Political science is one of the most popular majors for students considering law school. If you're majoring in political science at NIU, you can choose the public law emphasis. The NIU Department of Political Science has one of the most comprehensive undergraduate public law programs in the state of Illinois, including three public law faculty members (two of whom have law degrees), a mock trial team and a pre-law society.

A sampling of courses for students interested in a career in law:

  • POLS 210: Introduction to Law and Courts
  • POLS 310: The U.S. Supreme Court
  • POLS 317: Judicial Politics
  • POLS 410: Constitutional Law I
  • POLS 411: Constitutional Law II
  • POLS 412: Constitutional Law III
  • POLS 415: Criminal Law

Notable Alumni

Gregory Brady

Gregory A. Brady
B.S., 1999
NIU Deputy General Counsel for Governance and Administration

The Department of Political Science connected me with real-world experiences, like internships with local legislators and with on-campus activities, like Model Illinois Government and the Student Association. These experiences really helped me use what I was learning in the classroom and prepare for employment after graduation. They also helped me form life-long friendships with the people I worked and studied with, which continue to this day. I was fortunate to expand upon the opportunities that the department provided to me into internships with the Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois Court of Claims, the Illinois Department of Revenue and the Office of the President at Northern Illinois University. The in-classroom instruction and real-life internship experiences, provided through opportunities in the Department of Political Science, helped me stand out as a student at Northern Illinois University and prepared me for being an attorney for a leading public institution of higher education."

Richar Doherty

Richard Doherty
B.A., 1986
Founder of Log Cabin Legal Services

A bachelor's degree from NIU is a valuable asset in the law school admissions process. Moreover, the critical thinking and writing abilities required to get the degree pay huge dividends both in law school and in the legal career that follows. A political science degree from NIU has helped me throughout my legal career.

Krista Edwards
B.A., 1984
Former partner, Sidley and Austin LLP

I chose my major with an eye towards law school and because I found the coursework interesting and engaging. It proved a good choice. With its focus on critical thinking and written expression, political science provided valuable preparation for the study and practice of law.

Toni Farruggia

Toni Farruggia
B.A., 2007
Associate Attorney

In order to be successful as an attorney, an individual must be able to write, not just competently but compellingly. They must also be able to formulate an argument and analytically reinforce that argument with both facts and law. They have to be able to passionately advocate on behalf of others regardless of their personal opinions. These skills are the exact ones taught to political science majors everyday. To be able to read, think, speak and write intelligently, passionately and with conviction. These are the skills that I learned from the NIU Department of Political Science and I take these skills with me everyday to advance my career and the lives of my clients.

Joshua Lloyd

Joshua Lloyd
B.S., 2010
Assistant State's Attorney at Kane County State's Attorney's Office

Obtaining a political science degree from Northern Illinois University provided me with a strong foundation and the flexibility to continue forward and achieve my goal of becoming a lawyer. The program helped me develop many skills I continue to use as an assistant state’s attorney. The professors and faculty are committed to excellence and engage their students to promote learning.

Robin Waters

Robin Waters
B.A., 2011
Attorney, Durkin Roberts & Grohman

I would not have been able to attain the level of success I have achieved without the skills, mentoring and support that I acquired through my NIU political science degree.

Contact Us

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

Office Hours

Monday - Thursday
8 a.m. - noon
1 - 4:30 p.m.

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