Northeastern Acceptance Rate

February 10, 2021
By AdmissionSight

Northeastern Acceptance Rate: 9%

Shortcut to sections offered for Northeastern prospective students and Northeastern Acceptance Rate:

 Successful Applicant Profile

  • Demographics
  • Majors
  • SAT/ACT scores

Entry Requirements

  • Tuition
  • Scholarships
  • Checklist of Application Requirements
  • Application Deadlines

What Should You Expect

  • Student Life
  • Academics Offered
  • Athletics Offered
  • Notable Alumni

Located in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, Northeastern University is categorized as an R1 institution. First founded in 1898, while the school’s main campus is located in Boston, the university also has vibrant satellite campuses in locations such as Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, San Jose, California, Toronto, Vancouver as well as Portland, Maine.

If you are interested in learning about the Northeastern acceptance rate which will have a huge impact on the likelihood of you getting accepted then you have absolutely come to the right place!

Group of student working on a table.

Northeastern offers over 18,000 undergraduate students (as of 2018.1) the opportunity to take part in its unique style of education known as the cooperative education program.

This cooperative education program – which is commonly referred to as a co-op program is a style of learning and teaching that integrates classroom study with professional experience. It contains over 3,100 partners across the seven continents of the world.

In fact, the program has been an integral aspect of Northeastern University’s award-winning program has been a curriculum of experiential learning for more than a hundred years. It is one of the largest co-op/internship programs in the world.

While all students who enroll at Northeastern are not required to take part in the co-op program, depending on what academic discipline they are studying in, co-op participation is nearly universal among undergrad students.

This is just one of the many unique and special aspects that students get to experience on Northeastern’s campus.

When it comes to the Northeastern acceptance rate, that rate is at about 9 percent. That puts it amongst many of the most selective schools in the nation.

While it does not boast the kind of acceptance rate of many Ivy League schools or similarly prestigious schools, 9 percent is quite low and indicates that only the top students are getting in.

Think about it, if 100 students apply to Northeastern University, that 9 percent Northeastern acceptance rate means that less than 20 percent of those students are getting in.

In fact, while Northeastern is a private school, its acceptance rate is on par with the very best public universities in America such as UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Texas, and more.

For students who are looking to get a great chance of being amongst the 9 percent of students who are accepted, aiming for a weighted GPA of around 4.04. Yes, that is better than an A average. We’ll get into how you can achieve such a GPA in high school later on.

As for the all-important SAT and ACT scores, students who beat the odds of the Northeastern acceptance rate typically score somewhere between 1360 and 1540 on the SAT and between 32 and 34 on the ACT.

Those are all incredibly high scores and will take a lot of hard work, smarts, and preparation to put yourself in a position to succeed.

However, before we go into all of that, let’s break down what a successful applicant to Northeastern will look like!

Successful Applicant Profile

In this day and age, it is important that students who are attending universities want and deserve to be enrolled in a diverse institution.

This not only applies to the people who a student is studying alongside, whether they be of a different ethnic background, different gender, or different nationality than they are.  Students also deserve a diverse school when it comes to programs, majors, and minors that are offered.

Northeastern is one of the most diverse universities in the world when it comes to programs that are offered. With over 220 majors, eight colleges and programs, and over 130 combined majors they offer limitless opportunities for students to create a unique, personalized, and incredible learning experienced.

As is the case with many of the country’s top universities, the admissions process at Northeastern University is based on students’ grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities that students invest their time outside of class.

Beyond that, college admissions officers will also take a look at the difficulty of the student’s high school curriculum as well. For that reason, all students should make a point to highlight all of their greatest assets and accomplishments.

Here at AdmissionSight, we make it our job to help guide our students in both academics and extracurriculars in order to put their first foot forward and get into the best colleges possible.

When do you get accepted and enroll in classes at Northeastern, this is what your graduating class is going to look like:

Northeastern University demographics breakdown:

One fantastic thing about Northeastern is that it is a highly diverse school. In fact, Northeastern is high above average when it comes to ethnic, gender, geographic, and overall diversity. When it comes to ethnic diversity at Northeastern, the majority of students at the school are non-white. Here is a percentage breakdown of the ethnicities that make up students at Northeastern.

