About the Department of Political Science
We have over 350 undergraduate majors and minors and roughly 45 active graduate students.
We are a student-centered research department with a commitment to engaged learning at the undergraduate level. This commitment is demonstrated through the following:
- Leading role in NIU’s congressional internship program
- Annual presence in the NIU at Oxford program
- Active Model United Nations Club
- Exemplary and award-winning Mock Trial Team
- Award-winning Model Illinois Government Club
- Premier Pre-Law Honor Society
- Political Science Student Advisory Committee (POLS-SAC)
- Department honors program featuring teaching and research apprenticeships
- Professional Development Seminar offered each fall
- Spring Break Washington D.C. trip
Most of the initiatives outlined above are supported by contributions from donors and/or funding from the NIU Student Association.
We take great pride in the quality of our undergraduate majors. The Student Lincoln Laureate is an annual honor reserved for the top senior from each of the state’s public and private four-year colleges and universities. The award recognizes excellence in both curricular and extracurricular activities. A political science major won this award in 2005, was first finalist in 2006, won the award in 2007 and 2008, was first finalist in 2009, won the award in 2010, was first finalist in 2011, won the award in 2012, 2015, 2017 and 2018.
We spend a great deal of time and energy training our doctoral students to be effective teachers. A political science Ph.D. student has been honored with the university-wide Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award seven times since the inception of the award.