Rankings, Honors and Awards
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the university's largest college with 18 departments and seven centers that span the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.
U.S. News and World Report
- Best Grad Schools: NIU’s Master of Public Administration program ranks 4th in the specialty field of City Management and Urban Policy and 15th in the specialty field of Public Finance and Budgeting and 37th in the field of Public Management.
American Chemical Society (ACS)
- Top Universities Awarding ACS-certified Bachelor’s Degrees: NIU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ranks among the top universities for the number of ACS-certified bachelor’s degrees awarded annually
Communication Institute for Online Scholarship
- Top 10 Research Department: NIU’s Department of Communication is a distinguished program in eight research categories with noted departmental strength in thirty additional research categories
National Ground Water Association
- Top Hydrogeology Programs: NIU’s geosciences program ranks in the top 100
Philosophical Gourmet Report
- Top Terminal M.A. Programs: NIU’s Philosophy program ranks in the top 5 in terms of faculty quality
- Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology (COPAA): NIU’s anthropology program is one of only 27 in the country that belongs to the COPAA, whose mission is to collectively advance the education and training of students, faculty, and practitioners in applied anthropology
- Argonne National Laboratory: NIU’s graduate programs in physics, computer science and chemistry participate in fellowship opportunities at Argonne National Laboratory
Fermilab: NIU’s graduate programs in physics and computer science have a partnership with Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, working together on experiments and research
Nine of NIU’s past 11 Lincoln Laureates have come from College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Points of Pride
The General Anthropology Lab is home to 27 articulated primate skeletons and more than 10,000 bones.
Biological Sciences is one of the few programs in the Midwest to have a anatomy lab not attached to a medical school.
Computer Science juniors are seniors have the opportunity to be a part of the on-campus code_orange program, a partnership between NIU and Discover Financial Services. NIU students are hired by Discover as interns paid to work on and help develop new technologies in the areas of mobile-software development, web-application coding, blue-tooth development and person-to-person payment systems.
NIU has one of only a few programs in the country that offers a comprehensive language immersion experience. The Foreign Language Residence Program (FLRP) is an active learning community for students interested in a second language. Students meet Monday through Thursday from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. to hone their language skills in a relatively stress-free environment. The FLRP environment also helps equip students culturally and linguistically for study abroad experiences in a non-English speaking country. In addition to class, students participate in cultural excursions, dinners and can earn one credit hour of elective credit by fulfilling all the program requirements.
NIU’s undergraduate program in meteorology is the oldest undergraduate program of its kind in Illinois and a notable undergraduate-only meteorology programs in North America. The program meets the career educational standards set by the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Service.
The Center for Southeast Asia Studies was established at NIU in 1963, an outgrowth of one of the first Peace Corps training programs for Southeast Asia volunteers. Since 1997, the Center has been a federally funded National Resource Center for Southeast Asian studies.
Faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are the best of the best. In the past ten years, our faculty have received:
- 24 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Awards
- 19 Board of Trustees Professorships
- 24 Presidential Research Professorships
- 14 Presidential Teaching Professorships
- 8 Presidential Engagement Professorships