Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1899 as a teachers' school and since then it has grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world. Northern Illinois University's vision is to be an engine for innovation to advance social mobility, promote personal, professional and intellectual growth, and transform the world through research, artistry, teaching and outreach.
Whether students are looking to earn their four-year degree, pursue additional or advanced degrees, change careers or earn credentials, NIU has a convenient location to make it possible for students to build their future while balancing their current lifestyle. With centers throughout northern Illinois, the Chicago area and online, students can call many places their home. NIU offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and 80 graduate programs across its 42 schools and departments within seven colleges.
NIU students are involved and engaged on campus. At NIU there are over 300 student organizations that are registered with the Student Association, located in the Campus Life Building. These groups are classified as academic interest and professional, community service, diversity and cultural, governing bodies, fraternity and sororities, honorary societies, political, military, programming and performing, recreational and sports, religious, and social, to name a few.
Sport Clubs are a great way to stay healthy and active, make new friends and play. All NIU Sport Clubs are student-run and open to all fee-paying students, faculty and staff. With more than 500 students actively participating, clubs are not only a great way to stay active, but also a fantastic way to network, learn a new sport and gain leadership experience.
Northern Illinois University is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the category of Research Universities (high research activity). NIU also is among a small percentage of public institutions designated as Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The designation acknowledges universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development.
The home of NIU’s main campus, DeKalb offers students a complete traditional university experience. The 765 acre campus is an eclectic mix of architecture and beautiful natural spaces.
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