NU Start

As part of Northeastern’s longstanding tradition of offering relevant and innovative educational opportunities, we are proud to introduce NU Start—a comprehensive online program that includes a suite of first-year courses delivered through a unique and personalized virtual learning community.

Drawing on our proven experiential learning model, NU Start integrates the virtual classroom with experiential learning opportunities while connecting cohorts of first-year classmates around the globe. NU Start will provide research experiences for credit and ongoing opportunities to connect with faculty, alumni, and upper-class peer mentors. NU Start will provide a set of learning communities—designed and led by faculty experts from across the university—through which students will learn about research-based global challenges. Students in each learning community will also have the opportunity to pursue a 4-credit project related to the theme for credit, thus orienting them right away to the hands-on, real-world, solutions-oriented atmosphere unique to the Northeastern experience. The learning communities also provide ongoing opportunities to connect with faculty, alumni, and upper-class peer mentors. Additionally, each student in the NU Start program is supported by an integration coach who will ensure that they are well connected to Northeastern’s global network and their peers. NU Start will offer flexibility of location and time, allowing students to jump-start their education with Northeastern’s powerful learning model. Finally, all NU Start students will take advantage of facilitated reflection, a key component of our experiential learning model, through our unique  SAIL program  while earning Northeastern credits toward their degree.


Why NU Start?

NU Start is a program for first-year students enrolling in the fall or through the N.U.in Program who will not be able to travel to campus for the fall semester and will complete their first semester remotely. The program is designed to connect students from across the globe to Northeastern's first-year experience. NU Start provides an opportunity for students to become part of Northeastern’s global network and see the impact of experiential learning from anywhere in the world.

Northeastern is uniquely positioned to leverage its global leadership in education and its history of remote learning to support students impacted by changes in global mobility. Northeastern has longstanding expertise in remote instructional delivery and pedagogical innovation, including the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning through Research (CATLR) and Self-Authored Integrated Learning (SAIL). Every learning community is shaped by its people; Northeastern’s culture is one of ongoing innovation. When you compare institutions you’re not just comparing technologies or programs, but also asking: who do I want to learn with and from; who do I want to be connected to while I advance my journey as a lifelong learner? Between its faculty experts, industry partners, and alumni, many of whom are global leaders, Northeastern offers a broad global network who are available to advise and mentor students along their journey. We’ve designed NU Start to ensure you are well connected from the start.


Distinctive Features of NU Start:

  • An experiential learning community of students, faculty, advisors, peer mentors, and integration coaches, focused on exploring a significant global challenge.
  • A unique, project-based course focused around global challenges, designed and led by top research faculty.
  • A robust set of programs and services specifically designed to virtually connect first-year students to each other as well as the global Northeastern community.
  • A comprehensive experience designed to immerse first-year students into the academic and social networks of the university.


Program Information

This one-semester program begins in the fall and all courses are taught by Northeastern faculty. Students will complete four courses and any associated labs and recitations, and a specially designed 1-credit first-year seminar. This mirrors the coursework a typical first-year student takes at Northeastern. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to participate in a 4-credit, project-based global challenge, enabling them to examine the learning community topic in depth. These exciting projects, designed by leading research faculty, will provide unique opportunities to propose solutions to real-world problems.  

Learning Communities

Curriculum

Check out some of NU Start’s available courses below. Please note, course offerings are subject to change.

  • American Government
  • Buildings and Cities, A Global History
  • Business Statistics
  • Calculus 1 for Science and Engineering
  • Calculus 2 for Science and Engineering
  • Calculus for Business and Economics
  • Discrete Structures
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting
  • First-Year Writing
  • First-Year Writing for Multilingual Writers
  • Foundations of Biostatistics
  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Fundamentals of Computer Science
  • General Biology
  • General Chemistry for Engineers
  • Globalization and International Affairs

 

 

  • Integrated Anatomy and Physiology
  • International Business and Global Social Responsibility
  • International Relations
  • Introduction to Business
  • Introduction to Communication Studies
  • Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Music in Everyday Life
  • Peoples and Cultures
  • Physics for Engineering
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Public Speaking
  • The American Healthcare System
  • Topics in Graphic Design History
  • Understanding Today’s News

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for the NU Start program will be the same as tuition for students beginning their coursework on campus in Boston: $27,180, plus any applicable fees. Students who have been offered academic merit scholarships will be able to utilize their award during the NU Start program.


