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.

NIU Statement of Mission and Vision

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.

Accrediation and Affiliation

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 Web site or call 815-753-3545.

Our History

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.

Through internships, research, study abroad, 320 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff of NIU work hard to provide you with life-changing opportunities. An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing you with personal, career and life success.

Date Chartered: 1895

History: Learn more about NIU’s history and traditions.

President: Dr. Lisa C. Freeman

Administration: Senior Leadership

Governing Body: NIU Board of Trustees