Poets&Quants Top Business Schools

Northern Illinois University College of Business


Contact our general manager with any questions. Profile updated: January 24, 2024.

Contact Information

740 Garden Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115
Admissions Office:

Tuition & Fees In-State: $111,092*

Tuition & Fees Out-of-State: $111,092*

Average Debt: $23,308

Average Salary: $59,786

Graduates With Jobs 90 Days After Graduation: 44%

International: 1%

Minority: 62%

First generation college students: 56%

When do students declare their majors: Freshman Year

Acceptance Rate: 68%

Average GPA: 3.42

HS Class Top Ten: 11%**

*The total cost of the degree over four years for the most recent graduating class inclusive of school fees, room, board, or living expenses.

** HS Class Top Ten is the percent of the student population that graduated high school in the top ten percent of their class.

*** Please note that these statistics are provided for the business school major only whenever possible. If a school does not track these statistics separately, then the university-wide statistics are provided.

The Northern Illinois University College of Business ranked No. 86 in this year’s 2023 rankings, dropping five places from last year’s No. 81. The College of Business had an acceptance rate of 67.90% for the most recent incoming class, which was slightly more selective than last year’s 68.75%. 

Employment-wise, the B-school’s rates improved a lot, with a 43.89% of Class of 2023 landing a full-time position within three months of graduation – up from last year’s 35.91% for the Class of 2022. Internship outcomes were also higher, with 48% of the Class of 2023 landing an internship before graduating compared to 43.50% for the Class of 2022. Of the three methodological categories, the B-School scored highest in Academic Experience, ranking No. 79.

At NIU’s College of Business, students are encouraged to learn by doing. The business courses challenge students by requiring them to “run a company.” Students work cross-functionally in solving problems. Experiential opportunities are abundant. By the time they graduate, NIU business students have a ton of experience to stand out amongst the competition. Recent graduates seemed to like their experience based on data gathered through our alumni survey. That data helped NIU place 30th overall in the academic experience methodological category.


NIU business students can choose from five majors including Accountancy, Business Administration, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Operations & Information Systems. Each major, aside from Accounting, offers the option of a specialized certification. For instance, management students can gain a Certificate of Undergraduate Study in Social Entrepreneurship. Marketing students can gain a certificate of Undergraduate Study in Retail Management. 

Learning by doing starts early on at the NIU College of Business. The Business in Action course introduces students to business functions, language, etiquette, and opportunities in modern business through a live consulting project. Additionally, each major program features strong, hands-on learning opportunities for students to apply their knowledge. A number of surveyed alumni highlighted the learning-by-doing approach of the NIU business education. 

“I was part of a business course that ran a simulation of us owning our own global shoe company where each week was a new year of operations and we had to make decisions from a supply chain, marketing, and financial perspective for different global regions,” one alum told us. “In the same course, we also had simulations of executive business meetings where we discussed the future of real-world companies, as if we worked there, based on recent news reports of what those companies were experiencing. We would discuss how we would advance or improve the business as ‘executive leaders’ of our respective areas, e.g. CFO, CMO, CEO, etc.”

The experience of running a business from end-to-end is extremely valuable. As “business owners,” NIU students are given a unique opportunity to essentially gain insight into what an executive in their field of business does on a daily basis. But the experience is also valuable because it encourages important soft skill development — from effective communication to cross-functional collaboration.

When asked how well the opportunities offered in NIU’s business program nurtured and improved their soft skills in business, surveyed alumni gave a strong 9.1 average rating. Additionally, faculty support is strong at NIU. 


Experiential learning is a strong selling point for NIU’s College of Business. The B-school has a dedicated student consulting team called the Experiential Learning Center (ELC), where students act as consultants under the guidance of coaches (professors, instructors, and business professionals) and solve issues for organizations. Students must apply for projects and are selected for teams of five to eight students. 

The ELC experience is unique in that it offers a hands-on opportunity to gain experience in a variety of business facets including project management, communication, presentation, team building, leadership, and technical skills. Additionally, students work with real companies and organizations to solve real issues. At many other B-schools, this type of experience is limited to a simulation or theoretical case studies. 

Overall, NIU’s College of Business is a good choice for anyone looking to actively apply their business education with real-world experience. Whether it’s through live consulting projects, running a business, or the Experiential Learning Center, NIU business students are given a variety of opportunities to truly learn by doing. 

Alumni say:

“Taking part in the internship class offered through the accounting program helped me get my foot in the door at the accounting firm I currently work at. This was a huge stepping stone for my career and personal development.”

“I was a part of the Professional Selling Program at NIU, and it changed my life. It provided me the opportunities and practice to interview, negotiate, and speak better than I could have ever dreamed.”

“I interned for a company’s HR department which helped me decide to major in HR. I took a consulting class where I consulted for the College of Business on their brand which was a great way to engage with product development and how to work with stakeholders. I also completed a capstone project on socio-economics in Indonesia that allowed me to maintain a global focus while honing my research and analytical skills.”

“MGMT 444 was an expectational experience that really got me thinking more of how to gather data, understand it, and implement/recommend business solutions for business problems.”

“I was in a competitive entry class called Student Managed Portfolio that required an interview process for admission. It was a small class of only about 10-15 students and students were assigned to a S&P 500 sector. We were responsible for monitoring the sector and the holdings our portfolio had in that sector. We performed advanced analysis and were taught by the head of the finance department. This class gave me confidence in my analytical abilities and the respect of peers/professors.”