University of Idaho – Quality Education for Less

Some undergraduate courses and programs are more research-intensive than others. They include engineering, humanities, economics, and hard and social sciences.

It’s good to know that there are nearly 300 research universities in the United States.

Among public ones, an option is the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

Proof that it’s wonderful for students interested in pursuing in-depth knowledge and experiential learning is its Carnegie R2 classification, which means high research activity.

U Idaho is also suited for adult learners seeking online programs and young students who want to enjoy the complete university experience, including partying and membership in Greek associations.

Sadly, it is also associated with an unfortunate event: the 2022 Idaho murders!

Strong Academic Programs and Experiential Learning Opportunities

US News ranks U Idaho #185 in National Universities and #101 in Top Public Schools.

Some of its highly-ranked undergraduate programs by the same college ranking site include computer science, psychology, economics, and various business-related ones.

University of Idaho Campus
University of Idaho Campus

Majors: Declared When Applying for Admission

Undergraduate students can choose from 300+ majors.

Some of the most popular majors include:

  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Social Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Natural Resources and Conservation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Biological Sciences
  • Communication
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities

At U Idaho, students select an academic degree when they apply for admission. They also declare a major before they learn whether or not they are accepted.

Changes to one’s degree or academic major require permission once the student starts attending.

To switch majors, students should log into their respective VandalWeb accounts. They should complete the Change My Major form and wait for the approval of the appropriate college.

Unlike majors that are required, minors are optional.

Quality Education Made Accessible to Adult Learners

The University of Idaho caters to the educational needs of adult learners through its online programs.

A couple of things make its online programs perfect for busy non-traditional students:

  • Students can complete them 100% via the internet
  • Students can complete them at their own pace

Unfortunately, available online programs for students seeking a bachelor’s are few. As such, they may find themselves going for something they do not like fully or looking for another school to apply to.

There’s good news, though: some online programs are 2+2 transfer pathways!

You only need to attend U of I online for two more years after obtaining an associate degree from a local community college. So, in other words, previously earned credits are honored.

The following are the available online undergraduate programs:

  • Communication
  • Criminology
  • General Studies
  • History
  • Organizational Sciences
  • Psychology

Here’s a question many adult learners may want to ask:

Is an Online Program Cheaper Than a Traditional Program?

At U of I, full-time online students pay in-state tuition no matter where they are in the country. Between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs, the former is way cheaper — $8,816 vs. $28,052.

Learning Outside the Country

Experiencing college and life outside the United States is possible through study-abroad programs.

Countries to where undergraduate students can fly to study include:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Scotland
  • South Korea
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

The steps to take to start your journey to an international schooling experience are the following:

  • Obtain a passport
  • Attend the so-called First-Time Info Session
  • Consult with an Education Abroad Advisor
  • Search available programs in the U of I Education Abroad database
  • Meet with your academic advisor for class selection

Contrary to popular belief, studying abroad can be affordable.

Undergraduate students can choose from different programs to find one that meets their academic and career goals and financial abilities. Some departments at U of I also offer study-abroad program scholarships.

Career-Relevant Experience Through Internship Programs

U Idaho allows undergraduate students to obtain real-world experience in their chosen career fields. Such is through the completion of an internship program.

Internships available can be:

  • Paid
  • Unpaid
  • For college credit

No matter the case, being an intern allows you to apply learned skills and acquire additional ones.

Career Services helps employers create programs to provide students with the necessary experiential learning for professional and personal growth.

When creating customized positions, factors such as the duration of internships and specific tasks necessary are considerations.

However, it’s a must that you keep in mind the following as far as internships at U Idaho are concerned:

  • Pro: You can earn credit toward your bachelor’s degree
  • Con: You must pay for internship credit

A Large School With Many Small Classes

Despite having more than 11,840 students sharing its over 800-acre campus, many classes at U of I are small. Around 35% of classes have only two to nine students in them.

On the other hand, only 14% have 40 or more students in them.

That said, the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1 — the average among US News-ranked colleges and universities is 14:1, which is also ideal based on a National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report.

The school employs 600+ instructional faculty members, and around 85% teach full-time.

According to Niche, more than 70% of students agree that their professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes, while 68% say that professors are engaging.

What’s Life Like on This Gem State Campus

The University of Idaho’s campus, which has a rural setting, is 810 acres.

It’s shared by 11,849 students, around 77% are degree-seeking undergraduates. There are also 250+ buildings, nearly 50 acres of parking lots, over 1 mile of bike lanes, and an 18-hole golf course.

The university of Idaho looks amazing. The campus and the staff at the school are all great and are always willing to help you learn the things you need to. The environment surrounding the school is amazing. Threre are a lot of trees and it almost feels like you’re in the forest.

A Highly Diverse Campus Gender-Wise

U Idaho has the Office of Equity in the school’s support for campus diversity.