  • White: 45.4%
  • Non-resident alien: 19.8%
  • Asian: 13%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 7.6%
  • Black or African American: 3.6%

When it comes to gender diversity at Northeastern, the slight majority in the school is women. In fact, 50.7 percent of the school identifies as female.

Finally, when it comes to international students, Northeastern actually ranks 3rd out of 1,240 total schools amongst the overall best United States colleges and universities for international students. Partially thanks to the fact that Northeastern actually has campuses outside of the United States!

In 2013, Northeastern was home to 4,751 international students. By 2018, that number nearly doubled to a total of 7,059 international students. According to CollegeFactual, Northeastern ranks within the top 3 for students from the following countries:

  • Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Ukraine
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam

What are the most common programs?

Many of the most popular programs at Northeastern University include subjects that are included within the STEM program, but that does not mean that there is not a highly diverse list of programs and majors at the school.

Some of the most popular programs at Northeastern include Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Engineering; Social Sciences; Health Professions and Related Programs; and Biological and Biomedical Sciences.

Do not forget, that because of Northeastern University’s co-op style of educating, students take part in the aforementioned programs and many of the other programs at Northeastern, they will not only get the chance to learn about these fantastic subjects in the classroom, they will also get the chance to use what they learn in the classroom in the professional world.

What is the average SAT/ACT score of accepted students?

There is no denying the fact that Northeastern University is one of the more difficult schools to get in in the United States. The vast majority of students who are admitted to Northeastern are admitted amongst the top students in their class.

For that reason, getting great grades throughout your high school education will not be enough. You also have to get fantastic test scores on either the ACT or SAT as well. Even if you consider yourself to be a great test-taker, you are going to want to prepare as much as possible for the SAT or ACT.

When it comes to students who get into the SAT, the average SAT score for students who are admitted is 1465 on the 1600 scale.

The 25th percentile SAT score is 1390 and the 75th percentile score is 1540. What that means is that if your score 1390 on the SAT, you will be below average for students who get into Northeastern, and if your score 1465, you will have a score that is above average for students who get into Northeastern.

When it comes to the ACT, Northeastern is also incredibly competitive. The average score for students who go to Northeastern is 34 out of 36. At this school, the 25th percentile score is 32 and the 75th percentile ACT score is 35.

While Northeastern does not have a minimum when it comes to the ACT if you apply with a score of 32 or lower, chances are good that you are going to have a fairly difficult time getting in considering the Northeastern acceptance rate.

When it comes to your GPA, the average GPA of students, the average GPA of students who get into Northeastern is 4.04. If you are curious about how students can even gain a GPA that is greater than the 4.0, or straight-A GPA, the answer is simple: You will want to take weighted courses such as AP courses or honor courses in your school.

Entry Requirements

Northeastern is an elite private school and the cost that students have to pay in order to attend school is similar to many of the most prestigious schools in the country.

In all, there are nearly 14,000 undergraduate students who are proud of Northeastern students. While admissions to Northeastern is expensive and the workload is high, it is absolutely worth it once you graduate and become part of a strong, proud, and engaged alumnus community.

Whether or not you are admitted to Northeastern does not only depend on your GPA or your standardized test scores. You are also going to have to prove that the extracurricular activities you took part in during your high school years, as well as the difficulty of your coursework, have prepared you for the level of difficulty of classes that you will face at Northeastern.

Another thing to keep in mind is that no matter what your dream school is, your college education should not force you to go into tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. For that reason, it is imperative that you explore all options when it comes to needing and merit-based scholarships in order to get the financial help that you need in order to pay for school.

How much will it cost to attend?

When it comes to the total cost of attendance at Northeastern, here is a basic breakdown:

Breakdown of tuition for admissions

As you can see, while Northeastern is quite expensive, it is far more affordable than the most expensive schools in the country. This helps lead to a student body that is filled with people from many different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and countries. That is a very attractive aspect of the school that you should absolutely consider.

