The University of Idaho (UI) first opened its doors in 1892 when its only professor, John Edwin Ostrander, held a class for 40 students.
Now, the university is home to around 11,500 students with its main campus located in the northern Idaho city of Moscow. Other UI campuses and research facilities exist throughout the state, including in the state capital, Boise.
UI’s students come from all 50 US states and 86 countries worldwide. The institution offers 124 undergraduate degree programmes and 94 graduate ones, with a student/faculty ratio of 17:1.
Set against the scenic backdrop of the Pacific Northwest, the university is surrounded by mountains, forests, lakes and a protected wilderness that provide an international centre for environmental, ecological and agricultural research, as well as opportunities for outdoor pursuits.
UI places students just minutes away from skiing, snowboarding, rafting, biking, climbing and camping activities that have earned it a top 30 US university ranking for best ‘books and backcountry’ by Outside magazine. While Men’s Journal recently named Moscow a ‘hip little city’ and one of the nation’s top five college towns.
In addition to its striking natural features, the area also has a thriving cultural scene. The Renaissance Fair celebrates the arrival of spring each year with artists, crafters, live music and international foods, and a jazz festival takes places in February. In downtown Moscow, art galleries, cinemas, restaurants and coffee shops are in plentiful supply.
Among the university’s facilities are a 150 acre, 18-hole golf course, several farms, an arboretum and botanical garden, a performance theatre and a student recreation centre that’s home to a 55-foot freestanding climbing wall – the tallest in any US college.
After a fire on campus destroyed the university’s Administration Building in 1906, a Boise architect named John Tourtellotte was hired to design a new Tudor Gothic structure that would come to symbolise the university's maturity into a major institution of higher education.
Two years later, the Massachusetts-based architects who designed New York's Central Park were asked to develop the campus further, which led to the creation of the same small-town, New England theme it exhibits to this day.