Academic Terminology

Current Northeastern students

Use the following preferred terms to describe academic status or academic intervals. Lowercase these terms: part-time student; transfer student. 

It is acceptable to use the term senior when referring to a fourth- or fifth-year student who is about to graduate.

You should refer to current students by their college/degree code and expected year of graduation. For instance, “Pat Smith, E’17” refers to a current engineering student. It’s also acceptable to refer to the student as a freshman or senior if that information is essential to the story or marketing message.

When discussing a student's academic discipline, include the student’s major and minor and lowercase the terms, unless it's a proper noun: an architecture and Spanish combined major with a minor in basket weaving; an architecture, international affairs, and French combined major.

Not: A senior architecture major/basket-weaving minor…

A double major requires the student to complete all the requirements for two existing majors. The same holds true for triple majors, which are rare.

A combined major (formerly known as a dual major) is a predefined and preapproved program that combines two disciplines. View the list of currently approved combined majors.

Northeastern alumni 

A person is a Northeastern alumnus (masculine) or alumna (feminine) if he or she graduated from the university. Use alumni to refer to all-male or mixed-gender groups of graduates, and alumnae for all-female groups. 

If you are listing only Northeastern graduates and want to call attention to their alumni status, you may identify them by their class year or the class year paired with an abbreviation for the college (or school) they attended or the degree they received.

Note that there is no space between the college or school abbreviation and the class year.

Harry Winters, PAH'51 

Janet Edelmann, L'83 

Mark Jones Jr., Ed'70 

Rhonda Washington-Smith, AS'96 

Joseph Peters Sr., BA'65, has issued a call for . . . 


Northeastern faculty

The terms lecturer, senior lecturer, and principal lecturer refer to full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members who are primarily responsible for credit-bearing, course-based instruction. These lecturers are appointed to the rank commensurate with their experience and credentials.

The terms professor of the practice and distinguished professor of the practice are reserved for a limited number of eminently qualified creative, business, entrepreneurial, law, or other professionals who are recognized by peers as having made significant contributions to fields and disciplines important to Northeastern University programs. This title has only two ranks: professor of the practice and distinguished professor of the practice. Professor of the practice and distinguished professor of the practice are non-tenure-track appointments.  

Partial Listing of Degrees at Northeastern University

The following is a list of the most common abbreviations for colleges and degree codes used at Northeastern University. The degree code for the college at the time of the alumnus' graduation should be used.

AMD College of Arts, Media, and Design

AP Master of Science in Accounting

AS College of Arts and Sciences

DMSB D’Amore-McKim School of Business

BB Boston Bouvé College

BHD Bouvé College of Human Development Professions

BHS Bouvé College of Health Sciences

BPH Bouvé College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

CAGS Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study

CIS College of Computer and Information Science

CJ College of Criminal Justice

CPS College of Professional Studies

CS College of Computer Science

DLP Doctor of Law and Policy

DMSB D’Amore-McKim School of Business

DPT Doctor of Physical Therapy

E College of Engineering

Ed College of Education

EdD Doctor of Education

FD Forsyth Dental

GB Graduate School of Bouvé College

H Honorary Degree

L School of Law

LA College of Liberal Arts

LC Lincoln College

LI Lincoln Institute

MA Master of Arts

MBA Master of Business Administration

MCS Master of Computer Science

ME Master of Engineering

MEd Master of Education

MFA Master of Fine Arts

MJ Master of Criminal Justice

MP Master of Science in Pharmacy

MPA Master of Public Administration

MPH Master of Pharmacy and Allied Health

MPS Master of Professional Studies

MS Master of Science

N College of Nursing

P College of Pharmacy

PA Graduate School of Professional Accounting

PAH College of Pharmacy and Allied Health

PhD Doctor of Philosophy

S College of Science

SET School of Engineering Technology

SPCS School of Professional and Continuing Studies

SSH College of Social Sciences and Humanities

UC University College