Inside Higher Ed | Northern Illinois University

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Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University

About NIU

Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university, with expertise that benefits its region and spans the globe in a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, humanities, arts, business, engineering, education, health and law. Through its main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, and education centers for students and working professionals in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, NIU offers more than 100 courses of study while serving a diverse and international student body.

Vision, Mission and Core Values

Northern Illinois University's vision is to be an engine for innovation to advance social mobility; promote personal, professional and intellectual growth; and transform the world through research, artistry, teaching and outreach.

The mission of Northern Illinois University is to empower students through educational excellence and experiential learning as we pursue knowledge, share our research and artistry, and engage communities for the benefit of the region, state, nation and world.

In pursuing our vision and fulfilling our mission, we value and practice:

Curiosity and creativity.

  • We provide our students active learning experiences.
  • We champion innovation.
  • We commit our resources to supporting students, faculty and staff in their research, artistry and professional development.

Equity and inclusion.

  • We seek and are strengthened by the diverse perspectives and experiences of our university community members.
  • We use an inclusive decision-making process.
  • We appreciate and respect every member of our community.

Ethics and integrity.

  • We prepare our students to become global leaders who work to build a better society.
  • We model ethical behavior in and out of the classroom.
  • We are transparent and accountable to our stakeholders.

Service and stewardship.

  • We serve society and confront local, national and global challenges through collaborations that improve our learning, teaching and research.
  • We make accessible the knowledge and resources we create.
  • We promote our students' success through advising and mentoring.

Student Profile

Total Student Enrollment

17,169 (Fall 2018)

  • Undergraduate: 12,788
  • Graduate: 4,121
  • College of Law: 260

Average Student Age

  • Undergraduate: 22
  • Graduate: 32

Male/Female Categories

  • Undergraduate: 50.8% male; 49.2% female
  • Graduate: 46.6% male; 53.4% female 

Ethnic/Racial Categories–Undergraduate (Fall 2017)

  • White: 55.0%
  • Black: 15.8%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 17.9%
  • Asian: 5.4%
  • 2 or more races: 3.7%
  • Non-res. Alien: 1.9%
  • Native American: 0.1%                                                            

International Students

  • 1,211 international students from 77 different countries

Average High School Class Rank and ACT Score (Fall 2017)

  • High School Class Rank (percentile) for NIU freshmen: 63.3
  • ACT Score for NIU freshmen: 21.9
  • ACT Score for high school graduates (national average): 21

Diversity Profile: Northern Illinois University

See the full Diversity Profile here. 


AAUP Compensation Survey Data
Northern Illinois University


Jobs at Northern Illinois University

  • Chair and Director of the School of Theater and Dance (6225)

  • DeKalb, IL
  • Working Position Title:Chair and Director of the School of Theater and Dance (6225)Classification Title:ChairPosition Number:00006225Posting Date:09/0

  • View Details
  • Director of Advancement - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (36472)

  • DeKalb, IL
  • Working Position Title:Director of Advancement - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (36472)Classification Title :DirectorPosition Number:00036472Ope

  • View Details
  • Assistant Professor, Minerology/Petrology - Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment - C...

  • DeKalb, IL
  • Working Position Title:Assistant Professor, Minerology/Petrology - Department of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment - College of Liberal Arts and Scien

  • View Details

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