Who is NU Start for? 

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Northeastern is uniquely positioned to leverage its global leadership in education and history of remote learning to support students impacted by changes in global mobility. NU Start is a program for first-year students enrolling in the fall or through The N.U.in Program who will not be able to travel to campus for the fall semester and will complete their first semester remotely. The program is designed to connect students from across the globe to Northeastern’s first-year experience. NU Start provides an opportunity for students to become part of Northeastern’s global network and see the impact of experiential learning from anywhere in the world.

What will I gain if I choose NU Start?

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The NU Start program is an interdisciplinary program designed to connect students across vast distances in order to take on global challenges. The program provides eager and entrepreneurial students with educational continuity and an opportunity to experience Northeastern’s global network during a period of reduced global mobility.

Am I really a part of Northeastern if I am in NU Start?

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Yes! Students who begin their Northeastern experience in the NU Start program are actively welcomed, full members of the Northeastern community. Students in the program will participate in Northeastern’s dynamic learning community with support from academic advisors, faculty, peer mentors, and integration coaches who will ensure their integration into Northeastern’s robust global network. Students will also be able to take part in a number of virtual co-curricular experiences and major campus events.

Can I participate in clubs and other Northeastern activities?

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Yes, students in the NU Start program will be able to participate in some clubs and activities connected directly with Northeastern’s Boston campus. However, participation in some clubs and activities will not be available until students begin their studies at the Boston campus. In keeping with the spirit of Northeastern as a community of active leaders and learners, NU Start students will be encouraged to create new activities within their learning communities.

What does a typical schedule look like in NU Start?

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NU Start students’ course schedules will consist of four courses (and any associated labs) and a 1-credit seminar. This mirrors the typical schedule of other Northeastern first-year students. Through learning community events and advising sessions with their integration coaches and peer mentors, NU Start students will connect regularly with their first-year cohort and the wider Northeastern community. 

Are the classes synchronous (learners meet at scheduled times) or asynchronous (learners engage at their own pace and schedule)?

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In order to accommodate NU Start students in different parts of the world, classes in the program will be asynchronous. This is a specific difference from NUflex, where courses will be synchronous in nature, with some lectures being recorded. However, students in the NU Start program will participate in a weekly, synchronous seminar that is appropriate to their time zone. For students who will be remote for the entire first semester, NU Start offers an experience designed to meet the flexibility and unique needs of this student population.

What is the difference between NU Start and NUflex?

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NU Start is a completely remote program built exclusively for first-year students. NU Start will have both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and it will have a support and community-building structure designed to help engage first-year students in a robust way. Additionally, NU Start offers resources and supports specifically for students who are engaged in remote learning. NU Start is the right program for a student who knows they will not be in Boston for the fall term. 

NUflex is a teaching modality that the majority of undergraduate classes will be taught in for the upcoming year. It provides flexibility for students to attend some class sessions in person, and others in a virtual fashion. While students can complete NUflex courses remotely, the classes delivered through NUflex for remote students will be done in a fully synchronous manner, meaning a student needs to be “attending” the class at the same time the course is being taught in Boston. This may not the most ideal option for first year students in other time zones. NUflex classes are recommended for a first-year student who intends to be in Boston for most or all of the fall term. 

Will I be able to take NUflex courses as a student in the NU Start program?

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The NU Start program provides a comprehensive range of course offerings for first-year students. However, students with special circumstances will be able to work with an academic advisor to discuss alternative course options though NUflex.

How will I explore my academic interests in NU Start?

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Students in the NU Start program will be able to explore a research theme with a faculty member, collaborate with their peers to consider real world problems in an interdisciplinary first-year seminar, and reflect on their journey with the SAIL program.

