The College of Idaho - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
The College of Idaho
The College of Idaho is dedicated to preparing students to lead successful lives in...

The College of Idaho

Caldwell, Idaho

Being part of a small community means more opportunity at The College of Idaho. More opportunity to work one-on-one with professors, more opportunity to be a leader, and more opportunity to pursue one’s individual passions. With alumni who include three governors, four NFL players, seven Rhodes Scholars, and two Pulitzer and Academy Award winners, the C of I has demonstrated its success preparing graduates who succeed.


A College of Idaho education empowers students to gain transformational, relevant experiences that prepare them to lead productive and fulfilling lives. The College enjoys a vibrant campus of 1,000 students with more than 50 student organizations, 20 sports teams, seven fraternities and sororities, and outstanding performing and visual arts programs.



Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,039 undergraduate students
97% of undergrad students are full time
50% male — 50% female
25% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
84 full-time faculty
56 part-time faculty
10 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
94% of first year students live on campus
59% of all students live on campus

School Location

The College is located in Caldwell, a city of more than 46,000 that sits 30 minutes west of downtown Boise, the third most populous metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest. The campus is ideally situated for both outdoor enthusiasts and those who want to enjoy the opportunities of a big city while living in a safe, residential community.

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences  
Learning Communities  
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X

Retention Fall 2015

82% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)

6 Year Graduation Rate

68% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 7%
Hispanic/Latino 14%
Black or African American 2%
White 66%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 1%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 4%


Athletic Division: NAIA (The College of Idaho competes in the Cascade Collegiate Conference except for football, which competes in the Frontier Conference). The College’s ski team competes in the USCSA.

20 Varsity Sports: Cross–Country (Men’s & Women’s); Soccer (Men’s & Women’s); Volleyball (Women); Skiing (Men’s & Women’s); Basketball (Men’s & Women’s); Baseball; Golf (Men’s and Women’s); Softball; Track & Field (Men’s and Women’s); Women’s Tennis; Football; Swimming (Men’s & Women’s); Men’s Lacrosse; Men’s Tennis (Club sport); Women’s Lacrosse (Club sport)

Mascot: Coyotes (“Yotes”)
Colors: Purple and Gold

Academic Programs

Majors: Accounting, Anthropology/Sociology, Art, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Composition / Music Theory, Creative Writing, Elementary Education, Environmental Studies, Exercise Science, Health Sciences, History, International Political Economy, Literature in English, Mathematics, Mathematics – Computer Science, Mathematics – Physics, Music, Philosophy, Physical Education, Political Economy, Psychology, Religion, Spanish, Theatre


Graduate Programs:

More Distinctions

  • The College of Idaho recently was ranked No. 5 in a USA Today article listing America’s “Best 10 Colleges for the Money.” The C of I also has been featured as one of “America’s Best Colleges for Skiing and Snowboarding” by the website; was named a top-150 school in the nation—and No. 1 in Idaho—by the website Niche; and was ranked No. 1 in Idaho and No. 195 nationally on Forbes’ list of “America’s Top Colleges.” The C of I also appeared in U.S. News and World Report’s “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges;” The Princeton Review’s “The Best 380 Colleges;” and Money magazine’s “Best Colleges.”

  • The College of Idaho ranks in the top 1 percent of all colleges in the number of Rhodes Scholars per graduate, with 7 alumni selected as Rhodes Scholars.

  • C of I student-athletes have won 69 team and individual national championships in men’s basketball, baseball, men’s and women’s skiing, snowboarding, cross country, and track and field. Twenty-eight of those national titles have come since 2011.

Students are encouraged to learn by doing at The College of Idaho. C of I students apply what they learn outside of the classroom by participating in research projects, studying abroad, and fulfilling internships with local business organizations.

PEAK Curriculum

The C of I’s innovative PEAK Curriculum—inspired by the independent spirit of its unique Idaho setting—is designed to provide an education that is both broad and deep. Through PEAK, every student earns a major and three minors spread across the four knowledge peaks of the fine arts and humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and professional studies. Each student designs an individualized academic path based on his or her own passions and goals, rather than taking a checklist of courses.

