Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University

DeKalb , United States
  • 54
    Acceptance Rate
  • 12788
  • 31415
    Average Cost
  • 92
    Employment Rate
  • Program
  • Permit


Northern Illinois University was founded as part of the expansion of the normal school program established in 1857 in Normal, Illinois. In 1895, the state legislature created a Board of Trustees for the governance of the Northern Illinois State Normal School, which would grow into what is today known as NIU.

In July 1917, the Illinois Senate consolidated the boards of trustees for the five state normal schools (Eastern Illinois State Normal School, Illinois State Normal School, Northern Illinois State Normal School, Southern Illinois State Normal University, and Western Illinois State Normal School) into one state Normal School Board.

Over the next fifty-eight years, the school and the governing board changed their names several times. In 1921, the legislature gave the institution the name Northern Illinois State Teachers College and empowered it to award the four-year Bachelor of Education degree. In 1941, the Normal School Board changed its name to the Teachers College Board. In 1951 the Teachers College Board authorized the college to grant the degree Master of Science in Education, and the institution's Graduate School was established. On July 1, 1955, the state legislature renamed the college Northern Illinois State College and authorized the college to broaden its educational services by offering academic work in areas other than teacher education. The Teachers College Board granted permission for the college to add curricula leading to the degrees Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. On July 1, 1957, the Seventieth General Assembly renamed Northern Illinois State College as Northern Illinois University in recognition of its expanded status as a liberal arts university.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

  • High School Diploma: You must have graduated by the time you start at NIU in order to be admitted.
  • Grades: You must have passing grades equivalent to a U.S. C+ average on all transcripts and/or exam scores
  • Documentation Requirements

Incoming freshmen will need to submit the following to be considered for admission to NIU:

  • Completed NIU application
  • $40 application fee
  • Final secondary school transcript and/or exam results
  • Proof of English ability
  • If you're affected by testing center closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you can submit a Duolingo English test instead of an in-person TOEFL, IELTS or PTE English proficiency exam.

Scholarship & funding

Scholarships are awarded based on a variety of factors, including academic achievement and financial need. They do not need to be repaid. Many scholarships are awarded by NIU as well as private organizations.


Student life

Your life on campus is a significant part of your overall educational experience. You can choose to be involved with one of our nearly 300 student organizations or an intramural or club sport team, experience outdoor adventures or participate in service projects or campus events.