Message from the Chair

Mitch PickerillThank you for visiting the website of the Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University! On our site, you can find information about our nationally and internationally recognized faculty, our undergraduate and graduate programs, student organizations, scholarships, and much more.

We are proud to be a department that is research-intensive, academically rigorous, and student-focused. As you can see from their profiles, NIU 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, the faculty engage both graduate and undergraduate students in their research, expanding students' intellectual horizons and providing them with the tools to succeed in their future careers.

Our curriculum provides students with a broad liberal arts education and focuses on issues of utmost importance in an ever-changing political world we all live in. We offer courses on diverse topics such as constitutional law, presidential elections, global terrorism, democratic theory, nonprofit management, and Southeast Asian politics. Our courses help students hone their critical thinking skills and become better writers and more effective communicators.

We hope that this website provides you with useful information about our department and academic programs. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me (

On behalf of my colleagues, thank you for taking the time to visit the Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University.


Mitch Pickerill
Department Chair

Previous Chairs

  • Daniel Wit (1961-1969)
  • William R. Monat (1969-1971)
  • Anthony Fusaro (acing, 1971-1972)
  • James M. Banovetz (1972-1979)
  • M. Ladd Thomas (1979-1982)
  • Clark D. Neher (1982-1988)
  • Lettie McSpadden (1988-1993)
  • Clark D. Neher (1993-1996)
  • Andrea Bonnicksen (1996-1999)
  • Daniel R. Kempton (1999-2006)
  • Christopher M. Jones (2006-2011)
  • Michael T. Peddle (acting, 2011)
  • Matthew J. Streb (2012-2016)
  • Scot D. Schraufnagel (2016-2020)

Contact Us

Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
815-753-6302 (fax)

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