As an international exchange student at Northeastern, you will be registered as a full-time non-degree seeking student. You can select your courses from most of the schools and colleges at Northeastern University as long as you meet the prerequisites for the course.
See the Office of the University Registrar for Academic Calendars. Typically:
- Fall term commences in the beginning of September.
- Spring term commences in the beginning of January.
Classes and Credits
Most classes at Northeastern are worth 4 credits each. Your study abroad advisor will help explain how these 4 credits will convert to your home university’s credit system.
Exchange students must maintain full-time status at Northeastern and not violate their J-1 visa status requirements. This means that you must register for at least 12 credits per semester. You cannot register for more than 18 credits. For most students, this means taking 3 or 4 academic classes per semester.
Assessment and Grading
You can find details of Northeastern’s grading system here. Final grades in your classes are typically a weighted average of the combined classwork in a course, which can include homework, essays, class participation, and exams. All of your classes and grades from Northeastern will be reported to your home university.
You will request for your official transcripts to be sent to your home institution through your student portal. Transcripts are not automatically ordered or processed by GEO. For more information, see Registrar instructions.
You should request your transcripts in advance and choose the option to have the transcript “held for grades”. This will guarantee that the transcript will be processed as soon as grades are received at the end of the semester.
You can also view your unofficial transcript through myNEU.
Course Information and Selection
Descriptions of Northeastern classes can be found in the Northeastern Course Catalog. This is a full list of courses offered throughout the year. You can use the previous fall or spring offerings as a guide for choosing your courses, however there is no guarantee that the exact same courses will be offered.
To learn when certain courses are offered, use the Dynamic Scheduling Tool. Start by selecting the term/semester in which you are looking for a course. Please note, that not all courses are offered in every semester. This is the recommended method for finding courses to take during your Northeastern experience. Use this tool while completing your GEO Incoming Exchange Application to select your courses and to discuss these course selections with your international office advisor before coming to Boston.
If you require a course syllabus ahead of time for approval by your home university, please contact The Global Experience Office via email at [email protected]. We will make every effort to obtain the syllabus for you, but we cannot guarantee that they will be available.
Many courses have multiple components such as co-requisites, lectures, discussions, and/or labs. Pay attention to these requirements (outlined in the Dynamic Schedule) to ensure that you register for all requisite components of your course.
The following Northeastern schools, programs and courses are not available to exchange students. Please take these into consideration when planning your courses.
- School of Law – This is a separate graduate-level degree program which is not available to exchange students. If you are studying undergraduate law at your home institution, you may browse the Undergraduate Course Catalog to find courses which have a law focus in many different areas of study.
- College of Professional Studies (CPS)
- Cooperative Education courses and experiences
- International Business (BSIB) Core Courses
- Strategy Courses (STRT)
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- BUSN 1101
- INTB 1202, 2202, 3202, 4202
- MGMT 4310, 4603
Admission to any course is not guaranteed.
GEO will register you for your classes before you come to Northeastern based on the course selection form you submitted. We cannot guarantee enrollment into any particular course, so be flexible when planning your course schedule. Follow the steps below to register for your courses.
Step 1: Select Your Courses
Make a list of the courses you would like to take at Northeastern using the Northeastern Course Catalog and the Dynamic Scheduling Tool. Remember that you will be taking 3 – 4 courses at Northeastern. It is a good idea to have a few additional options in case any of your top choices are not available.
Step 2: Review Requirements
Carefully review all prerequisites listed for every class you are interested in taking and meet with your advisor to ensure that you meet those requirements. If prerequisites are listed, you will have to provide evidence (usually your transcript and/or syllabi from the course) to show that you meet these requirements. Make sure you do not choose any courses listed in the Course Restrictions section above.
Step 3: Review Schedule
When you have found 3 – 4 classes for which you believe you are qualified, check their scheduled days and time using the dynamic search tool to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts. You must attend each class at it’s scheduled time; you are not permitted to register for classes that have overlapping time slots.
Step 4: Register for Classes
Once you have completed your course request application, the GEO registrar will begin the process of registering you for courses. Please note that any course change requests must be supported with a strong academic reason.
There is an Add/Drop period at the beginning of every semester when you can make changes to your class schedule if necessary. See Registrar schedule.
Classes that are Full or Unavailable
Northeastern cannot guarantee enrollment in a course, which is why it is recommended to choose 4 courses and 4 alternates. In addition to restrictions listed above, courses may be full before it is your turn to register. Please be flexible when planning your courses.
If a particular class is already full, it may be possible to gain admission. There are three ways to do this:
- If another student drops the course. If a course you are particularly interested in is full, it is still possible that another student enrolled will withdraw, creating an opening. You can check back regularly to see if this occurs.
- Via waitlist. Some courses have a waitlist option. See the Registrar procedure here for waitlist registration.
- During the Add/Drop period. During this time, you can work directly with GEO to add and drop courses that you have been approved to take. During Add/Drop, it is also possible that other students will drop a class creating space for new registrants.