FAQs

Prospective Students

How many students are admitted to graduate programs in English each year?

Each year, we admit 10-15 new students to the graduate programs.

Where can I find more information about financial awards, assistantships, and aid?

Information about Teaching Assistantships, Graduate Student Scholarships, and financial aid can be found here and on the Student Financial Services website.

Can I take graduate courses as a non-matriculated student?

Yes. Prospective students may apply for non-degree study. Please visit the CSSH Graduate School’s Non-Degree Special Students website for information and an application checklist.

What should the personal statement contain?

The personal statement is a brief description of your background, your interests, and your reasons for wanting to enroll in the graduate program. You may include any other information that you feel might be useful, such as prior teaching or tutoring experience. The personal statement should not exceed two pages for M.A. programs or three pages for Ph.D. programs.

How long should the writing sample be?

Writing samples should be academically based and 10-20 pages in length. Creative writing or professional samples may accompany your academic sample, but should not serve as a substitute for it.

Is there a minimum GRE score for admission?

We don’t have a GRE or GPA minimum, and we evaluate all parts of the application in the context of the whole.

How can I indicate interest in both the PhD and MA programs when I apply?

If you would like your application to be considered for both the Ph.D. and M.A. programs, please submit an application to the Ph.D. program and express your interest in both programs in your personal statement.

How will I know if all my materials have been received?

The online application system allows you to log-in and check the status of your application at any time. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s Admissions FAQ page.

New Student Orientation

Will there be an orientation for all new students?

Yes. The Graduate Coordinator and other members of the faculty and staff will host a brief information session. Event information will be sent to you via e-mail from the Graduate Office.

What is myNEU? How do I activate my account?

Northeastern students may access their student e-mail accounts, update their contact information, register for courses, access Blackboard, and find links to various campus services via myNEU. To activate your myNEU account, click on the “How do I get a myNEU username and password?” link, and follow the directions. You will need to use the same postal code as provided in the permanent mailing address you used on your admission application. If you have any problems, please contact the InfoCommons Help Desk at 617-373-HELP.

If you did not provide a social security number on your online application, you may need to use the PKID listed under the signature line of your admissions offer letter. The Graduate Office can also provide this number upon request.

How can I find housing in the Boston area?

On- and off-campus housing info can be found at the Graduate School’s New Student FAQ website. Many students use Craig’s List to find affordable housing. Popular areas for grad students include Brighton, Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, Somerville, and Boston proper.

Whom should I contact when my address changes?

Please submit new contact information to the Registrar’s Office via the link provided under the Self Services tab of your myNEU account.

Where should I go for my student ID card?

Husky Card information can be found online at http://www.northeastern.edu/huskycard/. Please note: you will need to present a photo identification card, such as a state issued license or passport.

New TAs should specify that they need a Student ID, not a Staff/Faculty ID. TAs who are told otherwise should ask the customer service person to review their Fall enrollments or to contact the Graduate Office at 617-373-3692.

TAs can stop by the Graduate Office to pick up a TA sticker for their ID.  A note will be sent to NU email addresses when these stickers are available.

I’m not receiving e-mails from the English Department. What’s going on?

Often, correspondence to e-mail groups is sent bcc:. Check to make sure mail from Northeastern isn’t going into your Junk/Bulk folder. Also, double check that the e-mail account you are using matches the e-mail address you provided on your application. As Fall semester approaches, correspondence be sent to myNEU e-mail addresses only.

How can I gain access to NU’s athletic facilities?

Once students pay the Campus Recreation Fee, they can access the fitness facilities on campus. ABD students and students who wish to use the athletic facilities during the summer may have to submit this form: http://www.northeastern.edu/financialaid/pdf/recfee/.

New Student Registration

Who will be my advisor?

After the Graduate School receives your signed confirmation, the Graduate Coordinator will send you an advisor assignment. To ensure the timely arrival of your letter, make sure the Graduate Office has your current contact information on file.

When does registration begin?

For important registration dates, please review the academic calendar, available on the Registrar’s website.

What are the requirements for the MA and PhD graduate programs?

Program requirements can be found in the graduate booklet. Program guides also provide detailed information about each requirement.

New Student NUSHP and UHCS

Where can I find more information about the Northeastern University Student Health Plan (NUSHP)?

Information about the Northeastern University Student Health Plan and about waiving the coverage can be found at the NUSHP webpage.

Health plan cards should be sent by the end of September. Be update your address via myNEU if you move during the summer.

Teaching assistants: Please note that NUSHP and the UHCS fee are not one in the same. The UHCS fee is not covered by the TAship and must be paid by the student, along with other student fees.

Where should I bring my health report form?

Please download the form from the University Health and Counseling Services’ website. The form must be returned no later than 30 days prior to the start of classes. Be sure to verify that documentation has arrived if it was sent by someone else.

New Students Teaching Assistantships

I received a bill for tuition & health insurance, but I’m a teaching assistant. What should I do?

Tuition waivers for both TAs and GSSes take about 8 weeks to clear, after the start of the semester. Health insurance discounts (for TAs only) take about 2-3 weeks to clear. As appropriate, you may let these balances remain unpaid until the waivers kick in. However, students should pay all other University fees (including the University Health and Counseling Services fee, which is separate from Health Insurance costs) on time to avoid any late fees assessed to the account. Please contact the Graduate Office if your tuition waiver does not clear after 8 weeks.

