted upon the recommendation of the admitting college’s graduate committee.
Transfer credits must have been earned within five academic years of the date of matriculation in the Northeastern program to which they are to be applied.
Grades earned in courses to be applied as transfer credits are not counted as part of the overall grade-point average (GPA) earned at Northeastern and are posted with a grade of T to the transcript.
Uniform Credit System
One credit hour of academic credit consists of three hours of work per week throughout the term, usually one hour of class contact and two hours of outside work. When students are registered for thesis credits, directed study, or internship, the appropriate number of credit hours will be determined using the same method. Programs may vary the ratio of class time to preparation time depending on the learning outcomes and accreditation standards appropriate in their field(s).
A quarter hour is evaluated as three-quarters of a semester hour.
When students are registered for thesis credits, directed study, or internship, the appropriate number of credit hours will be determined using the same method.
Additional information on course and credit guidelines can be found here.
Undergraduate Credit for Graduate Courses
Undergraduate students who are juniors or seniors may enroll in graduate courses for credit toward their undergraduate degrees if they meet all prerequisites as determined by the graduate director and they receive permission from the instructor of the course and from the student’s undergraduate academic advisor.
Time Limit for Course Credit
Course credits earned in the program of graduate study, or accepted by transfer, are valid for a maximum of seven years unless the relevant graduate office grants an extension.
Grades submitted to satisfy, in whole or in part, the requirements for any graduate degree or certificate of advanced study must yield a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher. This requirement may be supplemented by additional restrictions established by the graduate program or the college’s graduate office such as, but not limited to, the maximum number of individual courses with grades below 3.000 that may be obtained without being required to withdraw or a minimum GPA in each semester.
Students falling below 3.000 will be placed on academic probation. If the student remains on academic probation for two terms, they may be terminated from the graduate program.
Not more than two courses or six credit hours, whichever is greater, may be repeated to satisfy the requirements for the degree. The last grade earned in each of these repeated courses will be counted in the calculation of the cumulative GPA.
Any incomplete grades must be made up within one calendar year from the term in which the student took the class that resulted in the incomplete course grade.
The committee in charge of the degree program may establish a language requirement.
Graduate programs may require relevant training that all of the program’s students must complete by deadlines communicated by the university or by the student's graduate program advisor.