Since the beginning—and with increasing visibility in recent years—our accomplished graduates have made profound positive change in the world, applying the intellectual and professional tools of higher education to theoretical and practical challenges across industries and endeavors.
From timeless disciplines in education, policy, and economics to cutting-edge programs like informatics, digital media, and applied machine intelligence, our inclusive, experiential pedagogy is anchored in the bedrock of Northeastern’s commitment to educational excellence, in the lessons of our history,and the desire to make a lasting difference in the world.
The College of Professional Studies has deep roots in Northeastern University.
- 1898: Northeastern University teaches classes part-time for working adults at the YMCA on Huntington Avenue, Boston.
- 1904: Evening Polytechnic School (Lincoln Institute) established. Both are predecessors to the College of Professional Studies.
- 1953: College of Education established.
- 1960: University College (UC) founded. Its mission was to educate adult students with previous work experience, part-time students working toward an undergraduate degree, and full-time students who had varied scheduling requirements.
- 1970: University College becomes one of the largest undergraduate part-time colleges in the United States with more than 15 suburban metro-Boston campuses.
- 1980: Enrollment reached a peak of 14,000 students. Courses were taught in locations around greater Boston, including campuses in Dedham and Burlington.
- 1990: Noncredit Center for Continuing Education merged into University College, and Lincoln College (evening engineering technology) merged into the School of Engineering Technology.
- 1996: Lowell Institute School moved from MIT to Northeastern.
- 2004: University College renamed by Trustees to School of Professional and Continuing Studies. Online and graduate degrees launched.
- 2005: Six new undergraduate and 12 new graduate degrees approved by the university. Master of Education and Master of Arts in Teaching transferred from the College of Arts and Sciences to the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.
- 2006: First class of master’s and doctoral students graduate. Lowell Institute School becomes part of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies.
- 2007: The School of Professional and Continuing Studies adds the World Languages Center, School of Education, Global Pathways, Online Education, and Executive Doctorate in Law and Policy.
- 2008: The School of Professional and Continuing Studies is renamed the College of Professional Studies.
- 2009: Doctor of Education program launched after 12-year hiatus.
- 2010: The Undergraduate Department of Education becomes part of the College of Professional Studies.
- 2012: The Association for Continuing Higher Education gives its Program Award for Outstanding Service to Underserved Populations to Northeastern’s intensive, first-year college program, Foundation Year.
- 2013: Northeastern forms a partnership with Boston Ballet to educate dancers for life and careers after performing ends.
- 2015: Lowell Institute School is re-envisioned as a bachelor’s degree completion program preparing students for the 21st century technological workplace.
- 2016: Graduate School of Education established.
- 2018: NExT, the Network for Experiential Teaching and Learning, is created as a knowledge network of K-12 educators, education leaders, faculty, students, alumni and policymakers advancing experience-powered learning for all.
- 2018: National Science Foundation awards $4.4 million for the Associate’s to Master’s pathway program for students who begin their Biotechnology studies at Middlesex Community College and complete bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Biotechnology at Northeastern. The program responds to demand for a diverse and skilled workforce for the New England region’s biotechnology sector.
- 2020: College of Professional Studies degrees are offered across the Northeastern University system: online, Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Washington, Silicon Valley, California, Toronto, Canada, and The Roux Institute, Portland, Maine.
- 2020: Online Career Resiliency workshops created in response to pandemic-induced shifts in the economy. Nine high-demand skills areas, including Building Resilience and Data Literacy Fundamentals offered and recognized with digital badges.