Undergraduate Programs

Studying Political Science at NIU

The NIU Department of Political Science is committed to quality undergraduate education and has a reputation for excellence in teaching. Unlike many departments at large universities, most undergraduate courses in political science are taught by distinguished full-time faculty who received their Ph.D.s from leading universities.

A Variety of Perspectives

Political science students examine timeless questions of justice and democracy and explore contemporary issues.

Political science courses provide a broad liberal arts education and focus on issues of utmost importance in an ever changing, dynamic world. Additionally, members of the faculty stress the development of analytic, writing, and quantitative skills.

Fast Facts

Number of Undergraduate Majors: Nearly 500 (Very Popular Major on Campus)

Number of Professorial Faculty: 26

Undergraduate Degrees: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) 

Degree Emphases: Politics, Public Law, Public Administration & ServiceInternational Politics and Justice and Democracy: The American Experiment

Required Credit Hours for a B.A. or B.S. Degree in Political Science: 36  

Required Credit Hours for a Minor in Political Science: 18  

Special Academic Opportunities: Department Honors, In-Course Honors, Internships, Independent Studies, and Study Abroad (including POLS courses through NIU at Oxford) 

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The department also offers a minor for students with an interest in politics. In addition, it participates in the interdisciplinary minors in black studies, Chinese/Japanese studies, classical studies, environmental studies, gerontology, international studies, Latino and Latin American studies, public administration, Southeast Asian studies, urban studies, women’s studies, and community leadership & civic engagement.

A Strong Foundation for Graduate Studies

The political science major prepares some students for advanced degree work. The Department offers three graduate degree programs: Master of Arts (M.A.) in Political Science, Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Political Science.