2024-25 Academic Catalog
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The University and Its Programs


The university was established in 1876 by enactment of the Iowa General Assembly, and opened on September 6, 1876, as the Iowa State Normal School - "a school for the special instruction and training of teachers for the common schools of the state." The university offers a broad curriculum at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Six conventional baccalaureate degrees are offered:

  • the Bachelor of Arts,
  • the Bachelor of Science,
  • the Bachelor of Science in Nursing,
  • the Bachelor of Fine Arts,
  • the Bachelor of Music, and
  • the Bachelor of Social Work.

The university also offers two additional baccalaureate degrees:

  • the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) degree which offers educational opportunities to those students who have completed an A.A.S. degree and are now seeking to complete a four-year degree. These students are often place-bound and need to take online classes while remaining a full-time employee,
  • the external degree of Bachelor of Liberal Studies, an external degree offered in cooperation with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

On the graduate level, thirteen degrees are offered:

  • the Master of Accounting,
  • the Master of Arts,
  • the Master of Arts in Education,
  • the Master of Athletic Training,
  • the Master of Business Administration,
  • the Master of Music,
  • the Master of Public Policy,
  • the Master of Science,
  • the Master of Social Work,
  • the Professional Science Master’s,
  • the sixth-year Specialist in Education degree, and
  • the Doctor of Education degree.


The university is located in Cedar Falls, Iowa, which has a population of approximately 40,000, with the Cedar Falls-Waterloo greater metropolitan area having a population of more than 169,000. Together with the University of Iowa and Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa is governed by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.


Established as the Iowa State Normal School, the institution was renamed the Iowa State Teachers College in 1909 and under this title attained a national reputation and status as a leading institution in the field of teacher education. By enactment of the Iowa General Assembly on July 5, 1961, the name of the college was changed to the State College of Iowa and degree programs were added for those not planning to teach. The change to the University of Northern Iowa was effected on July 1, 1967, following enactment by the Iowa General Assembly on the recommendation of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Its current statement of mission was approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa:

Within a challenging and supportive environment, the University of Northern Iowa engages students in high-quality and high-impact learning experiences and emphasizes excellence in teaching and scholarship.

Memberships and Accreditation

The University of Northern Iowa is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), and the Council of Graduate Schools in the United States (CGS). The university is accredited through the doctoral degree (Doctorate of Education) by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC),

Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL, 60604

Academic programs of the university have been accredited by the following professional accrediting agencies: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB - International), the  National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF), the Accrediting Council for Collegiate Graphic Communication (ACCGC), the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), The Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT), and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Culture and Intensive English Program (CIEP) is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA). The MATR (Master of Athletic Training) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). In addition, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has conferred accreditation for the two master’s level programs in counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, both from the Department of Family, Counseling, & Aging. The Master of Public Policy (MPP) is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). Electrical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Engineering Technology are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Electrical Engineering Technology and the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program Criteria(s) respectively.

Other programs at the University of Northern Iowa have also been approved by external organizations. Teacher preparation programs at the University of Northern Iowa have received approval from the Iowa State Department of Education, the Department of Chemistry has approval from the American Chemical Society (ACS), and the B.A. in Family Services is an approved program for educating Certified Family Life Educators by the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). 

Within the Division of Student Life, the Student Health Center is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), the Health Clinic Laboratory is accredited by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA), and the Counseling Center is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS).

UNI is committed to the assessment of student learning for the ongoing improvement of curriculum, programs, and services offered by the university and for accreditation processes. Assessment of academic programs is managed through the cycle of Academic Program Review, which includes both internal and external review processes. In addition to Academic Program Review, other assessment activities and the collection of data related to student learning outcomes are managed through the resources and leadership of the Office of Undergraduate Studies (assessment.uni.edu), the Dean of the Graduate College (grad.uni.edu) and the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Planning (ie.uni.edu).



Any organized combination of coursework designed for the achievement of specific learning outcomes that has a designated Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code.

Major (33-80 Credits)

Comprehensive program defined around larger disciplinary or multidisciplinary themes. Majors must range between 33 - 80 credits with an exception for the BAS degree (30 credit minimum). Major requirements may only exceed the maximum if the extension is due to overlapped courses between the major and the General Education requirements AND if required due to program accreditation/certification requirements.

Minor (18-24 Credits)

Organized coursework in a subject to create a secondary academic focus, without the time commitment of an additional major. Minors may only exceed 24 credits if necessary to meet licensure or accreditation requirements.

Certificate (2-18 Credits)

Organized coursework focused on thematic connections that is available as a stand-alone credential beyond taking a single course. A certificate may surpass the 18 credit limit (up to 24 credits for undergraduates; 27 credits for graduates) only if it contains a specialized combination of courses tightly focused on a specific set of skills or knowledge that are aligned with industry standards in which the length is necessary to meet licensure or accreditation requirements.

Post-Masters Advanced Studies Certificate (ASC)

A combination of post-masters degree and graduate courses that lead to a specific professional license or endorsement beyond the requirements of a master’s degree.


A qualification awarded to students upon successful completion of a course of study in higher education. Click here for Undergraduate degree information or here for Graduate degree information.