What are the class sizes? 

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While class sizes will be determined by the size of the NU Start cohort, it is likely that class sizes will closely resemble those on our Boston campus.

How will I be sure I am on track for my major?

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Academic advisors will work with students in the NU Start program to ensure they are completing coursework that will help them progress towards their degree while in the program.

Where are other students located?

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Students in the NU Start program will connect from all over the world to build a shared learning community.

How will I learn about and participate in my college/department activities?

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Students in the NU Start program will be connected to their college and department through a range of resources, including peer advisors, academic advisors, faculty, and integration coaches. Integration coaches will also ensure that students are connected to their home college, other students in the program, and resources in Boston.

Will I have an academic advisor?

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Yes, all students in the NU Start program will have an academic advisor.

Will I be able to take all the same classes if I join NU Start?

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Students in the NU Start program will choose from a curated selection of courses designed for first-year students. These courses are the same as those offered on Northeastern’s main campus in Boston. Additionally, students in their NU Start Learning Communities will have the opportunity to complete problem-based courses on compelling global themes that are new to Northeastern.

Will I be able to choose my classes/professors during NU Start?

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Academic advisors from each college will work with students during the NU Start program to select courses that will help students progress toward their degree.

Will the classes be taught by Northeastern faculty?

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Yes, all courses in the NU Start program will be taught by Northeastern faculty.

What platform will the courses be taught on?

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Courses in the NU Start program will be taught via Canvas, but some courses will also utilize additional learning platforms and resources.

What is the cost for NU Start?

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Tuition for the NU Start program will be the same as tuition for students beginning their coursework on campus in Boston: $27,180, plus any applicable fees. Students who have been offered academic merit scholarships will be able to utilize their award during the NU Start program.

Will my financial aid award be impacted if I select NU Start?

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A student who enrolls in NU Start will be considered a “commuter” student for financial aid purposes and will have a reduced Cost of Attendance that does not include the allocated costs for room and board. A reduced Cost of Attendance may result in a change to a student’s need-based financial aid as well as the overall amount of loan funds a student or parent may borrow. Students should contact Student Financial Services (sfs@northeastern.edu) to understand how their financial aid award may be adjusted by enrolling in NU Start.

Please note that merit scholarship awards will not be impacted by a decision to enroll in NU Start. Additionally, after a student completes NU Start and in future semesters resides on-campus, their Cost of Attendance will be adjusted to reflect room and board costs; need-based financial aid awards may increase at that time.

When do I need to make my decision?

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Students should indicate their intent to participate in the NU Start program by July 24.

How do I choose NU Start? When do I have to decide if I want to participate in NU Start or not? Can I change my mind later?

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Students should indicate their intent to participate in the NU Start program by July 24 on their Application Status Check. While we understand that students may experience changes in circumstances related to international travel, in order to ensure a seamless experience for students participating in both the NU Start program and courses on our Boston campus, once a student has indicated their intention to enroll in the NU Start program they should plan to begin their Northeastern experience in the program. Should a student’s situation change after July 24, requests to switch from NU Start to a campus-based experience (or vice-versa) will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

How does NU Start impact my university housing?

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If you register for NU Start, your housing will be cancelled automatically for the fall with no fee, and Housing Services will contact you during the fall semester about next steps for Spring 2021 housing.

I was admitted to the N.U.in program. If I join NU Start will I experience this program differently as an N.U.in student?

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Students who were admitted to the N.U.in program and choose to study in the NU Start program will participate in learning communities, courses, and research opportunities with all NU Start students while maintaining the matriculation and credit transfer policies of the N.U.in program.

I've selected the NU Start program, can I keep my same course schedule?

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Students will most likely need to adjust their schedules, but advisors will support students in this process. Students will first hear from their advisors to adjust their schedule for NU Start after August 1st.

Have Questions?
Contact us at admissions@northeastern.edu. You can also reach out to your admission counselor, their information is located in your Application Status Check.