Doeren replaces Tom O'Brien, who was fired last week after six seasons on the job.
The Wolfpack made quick work of their coaching search, hiring a rising star in the college football ranks. Doeren has done terrific work in two years with the Huskies, going 23-4 and 17-1 against MAC competition. His team ended Kent State's BCS hopes on Friday night in the MAC championship game, winning 44-37 in double overtime.
Northern Illinois ranks No. 21 in the latest BCS standings and is hoping for a top-16 finish to get an automatic spot into the BCS standings. Those chances appear remote.
"Coach Dave Doeren is a highly motivated overachiever who shares our goals to pursue aggressively a high level of achievement in the classroom and on the field of competition," NC State athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement.
Doeren will not coach in the Huskies' bowl game, which is yet to be announced.
"What Dave has done here in two seasons has been unprecedented," Northern Illinois athletic director Jeff Compher said in a statement. "His record on the field speaks for itself, and the family atmosphere and culture of hard work he has fostered have led directly to our success. Under Dave and his staff, Northern Illinois has gone from being a great team to being a great program."
Doeren's offense has been particularly prolific in two seasons, as his quarterbacks -- Chandler Harnish last year and Jordan Lynch this year
-- have been equally adept running and passing.
This season, Northern Ilinois averaged 40.8 points per game and is in the top 15 nationally in rushing offense (ninth), scoring offense (10th), third-down conversions (15th), and total offense (15th).
"I am honored and excited to join the Wolfpack. NC State has world-class facilities and fans that are second to none," Doeren said in a statement. "I want to thank chancellor (Dr. Randy)Woodson and Debbie Yow for this tremendous opportunity. My family and I can't wait to get to Raleigh and become Wolfpackers. While I look forward to our future at State, I want to acknowledge and thank the Northern Illinois players and fans for their support the last two years, especially president (John) Peters and Jeff Compher."
Before becoming coach at Northern Illinois, Doeren spent five seasons at Wisconsin as the co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator.