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Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University is a dynamic, student-centered research department that is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and public service. Our distinguished faculty offer a wide array of courses that tackle today’s most pressing political issues, such as elections, the causes of war, international terrorism, and democratization in developing countries.

Our majors receive a broad liberal arts education while gaining critical thinking skills that are vital to becoming socially responsible citizens with an understanding of the political dynamics that shape our everyday lives. Graduates of the political science program go on to careers in government, law, journalism, education, intelligence, foreign affairs, and many other exciting professions.

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees Available On-Campus

Students on the NIU campus in DeKalb may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and may choose from five different degree emphases.  Please click on the links below to learn more about each emphasis:

Recognizing that some of the best learning takes place outside the classroom, political science majors have many opportunities for engaged learning and professional experience at their disposal, including travel abroad programs, a spring break trip to Washington DC, a comprehensive departmental honors program, a mentorship program, career shadowing opportunities, and internships.

Online Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science

Students not able to study on campus in DeKalb may qualify to enroll in our online Bachelor of Arts program. This program accepts students who have earned an Associate's degree from a community college, or students who have otherwise satisfied their NIU general education requirements and preferably their foreign language requirements. Students in this program may complete their B.A. degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in Politics, by taking all of their remaining Political Science courses online.  Answers to the most frequently asked questions about this degree can be found in our FAQ.

Accelerated Law Degree Program

Our Accelerated Law Degree Program offers the potential to save time and money by earning a B.A. or B.S. in Political Science, followed by a J.D. degree, in only six years instead of the usual seven.  Click here for more information about our Accelerated Law Degree program.

Graduate Programs

The Department of Political Science offers the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy

It also offers four fields of scholarly study:

Recent graduates of NIU’s graduate political science programs have gone on to a variety of influential careers, including positions with the Indonesian House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of State, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Foreign Service, and the U.S. Congress. Recent Ph.D. graduates have obtained positions at various colleges and universities, including Auburn University, Texas A&M, DePaul University, and Arkansas State University.