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Northeastern receives record number of undergraduate applications for fall 2024

The university received 98,373 applications for fall 2024, up from 96,631 in 2023, 91,000 in 2022, 75,244 in 2021 and 64,459 in 2020. That’s an increase of 33,914 applicants, or 53%, over five years.

Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University

Northeastern received a record number of undergraduate applications for the 2024-2025 academic year, which university officials attribute to the university’s expanding global footprint and its leadership in experiential learning.

Northeastern took in 98,373 applications for fall 2024, up from 96,631 in 2023, 91,000 in 2022, 75,244 in 2021 and 64,459 in 2020. That’s an increase of 33,914 applicants, or 53%, over five years, according to Satyajit Dattagupta, the university’s chief enrollment officer and senior vice chancellor.

“The Northeastern education is unparalleled — the ability to study at a premier R1 research institution that has the ability to send students all over the world to gather professional experiences before they graduate,” Dattagupta says. “This unique value proposition leads to clear and measurable outcomes for families.”

A bar graph showing the number of undergraduate applications submitted to Northeastern from 2020 to 2024 with white bars on a black background.
Illustration by Hannah Moore/Northeastern University

The incoming class will include about 2,600 students in Boston, Dattagupta says, as well as 475 at Northeastern’s undergraduate campus Oakland, California, and another 300 at the university’s undergraduate campus in London.

Beginning in 2023, applicants were asked to select their preferred undergraduate campus. This year about 18% expressed interest in London and 18% in Oakland as their first or second choice of campus, with 80% indicating Boston as their primary or secondary selection. 

The university received record interest coming from countries such as China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Taiwan. 

In the U.S., the most applications were received from New York, Massachusetts, California, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Counselors recommending Northeastern 

Meanwhile, guidance counselors and advisers to high schoolers are recommending Northeastern to their high-achieving students and families who are increasingly focused on outcomes.

“The return on investment is tremendous with the many networking opportunities for students to connect with professionals and bridging what they are learning in the classroom to the real world,” says Joseph Lopez, associate director of college counseling at The John Cooper School in The Woodlands, Texas.

According to the latest available data measuring outcomes, 93% of Northeastern graduates are employed full time or in graduate school within nine months of graduation. Of those, 91% are doing work related to what they majored in at Northeastern. 

“Northeastern has always impressed me with its innovative experiential learning opportunities, especially with their co-op programs, as well as the opportunity for students to learn and do research in London and Oakland, California.”

Lopez had the opportunity to visit Northeastern’s campus in Oakland last spring.

“I was impressed with the unique culture of the campus,” he says. “But, more importantly, the academic and co-op opportunities students will have with being in the Bay Area, especially in the fields of business, software and biotechnology.”

In addition to Oakland, Northeastern’s network of 13 campuses in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. include Boston, London, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Charlotte, Miami and Silicon Valley, as well as Arlington, Virginia; Portland, Maine; and Nahant and Burlington, Massachusetts. Undergraduates study on the Boston, Oakland and London campuses, while the other campuses focus on graduate-level programs and research. 

Diversity of student body, academic offerings

Natalia Butler, who was admitted to the class of 2028, is a high school senior from Sao Paulo, Brazil, living in Ohio. She plans to study business administration in the D’Amore-McKim School of Business on the Boston campus.

Northeastern was her top choice because of its location and the diversity of its student body and academic offerings.

“The Boston campus’ hybrid of being in a big city and having an enclosed space of its own truly drew me to Northeastern,” Butler says. “I enjoy how safe Boston is compared to other cities, while still having an entertainment scene.”

Butler says she had never heard of combined majors — Northeastern has over 180 — before touring the university.

She’s excited about the unique opportunity to merge two seemingly unrelated areas of study — philosophy and computer science, for example — into one major.

“As someone who is both curiously interested in various subjects and indecisive, hearing about people who have a combined major, concentration and multiple minors sounded like music to my ears,” Butler says.

Signature experiential learning programs

Northeastern’s signature experiential learning programs also set the university apart, Butler says. She did a marketing internship in high school last summer, which led her to pursue a business degree. 

Northeastern has a network of more than 3,500 employers around the world where students can gain professional experience in full-time positions that last up to six months. 

“The [co-op] program was a significant factor in my decision to apply to Northeastern because real-world opportunities will only open doors for my future,” Butler says.

She also appreciates the global mobility available for Northeastern’s students. Students work, study, and do research in 149 countries and on every continent.

“Having three citizenships and being a world traveler, I have grown up embracing various cultures, and I seek to be close to others who can reciprocate the same passion,” Butler says.

Northeastern ‘has something for everyone’

Like Butler, admitted student Britney Valdez is also considering a combined major — in political science and criminal justice.

A high school senior from Brockton, Massachusetts, she is currently completing an internship at an immigration law office.

The best experiential learning opportunities in higher education drew her to Northeastern.

“I love how co-op is an opportunity to make connections and gain real-world experience in your field, as well as getting exposed to jobs worldwide,” Valdez says.

She’s also looking forward to everything the global campus network has to offer.

“A big thing that made Northeastern my top choice was that there is something for everyone,” Valdez says. “With the numerous clubs, sports and events campus-wide, I know I will be able to fit in anywhere and make amazing life-long connections.”

David Nordman is executive editor of Northeastern Global News. Meghan Donovan and Mark Conti contributed to this story.