Co-op Options

Northeastern offers the powerful benefits of its signature co-op program to all students, along with the flexibility to chart the course that best aligns with their goals. Time-to-degree is student driven—with strong support from advisors—and customized four- and five-year paths are available.

How does it work?

Students work through a faculty-guided process to plan their academic schedules and choose from a variety of co-op opportunities and other experiential learning options, including global learning, research, and service—which provide the authentic contexts in which to put their classroom knowledge to use. Depending on the options students choose, students graduate in 4 years or 5 years and can gain from 12 to 18 months of real-world experience.

Students do not need to make any final decisions about the pace of their degree completion during the application or enrollment process. Those discussions happen during the initial consultation with their faculty advisor, and many students take a few semesters to reach a final decision.

To optimize their Northeastern experience and to create maximum curricular flexibility, students are strongly encouraged to enroll in NUterm following their freshman year.  The NUterm offers many exciting options for courses not available during the regular term such as research and project-based field studies, an entrepreneurship “boot camp” or a Dialogue of Civilizations course.  Students can also opt for traditional courses during NUterm. NUTerm takes place during Summer I (May-June) when most colleges are still in session, allowing Northeastern rising sophomores to get ahead of their peers while still enjoying their summer vacation in July and August.

It is important to note that those students interested in pursuing dual degrees, as well as students in architecture and certain health sciences programs, such as pharmacy and physical therapy, may not be eligible for the four-year option.

All freshmen take at least a full year of classes, including the co-op preparation course, before their first co-op experience; co-ops are typically four- or six-month periods, allowing the same in-depth exploration and opportunity for achievement.

Students only pay for academic credit earned. Students do not pay tuition for co-op—only for room and board (either on campus in Boston or around the world) while on co-op, unless they are simultaneously taking academic credit.

This flexibility and choice expands the possibilities of academic exploration while allowing students to create the education that advances their personal aspirations. It’s all part of Northeastern’s student-centered approach: dual majors, “PlusOne” combined bachelor’s and master’s degrees, 3+3 accelerated bachelors and JD degree, and unmatched opportunities to gain global experiences and participate in co-op and research. Northeastern truly offers the world’s most powerful way to learn.