Applying to NIU

Thank you for your interest in applying to a graduate program at NIU. All application materials (except art portfolios and music auditions) must be uploaded through our online system. We do not accept paper application materials or electronic materials submitted by any other means.

Be sure to review additional information about the application process if you're an international student or a student-at-large.

Time to apply: About 15 minutes, with careful preparation.

Cost to apply: $60 for degree-seeking students, $10 for students-at-large (not seeking a degree). The application fee is non-refundable. 

Please note: While the Graduate School coordinates the admission process, admission decisions are based on the recommendation of the faculty in your intended program.

How to Apply

  • 1

    Select Your Program

    • Select the graduate program in which you wish to enroll.
    • Take note of the program's application requirements and its application deadline, the date by which you must submit all application materials.
  • 2

    Gather Your Application Materials

    Your application materials will consist of the following:

    • Transcripts (unofficial copies are accepted for admission purposes).
    • Letters of recommendation.
    • Statement of purpose.
    • Test scores (if required).
    • Resume or curriculum vitae (optional).
    • Additional materials required by your program.

    Read complete details on application materials.

  • 3

    Format Your Materials

    Read our file upload requirements to make sure your materials are formatted correctly.

  • 4

    Check in With Your Referees

    Your referees are people who will write letters of recommendation for you. You should ask them if they are willing to write a letter before you begin the application process.

  • 5

    Start Your Online Application

    When you start your application, you'll be asked to do the following:

    • Provide required information.
    • Enter email addresses for your referees and trigger an email to be sent to them.
    • Upload a statement of purpose.
    • Upload copies of unofficial transcripts.
    • Provide additional materials required by your program, such as a writing sample or test score.
  • 6

    Finalize and Submit Your Application

    Double check your work. Verify that you have chosen the correct program of study. Once an application is submitted, it is considered final. We will not accept revised documents (except for your resume/curriculum vitae).

    If you save your application before you submit it, you can log back in to continue working on it. After you submit your application, you can log back in to view a checklist of materials and upload any you still need to submit.

    • Checklists are only updated after you submit your application.
    • Duplicate materials and items that are not required will not appear on your checklist.


Apply Online

Mailing Addresses

Standard Mail 
Northern Illinois University
1425 West Lincoln Highway
DeKalb, IL 60115 

Courier Service 
Northern Illinois University
180 Stadium Drive
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

Campus Safety

NIU provides information regarding campus security, personal and fire safety, including topics such as: crime prevention, emergency response procedures and crime reporting policies, in addition to crime and fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. See the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report (PDF).

Additional file formats and information about the annual report are available on the Clery website. To request a hard copy, please contact the director of Clery Compliance at or 815-753-1649.

Contact Us

The Graduate School
Williston Hall 100


Northern Illinois University
1425 West Lincoln Hwy
DeKalb, IL 60115

Directions and Maps

Hours: M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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