Undergraduate Degree Programs
Educator licensure is available. Students planning to teach in senior high schools must major in a subject area.
To succeed, businesses need people skilled at recording, summarizing, reporting and analyzing financial transactions. Accounting students learn those skills, as well as how to interpret and communicate financial information in ways that help companies assess trends and make strategic decisions. You will graduate prepared for careers in public accounting such as auditing, taxation, internal audit, government accounting
Anthropologists seek to understand who we are as humans. While archaeologists and biological anthropologists search for clues about the past, cultural and linguistic anthropologists are on a quest to understand the richness of human diversity. Our anthropology program will prepare you for an exciting career involving our increasingly multicultural world and global economy. Careers might include teaching, research, marketing, community service or nonprofit management. Additionally, corporations are increasingly relying on anthropological research to connect with consumers. Employment in this field is expected to grow at a faster-than-average rate in coming years.
The Bachelor of Science in Applied Management with an emphasis in Instructional Technology, Training and Evaluation is designed to provide students with occupationally-relevant skills and knowledge in the area of instructional design and assessment, training and learning media development, and human performance technology.
The Bachelor of Science in Applied Management with an emphasis in Public Service gives police officers, fire officers and first responders the skills and knowledge needed for public-sector leadership in a rapidly changing world.
Designed for professionals with Associate of Applied Science degrees in criminal justice, law enforcement, fire science
Studying art means you’ll learn analytical skills to examine and solve problems through the arts. This degree allows you to focus on art, humanities, and technology, preparing you for opportunities in emerging technologies, complex systems, and creative markets. You may choose to pursue a bachelor of arts degree, which emphasizes the humanities, or a bachelor of science degree emphasizing math, science
Art educators share their creativity to develop artistic aptitude and
Art history looks at the ways we communicate through images and the built environment. Art historians ask: “Why has art been so important in the past, how does it affect our present, and how will it shape our future?” This field draws information from several areas including history, philosophy, literature, language, science, religion, and technology. It is closely connected to anthropology, archeology, and cultural studies. Art History graduates pursue opportunities including teaching college; curatorial and related education work in museums; and research.
It takes highly skilled health professionals to keep athletes of any age on the field. Athletic Training majors go on to work with the prevention, treatment
Biology is a diverse and rapidly expanding field that addresses issues relevant to health, industry and the environment. Biologists are responsible for new discoveries in such areas as agriculture, medicine, molecular biology and the evolution of species. As the pace of discovery accelerates, the number of career opportunities increase as well.
Our program will prepare you to work in a variety of biological areas; for graduate study in a biological discipline; and for medical, dental, veterinary and other professional schools. With additional coursework and student teaching, you can also be certified to teach at the middle- and high-school levels.
Business leaders call on their broad-based skills to pursue opportunities in today’s business society. Students in this major study all of the core functional areas of business, including accountancy, finance, management, marketing, and operations and information systems. Graduates pursue opportunities in a wide variety of professional roles in multiple industries, including sales, logistics analyst, and manager in training.
Virtually everything we do involves chemistry, which can be used to improve our health, lives
Most chemists work in research, with about two-thirds of our graduates working at for-profit businesses. Once you earn your degree, you could find yourself working with a cosmetic company, medical laboratory, petroleum company, utility, pharmaceutical business, chemical manufacturer or environmental-assessment firm. You also could work in government, education, nonprofits or research foundations—or go on to
In a digital era when oral and written communication skills are more important than ever before, a major in communication studies provides cutting-edge insights valuable
Communication Studies offers emphases in rhetoric and public communication, media studies or organizational/corporate communication, as well as a major in journalism (see separate entry). Program graduates go on to careers in such areas as social media management, technical writing, public relations, film, publishing, advertising, marketing, corporate media production
A degree in Communicative Disorders provides you with information about normal speech, language
NIU’s Computer Science Department has a long history of successfully educating computer professionals. We keep pace with industry demands for well-trained graduates who are ready to assume vital roles in the field of information technology.
