About the College of Business

Your Success Matters

When you join the NIU College of Business, you'll gain the knowledge, experiences and abilities to hit the ground running in your career. We keep your success in mind in everything we do.

What's different about us? Everything.

Our nationally ranked school melds the feel of a small, private college with world-class stature. You'll thrive in our energizing community that emphasizes teamwork and the blending of hands-on problem solving with the exploration of business concepts.

You'll also gain the best return on investment for your tuition dollars. We're the only college to be ranked No. 1 in Illinois by Businessweek for providing the greatest return on investment (calculated by salary earned per annual tuition dollar spent). What's more, you'll benefit from our deep connections with over 300 firms in the Chicago and greater suburban business community, from Fortune companies to entrepreneurial startups.

Out of all the benefits you'll gain at the NIU College of Business, perhaps the most important is our firm belief in you. We'll actively mentor and challenge you to help you grow - our goal is your success.

You’re never alone at NIU or the College of Business, where we offer several business-related resources to help you succeed, including:

  • $759,149 in scholarships awarded in 2018-2019 to 384 students.
  • Full-time academic advising to those entering the College of Business.
  • Full-time academic advising specific to your business major.
  • Nearly 30 professional student organizations to help you focus on what you love about business, while growing your personal and professional networks.
  • A variety of professional development opportunities including Meet the Firm events, Meet the Intern events, mock interview sessions, resume critiques, internship fairs and job fairs.
  • A 120+ person college where every faculty and staff member is ready and willing to help you succeed.

As a member of the larger NIU community, you'll have access to all of the university’s resources, including cultural resource centers, sports clubs, financial or research scholarship opportunities, themed learning communities and NIU’s robust Career Services.

  • 1951

    NIU creates the Department of Business with Francis Geigle, Ph.D., as the appointed chair. The department is housed in the former WWII barracks at the corner of Lucinda and Garden roads.

  • 1953

    The Department of Business moves from the barracks to Altgeld Hall.

  • 1954

    Robert Thistlethwaite, Ph.D., is appointed chair of the Department of Business.

  • 1958

    The Department of Business moves to McMurry Hall.

  • 1959

    The Department of Business splits into the Department of Business Administration and the Department of Business Education.

  • 1961

    The College of Business is formed and Robert Thistlethwaite, Ph.D., is appointed dean.

  • 1964

    Wirtz Hall is completed and becomes the new home of the College of Business.

  • 1969

    Undergraduate business programs are accredited by the AACSB.

  • 1975

    James Benson is appointed dean of the college.

  • 1977

    The M.B.A. program is accredited by the AACSB.

  • 1983

    The first personal computers are installed in Wirtz Hall.

  • 1983

    The accountancy program and the M.A.S. program are accredited by the AACSB.

  • 1984

    Richard Brown, Ph.D., is appointed dean of the college.

  • 1989

    B.S.A. becomes OMIS.

  • 1992

    An electronic podium system is implemented in Wirtz Hall.

  • 1993

    David Graf, Ph.D., is appointed dean of the college.

  • 1995

    The first College of Business website is launched.

  • 1997

    The Rockford Alumni Club is organized.

  • 2000

    Dennis and Stacey Barsema donate $20 million to NIU. Plans for Barsema Hall take shape.

  • 2002

    Barsema Hall becomes the new home of the College of Business.

  • 2003

    The College of Business website is redesigned to present a unified look.

  • 2004

    The M.S.T. program is accredited and all undergraduate programs are reaccredited by the AACSB.