Frequently Asked Questions
Are online courses at Northeastern University accredited?
All Northeastern University programs and courses offered online are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Is the quality of online courses the same as campus-based courses?
Online courses are held to the same high standard as our campus-based courses, and are taught by experienced instructors who are scholars and industry leaders. All of our online discussions are designed so students feel connected with the instructor and with other students. Discussion boards and interactive tools help students feel they are a part of a dynamic learning experience, just as in a traditional campus-based course.
Does a degree earned online differ from a degree earned in campus-based courses from the Northeastern University?
A degree earned by taking online courses is a Northeastern University degree - there is no difference. Your diploma is exactly the same as that of a campus-based student.
Are the policies and procedures for online courses the same as for campus-based courses?
The policies and procedures for online courses are the same as for campus-based courses (i.e. registering, withdrawing, prerequisites, course requirements, etc.).
Is online learning right for me?
Successful online students are self-motivated and comfortable using a computer and the internet. View a demo of an online course to help you determine if online learning is right for you.
How do Internet-based courses work?
Course content (lectures, additional materials, discussions, assignments, etc.) is presented using an online learning system called NU Online:
- Course material is presented on a weekly basis and normally completed through the assigned readings, assignments, etc.
- You interact with other students and the instructor via the discussion board and email
- You collaborate on group projects through the web interface
- You may be required to upload assignment files
- Midterms and finals are usually taken online and, once started, must be completed in a set amount of time
- You do not need to log in to the course at any specific time during the week, but you do need to complete all your course work within the given time frame
- One should plan on the workload being the same as a traditional on-ground course
How do you develop your online courses?
In addition to using standard tools such as discussion boards, multimedia lectures through Articulate Presenter, and streaming video, we have incorporated Podcasts of lectures and combined them with printable copies of the lecture in Adobe PDF format to allow students with different learning styles to be successful in online learning. The course content is delivered in a consistent format to give students a familiar, intuitive method to complete your courses.
Highly qualified instructional designers, who have graduate degrees in instructional technology, support the faculty to ensure each course meets Northeastern standards. As a Northeastern University student, you know that your online courses are both academically sound and solidly delivered.
How do you prepare faculty to teach online?
Northeastern University requires all online faculty, including those with prior online teaching experience, to complete an online training program that teaches them how to design and deliver courses according to our requirements and expectations. So, in addition to providing instructors who are leaders in their field of practice, Northeastern can also assure students that our instructors are highly-qualified to teach online.
What technology do you use for online classes?
The virtual classroom is provided by Northeastern University using Blackboard, the recognized leader in learning management systems. Within NU Online there are additional tools to ensure your success, including:
- SMARTHINKING: An online tutoring system
- Collaborate: A web-enabled synchronous conferencing tool
- Voice Tools: A community building technology
What computer equipment do I need?
Please see Technical Requirements.
- PC (Vista/7/8) or Mac (10.6+)
- Many classes utilize audio and require a microphone
- High-speed internet connection
- Firefox (final release channel) recommended
- Internet Explorer 8.0+ and Safari 5.1+ are also supported
- Chrome (stable channel) is compatible with most functionality
What do I need to know?
- Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
- Uploading, downloading, & attaching files
- Navigating the Web