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Northern Illinois University

Illinois, United States

Est. 1895

About Northern Illinois University

The Northern Illinois University, fondly called the NIU is a public research institution located in DeKalb, Illinois founded in 1895 as the Northern Illinois State Normal School. The NIU is one of the satellites of the University the rest of them centers in Chicago, Oregon, Naperville, Hoffman States and Rockford. The University of Northern Illinois counts with seven schools with about 60 majors for undergraduate and 80 master's degree for graduate students and it utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. The programs of engineering, business, visual and programming arts and nursing are nationally accredited for meeting high standards of academic quality. Also, the NIU is one of the two public universities located in Illinois that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association at the highest levels in all the sports.

NIU's School of Engineering

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The University of Northern Illinois is located in the Lincoln Hwy, DeKalb, Illinois, 4 minutes away from Downtown DeKalb and 10 minutes away from the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. Its setting is suburban, since the Lincoln Hwy goes all the way to downtown, in the entire route you could find different famous restaurants like Taco BELL, IHOP, Dunkin' Donuts, Chipotle Mexican Grill and coffee shops like Starbucks and The House Café. Also, for students not wanting to go far to do their groceries they have La Salsa Food Inc and ALDI a few minutes away from campus.


The campus size of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb is 756 acres with approximately 60 academic major buildings with an amazing and historical architecture including the castle-like Altgeld Hall, a masterpiece which was designed to function as an auditorium, an art museum, a ballroom and on the level below the auditorium a computer classroom. The campus offers some services like cleaning services, furniture repair, health insurance, Child Care Center and others services to provide students everything they need on a daily basis. Also, the university counts with a security department with 55 officers to keep the campus safe.

Residing Options

The Northern University offers many options for on-campus housing including the New Residence Hall, the Gilbert Hall, the Grant Towers, the Stevenson Towers, the Neptune Hall and The Northern view that is an on-campus apartment alternative mostly rented by graduate students or students older than 20 years old. Students don't need to do a research to know which hall is best for them because the Housing and Residential Service will provide any information to help students find a suitable place. However, for students who like a little more independence, there are a wide variety of nice off-campus residences just a few blocks away from the University.


DeKalb, Illinois is a city who suffers from really freezing, dry and windy winters even though they are short it could reach low temperatures like 10°F. The warm seasons lasts for about four months usually from May to September being July the hottest month with the highest temperature of 82°F. If moving to DeKalb is in your plans I would recommend getting ready for the winter days because Illinois is a state known for the windy and cold winters.

Faculty and pedagogy

The NIU is nationally accredited for meeting the highest standards of academic quality and rigor in popular programs including business, health and social sciences and engineering. Also, no matter what major the students are coursing they can apply to the university's Research Rookies Program, which is a program that connect students from every year and even first-semester transfer students with a number of members of a faculty in their field of interest to work in small-scale research projects, that are really great for students to learn and develop new skills that they can use in the future.

Financial aid

The Northern Illinois University believes that many families need assistance to help offset the cost of education. Therefore, the Student Financial Aid Office was created to provide financial assistance, mostly to applicants that without some financial aid would not be able to attend to NIU. The SFAO is responsible for coordinating and administering the aid funds from the federal state, private and university sources. Graduate Students who are US citizen may be eligible for Federal Direct Loans and Private Loans. On the other hand, International students that are admitted as a freshman or transfer student would be considered for housing scholarship or depending on the GPA a Merit Scholarship.

Jobs and placements

The NIU offers a variety of part-time jobs opportunities on campus knowing that getting a job while majoring on a career plays a fundamental role in assisting the NIU with its administrative and academic work while providing students and opportunity to refine their career, gain experience in their field or any field, develop skills and even finance their education.
There are different types of employment that the NIU offers, the Regular Student Employment which consists of jobs for students did not qualify for financial aid; The Federal Work Study Employment which is awarded as part of the financial aid package; Community Service where the university offers several off-campus work study positions in the community; the last type of employment is the Internships which depending on the organization may or may not offer pay. The NIU has made a research concluding that an 85 % of graduates are employed in a field related to their major within six months of graduation.


  • Kurt Sutter-Creator of Sons of Anarchy
  • Matt Walsh-Actor (Veep, The Daily Show)
  • Dan Castellaneta -Voice of Homer Simpson
  • Joan Allen-Academy Award nominee
  • Ryan Diem-NFL Super Bowl Champion

  • Verdict

    The Northern University is definitely a great option if you are looking for high-quality programs in a small town of an amazing state, especially for those seeking to major in engineering, business, visual and programming arts and nursing with also great opportunities for students looking to grow in the sports area since the NIU is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I.

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