Message from the Chair

Mitch Pickerill Welcome to Political Science at NIU! It is a great time to be studying politics, and we think there is no better place to do so than in the NIU Political Science Department. We pride ourselves on being a student-oriented research department committed to high-quality scholarship and engaged learning. Our faculty have earned national and international distinction in their fields and have published in leading journals and academic presses.

Our political science undergraduate and graduate programs offer rigorous courses and curricula across the major fields of political science: American government, comparative politics, international relations and political theory. In addition to our B.A., B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. programs, we offer accelerated programs in which our undergraduates can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five (as opposed to six) years and their bachelor’s and law degrees in six (as opposed to the normal seven) years. These save students significant time and money.

In addition to coursework, the Department of Political Science supports student organizations and programs to provide students with hands-on experience and truly engaged learning. For undergraduates, the department provides support for student organizations including NIU Mock Trial, Model Illinois Government, Model United Nations and the Pre-Law Honors Society. We also administer our own honors and mentorship programs for undergrads, have a dedicated internship coordinator, sponsor a student trip to Washington, D.C. every spring break, and help to maintain the NIU study abroad program in Oxford, England every summer. Political science graduate students have opportunities to participate in research colloquia and workshops, to co-author with faculty in their field and to present their own research at professional conferences. Nearly all of our doctoral students also get hands-on teaching experience.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the department.

Mitch Pickerill
Department Chair

Previous Chairs

  • Daniel Wit (1961-1969)
  • William R. Monat (1969-1971)
  • Anthony Fusaro (acing, 1971-1972)
  • James M. Banovetz (1972-1979)
  • M. Ladd Thomas (1979-1982)
  • Clark D. Neher (1982-1988)
  • Lettie McSpadden (1988-1993)
  • Clark D. Neher (1993-1996)
  • Andrea Bonnicksen (1996-1999)
  • Daniel R. Kempton (1999-2006)
  • Christopher M. Jones (2006-2011)
  • Michael T. Peddle (acting, 2011)
  • Matthew J. Streb (2012-2016)
  • Scot D. Schraufnagel (2016-2020)

Contact Us

Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
815-753-6302 (fax)

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