Rankings & Recognition

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NIU is the recipient of prestigious national rankings and recognitions, maintaining academic achievements across the university. Follow the links ot the right to view rankings and recognitions awarded to individual colleges.

NIU Earns National Rankings

Washington Monthly - Best National University 2013Washington Monthly

  • College Guide RankingsNIU ranks in the top 150 universities in the following categories:
    • Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students)
    • Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs)
    • Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country)
  • Washington Monthly - Best-Bang-for-Buck 2013 America's-Best-Bang-for-the-Buck CollegesNIU ranks in the top 60

U.S. News & World Report


  • College Education ROI RankingsNIU ranks in the top third of Colleges Worth Your Investment, measuring "what you pay to attend versus what you get back in lifetime earnings"

The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor RollCorporation for National Community Service

Military Times Magazine

  • Military Friendly School 2013Best for Vets - Colleges - 2013 Military TimesBest for Vets: NIU ranks in the top 50 four-year colleges in the country

G.I. Jobs

  • Military Friendly School: NIU ranks in the top 15% of schools nationwide that deliver the best experience for military students

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

NIU Earns Academic Prestige


  • HLC AcceditedNationally Accredited University: NIU receives institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and schools. Accreditation by the HLC is one way NIU publicly demonstrates its commitment to quality and willingness to be held externally accountable to those the university serves
  • Nationally Accredited Programs: NIU is accredited in business, engineering, nursing, visual and performing arts, and all teacher certification programs, (among others) for meeting the highest standards of academic quality and rigor


  • Cargegie Foundation logoResearch Universities: NIU is classified as a Research University (high research activityby the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This designation is reserved for universities that award at least 20 research degrees during the year
  • Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships: NIU has an elective classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships for its collaboration with its larger communities (local, regional/state, national and global)