Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1899 as a teachers' school. We have since grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world.
Through internships, research, study abroad, over 300 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff of NIU work hard to provide you with life-changing opportunities. An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing you with personal, career and life success.
Northern Illinois University (NIU) is a public research university located in DeKalb, Illinois, United States, with satellite centers in Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Rockford, and Oregon, Illinois. It was originally 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. Douglas Baker was named the university's twelfth president in May 2013. The university is composed of seven degree-granting colleges and has a student body of 25,000 with over 225,000 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. It 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. NIU's athletic teams are known as the Huskies and compete in the Mid-American Conference.