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University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA

Research the degree programs offered at University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Rapids. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

About the University of Northern Iowa

Home of the Panthers, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) has served the Cedar Rapids-Waterloo Metropolitan area since 1876. Cooperation between the two cities gives student access to miles of bike and walking trails, which extend throughout the area. The Cedar Falls area, alone, has 80 miles of trails. In 2012, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university second in its 'Best Regional Universities (Midwest)' list.

The University of Northern Iowa has also received accolades for its campus-wide initiatives. The Princeton Review most recently recognized Northern Iowa as one of the most environmentally-responsible colleges in the nation. In 2011, the Sustainability Tracking and Assessment Rating (STAR) system ranked the university as 'gold' for its commitment to taking social responsibility into consideration with every administrative decision.


The University of Northern Iowa provides over 90 undergraduate major programs, divided among four different colleges. Graduate education was first offered at the school in 1952 with the introduction of a single Master of Arts in Education program. Today, numerous master's degree programs are available in the areas of business, humanities and more. UNI also offers two doctorate programs, one in education and another in industrial technology.

The school has a number of standout programs. The AACSB International-accredited Master of Business Administration program maintains high standards and a competitive enrollment. It has been ranked among the best of its peers by U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review. In 2010, the pass rate for UNI students taking the Certified Public Accountant exam was twice as high as the national average.


Admission to the University of Northern Iowa revolves around a scoring system referred to as the Regent Admission Index, or RAI. For freshmen, UNI calculates this number based on a student's ACT score, high school rank, high school GPA and the number of high school courses he or she completed in the core subject areas. An RAI of 245 guarantees admission to the school. Applicants who don't score a minimum of 245 are still considered for admission on an individual basis.

Students may choose to apply to the University of Northern Iowa one full year before they intend to enroll. Applications require a one-time, non-refundable application fee, which was $40 as of fall 2012. Transfer students must also pay to have transcripts from their other college sent directly to the UNI admissions office. The admission office does not require high school transcripts from transfer students, unless the transfer applicant has two years or more of high school language courses.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of Northern Iowa has different tuition rates for different students. For most of the UNI colleges, Iowa residents pay a flat tuition just over $6,600 per year. However, juniors and seniors enrolled in the College of Business Administration pay a higher tuition - $8,204 per year for residents and $17,290 per year for non-residents. All students pay the same mandatory fee of approximately $1,000 per academic year.

In addition to qualifying for federal financial aid, matriculates to the University of Northern Iowa may also qualify for a number of scholarships. Applying for scholarships can be done through the UNIversity Scholarship Application, a proprietary system that allows student to fill out a single application for a number of scholarships. Transfer students, for example, can apply for the Roy J. Carver Scholarship, which provide $5,200 annually for up to two academic years. Scholarship applications have to be filled out annually between September and April 1 to qualify for the next academic year. Graduate students need to inquire with their department about scholarship options.

School Type 4-year, public*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's degree
Master's degree
Doctoral degree*
Religious Affiliation None*
School Setting Small city*
Student Body 11,408 undergraduate
1,760 graduate*
Schools (and/or) Programs Five colleges offering over 90 undergraduate degrees
-One college offering 11 graduate degrees*
Student-Faculty Ratio 16 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) Undergraduate: Elementary Education and Teaching (233)
Master's: Social Work (41)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 35% in 4 years
67% in 6 years
68% in 8 years*
Admission Rate 77%*
Entering Class Size 2,091**
First-Year Retention Rates 82% Full-time
61% Part-time*
Average SAT (and/or) ACT Score of Admitted Students
Tuition (2012-2013) $6,648 residents
$15,734 for non-residents**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) 60% Grant or scholarship aid
28% Pell grants
65% Federal student loans*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 91%*

Sources: *National Council on Education Statistics, **University of Northern Iowa

School Contact Information

  • Address: 1222 W 27th St, Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0005
  • Phone: (319) 273-2311
  • Website:

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