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About the College

Dean's Welcome


Dean Chris McCordWelcome to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We're proud to be the center of a great university, proud of our multi-faceted mission, and proud to be part of the historic tradition of liberal education.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is central to the strength of Northern Illinois University. We are the largest college, with 18 departments and six centers that span the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. All of our tenure-track faculty members, instructors and staff contribute to the education of our 5,900 undergraduate majors and 1,000 graduate students.

Our unique role within the university doesn't just rest on our size, however, but on our core mission that is foundational to all of the university's academic efforts. We provide general education and core competency courses to the entire university community and partner with our sister colleges to provide their students with courses essential to their training. We are also the leaders in the university's research and scholarship efforts, with basic and applied research that informs and transforms all of our disciplines.

These diverse missions encompassing research and scholarship, graduate education, undergraduate majors, general education, and community engagement form an integrated whole dedicated to the values of a public liberal education. In a diverse and globally connected world, we enable students to analyze and appreciate multiple perspectives.

In a world of rapidly changing careers, we help our students remain lifelong learners who can adapt to multiple opportunities. In a democratic nation, we help our students become informed citizens and engaged members of their community. And at the core of our values, we strive to bring out in our students their abilities to think clearly and deeply, to express themselves effectively, and to apply their talents meaningfully to all aspects of their lives.

Christopher K. McCord
Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Smerge Endowed Dean's Chair