Departmental Member Profile: Northern Illinois University

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Northern Illinois University, Department of Political Science

Chair: Dr. Scot Schraufnagel
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dr. Mitch Pickerill
Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Michael Clark
Degrees offered: BA/BS, MA, and PhD in Political Science
Number of Undergraduate Majors (2015-2016): 375
Number of Incoming PhD Students (2015-2016): 8

Tell us about your department and faculty:

We are proud to be a department that is research intensive, academically rigorous, and student focused. NIU political science faculty are focused on research questions that are of vital importance to the nation and the world. Whether it is studying democratization in developing countries, legislative productivity in the U.S. Congress, the moral and political implications of war, or the politicization of Islam, our faculty are developing and advancing theories intended to solve real world problems. Moreover, the faculty engage both graduate and undergraduate students in their research, expanding students’ intellectual horizons and providing them with the tools to succeed in their future careers

The department has a concentration of scholars who study Southeast Asia and, traditionally, a strong political theory subfield. The department also has three faculty members studying public law.

Learn more about our department faculty here:

Tell us about your undergraduates:

The department offers a B.S. and B.A. in political science. Majors can choose one of five emphases for their degree : International Politics; Justice and Democracy; Politics and Governance; Public Administration & Service; and Public Law.

The department also offers an accelerated law degree program. Students accepted to this program obtain a BA or BS in political science and JD from the NIU Law School in six years.

There are also opportunities for students to be part of the Political Science Honor Program, The Washington Congressional Internship Program, a trip to Washington, DC over spring break, and the department mentorship program.

Department faculty are advisors to four active student clubs:

  • Model United Nations
  • Model Illinois Government
  • Mock Trial
  • Pre-Law Honors Society

Learn more about our undergraduates programs here:

Tell us about your graduate students:

The department offers two graduate degrees: an MA and PhD in political science. The department has a Political Science Graduate Student Organization, which is funded by student government. The money is used to hold research showcase events and colloquia.

Learn more about NIU graduate students here: