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At 8:13 a.m. on Sept. 16, student groups, faculty and staff received an urgent message from President Richard Freeland. The results were in, and Northeastern was ranked number one.

At the State of the University address that President Freeland gave in 2000, he announced his intention for Northeastern to be recognized as one of the top 100 universities in the nation. Freeland said he wished to do so within the first decade of the 21st century.

On Sept. 16, Northeastern edged closer to this goal.

U.S. News and World Report ranked NU as the number one university for internships and co-ops. Drexel University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Berea College and the University of Cincinnati followed behind.

In addition to the voicemail message the president left for members of the university, he also sent out an e-mail thanking everyone for their hard work.

“This is an exciting recognition for the university, and I want to thank all of you for your hard work and dedication that has contributed towards making Northeastern the great school that it is!” Freeland said.

U.S. News introduced a new category of rankings this year, recognizing “programs that enhance learning.” Other categories along with co-op are premium online content available, first-year experiences, senior capstone, undergraduate research/creative projects, learning communities, study abroad, service learning and writing in the disciplines.

Freeland said in the e-mail that the number one ranking is allowing Northeastern to become a more visible institution.

“Clearly, our number one ranking in the internship/co-op category acknowledges not only that Northeastern has demonstrated the power of our approach to integrating our academic excellence with real-world experience, but also that Northeastern is succeeding in our aspiration to be the nation’s leader in practice-oriented education,” he said.

The main rankings are divided into four tiers. This year Northeastern was ranked in the third tier as it was last year. In order to make the top 100; NU will have to move up into either the first or second tier. Last year the university was ranked 150. University officials are currently working with US. News representatives to calculate the numeric ranking, which should be presented at the President’s State of the University Address on Oct. 7 in Blackman Auditorium at noon, said Director of University Communications Ed Klotzbier.

Schools are ranked by examining certain indicators, which include, peer assessment, retention, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rates.

Although NU has yet to reach the top 100 Freeland urged the university to celebrate its achievements in practice-oriented education.

“Today is a great day for the Northeastern Community, alumni, parents, and friends. This ranking brings visibility to all that we have to offer as a university.”