Student Organizations

We are home to five student organizations. We encourage you to get involved to develop leadership skills and meet other students.

The Mock Trial team participates in collegiate mock trial competitions. Mock trial participants play the roles of attorneys and witnesses in trial simulations while competing against other colleges and universities in tournaments. They are judged by practicing attorneys and judges, and often times compete in real courtrooms. Mock trial helps prelaw students learn legal principles and the nature of trial advocacy. Students develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of legal practices and procedures. For more information, please contact Mitch Pickerill, Ph.D., at

Each spring semester, students from around the state of Illinois participate in the Model Illinois Government (MIG) simulation. The MIG event is a structured legislative simulation as well as a Moot Court competition. Students choose among various roles including: Legislators, lobbyists, journalists, attorneys, justices, budget analysts, as well as many leadership positions within the parties and committees. Within the legislature, students are assigned political parties and districts and placed in committees consistent with their particular interests. The legislators then simulate the legislative processes in the actual committee rooms and chambers of the Capitol building in Springfield. For more information contact Scot Schraufnagel, Ph.D., at, adviser to MIG, or Roselyn Brito at, NIU student president of MIG.

The Model United Nations is a series of simulations run throughout the country and the world with the aim of furthering an understanding of the United Nations, educating participants about world issues, and promoting peace. Students develop many personal skills by participation in Model UN conferences, including teamwork, persuasive writing, oratory skills, and negotiation and compromise, all of which are important for personal development and future success. The NIU MUN organization attends two Model UN conferences a year. For more information on the club, contact the advisor, Ches Thurber, Ph.D., at

The Political Science Student Advisory Committee (POLS-SAC) is a group of student leaders that acts as a liaison between the department’s faculty and undergraduate students. The committee serves as a mechanism for program evaluation and improvement. It solicits and provides student input on proposed policy changes within the department’s undergraduate program, and may initiate proposed changes for consideration by the appropriate faculty committees. POLS-SAC may independently, or in conjunction with other department groups, organize and administer special events and activities related to the study and practice of political science. For information on how to join, please contact Mitch Pickerill, Ph.D., at, director of Undergraduate Studies.

The NIU Pre-Law Honors Society (PLHS) is a Student Affairs organization that informs students about and prepares them for law school and legal careers. PLHS hosts law school admissions representatives, LSAT preparation instructors, law students, lawyers, judges, and others. PLHS also organizes field trips to law schools, courthouses, and the law school admissions fair in Chicago. For more information on PLHS, contact faculty advisor Professor Brendon Swedlow at

Contact Us

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

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - noon
1 - 4:30 p.m.

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