What financial aid opportunities are available?

When it comes to financial aid at Northeastern, the average amount of need-based scholarship grants that are awarded to first-year students is upwards of $35,000. On top of that, approximately 42% of students who attend Northeastern received need-based financial aid that year.

Application requirements

When it comes to what you need to send into in order to complete an application to Northeastern, here is the list of what must be included along with either your Common Application or Coalition Application, as the school accepts both:

  • The guidance counselor and teacher recommendations
  • Secondary school transcripts with final junior year grades
  • Early action and early decision students should send their first-term grades as soon as possible
  • As of 2021-22, students will be invited, but not required to send in standardized test scores
  • Non-native English speakers will have to submit results from an English language proficiency exam
  • $75 application fee

Application deadlines

Students are invited to apply to Northeastern as either Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision students.

Here are the application and decision notification dates for each tier.

Early decision

Application deadline for admissions

Early decision

Decision notification for admissions

Regular Decision

Application schedule for acceptance rate

Now that you are aware of what you need to send in in order to be considered, and what day you need to send them in by, let’s briefly break down what you can expect as a student at Northeastern once you are accepted and enroll!

What to Expect

Without a doubt, one of the best ways to learn about a school is to ask current or former students about their experience there. While you may not know Northeastern students personally yet, AdmissionSight can show you some of what current students are saying thanks to the sight Niche.

Here are what some Northeastern students have to say about the school.

“I love Northeastern for the most part! I love that it is in a city and still, has a campus, for starters. All of the students are hardworking and devoted in class but also know how to have fun – it’s not an overly competitive environment and everyone seems to really want to help each other out!

It is really expensive, but you get so much more out of it than you would a typical undergraduate education because of co-op and all of the other experiential learning options. There is so much opportunity in so many different ways,” one student said.

“Amazing school. Great location, lots of options to Major and minor in. Real-life experiences such as study abroad, global co-op, research, and volunteering locally. The best school ever and very diverse,” another said.

Academics offered

Northeastern is one of the most diverse schools in the country when it comes to the programs that are offered and that fact is easily represented by the school having 9 unique colleges. Those colleges include:

  • College of Arts, Media, and Design
  • D’Amore-Mckin School of Business
  • Khoury College of Computer Science
  • College of Engineering
  • Bouve College of Health Sciences
  • College of Professional Studies
  • College of Science
  • College of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Combines Majors

In all, Northeasters offers a jaw-dropping more than 90 majors for students to invest their time in. On top of that, the school makes sure to offer programs that are aligned with emerging industries of the 21st century.


The Northeastern Huskies compete in 13 Division I varsity sports and are a member of the CAA (Colonial Athletic Association). Those sports include:

  • Men’s hockey
  • Women’s hockey
  • Baseball
  • Woman’s field hockey
  • Volleyball
  • Swimming
  • Men’s soccer
  • Women’s soccer
  • Men’s rowing
  • Women’s rowing
  • Track
  • Cross-country
  • Field hockey

Famous Alumni

Just like every other prestigious school, Northeastern is proud to have many highly influential alumni who once walked the halls of their campus. Here are some of the most famous:

  • Beverly Johnson, businesswoman, television producer
  • Jane Curtin, comedian
  • Patrice O’Neal, actor, screenwriter
  • Damien Fahey, comedian
  • Albert Sacco, professor
  • Gordon Fox, politician
  • Urvashi Vaid, writer
  • Wendy Williams, television show host

If you want to see your name on that college acceptance list one day, the very first step is to get into Northeastern. Despite the highly competitive Northeastern acceptance rates, there is a real path for you to achieve that goal.

Having great essays and letters of recommendation can do wonders for your application. On top of that, making sure that you are taking hard classes and participating in meaningful extracurriculars that you are passionate about. AdmissionSight can help you bring forth your achievements and compelling stories in the best possible light so that your application gets more than cursory consideration.

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