It develops policies, programs, and services to ensure educational access and inclusion for culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse populations.

The Office of Equity has partnerships with other offices such as:

  • College Assistance Migrant Program
  • LGBTQA Office
  • Native American Student Center
  • Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Women’s Center

Compared to most other postsecondary institutions, U Idaho has a higher gender diversity.

It’s worth pointing out that 59.5% is the average percentage of female students at American colleges. The last time gender was perfectly balanced at four-year schools was in 1980.

The population at U Idaho consists of 51% females and 49% males.

Now, let’s take a look at the distribution by race and ethnicity of its undergraduate population:

  • White: 74%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 9%
  • International: 4%
  • Two or more races: 4%
  • Unknown: 4%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Native American or Alaska Native: 1%
  • Black or African American: 1%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: <1%

Residence Halls and Greek Houses: On-Campus Residence Options

All first-time, first-year students are required to live on campus for one year.

Besides on-campus residence halls, they can also choose to reside in organized living accommodations that the university recognizes. Some common examples are fraternity and sorority houses.

However, some criteria can allow students to live elsewhere, and they include the following:

  • Being 21 years of age or older
  • Having a legal dependent living with them
  • Married
  • Living with immediate family within a 40-mile radius of the campus
  • Attended another college for at least a year

The University of Idaho requires all first-time, first-year students to reside on campus for a year in its commitment to their academic success, well-being, health, and safety.

Unfortunately, you must know something about U of I campus safety, which we will discuss in a few.

Athletes and Wannabe Athletes Can Participate in Sports

There are 16 varsity teams around. They are known as the Idaho Vandals.

The following are the sports that the Vandals compete in:

  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Track and field (indoor and outdoor)
  • Volleyball

Meanwhile, here’s a list of sports they discontinued playing in:

  • Baseball
  • Boxing
  • Skiing
  • Swimming and diving

Student-athletes are not the only ones who actively participate in sports.

Various sports clubs organized by the students are around. There’s a group for practically any sport, including bass fishing, lacrosse, cycling, rodeo, trap shooting, and water polo.

Full-time and part-time students can join sports clubs.

Some of them may require members to have some experience, particularly those involving intense levels of play. But then some welcome all levels of experience, including students without any.

U of Idaho, Kibbie Dome practice field
U of Idaho, Kibbie Dome practice field

Greek Life: A Part of Tradition

Students at U of I who wish to become a part of Greek-letter associations have many on-campus fraternities and sororities to choose from. The institution recognizes each of them.

Since its founding in 1889, Greek societies have been a huge part of campus life.

There are 34 fraternities and sororities around. Approximately 23% of the school’s population are members of those — 16% of male students are frat members, while 20% of female students are sorority members.

Niche ranks U of I #123 in Best Greek Life Colleges in America (out of 689 surveyed institutions).

It adds that around 54% of polled students say Greek life is pretty big on campus.

U of I’s campus is small enough that you can walk everywhere easily, and between the park, trees, and some of the almost scenic routes, you’d want to. The residents and more then friendly and most everyone is connected in one way or another.

The Top Party School in the State of Idaho

U Idaho has a vibrant party scene, although most parties are off campus.

Party options usually make their presence known every Wednesday, tending to rage on until the weekend. You may find small parties on other days of the week if you know where to look for them.

The following are some of the top social events that take place throughout the year:

  • Homecoming
  • Frat parties
  • Halloween
  • Football season opening
  • Finals fest

According to Niche, U Idaho is #135 Top Party Schools in America (out of 1,512 surveyed party-school institutions). So, in other words, it’s in the top 10% of the largest party schools in the nation.

Out of seven local institutions surveyed, it’s #1 in Top Party Schools in Idaho.

Whether you are a party freak or hate partying, it’s a must to consider that the school has a big party scene before you fill out the Common App or Coalition App.

Safety and the Elephant in the Room: the Idaho Murders once named the University of Idaho one of the safest colleges in America.

The school provides numerous programs and services to keep its students safe. It also offers resources to give them the skills necessary to be proactive in being out of harm’s way.

For instance, there’s the Campus Security Team, whose missions include:

  • To create and maintain a safe campus
  • To promote personal safety and awareness
  • To deter campus crimes

U of I also has an emergency notification system known as Vandal Alert. It notifies students of emergency incidents like those that can impact their day-to-day campus living.

Other available resources include:

  • Active Shooter Event Quick Reference Guide
  • Annual Security and Fire Safety Report
  • Quick Reference for Campus Security Authorities
  • University Security and Safety Plan

Discussions on the school’s safety won’t be complete without mentioning the Idaho murders.

In November 2022, someone killed four U of I students residing off campus. Over six weeks after the incident, which is also known as the King Street homicides, the perpetrator of the crime, Bryan Christopher Kohberger, was arrested and charged.

Late in 2023, authorities demolished the house where the students died.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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