Life on Campus

Northeastern offers a diverse and evolving campus experience for students that takes full advantage of the campus’ presence in Boston’s rich and dynamic environment. The master plan seeks to improve the quality of on campus student life by proposing spaces for student activities, athletics, performing and visual arts as well as striving to better integrate the campus into its neighborhood context.

Campus Facilities

Northeastern’s focus on new residential buildings in the prior IMP and its amendments, which included the construction of West Village and International Village, show a commitment to providing an on-campus housing alternative for undergraduates and graduates. This commitment has continued with the addition of the East Village residences, which will add 720 beds by 2015.

The focus now in the early years of the IMP will be to improve existing facilities and construct new buildings for academic, research, student life and athletic uses. Infill sites along Columbus Avenue, the Matthews Arena parking lot and the North Lot will provide space for new facilities to be built that satisfy demands for new research space, improved athletics and new general academic space, respectively. The creation of general purpose academic space will also provide much needed swing space to enable renovations of existing facilities. The IMP outlines a number of other specific projects that ultimately respond to growing or future needs for the long-term development of the University.


Student athletic and recreation space on campus is currently very limited. As the University proposes new athletic and recreation facilities, the intention is to improve student life experience on campus and provide access to such facilities for all students, as well as community members.


Limiting students’ campus experience can also influence the University’s recruitment capabilities for an increasing number of students who are seeking on campus facilities for general varsity athletics, recreation, club and intramural activities.

The following are the on-campus facility needs of the Department of Athletics & Recreation:

  • Development of a multi-purpose recreation field for both varsity and club or intramural sports;
  • Development of a basketball and volleyball practice facility (gym, training facilities, team offices, locker rooms); and
  • Adding rowing tank and crew team training facilities

Student Life

Northeastern’s educational model, centered on experiential learning and community service, lends itself to an environment for a student experience that is global in reach while forming a strong sense of local community.


This experience is characterized by independence, a comfort level with an urban environment, and a cultural competence developed through substantive academic and experiential activities. The following are areas of focus for an improved student experience:

  • A vibrant urban campus integrated into the City;
  • High- quality living and student dining environments;
  • Space for student experience including cultural facilities, social space, student club and event space; and
  • Gathering space and venues for University and community events, including athletics and recreation.

Northeastern’s urban presence in Boston is a fundamental part of a Northeastern student’s experience. While Northeastern does have the good fortune of being located in such a vibrant city, it nonetheless needs to provide the same student life facilities that any competitive university offers. This strategy improves the University’s recruitment capabilities while attracting and retaining students to on-campus housing. While buildings such as the Marino and Curry Centers offer amenities and social outlets for students, overall the campus student life facilities are not sufficient to support the substantial growth of students living on-campus. As Northeastern continues to respond to neighborhood pressure to house even more of its student population on campus, it must improve its ability to market on-campus housing by investing in student life facilities. This investment is required to support the considerable existing on-campus population housed in Northeastern residence halls, and to increase the attraction of staying on campus for upper classmen. This strategy is also seen as a key to giving off-campus students more opportunities for social and cultural activities on the Northeastern campus.

Guiding principles for student life on campus:

  • Distribute student social and study space / emphasis on the complete student experience: Providing students with flexible environments is important. New academic facilities must include social space, breakout spaces or lounges for student collaboration and study space to support current learning models.
  • Increase athletic presence and opportunities: New athletic facilities for collegiate and intramural sports are needed on campus. The presence of competitive athletics is often a fundamental part of a student’s college experience and facilities for recreational or intramural sports are equally as necessary to providing a rich campus environment.
  • Continue the transformation toward a residential campus: New models of student residences provide amenities and living arrangements that previous models lack, such as apartment style suites that offer a more independent style of living for students and a competitive alternative to off campus housing.
  • Enhance on-campus student experience: Cultural facilities for performances, rehearsals and exhibitions for student work as well as visiting artists and performers; space for the University’s many student clubs, organizations and general function and meeting space.