Political Science (B.S. or B.A.)

Why Study Political Science at NIU?

Political scientists make it their business to know, and explain, how the world works. They understand government and public policies, both locally and globally. They possess communication and scientific skills and use them in a multitude of careers from politicians to speech writers to lobbyists to researchers.

When you major in political science at NIU, you'll examine timeless questions about justice and democracy while exploring contemporary issues of global concern. You'll also graduate with real-world communication, writing, critical thinking and research skills. We offer five emphases to further tailor your education to the work you want to do:

  • International Politics: Youll cover questions of international concern, ranging from democratization in the developing world to terrorism.
  • Justice and Democracy: The American Experiment: Youll study justice and democracy across public law, American politics and political theory.
  • Public Administration and Service: An emphasis that'll prepare you for a career in federal, state or local government; nonprofits or regional governing bodies.
  • Public Law: You'll focus o the intersection between politics and law, with a special focus on constitutional issues.
  • Politics and Governance: This emphasis provides maximum flexibility within your program of study, or if you wish to create a specialization within political science.

We also offer teacher licensure in the social sciences and an accelerated law degree with the NIU College of Law.

Student Quotes

“As a political science major at NIU, I had the opportunity to take part in internships, campaign volunteer positions and study abroad programs, all of which truly enriched and strengthened my baccalaureate experience.”
Nora Lindvall, NIU 2011 Lincoln Laureate

Careers with a Political Science Degree

Your degree in political science will prepare you for a huge variety of careers. Our graduates have found meaningful work in:

  • National security
  • Legislative aides and assistants
  • Campaign managers
  • Village and city managers
  • Policy and budget analysts
  • Nonprofit administrators
  • State representatives
  • Lobbyists

Our political science degree is excellent preparation for graduate school as well, specifically law school.

Political Science Faculty

Our political science faculty are focused on research questions that are of vital importance to the nation and the world. Whether it is studying democratization in developing countries, legislative productivity in the U.S. Congress, the moral and political implications of war, or the politicization of Islam, our faculty are developing and advancing theories intended to solve real-world problems.

Moreover, our faculty engage both graduate and undergraduate students in their research, expanding your intellectual horizons and providing you with the tools to succeed in your future careers.

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

You'll have the opportunity to be active in many different activities and student organizations:

  • Model United Nations Club
  • Model Illinois Government Club
  • Mock Trial Team
  • Political Science Student Advisory Committee
  • Pre-Law Society
  • The NIU congressional internship
  • Annual DC Spring Break Trip
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