Foundation Year

We are excited to announce that Northeastern is strengthening its commitment to the students of the city of Boston by building on the past ten years of success that the Foundation Year program has offered!

For the past ten years, Foundation Year has provided an academically rigorous and supportive first year college experience that prepared Boston students to be successful at any college or university. Upon completion of Foundation year, most students transferred to other colleges and universities. Foundation Year is now providing an even greater opportunity for students who live in Boston by enabling you to start and finish your degree at Northeastern University.

Foundation Year integrates rigorous academics with student support services to create an environment where you can be successful for your entire Northeastern college experience. Students who successfully complete Foundation Year will matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern through one of two pathways: through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) or through one of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate day colleges by meeting academic standards.

Students who successfully complete Foundation Year and matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern either through CPS or one of the seven undergraduate day colleges will now be eligible for the NU Promise, giving committed grant funds to fill the gap between your demonstrated need and cost of attendance.

Molly Dugan, PhD Associate Dean, University Pathways Portfolio


Foundation Year: Curriculum

As a Foundation Year student, you will enroll at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies and take rigorous freshman level courses. In all, you can earn 32 semester hours of credit—the equivalent of one year of college credit. Following successful completion of Foundation Year, students who matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern either through CPS or one of Northeastern’s undergraduate day colleges will continue to receive advising and academic support from the Foundation Year team through degree completion.

Tuition, Fees, and Housing

Foundation Year is designed to be accessible to qualified students, regardless of family income or ability to pay. Applicants are required to submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS Profile as part of the admissions process. Foundation Year provides all students with textbooks and laptops to use for the entire school year, and students will receive a meal plan for the year. Housing is not available to Foundation Year students.

After successfully completing Foundation Year and matriculating into a degree program at Northeastern either through CPS or one of the seven undergraduate day colleges, you will be eligible for the NU Promise, giving you committed grant funds to fill the gap between your demonstrated need and cost of attendance.

Have questions about Foundation Year? Check out our FAQs!

What is Foundation Year?

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Foundation Year is a pathway program to Northeastern University. Foundation Year is an innovative first-year college program for high school graduates and students holding GED completion certificates who live in Boston. The program seeks students who would like to pursue a degree at Northeastern and would benefit from a comprehensive first year college experience featuring rigorous academics, career exploration and wraparound support services including advising, tutoring, mentoring, social networking, and work ready skills.  Students who successfully complete Foundation Year will matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern through one of two pathways: through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) or through one of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate day colleges by meeting academic standards.

How is Foundation Year different than in past years?

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Foundation Year is now expanded beyond a one-year program to a pathway to degree completion at Northeastern University. All students can start and finish their degrees at Northeastern. To make this academic opportunity possible for students, Northeastern has made a financial commitment to students who successfully complete Foundation Year and matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern, either through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) or one of Northeastern’s undergraduate day colleges. These students will now be eligible for the NU Promise which will give them committed grant funds to fill the gap between their demonstrated need and cost of attendance.

In addition to providing textbooks and a laptop for their first year, students will now also receive a meal plan for their first year.

There will no longer be a separate Foundation Year application. Students will now apply to Northeastern through the Common App.

There will no longer be a 6-week Summer Academy in July and August. Instead, students will attend a 1-week orientation at the end of August. Students will then enroll in a 15 week fall semester (Sept 8- Dec 19), a 15 week spring semester (Jan 11-May 1), and a 7 week summer term (May 10-June 29).

What are the costs associated with Foundation Year?

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Foundation Year is designed to be accessible to qualified students, regardless of family income or ability to pay. Applicants are required to submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the admissions process.

What types of courses do Foundation Year students take?

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As a Foundation Year student, you will take first year college classes that include College Writing, Calculus, Statistics, Biology, Psychology, Macroeconomics, History, Professional Speaking, and Philosophy. The courses are selected to meet core requirements and electives of the majors which students will select for their second year.

What is required to matriculate to my chosen program of study as a full time undergraduate day student at the end of Foundation Year?

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Students will have two pathways to degree completion at Northeastern. Students can choose to stay matriculated at CPS and pursue their degree program through the College of Professional Studies or students can transfer to one of the seven undergraduate day programs at Northeastern by meeting the progression standards. Students will be eligible to transfer to one of the seven undergraduate day programs by earning a 3.0 GPA with no course grades below C in the fall term, and no course grades below B- in the spring and summer terms.

How are students supported in their first year?

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Foundation Year’s advisors and tutors are available whenever students have questions or concerns. Advisors are accessible in person and by phone, email, or text message. To help facilitate learning, Foundation Year provides students with textbooks and laptops to use for the entire school year. Students are also provided with a meal plan.

Is housing available for Foundation Year students?

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Housing is not available for Foundation Year students. After completing Foundation Year, students who matriculate into one of the seven undergraduate day colleges are eligible to apply for housing, but housing is not guaranteed.

Will the credits I earn through the Foundation Year transfer?

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The credits you earn through Foundation Year will transfer to your next degree program. You must earn a C or better in your courses for the credits to transfer.

What are my next steps to pursue Foundation Year?

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To be considered for Foundation Year, you should have applied to Northeastern through the Common App by the January 1 deadline. Once you have applied, you can log in to your Application Status Check and indicate your interest in the Foundation Year program. Students will be notified of their admission decision by April 1.

What is Northeastern's College of Professional Studies?

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The College of Professional Studies is one of Northeastern’s eight academic colleges. CPS focuses on innovative and flexible academic degree programs at the professional, graduate, and undergraduate levels. Foundation Year students will be provided with an academic curriculum that positions them for successful degree completion at CPS or for successful transfer and degree completion at one of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate day colleges.

Have Questions? Contact us at foundationyear@northeastern.edu.