Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

#416 National Colleges

48.35% Admission Rate
Somewhat Selective

12,107 Undergraduates Enrolled

  • Public
  • Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity
  • Four-year, full-time, selective, higher transfer-in
  • Four-year, large, primarily residential
Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public research university in DeKalb, Illinois. It was founded as Northern Illinois State Normal School on May 22, 1895, by Illinois Governor John P. Altgeld as part of an expansion of the state's system for producing college-educated teachers. In addition to the main campus in DeKalb, it has satellite centers in Chicago, Naperville, Rockford, and Oregon, Illinois.

The university is composed of seven degree-granting colleges and has a student body of 25,000 with over 240,000 alumni. Many of NIU's programs are nationally accredited for meeting high standards of academic quality, including business, engineering, nursing, visual and performing arts, and all teacher certification programs. NIU is one of only two public universities in Illinois that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the highest levels of all sports, Division I. The university's athletic teams are known as the Huskies and compete in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

"Northern Illinois University." Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 February 2022,

Dekalb, Illinois

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Suburb: Small (outside principal city, in urbanized area with population less than 100,000)

Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)


Predominant Degree Awarded
Predominantly bachelor's-degree granting

Highest Degree Awarded
Graduate degree

Most Popular Fields

Field % Students
Business, Management, Marketing, And Related Support Services 19.4%
Health Professions And Related Programs 16.0%
Engineering 8.3%
Communication, Journalism, And Related Programs 6.4%
Social Sciences 5.9%
Psychology 5.3%
Education 5.3%
Computer And Information Sciences And Support Services 4.4%
Visual And Performing Arts 4.0%
Family And Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences 3.9%
Biological And Biomedical Sciences 3.5%
Engineering Technologies And Engineering-Related Fields 2.9%
Physical Sciences 2.4%
Liberal Arts And Sciences, General Studies And Humanities 2.2%
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, And Fitness Studies 2.2%
English Language And Literature/Letters 1.8%
History 1.6%
Mathematics And Statistics 1.6%
Foreign Languages, Literatures, And Linguistics 1.0%
Natural Resources And Conservation 0.9%
Public Administration And Social Service Professions 0.7%
Philosophy And Religious Studies 0.3%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 0.0%



Percentage Students Receiving Aid

Average Net Cost After Aid


SAT Scores

1070 Composite Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 580 525 470
Verbal 590 530 470

ACT Scores

22 Cumulative Average
Percentile 75% 50% 25%
Math 25 21 17
English 25 22 18