Northern Iowa, University ofLogo Northern Iowa, University ofLogo

Undergrad Profile

Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Northern Iowa have made it clear that they are extremely proud of their institution. Prospective students and their families quickly learn that “Purple for Life” is more than just a saying…it’s a reality.

Students at UNI get the best of both worlds—a large-university environment with a small-college atmosphere—where they can really stand out, excel, and find the right fit. UNI is nationally recognized for its high educational standards, and students are provided with a variety of opportunities to live and learn together. The reasons why students choose to be “Purple for Life” are endless. 

The right fit
With enrollment at more than 12,000 students, UNI is proud to be recognized for the past 20 years as one of the “Best Midwest Universities” by U.S. News & World Report.

The faculty and staff at UNI know that choosing a major is a process that often reflects how a student feels about their career goals. It can be a direct journey or an opportunity for exploration. The good news is that UNI has more than 90 majors and plenty of assistance for choosing one.

Each of UNI’s colleges—College of Education; College of Business Administration; College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences; and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences—offer a variety of majors, minors, and graduate and doctorate programs to prepare students for success after college.

UNI’s College of Education is the largest of Iowa’s 32 teacher education programs. More than 450 new teachers graduate from UNI each year.

The College of Business Administration is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)—the most prestigious business school accreditation in the world. Less than 5% of the world’s 13,000 business schools have received this honor.

The College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences produces nearly 30% of Iowa’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teachers, a percentage that’s higher than any other Iowa university.

And UNI’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences offers the only undergraduate Gerontology degree in Iowa.

UNI faculty put students first
As a teaching-focused school, UNI’s great faculty put students first. They bring their experience and expertise into the classroom and supplement their courses with knowledge gained through intensive research and discovery as well as service and engagement.

UNI’s average class size is just 23 students, so students really get to know their classmates and professors. And 99% of classes are taught by faculty, not graduate students or teaching assistants, which means students learn from professional educators with years of teaching experience.

Undergraduate students at UNI can enhance their knowledge and skills through student-faculty research beginning their very first year. Employers and graduate schools are always looking for hands-on experiences. Being able to offer an ever-expanding list of internships, student teaching, study abroad, and research opportunities really makes UNI students stand out.

One of the most affordable public universities in Iowa
UNI is one of the most affordable public universities in Iowa. More than 95% of UNI’s first-year students receive some sort of financial aid (scholarships, loans, grants, work-
study). Approximately 96% of last year’s graduates found success after graduation. And when UNI students graduate, they owe less money than students who graduate from any four-year public institution in Iowa.

Breaking away from national trends in student borrowing, UNI has seen its average student loan indebtedness decrease by 13% over the past six years. The overall decline in borrowing can be attributed to three primary factors:

Additional loan counseling for students who consider private lending options

The number of teaching majors taking advantage of federal TEACH
Grants designed for students planning to teach in a high-need field

Financial literacy initiatives, in
cluding UNI’s Live Like a Student courses, which help students make responsible decisions regarding money

A home away from home
Students, faculty, and staff at UNI have access to one of America’s best college dining services, outstanding health and wellness services, a performing arts complex, and venues for playing and watching sports.

UNI offers Living Learning Communities in each of its 10 residence halls. Students are surrounded by other students who share their interests, whether academic or non-academic.

When it’s time to refuel, students head over to one of UNI’s dining centers, restaurants, convenience stores, and cafés. Whatever they’re craving, students are sure to find it at the University.

UNI also has more than 250 student clubs and organizations, so there’s bound to be at least one (and probably many more) that sounds like fun. Students can participate in everything from music, Greek life, and honor societies to student government, faith-based organizations, and many more.

UNI has found that everyone looks good in purple. With 17 Division I men’s and women’s athletic teams, the campus community has the opportunity to cheer from the stands, play in the band, or join a team. 

Purple for life
UNI has seen many successes in the past 140 years. It will continue to provide transformative learning experiences that inspire students to embrace challenge, engage in critical inquiry and creative thought, and contribute to society.

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni will continue to be “Purple for Life” and look toward all of the successes that are yet to come. 



Fast Facts

23 Average size of an undergraduate class at UNI

17:1 Overall student-faculty ratio 

#1 Largest annual student research  conference in the state

450+ Annual number of new teachers graduating from UNI each year, making UNI’s teacher education program the largest in Iowa

96% Percentage of last year’s graduates who are employed, in graduate school, or continuing their education within six months of graduation