Undergrad Majors & Minors

Majors

Applied Physics
The Northeastern University Physics Department offers a broad range of curricula that reflect the intellectual excitement and relevance of studying physics both within its broadly defined traditional boundaries and at the intersection with other disciplines, in particular the biomedical sciences, where physics is having a growing impact. In addition, the department offers unique opportunities for students to experience frontline research at the undergraduate level through internships in faculty research labs and co-ops.

Behavioral Neuroscience
Neuroscience, the scientific study of the nervous system, is an inherently interdisciplinary pursuit. At Northeastern, we draw upon such academic fields as psychology; chemistry and chemical biology; physics; biology and marine science; electrical and computer engineering; speech language pathology and audiology; and pharmaceutical sciences to break new ground in the exciting realm of neurobiological research.

Biochemistry
The B.S in Biochemistry is sponsored jointly by the Biology Department and the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Biochemistry includes nearly the entire spectrum of science —from physics and chemistry to biology and medicine. The biochemistry major provides a strong foundation in mathematics and the physical sciences as well as thorough training in biochemistry, biology, and chemistry. In addition to formal classwork, opportunities are available for participation in faculty research programs on an individual basis or through the honors program. The large number of biotechnology companies and biomedical facilities in the Boston area provides a rich source of opportunities through Northeastern’s program of cooperative education.

Biology
By majoring in biology, students develop a basic understanding of the organization and the processes of life, from molecules and cells through organs and organ systems to populations, species, and ecosystems. The major offers the mathematical, chemical, and physical background necessary for understanding biology and the practical scientific skills associated with each of these areas. It allows students to begin to specialize in a subdiscipline of biology such as systems physiology, cell biology, genetics, epigenetics, microbiology, molecular biology, developmental biology and so forth. Numerous opportunities for relevant positions are available through Northeastern’s program of cooperative education.

Biomedical Physics
As a Biomedical Physics major, a student explores fundamental physical principles relevant for understanding biological phenomena on various scales as well as medical instrumentation and devices. This program takes advantage of the local Boston area medical research environment to offer a unique interdisciplinary learning experience and also offers the option of a premed track.

Chemistry
The overall objective of the B.S. Chemistry Major program is to provide the fundamental scientific background and practical training for students as they prepare for chemically related careers or advanced study in fields including the traditional chemical specialties, as well as biochemistry, materials science, forensic science, medicine, education, law, and other endeavors that may draw upon an understanding of the chemical basis of the world around us. A key general objective is the development of qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills. Of comparable importance is developing effective communication skills.

Environmental Science
Our Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree is organized for students who want to acquire the scientific background to help solve environmental problems from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

With a growing number of companies, agencies, and organizations focusing on environmental issues, career opportunities for environmental sciences graduates are at an all time high. Our program equips you to investigate and develop technical, economic, institutional, and behavioral solutions to environmental problems. Every student develops core knowledge in geology, biology, chemistry and mathematics early in the program.

Environmental Studies
Our Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies degree is an interdisciplinary program, drawing from 12 departments, designed to provide a flexible platform for students whose primary interest is in the area of environmental policy. The range of knowledge that Environmental Studies students obtain from an interdisciplinary blending of programs provides them with this much-desired edge. As the world continues to change, the need for those who will know how to cope with this change is more important than ever.

Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. A growing and exciting field, it has links to diverse fields including cognitive psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, computer science, artificial intelligence, sociology, language teaching, anthropology, and education. Linguistics is a key component of the emerging field of cognitive science, the study of the structure and functioning of human cognitive processes.

Marine Biology
The marine biology major provides students with a strong foundation in the biological and marine sciences. In their first two years, students complete their foundational science courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Our students can fulfill their upper-level marine biology requirements either on campus or during our year-long Three Seas Program.

Mathematics
Mathematics is of ever-increasing importance to our society and everyday life. It has long been the language of science and technology, and provides a rich source of methods for analyzing and solving problems encountered in the physical world. Today, mathematics is essential in virtually all fields of human endeavor, including business, the arts, and the social sciences.

Physics
As a Physics major, a student explores the fundamental physical principles that govern natural phenomena ranging in scale from collisions of subatomic particles, to atoms and molecules, to various condensed phases such as solids and liquids, to exploding stars and colliding galaxies.

Psychology
Studies in modern psychology focus on Mind, Brain and Behavior. Grounded in empirical research with both humans and animals, psychologists investigate and seek explanations for the behavior and mental life of individuals in addition to developing methods for promoting psychological well-being.

The psychology curriculum explores such topics as how brain function determines behavior; how we see, hear, and learn; what constitutes abnormal personality; how people develop emotionally and cognitively; and how individuals work in groups.

 

Minors

You can choose a minor to complement your major, or to explore an entirely different area of interest to you. A full list of minors, as well as the curriculum for each minor, is available in the Undergraduate Catalog .

The process to declare a minor is similar as that of declaring a major in that students fill out a petition and get it signed by a faculty advisor in the minor program; then they bring the petition for final action to the CEA (One ME). Progress toward completion of the minor will be reviewed during the graduation clearance interview and the minor will be indicated on the student’s transcript after the student has completed the minor program and has received his or her degree. Students who wish to design their own minor or do a minor may propose an independent minor, and students who wish to do a minor in another college should petition that college.

Minors Available:

Behavioral Neuroscience

Biology 

Chemistry 

Environmental Geology

Environmental Studies 

Geology

Linguistics

Marine Biology 

Marine Studies 

Mathematics 

Physics

Psychology

 

Combined Majors

The integrated combined major allows students to link concepts across disciplinary boundaries. Combined-major options are limited to those combinations for which faculty from two majors have identified nine or more courses from each major, plus an additional one or two “capstone” or integrative courses, that specifically help students link the concepts learned in both majors. 

For more information about combined majors, please look in the Undergraduate Catalog.