Opportunity Pathway Programs

From Northeastern’s earliest days, we have responded to the realities of our students’ lives with creativity and flexibility, from teaching evening classes — both on our Boston campus and far from it — to our early adoption of online learning. The initiatives and programs we offer today reflect the lives, interests and needs of students seeking education in the present, but we know that as students’ lives, careers and the economy change, we will, too.


The College of Professional Studies collaborates with a wide range of community-based and industry partners in building educational pathways that provide learners with the competencies needed to be successful in 21st century educational and career environments.

The Opportunity Pathway programs position students to enroll and succeed in college-level degree programs or short-term, high-value professional credentials. Our partnerships and pathways leverage students’ prior learning, whether demonstrated through work experience or through their previous educational programs, to accelerate learners towards their goals.

Partner with us

Would you like to explore partnering with us? Please contact Molly Smith, PhD, Associate Dean, Opportunity Pathway Programs, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies at [email protected]

Balfour Academy

Balfour Academy has a long history of providing summer enrichment programming and academic tutoring to Boston middle and high school students. During the six-year program, students build community, develop leadership skills, and engage in college preparatory curriculum while leveraging the resources of Northeastern’s Boston campus.

Boston Ballet

Together, Boston Ballet and Northeastern University provide dancers with the opportunity to earn bachelor’s or advanced degrees while continuing their demanding practice and performance schedule. In preparation for their transition from professional dancing, this partnership offers degree programs and experiential learning opportunities that will position them for success as they start new careers.

Foundation Year

Foundation Year integrates rigorous academics with student support services focused on success in the first year of college and through to graduation. Foundation Year students can earn a full year of academic credit from the College of Professional Studies. To foster camaraderie and peer-to-peer learning, this Boston-based program is a cohort model – all Foundation Year students attend classes together during the one-year program. Following successful completion of Foundation Year, students will matriculate into a degree program at Northeastern through one of two pathways: through Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies or through one of Northeastern’s seven undergraduate colleges by meeting academic standards. Students who successfully complete Foundation Year are eligible for the NU Promise, providing committed grant funds to fill the gap between your demonstrated need and cost of attendance.

Major League Baseball

Since 2017, Northeastern University has partnered with Major League Baseball to be the preferred education provider for players during and after their career. With the support of career and academic coaches, players can work toward their bachelor’s or master’s degree through online or in-person instruction.

“Major League Baseball has long understood the importance of player development, both on and off the field,” said Paul Mifsud, MLB’s vice president and deputy general counsel for labor relations and player programs. “MLB’s agreement with Northeastern University will provide players with a variety of world-class options to continue their personal and professional development.”

Merit America

Merit America seeks to provide a path to skilled careers in IT, advanced manufacturing and healthcare for adults without bachelor’s degrees. Offered in a blended online learning format with live support through small group work and one-to-one coaching, students work toward the completion of the IT Support or Java Development curriculum. Recognizing the close alignment of the missions of Merit America and the College of Professional Studies bachelor’s completion programs, students who complete either the IT Support or Java Development coursework who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree are eligible for academic credit equaling up to 18 semester hours toward the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. This saves both time to graduation and overall tuition cost.

Year Up

The College of Professional Studies (CPS) recognizes the learning built into Year Up’s unique training and internship program that seeks to move young adults from minimum wage jobs to careers. CPS will award Year Up alumni transfer credits toward a bachelor’s completion program. This shortens the time to graduation and reduces tuition. And, as with Year Up, CPS incorporates the power of real-world learning into the curriculum.

“We are honored to partner with Northeastern University and expand access to the University’s College of Professional Studies to Year Up alumni across the country. Northeastern’s commitment to flexible, personalized, and accessible learning – and to building seamless on-ramps for Year Up graduates to transfer credits and work already done through Year Up – will enable you to continue advancing in careers and education and ultimately earn meaningful postsecondary credentials. We are excited by this new opportunity to support our graduates in striving to learn, and I encourage all Year Up alumni to explore and take advantage of the wide array of pathways and services now offered by Northeastern.”

– Gerald Chertavian, Year Up Founder