When is the international teaching assistant orientation? Do I have to attend?

Information about the international TA orientation is sent out via e-mail later in the summer before matriculation, via your NEU student account. New international TAs  must attend in order to register.

When will I receive more information about the teaching assistantship and orientation?

You’ll also be receiving information about the mandatory University-Wide TA Orientation, via your NEU email account. Other questions about assistantships and scholarships may be directed to the Associate Director of Student Services Sheila Magee Beare in the Graduate Office, 180 Renaissance Park.

How can I set up direct deposit for my TA stipend checks?

All student employees are required to sign up for Direct Deposit. Follow the instructions Information about Direct Deposit can be found on the Student Employment website to complete the Direct Deposit Authorization.

I’m an award recipient. How can I request a cash release on my loan before the tuition waiver is posted to my account?

Loans are distributed during the first week of the semester, and they are automatically applied to any outstanding balance in your account. Since TAs and GSS recipients are asked not to pay the full balance of their bill, they need to request a cash release. These students may request the cash release via MyNeu. Here’s the Financial Aid Office’s policy about cash releases: http://www.northeastern.edu/financialaid/policies/cashrelease.html.

Many students opt to personally visit the Student Accounts Office with a copy of their award letters in hand. Students should tell the front desk person to look both in the Financial Aid and in the Student Account systems for their award information.

Do teaching assistants need to submit any tax forms?

Questions about assistantships and scholarships may be directed to the Associate Director of Student Services Sheila Magee Beare in the Graduate Office, 180 Renaissance Park.

Current Students Registration

How do I register for Directed Study?
  1. The student develops a course with a faculty member.
  2. The student submits a Directed Study Contract to the Graduate Studies Committee.
  3. Approval is not automatic. If the GSC approves the directed study petition, it is forwarded to the Graduate School for final approval. If the Graduate School approves the petition, ENGL 7976: Directed Study is added to the student’s schedule.
What is the last day I can drop without a “W” grade?

The Registrar’s Office posts an academic calendar on their website each year. Please refer to this calendar for all important registration dates.

What is an “I” Grade Contract?

“I” Grade Contracts are required of all graduate students who receive an Incomplete, or “I” grade, from an instructor. Students should submit their completed contracts to the Graduate Office (413 Lake Hall) before the end of the semester. “I” Grade Contracts can be found on the Registrar’s webpage.

How can I register for the Teaching Practicum?

Information about the Teaching Practicum can be found on the Professional Development webpage.

How do I transfer credit?

Information about transferring credit can be found on the CSSH Graduate School’s forms website .

What are the time limits for finishing coursework?

Please review the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ General Regulations booklet.

What is “Satisfactory Academic Progress?”

The Graduate Studies Committee, in conjunction with the Graduate School, oversees students’ progress toward the degree. At a minimum, satisfactory progress includes meeting deadlines for completing coursework, taking examinations, and completing the dissertation set by the English department and the graduate school. These deadlines are described in the section of the English graduate booklet that describes the Doctor of Philosophy Degree as well as in the General Regulations booklet. The student is responsible for being aware of these deadlines and should consult immediately with the advisor or the Graduate Chair in the event of difficulty in making progress at any stage. Satisfactory progress also includes the expectation that students will demonstrate continuing and appropriate activity (e.g., by submitting dissertation chapters in draft regularly to the dissertation committee).

Failure to maintain satisfactory progress can lead to the withdrawal of the teaching assistantship or other financial support administered by the GS or the English department or to withdrawal from the program.

How much do post-coursework registrations cost?

Exam Prep, Doctoral Research, and Dissertation Continuation are charged at the equivalent rate of one semester hour of credit. Dissertation/Ph.D. Thesis is charged at a different rate which can be found on the financial aid website.

Current Student Misc.

Where can find Non-medical Leave of Absence (LOA) or Medical Leave/Reentry (MLOA) forms?

Non-medical LOA information can be found on the Registrar’s website. Medical LOA information can be found on the UHCS website.

I’ve recently changed my name. How can I update my NEU record?

You will need to show official name-change paperwork to the Registrar and submit a copy of the official paperwork to the Graduate School. You may fax the copy to GS, 617-373-7281.

Whom should I contact when my address changes?

Update your myNEU account information via the link provided under the “Self Services” tab.

I’m in the M.A. program, and I’d like to apply to the Ph.D. program. What is the internal application process?

Information about the internal application process can be found on the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities’ Current Student Forms webpage.

I’m an award recipient. How can I request a cash release on my loan before the tuition waiver is posted to my account?

Loans are distributed during the first week of the semester, and they are automatically applied to any outstanding balance in your account. Since TAs and GSS recipients are asked not to pay the full balance of their bill, they need to request a cash release. These students may request the cash release via MyNeu. Here’s the Financial Aid Office’s policy about cash releases: http://www.northeastern.edu/financialaid/policies/cashrelease.html.

Many students opt to personally visit the Student Accounts Office with a copy of their award letters in hand. Students should tell the front desk person to look both in the Financial Aid and in the Student Account systems for their award information.