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Prajna Kulkarni

Senior Academic Advisor

Prajna Kulkarni


Office Location

35-37 Leon Street
329 Meserve Hall
Boston, MA 02115

Mailing Address

Northeastern University
ATTN: Prajna Kulkarni, 301 ME
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


  • MEd, University of Mumbai, India
  • MSc in chemistry, Institute of Science, University of Mumbai, India
  • MS in chemistry, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • BEd, University of Mumbai, India
  • BS in chemistry, Jai Hind College, University of Mumbai, India

What are the specifics of your educational/career background?

I earned a Master of Education from the University of Mumbai, India, specializing in philosophical and sociological foundations of education, advanced educational psychology, research methodology, and statistics, while also receiving a Master of Science in chemistry at the Institute of Science at the University of Mumbai, India.

I have completed master’s level coursework at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, Virginia, that included advanced organic chemistry I and II, organic spectroscopy, atomic, and molecular structure.

My Bachelor of Education is from the University of Mumbai, India, specializing in educational psychology, guidance counseling, and educational evaluation, school organization and special study of field of education (educational technology), special methods (science and mathematics), as well as a Bachelor of Science in chemistry at Jai Hind College, University of Mumbai, India.

I have taught general chemistry to undergraduates at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and Nirmala Niketan, College of Home Science, Mumbai India.

What are the key aspects of your role at Northeastern? What do you enjoy most/find most interesting about what you do?

Academic advising is my primary function in this position. As an academic advisor, I must have expert knowledge of various academic programs and options, as well as keep abreast of updates and changes in programs, while having a strong understanding of the policies and procedures within the college.

I teach several sections of the first year seminar course – Leadership Skill Development (CS1200). This class introduces students to the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and helps them in their preparation for careers in the computing, data science, and cybersecurity fields. My other responsibilities include running degree audits, identifying courses, and helping students prepare short and long-term schedules. Using my knowledge of student development theory and my knowledge of available resources, I assess student needs in order to help them successfully navigate the educational process. Advisors play a key role in Khoury College retention and graduation rates. I work closely with students towards academic retention within the college or assist them in identifying and transferring internally to another college. I also work closely with the Khoury persistence advisor and associate dean of administration in retention efforts.

Two of my main responsibilities are to accurately conduct senior clearances and to communicate closely with students during this process. As a liaison, I also communicate regularly with the College of Science. I bring up policy issues as they arise and work with my supervisor and peers to resolve them. I enjoy every aspect of my job responsibilities and work to the best of my ability.

I also advise students in the computer science and information science combined major, information science, data science, cybersecurity, and their combined programs with College of Science, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Bouve Health Sciences.

What’s the most compelling thing to you about the work that goes on at Khoury?

I am awed by the continuing accolades and achievements received by Khoury College for research in different areas of computer science. Khoury has research interests in data science, artificial intelligence, algorithms and theory, human computer interaction, game design and virtual worlds, security, and programming languages. Of these areas, the two that I find most compelling are personal health informatics and data science. Both these fields use knowledge from the computer sciences for the benefit of humankind. While health informatics uses computer technology to change the way healthcare is delivered, data science researches databases and retrieves data which can then be applied to several different fields such as medicine and physical or social sciences. I feel immense pride as a member of Khoury College and Northeastern University.

Where did you grow up or spend your most defining years?

I was born in Mumbai, India, and this is where I spent my childhood and attended college.

What led you to work in your field and/or study at your college?

I am a people person, and I love my job because it gives me ample opportunity to meet with many different people. Growing up, my only desire was to pursue a career in academics. I loved to teach and found the experience very satisfying.

I obtained advanced master level degrees to make me eligible to teach college level chemistry. Before I came to Boston, I worked as an adjunct faculty-member for general chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. I was then offered a position of a pre-health advisor at VCU, which I accepted gladly because I could use my degree in education and stay connected with what I loved doing the most. As a pre-health advisor, I was able to have one-on-one contact with my students and follow them through their graduation. It gave me immense pleasure to see my students enter medical, dental, pharmacy, and PT schools. It always felt like a personal achievement when my students came back to tell me how they appreciated my help in their application process. I moved to Boston in February 2014. After my experience as a pre-health advisor, I decided to apply only for academic advising positions.

At Northeastern University, I am able to see my advisees’ progress from being new incoming students to becoming accomplished senior students who are ready to move out into the world. I am able to see the entire spectrum of change which occurs during their academic journey at Northeastern University; I watch them grow from being sometimes hesitant about their major choice to speaking confidently about their future career plans and discussing their post-graduation job offers.