The University of Northern Iowa offers a high-quality and diverse educational experience, purposefully guiding students to find and develop their strengths and prepare them for success after college. Building on its historic excellence in teacher education, UNI has developed outstanding programs in business, humanities, arts, sciences and social and behavioral sciences. Advanced degrees are available in many programs. UNI enjoys national recognition for its high educational standards. U.S. News & World Report has ranked UNI in the top three Midwest public universities for the past 14 years. UNI's size -- just under 12,000 students -- allows us to offer the faculty, facilities and academic choices of a large university, while retaining a friendly, small-college atmosphere on a compact, park-like campus.
History and Traditions
UNI has a long and rich history of service dating back to the mid-1800’s. In 1866, an orphanage for children affected by the Civil War was established in Cedar Falls. In a few years’ time, it became apparent that the building’s usefulness would shortly be coming to an end as orphans grew up and moved out into the world. Iowans saw an opportunity and seized it; the Iowa State Normal School – an institution created for and devoted to the training of teachers – was founded in 1876. Since its inception, the institution has also gone by the names of the Iowa State Normal School, Iowa State Teachers College, State College of Iowa, and most currently, University of Northern Iowa.
True to its roots, UNI continues to emphasize hands-on service learning and retains the proud distinction of leading Iowa’s number-one teacher education program. Today’s UNI also offers more than 90 majors to choose from, giving students the opportunity to explore a variety of interests and prepare for success after college. Outside of the classroom, UNI’s vibrant campus is home to 300+ student clubs and organizations, 17 Division I collegiate sports teams, a multitude of fine arts options, and more.
National Rankings and Honors
In the college search process, bigger is not always better, and cheaper is not always the best value. The award-winning and nationally-recognized programs listed below are just a few of the reasons our most successful graduates consistently cite UNI as a major factor in preparing them for their achievements in life and in the workplace.UNI is one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest according to The Princeton Review. The education services company selected the school as one of the institutions it profiles in its "Best in the Midwest" section of its website feature 2012 Best Colleges: Region by Region.
The UNI College of Business Administration has an outstanding reputation and thanks to its small, selective MBA program. UNI Business has been recognized consistently as being one of the "Best Business Schools" by Princeton Review. US News Best Colleges - Regional Midwest UniversityUS News Best Colleges - Regional Midwest UniversityUS News Best Colleges - Best Colleges for BusinessThe UNI MBA has been listed among U.S. News & World Report's top part-time MBA programs. U.S. News & World Report's rankings are among the most widely sought-after university recognition sources in the world. The ranking is limited to AACSB International-accredited part-time programs. Criteria include assessment by business school deans, admission selectivity and students' prior work experience.
The University of Northern Iowa is ranked second in the "Best Regional Universities (Midwest)" category for public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2015 "America's Best Colleges" guidebook. UNI also was 18th on a combined list of all public and private Midwest regional universities. The Educate to Career University of Northern Iowa is ranked among the nation's top 650 undergraduate colleges and universities in the Forbes' 2013 annual ranking of top colleges.
Social and Environmental Responsibility
UNI received The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll again in 2013. Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll annually recognizes institutions of higher education for their commitment to and achievement in community service. UNI has consistently made the honor roll. UNI earned a "Gold" rating from the (STARS) in 2011. The highest rating for any school in Iowa, UNI received this designation for its commitment in making operational decisions that are socially responsible, make economic sense and are environmentally friendly.
The Princeton Review has recognized UNI as one of the country's most environmentally-responsible colleges in the "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges-2012." The Carnegie Foundation granted the University of Northern Iowa a special designation in Community Engagement: Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnerships. This new designation reflects the foundation's recognition of UNI's strong commitment to community service on a local, regional, national and global level. UNI serves and shares its expertise with the larger community in a variety of ways, as well as involving students in this important process. Research shows that the more students participate in meaningful experiences inside and outside of the classroom, the more they gain from their education.
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