NIU has a diverse set of academic programs. These programs are divided into “schools,” which are groups of majors, minors, bachelors and doctorates that are all similar to each other. We have many schools covering various areas of science, technology, business, politics and even two dedicated to warfare!
However, some students and faculty have criticisms. Some believe that the schools are dedicated to narrow specialties that have little cross-field performance, such as how little our medical school has trouble interacting with our business school and vice-versa, or how the students in the school of computer science never leaves their dorms.
To solve this, we have created several “bridge programs,” such as majors shared between schools and programs that encourage students in various programs to collaborate on projects.
Also criticized are the abundance of technical schools and the lack of liberal studies programs. The problem with this is that the judgement of standards of these classes usually are inherently subjective and the few objective judgements can’t be made immediately. For instance, answer these questions: What makes a speech moving? Why is poetry important? How do some artists get remembered for years?
After you answer these questions, look at other people’s answers. You will immediately notice that their answers are different. Then consider that we won’t know who our generation’s Shakespere is. We will know, however, who programs a true AI all by themselves, leads an army to victory against a superior foe, or creates an innovative new medical procedure.
That being said, our programs are all top-notch. With dozens of world-changing projects made by students, we feel that our island is the leading innovator in the world.