Frequently Asked Questions

Admissions Questions

What is a personal statement?
The purpose of a written personal statement is to provide further insight into the applicant's:
  • Intent in applying to a program
  • Writing and communication skills
  • Personal and professional accomplishments and experiences
  • Educational goals and expectations from the program
The personal statement should be two pages typed (500-1,000 words). Care in preparing this statement is strongly encouraged.
How do I obtain my academic transcripts?
Contact the Registrar's Office at your transferring college or university to request an official transcript.
  • In order for a transcript to be "official," it must be in a sealed envelope from the transferring college or university
  • Be sure to confirm with the institution's Registrar's Office whether your classes were undergraduate, graduate, or both
What kind of resume do I need?
A resume that reflects academic and professional qualifications.
Is there an application fee for CPS?
No, there is no application fee.
Whom should I ask for a recommendation?
Recommendations should be provided from employers, supervisors, professors or others who are able to comment on your professional and educational goals and potential. Recommendations from relatives or personal friends are not acceptable.
How do I apply for an I-20 (student visa)?
Please follow the instructions on the visa information page here.

International Students Questions

How do I receive undergraduate transfer credit from institutions outside of the United States?
Transfer credit awards are granted on a case-by-case basis. To learn more about the process please visit the transfer student's admissions page.
What is an international student?
An international student is a student who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder).
When are the application deadlines for international students?
At the College of Professional Studies, you can apply to enter our programs all year long. However, we do have deadlines for each term.

Please submit all documents for your application as soon as possible. All documents must physically be in our office by the application deadlines. If we do not have all of your documents in our office by the specified deadline, you will not be allowed to start in the quarter of your choice. This includes documents for academic acceptance, and for documents for immigration purposes.
What makes a complete undergraduate application?
Undergraduate certificate and degree applicants need to submit the following:
  • Official Academic Transcripts, which include:
    • Official high school transcripts
    • Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED)
    • associate transcript (with conferral and date)
  • Applicants are responsible for providing a certified translation for any transcript not in English)
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • Some programs have additional requirements. Please refer to these requirements to ensure you submit all required materials
What makes a complete graduate application?
Graduate Certificate
  • Official Academic Transcripts (applicants are responsible for providing a certified translation for any transcript not in English)
  • Personal statement (500 to 1,000 words)
  • Current Resume
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
Graduate Degree
Everything listed above along with:
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Some programs have additional requirements, please refer to these requirements to ensure you submit all required materials
What should I do if I don't meet the entry requirements for my program?
If you do not meet the entry requirements for your preferred undergraduate or graduate degree, you can enrol on the Global Pathways Program to boost you language skills and academic knowledge to the required level. The Global Pathways Program offers a mix of intensive college-level English tuition and academic coursework that prepares you for your chosen degree. Find out more about the Global Pathways Program.

Financial Aid Questions

What type of aid might I receive?
Undergraduate is considered for:
  • Federal/State Grants - Pell Grant, SEOG, MA Grant
  • Federal Loans (guaranteed loans, not based upon credit)
      • FR: 5500 Dep; 9500 Ind
      • SO: 6500 Dep: 10500 Ind
      • JR/SR: 7500 Dep: 12500 Ind
  • All based upon financial eligibility determined by FAFSA
Graduate is considered for:
  • Federal Loans (guaranteed loans, not based upon credit)
      • 20,500
CPS Scholarships
  • You will be able to start applying for 2016-2017 scholarships by early May.
  • An application will be available online. Scholarships are limited and will be awarded based on established criteria.
When should I apply for financial aid?
You are encouraged to apply for financial assistance at the beginning of your academic year regardless of your current plans to cover the costs of your program. Having a finalized financial aid package can make accessing the aid much easier should your plans change later in the year. Please note that once you are awarded aid, you have the option to decline or cancel a portion of your award.
How much aid will I receive?
You can only receive financial aid up to the Cost of Attendance (COA). For example, if you are a graduate student and your COA is $17,000, you will only be awarded $17,000 in Federal loans. However, based upon your year in school, you may not receive financial aid up to COA.
What makes me eligible for financial aid?
  • US Citizen/Permanent Resident, not in default on a federal loan
  • Making Financial Aid SAP
  • Enrolled in at least 6 q.h. per quarter (can be split 3 q.h. per session)
  • Matriculated into a degree program- certificate programs are not eligible (except for Paramedic Technology)
  • Special Student status makes a student ineligible for financial aid, there are some supplemental loan options available online
  • If you are in a certificate program, you can apply for private student loans
  • A program must either be online, or 50% of courses must be taken at one of our approved sites in order to be financial aid eligible
How should I apply for financial aid if I have not yet done so?
Please complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the appropriate academic year you wish to enroll.

