In the Midwest region of the United States, a small, nondescript state is often overlooked. However, the students at the University of Northern Iowa are proud of their state in the middle of the Great Plains. University of Northern Iowa is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. This four-year institution offers bachelor’s degrees and master’s degree programs in several different colleges.
Over the past decade, the University of Northern Iowa is consistently lauded in the Princeton Review’s rankings of the best colleges in the nation. While it may not be able to compete with the large-scale schools on the American coasts, the University of Northern Iowa has gained the reputation as one of the “best in the Midwest.”
Although Iowa is one of the smaller states in the union, the University of Northern Iowa boasts an impressive enrollment of more than thirteen thousand students. While over ninety percent of the student population hails from Iowa, many students do travel from the surrounding Midwestern states to take advantage of this school’s excellent educational programs.
All students who attend the University of Northern Iowa are required to take a core grouping of liberal arts classes regardless of their intended major. The purpose of these classes is to provide all incoming students with a base of general education and general knowledge. The board at University of Northern Iowa believes that this liberal arts structure results in well-rounded, high-functioning graduates.
Students may choose to major in subjects that fall under one of five distinct colleges. The colleges include studies of business, arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and education. Students can pursue a bachelor’s degree by majoring in one of over one hundred different major options. Students may also choose to pursue a double major or add a minor to their course of study. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, students may pursue a graduate-level degree in education, business, or the social sciences.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The University of Northern Iowa recognizes the limits that its location places on its students. Landlocked in the middle of the country, it is difficult for students to travel to large metropolises or significant historical and educational locations within the United States. Therefore, the University of Northern Iowa places a great emphasis on its study abroad programs.
These programs provide students with the opportunity to study in a foreign country without derailing their curriculum schedule. Students who participate in a study abroad semester will take humanities and arts courses that can be substituted for the core liberal arts classes required of all students.
The study abroad program at the University of Northern Iowa partners with thousands of international school programs that can be found in scores of different countries around the world. Students can attend a full semester program or opt for a briefer period of study or a summer semester. Some of these programs are led by members of the University of Northern Iowa faculty. Others are completely independent of the University of Northern Iowa.
The University of Northern Iowa also offers a program designed for non-native English speakers who desire to enter the American workplace. This program of study is called the Culture and Intensive English Program. Throughout the duration of the course, students will receive both written and oral instruction and engage in real-world English speaking practice sessions.
The students at University of Northern Iowa are very involved in on-campus activities. Most of the school’s large student body resides either on campus or in apartments in the very near vicinity. As such, campus is often the most “happening” place in town. Student organizations, clubs and groups are available for all students to participate in. The multitude of clubs available for student participation means that most students can find at least one organization that shares a similar interest or worldview as themselves.
Clubs and organizations are loosely divided into three main categories: academic clubs, social clubs, and recreational clubs. The academic clubs consist of study groups and academic passion groups that meet to promote academic excellence. Many clubs are available only for students of a particular major. For example, the theater club welcomes individuals of all majors, but most of the members are theater majors. Social clubs are clubs for people with similar interests, hobbies, or ideologies. These clubs exist to promote awareness, discuss hot topics, or volunteer on campus and in the community. Recreational clubs like the dance club or the kickboxing club give students a chance to actively participate in a recreational sport or activity.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The University of Northern Iowa Panthers compete in the NCAA’s Division I in the Missouri Valley conference. By far, the most popular sport on campus is the Panther football team. With a huge arena that can seat several thousand spectators, the football games at University of Northern Iowa are the most exciting sporting events offered.
Men and Women can compete in a wide variety of additional varsity team and individual sports. Track and Field, Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Softball and Soccer are only a few of the varsity sporting opportunities offered at the University of Northern Iowa.
Students at UNI are proud supporters of their varsity teams. Supporting the tradition purple and gold colors of UNI, students fill the stadiums and stands where the varsity teams are competing. Students who do not participate in varsity sporting events can still play intramural sports or club sports. Intramural sports competitions are offered in both semesters of the school year and are available for all members of the student body.
Additional School Information
The University of Northern Iowa was originally founded as a combination orphanage and teacher’s college. After the devastation of the American Civil War, many children were left without parents. These children needed lodging, and they also needed qualified individuals to educate them.
Over time, the need for such a large orphanage disappeared, and the institution was renamed the Iowa State Normal School. Since 1876, the school has continued to expand. Today it sprawls on an impressive 900 acre campus that includes classrooms, libraries, dining halls, residence facilities, sports arenas, fitness centers, and laboratories.
- Peterson, Gerald L. University of Northern Iowa. Chicago: Arcadia, 2000. Print.
- UNI Alumni Association. 2011. Web. 19 May 2011. <http://www.unialum.org>.
- University of Northern Iowa. 2011. Web. 20 May 2011. <http://www.uni.edu>.