FAQ

1. What is the General Studies Program?
2. Why am I in GSP?
3. Are GSP courses the same as other college courses?
4. Can I leave GSP early?
5. Can I change my GSP Learning Community?
6. What is GENS 1101 – Strategic Thinking and Learning?
7. How do I become a sophomore?
8. How do I become a University honors student?
9. Will I be behind my peers when I am a sophomore?
10. When do I go on Co-op? Do I have to go on Co-op?
11. Can I transfer Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college-level credit into the General Studies Program?
12. What if I have a learning disability? What types of services are available?

1. What is the General Studies Program?
General Studies is a one-year, freshman experience program that offers students support and guidance in achieving their academic goals. GSP students take a combination of required freshman courses, NU Core courses, and entry level courses in the major in which they are interested in order to prepare them for sophomore transition into one of the seven NU colleges.

GSP students are placed in Learning Communities based on the major or college that they hope to enter. Upon successful completion of the GSP year, students transition as sophomores into one of the following colleges: College of Arts, Media and Design, College of Business Administration, College of Computer and Information Science, College of Engineering, College of Science, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, or Bouvé College of Health Sciences.

The GSP includes approximately 180 students each year. Students enjoy one-on-one advising and individualized attention in the classroom and administrative offices. They have access to a variety of resources, including their GENS seminars and the nationally-certified Peer Tutor Program, which lend to their success.

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2. Why am I in GSP?
Through the admission process, you were selected for the General Studies Program based on academic and non-academic factors reviewed in your application, including ability, motivation, leadership, and maturity. The committee for admission recognizes that you have the greatest chance for success at the University by completing your  first year in the General Studies Program. What you bring to the GSP is your experience and skill that enhance the overall success of the GSP. Your contributions in the classroom will not only strengthen your own abilities, but will also directly influence your peers.

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3. Are GSP courses the same as other college courses?
Yes. GSP courses are selected based upon the University’s general requirements for first-year students (e.g., first-year writing, and so on), as well as for requirements fulfilled within the various colleges and majors. While the GSP first-year does not mirror the other colleges’ first-year programs exactly, students enrolled in the GSP fulfill a combination of first-year and graduation requirements. The GSP curriculum meets students’ academic requirements, and pays close attention to developing the skills necessary for academic success at NU.

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4. Can I leave GSP early?
No. The first year at Northeastern is based upon two semesters of study. You must successfully complete the 28 semester hours of study (32 are recommended) and achieve the required GPA in order to transition as a sophomore.

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5. Can I change my GSP Learning Community?
Yes. It may be possible to change your Learning Community depending on certain factors. Students who would like to change their academic direction should speak immediately with their GSP advisor.

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6. What is GENS 1101 – Strategic Thinking and Learning?
The Strategic Thinking and Learning seminar is designed to enhance academic success by involving students in practical applications of critical thinking and learning strategies across disciplines, and by helping students access University resources and adjust to University life. Using a multimedia approach, diverse perspectives, and collaborative learning, students are challenged to examine social, cultural, and historical forces that shape their lives. The GENS instructor also serves as the academic advisor throughout the year, assisting with sophomore transition and other procedures. The seminar earns one semester credit per semester, and meets once per week in both the fall and spring semesters.

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7. How do I become a sophomore?
In order to successfully fulfill the requirements to become a sophomore, you must meet the curriculum and GPA requirements for your intended major as detailed for GSP students as well as complete a minimum of 28 semester hours of credit (32 are recommended).

You are also required to work with your GENS instructor to complete the sophomore transition process. The transition process includes group meetings with a cooperative education advisor as well as an advisor from your destination college. These meetings will provide you with the appropriate guidance to matriculate to sophomore standing and help you become acquainted with the requirements of your intended degree program. For more information about requirements for entering a college or major, please see the NU “change majors” web page at: http://www.northeastern.edu/registrar/changemajor.html

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8. How can I become a University honors student?
At the conclusion of the first year—the GSP year—students who have achieved the requisite GPA and the requisite semester hours may petition to be reviewed for the University Honors Program.

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9. Will I be behind my peers when I am a sophomore?
Students who follow the assigned curricula in the General Studies Program complete some courses parallel to the freshman curriculum found in the seven colleges at Northeastern University, as well as courses required by the General Studies Program specifically. If you successfully complete the coursework outlined for you through the General Studies Program and in cooperation with your advisor, you should be prepared to graduate with your peers.

If you intend to pursue a degree in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the School of Architecture, the College of Computer and Information Science, or the College of Engineering, additional major-specific courses may be required in order to complete the first-year curriculum. Many students working towards upper-class status in these fields opt to take summer courses; your GSP advisor will work with you to develop a plan to fulfill the requirements of your intended degree.

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10. When can I go on Co-op? Do I have to go on Co-op?
The earliest you may go on co-op is spring of your sophomore year.  Following the first cooperative education experience, you will work with your academic and cooperative education advisors to develop an individualized calendar for academic and cooperative education.

Most students choose to coop and there are some colleges that require cooperative education as part of the total learning model. Careful planning with your academic advisor will assist you with developing an individualized academic and cooperative education schedule.

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11. Can I transfer Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college-level credit into the General Studies Program?
Yes. Your college-level or advanced testing scores will be reviewed, and NU equivalent credit may be awarded.

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12. What types of services are available to me if I have a learning disability?
In order to begin receiving services for your disability, you must contact Northeastern’s Disability Resource Center and/or the Learning Disability Program.  Typically, you will have made these contacts during the application process. If you have not already been in contact with the DRC/LDP, please be sure to do so. Information may be obtained through the University website about the specific services offered or through your GSP advisor.

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