Graduate Programs

Careers & Placements

Master of Arts

NIU's recent M.A. graduates in political science have secured positions with:

  • Indonesian House of Representatives (elected representative)
  • U.S. Department of State (foreign affairs analyst)
  • American Medical Association (research associate)
  • U.S. Congress (legislative assistant)
  • Lake Michigan Federation (executive director)
  • U.S. Foreign Service (foreign service officer)
  • Blue Cross/Blue Shield (claims adjuster)
  • Illinois Attorney General's office
  • Illinois Secretary of State's office
  • Amnesty International

Graduates pursue careers as financial analysts, research associates, business executives, and community college and high school educators. Some M.A. graduates pursue doctoral work. Of these, many remain at NIU; others have earned Ph.D.s at such institutions as Duke University, Pennsylvania State University, Fordham University, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, University of Illinois, and Columbia University. A smaller number of graduates enter schools of law.


Master of Public Administration

NIU's recent M.P.A. graduates have secured positions with:

  • Village of Elk Grove
  • Village of Deerfield
  • Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois
  • Village of Batavia, NY
  • Village of Northbrook
  • Village of Naperville
  • Village of Milton, WI
  • Village of Gurnee
  • Village of Palatine
  • Village of Bartlett
  • Village of Princeton, WI
  • Village of Rockford
  • Village of Elgin
  • Village of Gilberts
  • Village of Montgomery
  • Village of Schaumburg
  • Kishwaukee College (Malta, IL)
  • Village of Woodridge
  • Village of Grayslake
  • Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp. (WI)
  • Illinois Growth Enterprises
  • Broward County, FL

A pioneer in the development of internships in local government management, the M.P.A. program provides a unique combination of classroom study and on-the-job professional growth and experience. It is one of the oldest M.P.A. programs in the state and is recognized internationally for its excellence.

About one-third of Illinois city managers are graduates of NIU’s M.P.A. program, according to the directory published by the Illinois City/County Management Association.

The Spring 2004 graduate school rankings by U.S. News & World Report indicate NIU is one of the best universities in the country for city management and public finance. U.S. News ranked the M.P.A. program fourth nationally in the field of city management, ahead of programs at all public and private institutions in Illinois and at such prestigious schools as Harvard, USC and Syracuse. In addition, NIU moved up to the eighth ranking nationally in the specialty of finance and budgeting.


Doctor of Philosophy

NIU's recent Ph.D. graduates in political science have obtained positions at such colleges and universities as:

  • Auburn University
  • Arkansas State University
  • Cameron University
  • Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
  • DePaul University
  • Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia)
  • Hampton Sydney College
  • University of Minnesota at Mankato
  • North Georgia College and State University
  • University of the Philippines West
  • Texas A&M University
  • Wheeling Jesuit University
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Doctoral graduates seeking careers outside of higher education have obtained positions in business, government, and public service as senior research associates and directors, managers, and executives for national and international organizations.

NIU's doctoral program provides opportunities for students to gain teaching experience in a variety of contexts. Its students have established records of presenting papers at professional conferences and publishing articles, and the department encourages student/faculty scholarly interaction.