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Northern Illinois University

United States
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Institution type Public

About Northern Illinois University

Chartered in 1895, Northern Illinois University first opened its doors as the Northern Illinois State Normal School in 1899 as a teachers' school. We have since grown into a world-class, research-focused public institution that attracts students from across Illinois, the country and the world.

Through internships, research, study abroad, 220 student organizations and more, the faculty and staff of NIU work hard to provide you with life-changing opportunities. An NIU education is nationally recognized in quality, nationally ranked in value and aimed at providing you with personal, career and life success.

Campus information

The main campus sits on 756 acres in DeKalb and includes 64 major buildings. Additional campus sites include, the Lorado Taft Field Campus (144 acres), Rockford Campus (10 acres), Hoffman Estates Campus (23.93 acres), and the Naperville Campus (11.2 acres).

One of the most prominent buildings on campus is the iconic castle-like Altgeld Hall. It is one of the five castle-themed buildings built according to the suggestion of Governor John Peter Altgeld. The Auditorium in Altgeld Hall, which was designed to also function as a ballroom, was restored and can seat up to 500. On the level below the Auditorium, the original gym was transformed into a computer classroom. Also on the same level is the NIU Art Museum which occupies two large spaces.

The East Lagoon near Altgeld is a popular spot on campus. Barsema Hall, which houses the College of Business, opened its doors in 2002. This 144,000 square-foot facility houses modern classrooms, faculty offices, several computer labs, a large atrium at the center of the building as well as a 375-seat auditorium.

The Holmes Student Center houses several lounges, computer labs, restaurants, the University Bookstore, a branch of TCF Bank and more. It also is home to the Huskies Den, which features bowling, billiards, a video arcade and Playstation 4 and Xbox One gaming. The Holmes Student Center also houses a 78-room hotel.

DeKalb is home to Northern Illinois University, the city's largest employer and the third largest campus in the state. Other large employers include KishHealth (a regional medical group centered on Dekalb's Kishwaukee Hospital), General Electric, Monsanto (originally as DeKalb Corn), the local school district, and a large retail district along Hwy. 23 (and shared with Sycamore) that includes Walmart, Target, Lowes, Best Buy, Carson's, Sears, Kohl's, Ross, and dozens of other chain and local stores.

DeKalb is also home to warehouses for several major companies, including Target, 3M, Nestlé, and Panduit, in part due to Dekalb's proximity to major highways such as I-88 and I-39. 3M's complex serves as the distribution hub for five of 3M’s six business units and export operations to North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

In 1984, the intersection of two streets in a popular NIU housing district in Dekalb begot the name of a regional consulting firm called "Greenbrier & Russel," (subsequently acquired by Fujitsu Consulting in 2006). In 2011, DeKalb was the broadcast base of Up and In: The Baseball Prospectus Podcast with Kevin Goldstein and Jason Parks.


New Hall
Features enhanced privacy single bedrooms arranged in small group clusters of 12. Its Community Center is home to a food court, recreation facility, and lounge.

Gilbert Hall
Located in the heart of campus, Gilbert Hall provides upperclassmen with a living choice in close proximity to arts, engineering, and business classes.

Grant Towers
Located at the northwestern edge of campus, the newly renovated Grant Towers features expanded double and single rooms and a large study space.

A group of four 12-story towers located at the western edge of campus. Residents enjoy its food court, proximity to sports fields, and single, double, and suite room layouts.

Neptune Hall
Located centrally on campus across from the Holmes Student Center and adjacent to the Huskie Bus Turnaround. Residents also enjoy Neptune's Fireplace Lounge.

Northern View
NIU's on-campus apartment alternative to traditional residence hall living for our upper class, non-traditional population and students with families. Features a spacious courtyard and Community Center with 24-hour access


Courses available 10

Accounting & Finance 1 Business, Management 1 Creative Arts & Design 1 Engineering 1 Health and Medicine 1 Hotel Management & Hospitality 1 Humanities & Social Sciences 3 MBA 1


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