Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public, comprehensive teaching and research institution located in DeKalb, Illinois. In 1859 the institution was chartered, opening its doors for the first time in 1899 as the Northern Illinois State Normal School, a teachers’ college. In 1955 the school was renamed Northern Illinois State College and two years later in 1957, achieved university status, adopting its current name. A world-class, research-focused institution, Northern Illinois University has been nationally ranked for its value and quality education. The University operates multiple campuses, including 144 acre, Lorado Taft Field Campus near Oregon, Illinois; NIU Rockford; NIU Hoffman Estates; and NIU Naperville. The University’s main campus, however, is located in DeKalb and features 756 acres, more than 60 major buildings and is located about 65 miles west of Chicago.
Academic ProgramsNorthern Illinois University’s mission and vision is to be “the premier student-centered, 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.” The University’s mission statement continues, “With this vision, the mission of the University is to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service.”
Northern Illinois University is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has been so since 1915. The University is divided into more than 40 academic departments and is made up of seven degree granting colleges, including: the College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, College of Health and Human Sciences, College of Law, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Approximately two dozen different degrees are offered, ranging from associates to doctoral and everything in between. NIU offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, nearly 10 pre-professional programs, and approximately 80 graduate programs with more than 50 specializations.
Student LifeNorthern Illinois University has a total enrollment figure of more than 20,000, including over 15,000 undergraduate students. More than 75 foreign nations are represented in NIU’s student body and the undergraduate male to female ratio is split nearly 50/50 with female students slightly outnumbering males. On-campus accommodations are offered for approximately 5,000 students through NIU’s several residence halls.
More than 200 student groups are recognized by Northern Illinois University, catering to a wide range of interests and providing ample opportunity for students to interact and connect with fellow students and faculty members outside of the classroom. As an NCAA Division I-A school, NIU’s varsity athletic teams compete in the Mid-American Conference. University varsity athletic programs include: men’s baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis, wrestling and women’s basketball, cross country, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, tennis, volleyball, indoor/ outdoor track and field. NIU’s Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium serves as home of the University’s football games (as well as other significant outdoor events) and has the capacity to seat more than 30,000 spectators.