Jul 22, 2024  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 

A Guide to Reading this Catalog

Click on a link to be taken to the entry below.



Course Designators


ACSC-Actuarial Science
AHCD-Allied Health and Communicative Disorders
AHLS-Medical Laboratory Sciences
AHPT-Physical Therapy
ARTD-Design and Media Arts
ARTE-Art and Design Education
ARTH-Art History
BADM-Business Administration
BIOS-Biological Sciences
BKST-Black Studies
COMD-Communicative Disorders
COMS-Communication Studies
CSCI-Computer Science
ELE-Electrical Engineering
ENVS-Environmental Studies
EPFE-Foundations of Education
EPS-Educational Psychology
ETR-Research and Assessment
ETT-Instructional Technology
FACS-Family and Consumer Sciences
FLAL-Applied Linguistics and General
FLCL-Classical Languages
FLIS-Foreign Language Independent Study
FLMT-Foreign Language Methods
FLPT-Foreign Language Student Teaching
FLSL-American Sign Language
FLST-Special Topics
FLTR-Foreign Language Translation
FSMD-Fashion Merchandising
HDFS-Human Development and Family Sciences
HESA-Higher Education and Student Affairs
HLTH-Health Studies
HOSP-Hospitality and Tourism Management
HSCI-Health Sciences
IDSP-Inter-College Interdisciplinary
IEET-Interdisciplinary Engineering and Engineering Technology
ILAS-Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and Sciences
INTL-International Programs
ISYE-Industrial Engineering
KNDN-Physical Education Dance
KNPE-Physical Education
LEBM-School Business Management
LEEA-Educational Administration
LESM-Sport Management
LTDH-Deaf and Hard of Hearing
LTLA-Language Arts
MATH-Mathematical Sciences
MEE-Mechanical Engineering
MILS-Military Science
MLTL-Middle Level Teaching and Learning
MUED-Music Education
MUHL-Music History and Literature
MUSC-Music General
MUSE-Music Ensembles
MUSP-Music Performance
MUTC-Music Theory and Composition
NNGO-Nonprofit and NGO Studies
NUTR–Nutrition, Dietetics, and Wellness
OELP–Office of Educator Licensure and Preparation
OMIS-Operations Management and Information Systems
PHHE-Public Health and Health Education
POLS-Political Science
PSPA–Public Administration
REHB-Rehabilitation and Disability Services
SCL-Social Change Leadership
SEEC-Early Childhood Education
SESE-Special Education
SEVI-Visual Impairments
SIHP-School of Interdisciplinary Health Professions
SPGA-School of Public and Global Affairs
TECH- EngineeringTechnology
THEA-Theatre Arts
TH-D-Dance Performance
TLCI-Curriculum and Instruction
TLEE-Elementary Education
UBUS-Interdisciplinary Business
UEDU-Interdisciplinary Education
UEET-Interdisciplinary Engineering and Engineering Technology
UHHS-Interdisciplinary Health and Human Sciences
UNIV-University-Wide Interdisciplinary
WGSS-Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

X-This letter following a course number indicates that the course is crosslisted in another department. A student can receive credit for such a course in only one department.

Abbreviations Used in This Catalog


Baccalaureate Degrees

B.A.-Bachelor of Arts
B.F.A.-Bachelor of Fine Arts
B.G.S.-Bachelor of General Studies
B.M.-Bachelor of Music
B.S.-Bachelor of Science
B.S.Ed.-Bachelor of Science in Education

Other Abbreviations

GPA-Grade point average

Course Information


The system of numbering courses is as follows.
Noncredit courses: 1-99
Lower-division courses: 100-299
Upper-division courses: 300-499
Graduate courses: 500-799

Undergraduate course offerings appear in the following pages by department, with the departments arranged alphabetically within the colleges. Interdisciplinary courses appear at the beginning of college sections and under “International Programs.” (Departmental and college sections may be located by means of the table of contents.)

Each course is assigned a certain number of semester hours of credit. In general, one semester hour represents the equivalent of one class hour of lecture or recitation or two hours of laboratory work per week for one semester. The semester-hour value of each course listed is shown by an arabic numeral in parentheses immediately after the title of the course. Some course descriptions include a list of topics for intensive or specialized study which the course may cover in different semesters.

Definitions of Terms Used in This Catalog

  ^ TOP

Academic dismissal: Dismissal from the university for not maintaining the required grade point average (GPA).

Accredited institution: A postsecondary institution that is accredited by the appropriate commission of a regional agency (New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or Western Association of Schools and Colleges).

Add/Drop Period: Constitutes the first two weeks of the semester for 16 week courses and the first week of the semester for 8 and 4 week courses.

Auditing: Registering for and attending a class regularly without completing the work required for credit. (No grade points or credit hours are granted for audited courses.)

