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The combination of academic excellence and experiential learning is what distinguishes a CSSH education from any other liberal arts education. Students in all disciplines explore different career paths, academic interests, and global challenges by adapting to different settings, asking new questions, and applying their problem-solving skills to actual scenarios.  

Experiential learning, anchored by the university’s renowned cooperative education program, lies at the heart of academic life at Northeastern. The integration of study and professional experience enables students to put ideas into action, through work, research, international study, and service, in 92 countries around the world. This makes a Northeastern education transformative, with countless opportunities for students to explore their path, discover their passion, and grow intellectually.

These experiences make students’ coursework come alive, enabling them to explore the possibilities of their major, and helping them to achieve long-term educational and career goals.

Not a major or minor, declare to be one here.

  1. 1.

    Service-Learning is part of Northeastern’s ethical mission as an urban university. But more than good works, service-learning on our campus is an academically rigorous experience. Service-Learning is a form of experiential learning involving partnerships between courses and community-based organizations.

    Office of City and Community Engagement

    The partnerships address the needs and interests identified by the community organizations. Through these partnerships with schools, neighborhood agencies, health clinics, and nonprofit organizations, we embed service into academic coursework. Students engage in hands-on service to address community needs, learning by applying course concepts to their experiences, and reflecting on those experiences back in the classroom.

    Northeastern University students experiential academic service
  2. 2.

    Cooperative Education  or co-op for short—is a key component to the Experiential Liberal Arts, an educational model that integrates experiential learning with the rigorous study of society, culture, and politics. Co-op enhances your understanding of human services by learning both inside and outside a traditional classroom setting. Learning occurs best when co-op and classroom experiences are considered two halves of a single curriculum. Develop professional, academic, and life skills on co-ops in a wide variety of industries. Depending on the job, you may find yourself gathering and analyzing data, supporting marketing campaigns, planning and facilitating events, teaching curriculum, supporting clients, or fundraising. Your experiences will enrich your academic learning when you see and experience themes and topics that you have discussed in class.

    CSSH Co-op

    celebrating co-op's impact

    Person standing outside wearing a black sweater holding a ballon bouquet with
  3. 3.

    Internship is an opportunity for a practical learning experience in a human services organization combined with a concurrent weekly seminar and reading. Before a student graduates, they will be required to spend a semester in a human services organization in a comprehensive field placement.

    Photo of Change Space with Social Impact Lab
  4. 4.

    Dialogue of Civilizations are Faculty-led programs, offered during the summer, that focus on critical issues facing students and their peers at both the local and global levels. Watch this video about a past Human Services Dialogue to Zambia here.

    Dialogue of Civilizations
    Previous Dialogue of Civilizations include
    • Japan
    • London
    • Croatia/Bosnia
    • Zambia
    entering Zambia sign
  5. 5.

    Student Research Pursuing research at the university level makes our students knowledge creators and develops their teamwork skills; and the discipline of mind that research requires is one of the best ways to learn to think critically.  

    Undergraduate Student Research

    With more than 30 interdisciplinary research centers and nearly 1,100 full-time faculty collaborating on basic and applied research in the United States and around the globe, Northeastern offers countless opportunities for students to apply their classroom learning to the process of discovery: through honors projects, co-op and study abroad experiences, and a mix of university- and college-sponsored programs.

    Zoomed in image of a person holding a red Northeastern folder standing on green grass in front of a black table.