Registration Questions

What is a corequisite?
Corequisites are courses that must be taken at the same time. Registration for corequisite courses must be done at the same time. Choose all required corequisites before registering to make the process easier. Typically this would be lecture/lab sections (the corequisite to BIO1010 Biology 1 is BIO1011 Laboratory for Biology 1), but other corequisites exist as well and are clearly labeled in the schedule.
What is a CRN (course reference number)?

The CRN is the unique 5 digit number that identifies a particular course and section offered for the term. It was formerly referred to as the "key number".

For example BIO1010:

  • BIO1010 Biology 1 Section 1 Monday 5:50pm
    • CRN = 10072
  • BIO1010 Biology 1 Section 3 Saturday 9:00am
    • CRN = 10028
What is a prerequisite?
Prerequisites are courses that must be taken before another course. For example, BIO1010 Biology 1 is a prerequisite for BIO 1210 Biology 2. Students must successfully complete BIO1010 (or an approved equivalent) before registering for BIO1210. Please note that prerequisites are clearly labeled in the schedule.
I want to search for classes by session (first half, second half or full 12 weeks). How do I do this?
You may limit your search by "Part of Term." This option allows you to search for courses which meet for the full 12 week term, first half, second half. Use this option only if you want to limit your search to one part of term.
I haven't finished my application yet. Can I still start taking classes?
Yes. If you are applying to an undergraduate program, you may register for classes while finishing your application, by clicking here. If you are applying to graduate program, you may be eligible to take classes under "special student status." Click here to learn more about graduate "special student status."

Transfer Credit Questions

How is transfer credit processed if I am accepted into a fast-track degree completion program?
As a newly admitted College of Professional Studies student an automatic transfer credit award will take place granting a flat 80 q.h. worth of credits. Transfer credits will be posted to your student record once you have confirmed your enrollment to the program. Should you at any time choose to withdraw from the fast-track program and pursue another program at the College of Professional Studies; your transfer credit award will be re-evaluated and adjusted in accordance to the change of program.
How long will an evaluation take once all official examinations and transcripts have been received?
The transfer credit evaluation will take approximately 2-4 weeks to process, in which students will receive the award via email and mail.
How do I receive my degree audit?
Once the transfer credit evaluation is complete your degree audit will automatically be processed by your Academic Advisor, which will take 2-3 weeks (after your transfer credit evaluation has taken place). Your degree audit will include transfer credits awarded and all applicable courses previously taken at Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies.
How do I know if my transcripts have been received?
Students can check whether or not transcripts have been received by logging into their application. If you would like to forgo the evaluation of any transcripts listed on your application please e-mail

Online Learning Questions

Are policies and procedures for online courses the same as the on-ground Northeastern University courses?
The policies and procedures for online courses are the same as for on-ground courses (i.e. registering, withdrawing, course requirement fulfillment, etc.).
Does a degree earned online differ from a degree earned on-ground from Northeastern University?
A degree earned by taking online courses is a Northeastern University degree - there is no difference. Your diploma is exactly the same as that of an on-ground student.
How do internet-based distance learning courses work?
Course content (lectures, additional materials, discussions, assignments, etc.) is presented using an online learning system called Blackboard.
  • Course material is presented on a weekly basis and normally completed through the assigned readings, assignments, etc.
  • You interact with other students and the instructor via the discussion board and email. You may also collaborate on group projects through the web interface
  • Midterms and finals are usually taken online and, once started, must be completed in a set amount of time
  • You may be required to upload assignment files to NU Online
  • You do not need to log in to the course at any specific time during the week, but you do need to complete all your course work within the given time frame
  • One should plan on the workload being the same as a traditional on-ground course
Is the quality of online courses the same as campus-based courses?
Online courses are held to the same high standard as our campus-based courses, and are taught by experienced faculty with industry and professional experience. Questions are answered in a timely manner, and lively conversations are conducted on the course discussion boards. You will feel that you are part of a dynamic learning experience, just as in a traditional on-ground course.
Are College of Professional Studies online programs accredited?
All online programs and courses are accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

Interships and Co-op Questions

Can I do an internship or co-op at CPS?
Internships and co-ops can be integrated into many CPS degrees. You can use an open elective course to do an internship or co-op.
What kinds of internships and co-ops do students do?
Every position relates to the academic work you are studying. Students have worked as:
  • Project coordinators
  • Communications co-ops
  • BUsiness analysts
  • Management assistants
  • Regulatory operations co-ops
  • Documentation services analysts
  • Privacy and security interns
  • Web development interns
Where do students work?
Students work in:
  • Educational services
  • Public administration
  • Finance
  • Government
  • Health care and social assistance
  • Biotechnology
  • Security
  • Information technology
What are the qualifications?
You'll need to complet at least one term at the College to apply. You can find out more information here.
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