Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a comprehensive teaching and research institution. It has since grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world. The vision of Northern Illinois University is to be the premier student-centered, a research-focused public university in the Midwest, contributing to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation, and the world. NIU is a multicultural community of over 20,000 students that cultivate, promote and celebrate diversity. Approximately one-third of NIU’s students come from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Its student body also includes more than 1,200 international students from over 70 countries. NIU is located in DeKalb, IL, which is about 105 kilometers west of Chicago. With a population of 44,000, DeKalb is a thriving community that has both urban and rural influences. Its location in the city of Chicago and surrounding suburbs offers unique opportunities for culture, entertainment, and employment. Many of NIU's programs are enhanced by the university's proximity to the major industries and large alumni base in the Chicago and suburban area; these provide opportunities for internships and clinical experience.
Undergraduate Programs at NIU
NIU’s 42 departments within seven colleges provide students with amazing learning opportunities in over 100 fields of study. Our outstanding faculty will help you explore and grow in an exciting learning environment – where hands-on experience complements classroom instruction. We offer 56 majors with 90 emphases, 73 minors and seven pre-professional programs in the Colleges of Business, Education, Engineering and Engineering Technology, Health and Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts. College of Business
- Business Administration
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology
- Electrical Engineering
- Industrial & Systems Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Computer Science
- Mathematical Sciences
- Department of Biological Sciences
College of Visual and Performing Arts
Student-centered Approach to Education
NIU is a place where students come for the kind of student-centered approach to education that helps them forge a life on campus that is uniquely tailored to their needs and interests. Its outstanding faculty will help students explore and grow in an exciting learning environment – where hands-on experience complements classroom instruction. Faculty and staff advisers are available in each college and department to help students select a major, design a program of study, map out the schedule, monitor academic progress and clarify career goals. Through internships, research, study abroad, over 300 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff of NIU work hard to provide you with life-changing opportunities. Because of the close learning relationships students form with faculty and staff, it’s an approach that ultimately results in career success when they leave our campus.
Housing Options & Campus Safety
Students can choose from a range of on- and off-campus living options, designed to suit your lifestyle and maximize your educational and social experiences. NIU's residence halls house over 5,000 NIU students each year. Living on campus provides many opportunities to meet people from different cultures, countries, and ethnic backgrounds. NIU is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy campus for its students. We offer many services designed to help you stay safe. For example, the Huskie Safe Line is a shuttle service during late night hours after the Huskie Bus Line stops running. This free service is available to NIU students, faculty, and staff as well as community members with disabilities. Student safety is our focus.
Accreditation and Affiliation
Accreditations An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing you with personal, career and life success. Nationally Accredited University: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation by the HLC is one-way NIU publicly demonstrates its commitment to quality and willingness to be held externally accountable to those the university serves. Nationally Accredited Programs: NIU is accredited in business, engineering, nursing, visual and performing arts, and all teacher certification programs (among others), for meeting the highest standards of academic quality and rigor.
U.S. News & World Report
- Top Public Schools: NIU ranks in the top 125
- Top National Universities: NIU ranks in the top 200
- Best Business Schools 2016: NIU's College of Business is nationally recognized in academic and industry circles for its teaching, research, and public service. Its undergraduate program ranks in the top quarter (24%) of best business schools out of nearly 550 eligible AACSB accredited business programs. Less than 4 percent of business colleges worldwide have earned AACSB accreditation, the highest credential of excellence for business programs
- Best Colleges 2016: NIU ranks in the top 50 for its Undergraduate Engineering Program. In the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, the undergraduate programs in electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). In the technology program, the emphases in electrical engineering technology and manufacturing engineering technology are accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, and the emphasis in industrial management and technology is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE).
- Top Universities Awarding American Chemical Society (ACS) ACS-certified Bachelor’s Degrees. NIU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ranks among the top universities for the number of ACS-certified bachelor’s degrees awarded.
- Within the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the programs in art, music, and theatre arts are accredited, respectively, by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST).
The Academic Year
The academic year consists of two semesters of approximately 16 weeks each, and an optional summer session. New international students can choose to start at NIU in either the Fall/August or Spring/January semester.