With a computer science degree, you could work in a variety of areas, such as a programmer, information systems manager, game programmer or database administrator. You’ll find our alums working in business, high-tech industries
Working with and teaching the very young is both challenging and rewarding. The Early Childhood Education program prepares students for a variety of professional roles serving children from birth through age 8 and their families. The program includes the Early Childhood Special Education Approval, allowing graduates to teach children with disabilities in pre-kindergarten.
The field of economics examines how individuals, businesses and governments allocate scarce resources. Economists help find solutions to these challenges.
As an economics major, you will gain important skills that are highly valued in today's job market. Upon graduation, you will have a wide array of employment opportunities in administration, marketing research, financial services, sales, management, insurance, real estate, public and social service
Electrical engineers create innovative ways to improve people’s lives through the design, development
Elementary education prepares you to teach future generations. You will develop expertise in the teaching of reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science for grades 1-6. Students learn to adjust instruction to support young learners with a wide variety of cultural and language backgrounds and learning styles. Your coursework also will include curriculum and instruction, classroom management, educational technology, assessment
An English degree is broad and versatile, giving you the flexibility to choose from diverse career paths and adapt to shifting job demands. English majors take courses in literature, film, linguistics, English education and English as a Second Language, as well as in creative, technical and professional writing. You may choose one of three tracks: Studies in Literature, Secondary Licensure in English Language Arts or Studies in Writing.
Our graduates enjoy successful and creative careers in education, editing, copywriting, management, public relations, publishing, technical writing and more.
Our environmental studies program will provide you with broad-based knowledge of key environmental issues, such as climate change, environmental policy, water conservation and development of alternative energies. You will gain an understanding of the role of people in critical environmental issues and how they can be mobilized to help solve problems.
The Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy fosters interdisciplinary research, education and community engagement. When you graduate, you will be prepared to meet environmental and energy challenges via careers in industry, government, small businesses, academic research
Fashion merchandising happens after the runway. After initial design stages, apparel moves through a process that can start with fabric selection, and then through manufacturing, distribution, and buying offices before reaching retail stores. There are many tasks along the way, each with ample career opportunities for fashion merchandising degree holders. Students learn about textiles, apparel, style trends and influences, and other factors impacting business decisions related to fashion merchandising. With this
The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program is a broad-based degree awarded by NIU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The curriculum crosses a wide array of disciplines including the humanities, mathematics, the physical sciences
You’ll work with the BGS director to customize your degree program. Graduates with this unique degree have gone into a wide variety of employment fields, including business, sales, marketing, human resources
Geography is the study of place and location, exploring how we interact with, alter and manage the physical environment. Yes, geography is about maps—but it is much more. At NIU, you can choose from two emphases: geography or geomatics (land surveying). Students also practice the craft and build additional skills through research and internships.
The demand for geographers is growing substantially. Upon graduation, you might work for:
- Federal agencies, such as NOAA or the CIA
- Companies in transportation, utility, real estate or marketing sectors
- Agencies dealing with agriculture, natural resources and development
- Regional and local governments
- Educational institutions
Geology is the study of the earth, its materials and the processes acting upon them. As a geology student, you’ll study topics that include paleontology, volcanology, earthquake seismology, plate tectonics
Within the major, you can choose from three emphases, including one for students seeking to become high school science teachers—jobs that are in high demand. Other graduates work in a wide variety of positions in research, industry, government, academia and nonprofit organizations.
Our Health Sciences program focuses on giving you the foundation to pursue careers or graduate study in careers such as physical therapy and rehabilitation. Within this program, you may choose an emphasis in pre-physical therapy , which will prepare you for the graduate work necessary to become a Doctor of Physical Therapy. Or, you may select health sciences, general. The health sciences program also offers a degree completion program for applied associate degree holders.
