Choose Chemistry!


There are many reasons why the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Illinois University is an excellent place to complete your graduate work:

Community and Career Success

Students in LabGraduate students in our department enjoy a favorable student‐to‐faculty ratio, currently averaging three or four students per faculty member. Through use of assessment portfolios, students chart their progress and receive regular feedback from multiple faculty members throughout the entire degree timeline. To develop ancillary skills needed for diverse career options, graduate students in their early semesters participate in professional development workshops on lab safety, data management, technical writing, responsible conduct of research and other topics. They also practice mentoring by working closely with undergraduate research students and learn skills needed to participate in team‐based research. Many award and scholarship opportunities are available for graduate students, including travel grants, for building stronger resumes and fostering networking. Faculty research in our department spans multiple disciplines and engages students in collaborative research experiences that develop the core skills essential for career success. Career success is a priority; over 90 percent of M.S. and Ph.D. students have research or teaching positions at the time they graduate.


La Tourette HallThe department is located in the Faraday Hall/La Tourette Hall Complex, which houses nearly 70,000 square feet of space for instructional, office and research use. NIU's main campus is close to Chicago and Rockford. The Chicagoland area is a hub for research. DeKalb is the western anchor of the Illinois Research and Development Corridor, which is home to a number of Fortune 500 companies and major government facilities, many of whom have a long history of cooperation with NIU and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Offices and laboratories in our area include AbbVie, Argonne National Laboratory, Baxter HealthCare, NutraSweet, Nalco and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Many communities in and around Chicago are among the fastest‐growing in the nation; the area has a great deal to offer to high‐tech companies looking to begin or expand their operations. Our location plays a big role in landing jobs.


Graduating StudentOur faculty members collaborate with scientists all over the United States and the world, including several Nobel laureates. We are able to bring outstanding speakers to campus each semester for departmental seminars (these seminars are open to our graduate students). Our own graduates have gone on to successful academic careers at institutions across the country.