NIU at a Glance

Fast Facts

Student and Faculty Profile

NIU celebrates diversity in all its forms including gender, race, ethnicity, ability, spirituality, sexuality, age and all individual identities. We believe that engaging across differences enriches our students’ learning at personal growth while at NIU.

Total Student Enrollment: 17,169 (Fall 2018)

  • Undergraduate: 12,788
  • Graduate: 4,121
  • College of Law: 260

Total Faculty/Staff: 3,344 (Fall 2017)

  • Instructional faculty: 1,177
  • Administrative and professional staff: 774
  • Operating staff: 1,393

Average Student Age

  • Undergraduate: 22
  • Graduate: 32

Male/Female Categories

  • Undergraduate: 50.8% male; 49.2% female
  • Graduate: 46.6% male; 53.4% female 

Ethnic/Racial Categories–Undergraduate (Fall 2017)

  • White: 55.0%
  • Black: 15.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 17.9%
  • Asian: 5.4%
  • 2 or more races: 3.7%
  • Non-res. Alien: 1.9%
  • Native American: 0.1%

International Students

1,211 international students from 77 different countries

Average High School Class Rank and ACT Score (Fall 2017)

  • High School Class Rank (percentile) for NIU freshmen: 63.3
  • ACT Score for NIU freshmen: 21.9
  • ACT Score for high school graduates (national average): 21

Academic Information

College Structure: Seven (7) degree-granting colleges:

Degrees Awarded (2017)

  • Bachelors: 3,561
  • Masters: 1,489
  • Advanced: 26
  • J.D. Professional/Law: 70
  • Doctorate: 176
  • Total: 5,322

Number of academic departments: 39



Degrees offered (24): Au.D., B.A., B.F.A., B.G.S., B.M., B.S., B.S.Ed., D.P.T., Ed.D., Ed.S., J.D., M.A., M.A.S., M.B.A., M.F.A., M.M., M.P.A., M.P.H., M.S., M.S.Ed., M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching), M.S.T. (Master of Science in Taxation), M.S.T. (Master of Science in Teaching), Ph.D.

Vision, Mission and Accreditation

The vision of Northern Illinois University is to be the premier student-centered, research-focused public university in the Midwest, contributing to the advancement of knowledge for the benefit of the people of the region, the state, the nation, and the world.

With this vision, the mission of the university is to promote excellence and engagement in teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creativity and artistry, and outreach and service.

In pursuing our vision and fulfilling our mission, the university values:

  • A community of diverse people, ideas, services, and scholarly endeavors in a climate of respect for the intrinsic dignity of each individual
  • Access for a broad spectrum of students to high quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs that prepare them to be lifelong learners and productive, socially conscious citizens
  • Engaged teaching and learning that evolves from the synergy of research, artistry, and service
  • Research and artistry in creating, transmitting, expanding, and applying knowledge
  • Student success supported through academic and co-curricular programming and activities
  • The application of current technology in enhancing and broadening all institutional endeavors
  • A system of shared governance that incorporates input from faculty, staff and students in decision- and policy-making
  • Commitment to a public purpose addressing regional, state, national and global challenges and opportunities

Approved by the NIU Board of Trustees, 5/10/12.

Northern Illinois University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

NIU is included in the Research Universities – High Research Activity category of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

The university and its colleges have institutional membership or other affiliations in or with the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, American Council on Education, Association of State Colleges and Universities, Council of Graduate Schools, and Universities Research Association.

The university is also fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education to offer teacher education programs and offers several teacher certification programs which are approved by the Illinois State Board of Education.

For more information on accredited programs, visit the Institutional Effectiveness website or call 815-753-3545.

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street
Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604

NIU Includes You

Huskies value the ideas and insights every person has to offer, and we discover our commonalities by embracing and discussing our differences. Coming to NIU means contributing to a thriving and diverse community rooted in educational excellence.

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History and Traditions

Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1899 as a teachers' school. We have since grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world.

President: Dr. Lisa C. Freeman

Administration: Senior Leadership

Governing Body: NIU Board of Trustees

Huskie Traditions and Cheers

While in Huskie Country you'll want to to make sure you're familiar with a handful of the traditions and cheers conducted at various sporting events. It's another way to showcase your Huskie spirit and provide some energy for our student athletes.

Huskie Kickoff Key Jingle

At football games, when it’s NIU’s turn to kick off everyone pulls out their keys and jingles them in anticipation of the kick.

Huskie “First Down.”

At football games, when NIU achieves a first down the announcer will say, “And that’s good for another Huskie...” then you yell, “FIRST DOWN!”

Red and Black.

During sporting events, the cheerleaders will assign sections of the crowd either the color red or black. When they point to your section you scream out your assigned color. It’s a competition to see which color can yell the loudest. Get your voice ready though, this tends to go on for a while.

The Huskie Fight Song.

Every student has to learn the Huskie Fight Song. It’s kind of a thing, so you don’t want to be the only one not singing!