History majors not only explore the past, gaining insights into how societies change over time, but also develop important reading, writing, research
Study of history opens many possible professional doors, rather than preparing students to do one thing. NIU history graduates have gone on to teach in schools; conduct museum and archival work; graduate from
Hospitality and tourism professionals work in hotels, cruise lines, convention centers, catering operations, schools, hospitals, airlines, casinos, prisons
Human Development and Family Sciences
Industrial and systems engineers are the efficiency experts of
Journalism, the collection and distribution of news and information, is an essential field in any democratic society. Journalists are involved in managing, editing or writing for newspapers, magazines
NIU’s journalism program is housed in the Department of Communication. Courses in writing, photography, layout, electronic media and broadcasting will equip you with the skills to gather, evaluate and disseminate information. You also will learn about ethics, professional standards and the critical role of the mass media in society.
Kinesiologists are health care professionals who are experts in body movement. They help people get and stay fit and perform at their optimal level. This major will help you develop a wide range of skills that prepare you for dynamic roles in
Leading and managing people is a key capability in today’s business world. In this area of study, students explore the art and science of leading, motivating, and supervising individuals, groups, and organizations. You will develop the problem-solving, relationship building, communication, and professional development skills to contribute to a wide variety of positions in multiple industries. Graduates enter careers that call upon their broad-based skills in managing action, information, and people in for-profit and non-profit organizations in a wide range of industries.
Even the best products don’t sell themselves. In marketing, you will learn how to help companies determine customer needs and
Mathematics is still the basis for understanding and solving the planet’s economic, scientific, engineering, physics
At NIU, you’ll not only learn the
Mechanical engineering is a creative and practical discipline that draws on a number of basic sciences to design and manufacture devices and products that benefit society. The curriculum covers the formulation, design, development, modeling, simulation
Medical Laboratory Scientists provide scientific analysis of blood, other bodily fluids
Meteorology involves the study of the atmosphere and its interaction with the earth’s surface, oceans and living things. Meteorologists make weather
NIU’s meteorology program, housed in the Department of Geography, is among the largest undergraduate-only programs in North America. With a meteorology degree, you’ll have a number of exciting career options in such areas as weather forecasting; climate-impact analysis; broadcast and research meteorology; and environmental/hazards risk assessment.
It takes specialized skills to teach middle school students. This program provides students with
A music degree prepares you to share music with the world in three ways: music education, performance, and composition. Choosing the music education emphasis includes studying instrumental or vocal music while also seeking school teacher licensure. The performance track is ideal if you are going to pursue a professional career as a musician. If you want to write music professionally, the composition emphasis is for you. All three emphasis areas also include study in specific instruments and related areas such as recording arts, composition and theory, world music, and music history.
One of the only freestanding undergraduate degree programs of its kind in the United States, our Nonprofit and NGO Studies program prepares students to work in nonprofit organizations or in the fields of philanthropy, public service or community engagement. The hands-on program draws from areas such as sociology, public administration, anthropology
The degree is designed to match your interests, with emphases that include advocacy, enterprise, the environment, global engagement
In today’s competitive
Nutrition, Dietetics and Wellness studies prepare you for careers promoting health, positive food choices, nutrition strategies, as well as for foodservice and management. Also, for those who chose graduate school in dietetics as the next step, our program can prepare you for the dietetic internships necessary to become a registered dietitian. Regardless, your career options are plentiful: opportunities can be found in wellness programs, food safety, schools, medical centers, and corporate sites, as well as in food sales and marketing.
OMIS majors focus on ways to make businesses better – whether through
Philosophy is the investigation of the deepest and most enduring questions about ourselves, the world in which we live and our place in it. This area of study fascinates and propels us to examine and reflect on what truly makes us human.
