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Matt Streb and students
2015 POLS-SAC Group

Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at Northern Illinois University is a dynamic, student-centered research department that is committed to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and public service. Our distinguished faculty offer a wide array of courses that tackle today’s most pressing political issues, such as elections, the causes of war, international terrorism, and democratization in developing countries.

Undergraduate Programs

Political science majors at NIU receive a broad liberal arts education while gaining critical thinking skills that are vital to becoming socially responsible citizens with an understanding of the political dynamics that shape our everyday lives. Students may pursue either a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and may choose from five different degree emphases:

Recognizing that some of the best learning takes place outside the classroom, political science majors have many opportunities for engaged learning and professional experience at their disposal, including travel abroad programs, a spring break trip to Washington DC, a comprehensive departmental honors program, a mentorship program, career shadowing opportunities, and internships.

Graduates of the political science program go on to careers in government, law, journalism, education, intelligence, foreign affairs, and many other exciting professions. If you are interested in a career in law, learn more about our Accelerated Law Degree program. It saves students time and money by offering the opportunity to earn a B.S. or a B.A. in Political Science, followed by a J.D. degree, in only six years.

Graduate Programs

The Department of Political Science offers the following graduate degrees:

  • Master of Arts
  • Doctor of Philosophy

It also offers four fields of scholarly study:

Recent graduates of NIU’s graduate political science programs have gone on to a variety of influential careers, including positions with the Indonesian House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of State, the American Medical Association, the U.S. Foreign Service, and the U.S. Congress. Recent Ph.D. graduates have obtained positions at various colleges and universities, including Auburn University, Texas A&M, DePaul University, and Arkansas State University.

Latest News from the Political Science Department


Applications are being taken for Political Science Student Advisory Committee (POLS-SAC). Stop in to Zulauf 415 to pick up an application or click here to print out form and bring in before Friday, April 17th.


The Fall 2015 Political Science Schedule is available.  Check out some videos of instructors explaining their course.

Perspectives: An Evening with Representatives Tammy Duckworth and Robin Kelly