Certificate of Undergraduate Study: A certificate of undergraduate study is awarded upon successful completion of a specified coherent set of undergraduate courses around a specific theme. Notation of a specific certificate of undergraduate study will be posted on the student’s transcript upon the successful completion of the requirements for that certificate.

Competency examination: An examination given to determine if a student meets or surpasses the expected level of achievement for a foundational studies requirement in the general education program. Passing a foundational studies examination fulfills the requirement for the foundational studies but gives no credit, i.e., it reduces the required number of hours in general education but does not reduce the number of hours required for a degree. Information on competency examinations is available from the Office of Testing Services.

Concurrent enrollment: Enrollment by a student at both NIU and another institution, if any course taken at the other institution is in session at any time during the NIU semester or summer session in question.

Corequisite: A requirement, usually enrollment in a course, which should be undertaken at the same time as the course being described (if the corequisite has not been completed previously).

Course Add: The process of adding, changing a course, or changing sections of the same course.

Course Drop: Refers to the process of un-enrolling from one or more courses in the first two weeks of the semester, but remaining enrolled for credit in at least one course.

Course Withdrawal: Refers to the process of un-enrolling from one or more courses beginning the 3rd week of the semester, but remaining enrolled for credit in at least one course.

Credit by examination: A procedure through which a student can obtain college credit by passing examinations. Credit is available through Advanced Placement (AP), the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and NIU proficiency examinations. AP examinations are administered by high schools, while the Office of Testing Services administers some CLEP and proficiency examinations; proficiency examinations are also administered by academic departments.

Departmental requirements: Courses offered by a department and specified by that department as necessary for completion of a given course of study.

Drop: A procedure which allows a student to delete a course from the schedule through the second week of the semester. This course does not appear on the student’s permanent academic record. An administrative office may drop students from courses in which they are not eligible to enroll.

Elective: A course that a student chooses to enroll in, as distinguished from a required course at the university level or in a given departmental course of study.

Emphasis: A subdivision of an undergraduate major. Courses and total hours required may vary in a multiemphasis major.

Encumbrance: A hold placed on a student’s record as a result of an unfulfilled obligation to the university or of a disciplinary action. A student with an encumbrance preventing registration is not eligible to participate in class work.

Endorsement: The written notation entered upon the face of an educator licensure designating additional specific subjects and/or grade levels which an individual is qualified to teach. Endorsements are earned by taking designated course work in a specific discipline area.

GPA hours: The number of semester hours for which grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, D, or F are recorded.

Grade point: The numerical value given to letter grades. See Grading System.

Grade point average (GPA): A student’s scholastic average, computed by dividing the total number of grade points earned by the total number of credit hours attempted at NIU.

Half-session courses: Courses which are offered for the first or second half of an academic term, rather than a full term.

Hold: See “Encumbrance.”

Honors courses: Special courses or sections of courses designed to offer intellectual challenge and personal attention to particularly able students. Honors courses are identified by an H suffix on the course number.

Incomplete: A grade (I) sometimes granted when a student is temporarily unable to complete course requirements or take a final examination because of unusual personal circumstances.

Major: An extensive program of study in a designated subject area at the undergraduate level.

Minor: A limited course of study in a designated subject area at the undergraduate level. A student may not take a minor offered by the department of his or her major unless this is specifically permitted in the description of the minor.

Nondegree student: An undergraduate  student who is not currently seeking a degree.

Part-time student: A student who takes fewer than 12 semester hours during the semester or fewer than 6 semester hours during the summer session.

Prerequisite: A requirement, usually completion of a course, which should be met before a student can register for a course.

Proficiency examination: A way for a student to receive course credit for individual or special study. Proficiency examinations are administered by academic departments and the Office of Testing Services. See “Credit by examination.”

Readmission: A procedure by which a student who was previously enrolled in the university but whose attendance was interrupted for more than one year is reaccepted into NIU.

Recognized institution: An institution in a country outside of the U.S. that is recognized by that nation’s Ministry of Education, or similar authority, as a post-secondary, academic-degree-granting-institution.

Reinstatement: An admission procedure followed by a student who was formerly enrolled in the university but was academically dismissed.

Semester hour: The University’s unit of academic credit reflecting a standard expectation of course activity.

Semester Withdrawal: Refers to the process of un-enrolling from all courses for the semester in question, regardless of when it occurs in the semester.

Transcript: A copy of a student’s permanent academic record at a particular institution.

Visiting student: A student who is regularly enrolled at another institution but who is taking courses at NIU. Application for this status should be made to the Office of Admissions.

Withdrawal: Formal action by which a student officially discontinues participation in a course; a record of enrollment remains on the student’s permanent academic record.


  ^ TOP