Applying to the Graduate School at NIU

Application for Admission

To obtain an "Application for Admission to the Graduate School," applicants should write to the Dean of the Graduate School, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115 (815-753-0395) or download the application at and click on download forms at top right. Official transcripts, required test scores (GRE or GMAT ), and letters of recommendation must be received by the Graduate School before the application will be forwarded to the program faculty for consideration.

Admission Criteria

An applicant for admission is ordinarily expected to meet or exceed the following requirements: (1) a minimum 2.75 overall grade point average (GPA), based on a 4.00 system, in their baccalaureate program or have completed fifteen (15) or more semester hours of graduate work at an accredited institution with a GPA of 3.20 or better (2) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores at or above the thirty-third percentile based on the performance of examinees (GRE Guide: [1988-1989] Verbal-420, Quantitative-480, Analytical-460), or the GMAT (3) two letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or supervisors which provide supportive evidence of an applicant's professional qualifications and (4) satisfactory academic and professional progress as indicated by data included in the application for admission to the Graduate School.

Time Limitations

Master’s Degree students must fulfill all requirements for this degree within a period of six (6) consecutive years. The date of entry into the first course of a student's graduate program, including work for which transfer credit is allowed, is viewed as the starting point of the six-year period.

Transfer Credit

In meeting the hour requirements for the Master's Degree, the total credits transferred from an accredited institution plus that earned at Northern Illinois University as a student-at-large may not exceed fifteen (15) semester hours.

In meeting the hour requirements for the Certification Only program, a maximum of nine (9) hours may be transferred from an accredited institution and may be subject to time limitations. The remaining eighteen (18) hours must be earned at Northern Illinois University.

Academic Advisor 

Upon notification of admission to either the Master's Degree program or the Certification Only program in School Business Management, the student should contact the academic advisor to plan a program of courses. An official program of studies should be filed with the Graduate School before or during the semester for which the student is admitted. Failure to file a program on a timely basis may result in the loss of credit.

Academic Standing

To remain in good academic standing, a student must maintain a 3.00 GPA in all graduate course work in the major field as well as in the total program.

Student Responsibility

It is the responsibility of students to know and observe all regulations and procedures relating to the program they are pursuing as may be found in the Graduate Catalog and/or various documents of the program, department, and college. In no case will a regulation be waived or an exception granted because students plead ignorance of, or contend that they were not informed of, the regulations or procedures.

Comprehensive Exam

A comprehensive exam is required of all students at the end of their coursework. The comprehensive exam is a six (6) hour internship and is required for both Master’s Degree and Certification Only students. These six (6) hours must be taken over three (3) consecutive semesters. The student should enroll in the internship after most of the course work for the degree has been completed. The student must contact the Coordinator for School Business Management to obtain an application for the internship the semester preceding the semester in which the students plans to start the internship. The application and information packet describes the nature of the internship and the necessary procedures to officially enroll for the internship.


For Master’s Degree students, when nearing completion of requirements for a degree, a student must file an application for graduation with the Graduate School office. The final date for filing this application is indicated in the Graduate School Calendar.

Key Program Contacts

NIU Contact (Advisement, Registration, Graduation, Certification)

David Snow
Graduate Program Advisor
(815) 753-1465

Illinois ASBO Contact (Membership, Payment, Refunds)

Nicole Lee
Member Relations Associate
(815) 753-9305

Program Details

Program Description

Learn about one of the state's most highly respected training programs for school business professionals.

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Program Costs & Payment

Program costs, Illinois ASBO membership information and payment options.

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Sample Course Sequence

See what types of courses you will be taking throughout the School Business Management Program.

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Due to this unique partnership, students enrolled in these programs will automatically become members of Illinois ASBO and receive all of the benefits afforded practicing school business officials in Illinois.

Learn More About Illinois ASBO Membership