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To assist in understanding what work remains for the university in achieving our ongoing diversity goals, Northeastern has researched U.S. Census data and compared it to its racial and ethnic demographic data. The accompanying graphs provide a view of Northeastern’s racial and ethnic makeup among traditionally underrepresented groups and projects how those specific demographics might change if Northeastern is successful in its overall educational goals and diversity efforts. As this information makes clear, there is much work to be done if we want to make Northeastern a truly diverse university across all spectrums, and we’re committed to making real progress by 2026.

About our holistic assessment process: This information does not reflect, and is not intended to imply, that Northeastern seeks to meet any specific numerical goal regarding race and ethnicity. Northeastern already admits students, and hires faculty and staff, through a robust, holistic process that considers a number of different factors. Some of those factors are demographic, which include not only race and ethnicity, but also socio-economic status and geographic region. Other factors include personal skills, contributions to the community, and leadership. It is not Northeastern’s intention, and it will not be Northeastern’s practice, to replace that holistic assessment of the individual with a process focused exclusively on race.

View comprehensive demographic data >

Student Representation

By 2026, the racial diversity of our incoming domestic undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students will more closely reflect that of our national citizenry. To achieve these goals, we’re establishing thoughtful recruitment and financial aid strategies to engage prospective students within the groups represented in the data below—particularly Black and Hispanic people—and creating opportunities open to anyone regardless of socioeconomic status.

Data is updated each fall.
For the purposes of setting a baseline, current representation is derived from an average of data from the previous three years.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2019.

Faculty Representation

Our long-term goal is that our newly hired faculty should reflect the diversity of the societies we serve. Our intermediate goal is to increase the percentage of new faculty hires from underrepresented groups across all our campuses over the next five years, including the addition of faculty positions to support a new institute focused on racial justice and inequality. A specific priority will be to significantly increase the percentage of Black faculty hires in the U.S. over this period.


Faculty by Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Race, November 2020

Staff Representation

We’re reforming hiring, retention, and HR protocols so that, by 2026, our newly hired staff cohorts reflect the societies in which we do our work. This includes the creation of new workforce development programs that ensure robust career pathways for people of all backgrounds within our community.


Staff by Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Race, November 2020

Additional Initiatives and Goals