The NIU Department of Political Science has over 350 undergraduate majors and minors and roughly 60 active graduate students.
The NIU Department of Political Science is a student-centered research department with a commitment to engaged learning at the undergraduate level. This commitment is demonstrated through the following:
Most of the initiatives outlined above are supported by scholarships from donors and/or funding from the NIU Student Association.
The NIU Department of Political Science is known internationally for its strength in Southeast Asian Politics and three full-time faculty members are associates of the university’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. The Department is also known nationally for its longstanding strength in the history or political philosophy from Plato to the present.
The NIU Department of Political Science takes great pride in the quality of its undergraduate majors. The Student Lincoln Laureate is an annual honor reserved for the top senior from each of the state’s public and private four-year colleges and universities. The award recognizes excellence in both curricular and extracurricular activities. A Political Science major won this award in 2005, was first finalist in 2006, won the award in 2007, and 2008, was first finalist in 2009, won the award in 2010, was first finalist in 2011, won the award in 2012, and 2015.
The Department spends a great deal of time and energy training its doctoral students to be effective teachers. A Political Science Ph.D. student has been honored with the university-wide Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award six times since the inception of the award.