Philosophy has been called “the ultimate
Physics is the study of matter and energy and the laws that govern their interactions. Advances in technology, such as transistors, lasers
We offer emphases in professional physics, applied physics or physics secondary education (teacher licensure). Our students frequently conduct research, including work at federal laboratories. Our graduates are highly sought-after for careers in research, education, medicine, engineering, chemistry, ecology
Political science is the study of politics and its connection to human life. As a political science major, you will examine such areas as the relationships between law and political institutions; economic and political power; and culture and political identity. You also will have many opportunities for engaged learning, including internships, travel abroad programs and a spring break trip to Washington, D.C.
Ultimately, you will gain
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. You will choose from a wide range of courses on current topics in the field, including stress, trauma, sexuality, motivation
Psychologists work in many settings, including schools, hospitals, businesses, government, laboratories, nonprofits
Public Health degree holders focus on health issues such as wellness promotion, disease prevention, health care access, and community safety. They have careers in health departments, nursing homes
Rehabilitation and Disability Services prepares you for careers as a rehabilitation professional, providing human and social services to persons with disabilities and their families. Graduates with this degree work as job placement specialists, career counselors, case managers
Sociology is a fascinating field of study, examining the dynamics of social life, social change and the underlying factors that shape human behavior. You will explore such topics as the causes and consequences of crime, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, law and deviance, religious beliefs and social movements.
At a time when technology is rapidly spurring social development and interaction, sociology has never been more relevant, and demand for sociologists is expected to grow. Our graduates have entered a wide variety of fields, including social services, criminal justice and law enforcement, market research, business management
Individuals with special needs require teachers with special skills. Graduates of this program teach students ages 3-21 with a wide spectrum of special needs including learning and developmental disabilities, behavior disorders, autism or vision impairments. The program provides highly interactive classes, including extensive training in the use of assistive technology. Students pursuing an emphasis in visual impairments will focus on skills that will allow them to eventually work as orientation and mobility specialists and as teachers for both children and adults with visual impairments.
When you pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, you’ll choose a concentration in a specific area to prepare you for professional careers in art and design. You’ll learn technical skills along with cultural foundations, and distinctive experiences needed to become an articulate artist and designer. Our program offers the following Design and Media Arts emphasis areas: Photography, Time Arts (Animation, Video), and Visual Communication (Graphic Design). The Studio emphasis area offers these: Ceramics, Drawing, Fibers, Illustration, Metals
Technology majors learn how to manage, operate and maintain complex technological systems by applying engineering, mathematics and technical management skills to the solution of real-world problems. You can learn fundamental engineering skills including welding and advanced
Those who aspire to work in theatre, be it on stage or behind the scenes, pursue degrees in Theatre Arts. Our program aims to prepare actors, designers, technicians
Our Department of World Languages and Cultures offers undergraduate majors in French, German and Spanish—as well as teacher licensure (K-12) in those areas.
You’ll find many benefits to being bilingual, including the fact that demand for employees who speak more than one language is on the rise. Half of all employers in northern Illinois plan to hire more bilingual or multilingual college graduates in coming years, according to a 2015 study. Our graduates find jobs in the fields of business, interpreting, law, education, law enforcement
Accelerated Integrated Programs
Business and Entrepreneurship
- Business Administration
- Fashion Merchandising
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Operations Management and Information Systems
Government, Public and Social Services
- Applied Management: Public Service
- General Studies
- Human Development and Family Sciences
- Nonprofit and NGO Studies
- Political Science
- Applied Management: Instructional Technology, Training and Evaluation
- Early Childhood Education
- Elementary Education
- Middle Level Teaching and Learning
- Special Education
Art, Media and Communications
- Art and Design Education
- Art History
- Communication Studies
- Dance Performance
- World Languages and Cultures
- General Studies
- Studio Art
- Theatre Arts
- Theatre Studies
Health and Wellness
- Athletic Training
- Communicative Disorders
- Health Sciences
- Medical Laboratory Sciences
- Nutrition, Dietetics and Wellness
- Physical Education
- Public Health
- Rehabilitation and Disability Services
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
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