Rankings & Recognition

 Outstanding College Alumni Award Recipient

Janet PucinoJanet Pucino
B.M. ’76

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Fast Facts

The School of Art is one of the largest in the country and offers seven degree programs.

The Ph.D. in art education is one of a few select doctoral programs in the country.

The School of Music's vibrant program in world music encompasses a myriad of rare ensembles and instruments, including Gamelan, North India Tabla and Chinese instruments.

Acclaimed artist faculty such as the Avalon String Quartet and extraordinary guest artists are a fundamental component of the student experience in the School of Music.

The NIU Chinese Music Ensemble, founded in the 1970s, was the first such all-American college group in the United States.

Through an exclusive collaboration with the legendary Moscow Art Theatre, all bachelor of fine arts acting students spend the fall semester of their junior semester in Moscow.

SummerNITE, NIU's professional intern company, works in collaboration with Chicago's Organic Theatre Company. The company bridges the gap between training and the profession by providing opportunities for students to work with professionals in all areas on theatre.

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with many types of professional performer rigging systems, as well as the possibility to apprentice with a world-wide special effects company.


College of Visual & Performing Arts (CVPA)

The College of Visual and Performing Arts is a major provider of artistic presentations and services to the region in ways that strengthen student learning and faculty and student artistry and research. 

For more accolades about the School of Art, School of Music, and School of Theatre and Dance, visit the College of Visual and Performing Arts website.

College of Visual & Performing Arts Earns National Rankings

Printmaking class

U. S. News & World Report

  • Top Fine Arts Schools: NIU’s MFA printmaking program ranks in the top 20 best fine arts schools for printmaking; overall NIU’s MFA ranks in the top 100 fine arts programs

American Association of State Colleges and Universities

  • 50 Colleges Where Art Programs Abound: NIU’s baker’s dozen of programs in studio art ranks 35th. The list spotlights “non-specialized colleges and universities across the United States (that) also offer tremendous opportunity to art students, with a variety of programs available at the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

College of Business Earns Academic Prestige


  • NASADNational Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD): NIU’s School of Art is accredited by the NASAD, supporting the association’s pledge to “seek optimum learning conditions for art and design students and develop the strength and quality of art and design in higher education by assisting institutional members and their faculties to do their best work”

Professional Associations

  • University/Resident Theatre Association (URTA): NIU’s School of Theater and Dance is a member school of the URTA; whose “member institutions' training programs involve a comprehensive approach to theatre training; include one or more degree offerings leading to an MFA in theatre; and contain a graduate student body of a significant size and scope as to allow students to artistically collaborate with and intellectually stimulate one another”