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University of Northern Iowa - IowaSchools.net

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University of Northern Iowa


The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is a public university located in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The school was founded in 1869 as an orphanage and a teacher training school. In 1876, it was turned into the Iowa State Normal School by Edward G. Miller and H.C. Hemenway. The school has been ranked numerous times by the Princeton Review as one of the “Best in the Midwest” and as the #2 regional university by U.S. News and World Reports. The school is divided into 5 colleges, and about 13,000 students currently live, learn, and play at the University of Northern Iowa.


Students can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees at UNI. The school has approximately 800 faculty members, and 75% of the classes are taught by a teacher, not teaching assistants. Here are some of the programs available at the university:

College of Business Administration

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing

College of Education

  • Education Curriculum and Instruction
  • Health, Physical Ed. and Leisure Services
  • Special Education

College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Communication Studies
  • Earth Science
  • Industrial Technology
  • Languages and Literatures
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Physics
  • Science Education
  • Theatre

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Geography
  • History
  • Military Sciences
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Applied Human Sciences
  • Social Work

Graduate College

  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Policy
  • Master of Social Work
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Technology

Like many other colleges and universities, the University of Northern Iowa has a distance-learning option that allows students to earn college credit wherever they happen to be. Students can earn continuing education credits or complete an entire degree program. This is a great option for people that are not able to attend on-campus classes because of work or family obligations.

The school also has a program called Lifelong University that is designed for the perpetual student. People of all ages can take non-credit courses taught by current and retired UNI faculty.


Admission to the University of Northern Iowa is competitive. Freshman students must have an RAI score of 245 which is a calculation of the ACT composite score, high school rank, high school grade point average, and the number of core subject courses completed. However, students that do not meet the minimum RAI score will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Transfer students that want to switch to UNI are evaluated primarily on the grade point average they have earned at their previous schools. The minimum GPA accepted depends on the number of credits the student will be transferring to the university. The minimum GPA is 2.5 for students with 1-41 transferrable credits, 2.25 for 42-59 transferrable credits, and 2.0 for those with 60 credits or more. Transfer students that don’t meet the minimum GPA and semester hours are usually not admitted to UNI.

International students who are not native English speakers must take the TOEFL and earn a minimum score of 213 (computer based), 550 (paper based), or 79 (IBT). The Financial Statement and Certification Form must also be submitted.


Here is how much it will cost per year to attend the University of Iowa:

  • Undergraduate tuition (resident): $6,648
  • Undergraduate tuition (non-resident): $15,734
  • Graduate tuition (resident): $7,756
  • Graduate tuition (non-resident): $17,026
  • Room and board: $7,597
  • Book and supplies: $1,054

The College of Business Administration charges about $1,000 to $2,000 more for tuition.

Students that need assistance paying for their college education should start by submitting the FAFSA form. Doing this will make you eligible for state and federal financial aid programs such as the Pell Grant and federal student loans. The university also has a number of scholarships for eligible students.

Campus Life

The University of Northern Iowa has 9 residence halls and 3 apartment complexes that contain a mix of suites and apartments that can hold up to 6 people. Housing is coed and rooms are furnished. Most residence halls have a computer lab and a few allow students to stay all year round.

For fun, students can join an athletic program such as basketball, golf, wrestling, swimming and diving, tennis, and soccer. Another option is to take part in a student organization such as Student Admission Ambassadors, Student Government, or various fraternities and sororities.


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