Rankings and accreditation

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Northern Illinois University:

  • Top four percent of all U.S. colleges and universities listed in The Carnegie Foundation's most productive category: "doctoral/research university-extensive."

  • Full member of the Universities Research Association (URA), an elite group of top public and private research universities that includes Harvard, MIT, Princeton, and Yale.

  • Member of the nation's most prestigious public higher education association, the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.

  • Home of a new scientific center dedicated to research with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, one of the world's premier high-energy physics research laboratories.


The College of Business has achieved continuous AACSB accreditation since 1969 and is ranked in the top 10% in the world -- just eight years after the school's founding -- and is among the top schools of business accredited for Business and Accounting.
u.s. news best college
NIU's C ollege of Business Continues to Rank Among the Best Undergraduate B-Schools in the Nation:

  • Businessweek's 2011 listing of best undergraduate business schools ranks NIU's College of Business 84th nationally out of a small group of 139 elite business schools that made Businessweek's final short-list. NIU's ranking beats out Illinois State (93) and the University of Illinois-Chicago (109).

  • Businessweek's 2012 listing of best specialty programs in business education ranks NIU's College of Business 2nd nationally in the area of Ethics Education.

  • Businessweek's 2011 ranking included student feedback, which accounted for one-third of the total ranking score and gave the college high marks in the areas of Quality of Teaching and Quality of Job Placement Services.

  • Company recruiters ranked NIU's business school 30th in the nation from which to recruit new employees (per the 2011 Businessweek ranking of best undergraduate business programs).

  • Businessweek’s 2012 ranking of the NIU Business Information Systems Program is at #23 nationally. Also, the same publication ranked NIU’s Operations Management as #62 nationwide.

  • For nearly two decades, U.S.News & World Report has consistently ranked the Northern Illinois University College of Business as among the best business colleges in the country. In its most current ranking, the NIU College of Business continued to be ranked as among the nation's best in the publication's "America's Best Colleges and Programs" ranking (2012), as recently published by U.S.News & World Report.

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  • NIU's MBA Program has achieved high rankings for each year of the Crain's Chicago Business ranking: 2006,2007,2008. Crain's consistently places the NIU MBA program among the very best out of a pool of 30 competing MBA programs in the Chicago market. In 2008, the last year of Crain's ranking process, NIU's Evening MBA, Professional MBA, and Executive MBA all ranked within the top six best programs.

  • Accountancy: The college's undergraduate Accountancy program ranked in the top 20 nationally for more than 20 years by Public Accounting Report, a major trade publication for the accounting industry. In its 2008 annual survey of accounting programs, Public Accounting Report ranks the NIU undergraduate Accountancy program 13th in the nation.

NIU accountancy students' performance on the CPA exam has ranked among the best in the nation for three decades. In January 2009, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy released pass rates for candidates taking the CPA exam in 2007. NIU Department of Accountancy graduate students placed 12th in the country (out of more than 900 institutions). NIU is the only Illinois university to have student performance ranked in the top twenty nationally. In addition, our students placed 2nd in the country on the auditing section of the CPA exam (with a 90 percent pass rate). NIU accountancy graduate students placed 24th in the nation in 2006, and 9th best in 2004.

  • Professional Sales program: The first collegiate program ever accredited by the Professional Society for Sales and Marketing Training, this program was also named one of 15 "Incubators for Greatness" by Selling Power Magazine .

  • Finance Department: Ranked by The Financial Management Journal as among the 100 most prolific in published research 1990-2001. Since 2004, NIU Finance professors' research expertise has been sought and featured by financial/business journalists reporting out of Chicago-area and national media outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes Magazine, CFO Magazine, Dow Jones Radio, Smart Money Magazine, Bloomberg TV, among many others.

  • NIU Business Faculty In the News: The expertise of NIU business faculty is regularly sought by Chicago-area and nationally-based journalists, and featured in various major media outlets, including print, web-based, television, and radio.

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