A rigorous and thoughtful course curriculum that builds a foundation for life-long learning, a fruitful career, and responsible citizenship


Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, research-focused public university whose mission is to contribute to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation, and the world.

Our teaching emphasis means that NIU faculty focus upon engaged teaching and learning that evolves from the synergy of research, artistry, and service. Our mission is to create high quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that prepare students to be lifelong learners and productive, socially conscious citizens. We do so within a community of diverse people, ideas, services, and scholarly endeavors that fosters a climate of respect for the intrinsic dignity of each individual.

Our research emphasis means that NIU faculty focus upon creating, transmitting, expanding, and applying human knowledge rather than simply summarizing or passing on what others have done. NIU attracts nationally and internationally renowned faculty who create an environment for addressing some of toughest modern social and scientific questions.

National Context

The national context for general education is probably best articulated by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching which produced the Boyer Commission Report on Educating Undergraduates, entitled, "Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Universities."