Undergraduate research

Undergraduate research and creative work are integrated throughout all fields of study at the C of I. Nearly half of all C of I students do research with a faculty member during their time at the College. Additionally, an annual Student Research Conference celebrates the numerous scholarly and creative projects completed by students.

Study Abroad

The College of Idaho’s four-week January term offers numerous opportunities for off-campus study. In recent years, C of I students have studied tropical ecosystems in Australia, history and culture in London, environmental literature and wilderness in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and international business in Paris. In addition to these faculty-led study experiences, C of I students can study for a semester or more in more than 50 countries through partner institutions.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries x
Choral groups x
Concert band x
Dance x
Drama/theater x
International Student Organization x
Jazz band x
Literary magazine x
Marching band  
Model UN x
Music ensembles x
Musical theater x
Opera x
Pep band x
Radio station  
Student government x
Student newspaper x
Student-run film society x
Symphony orchestra x
Television station  
Yearbook x

Students learn from the best at The College of Idaho. Faculty members include four who have been named Idaho Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and one remains the current Idaho Writer-in-Residence. C of I professors challenge students to test new ways of thinking in a collaborative learning environment where the average class size is 13 students.

Research With Professors

The College of Idaho provides personalized learning opportunities throughout the undergraduate experience. Students studying chemistry and biology collaborate with C of I faculty on several biomedical research projects funded by the National Institutes of Health every year. The College’s Harold M. Tucker Herbarium and Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History offer additional opportunities for students to conduct field research with faculty members.

Performing With Professors

Music students benefit from the C of I’s relationship with the renowned Boise Philharmonic Orchestra. Members of The College of Idaho Langroise Trio—comprised of the Boise Philharmonic’s principal violinist, violist and cellist—offer coaching sessions and weekly master classes for C of I students. Boise Philharmonic internships also are available, giving students an opportunity to perform with a professional metropolitan-level orchestra.


Students of all majors can participate in the College’s chapter of ENACTUS, which connects students and local business leaders committed to using the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a more sustainable world. With support from the C of I’s business faculty, students in ENACTUS have collaborated with businesses on a variety of economic development projects.

First Year Experience

The C of I’s First Year Experience Program introduces new students to the intellectual challenges, personal growth, and self-discovery they will experience at the College. It also provides tools to help students succeed academically and socially. Every student meets with an academic advisor at the beginning of freshman year to begin charting their academic course, and also is paired with a peer mentor. The First Year Theme and Book help develop a sense of community among first-year students by featuring guest speakers, films, debates, theatrical productions, and other programming.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts X
Computer literacy  
English (including composition) X
Foreign languages  
History X
Humanities X
Mathematics X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 58 74 55 29 9 3 0 228

Great leaders are made, not born. The College of Idaho’s active and engaged community offers ample opportunities for students to get involved, explore their passions, and develop as thoughtful, effective leaders. Graduates of The College of Idaho leave with more than a degree—they enter the world prepared make a difference.

Student Activities

More than 50 student organizations and 7 fraternities and sororities offer hundreds of opportunities for leadership and discovering new interests. Endowed lecture series regularly bring to campus thought leaders to discuss topics such as the environment, religion, and culture.  Approximately one-third of the student body participates in varsity athletics, cheered on by the boisterous “Yote Fam” student section. From film screenings and intramural sports to open-mic nights and community service events, the C of I campus is always buzzing with activity.


The College of Idaho also enjoys a campus community that reflects the world. Nearly 10 percent of students are international, representing more than 40 countries. Another 20 percent of students are American students of color, and more than 30 percent identify themselves as first-generation students. Clubs such as the International Student Organization, Association of Latino Americano Students and AFRO Club are among the most active on campus. The C of I believes a broad understanding of other cultures, customs, and peoples is essential for a quality education. This has all become a beacon of cultural and racial diversity in the Intermountain West.

Outdoor Activities

C of I’s renowned Outdoor Program takes advantage of Idaho’s natural beauty and the wide range of outdoor activities near campus. The OP organizes trips, classes, workshops, equipment rentals, and more. Together, C of I students get to take advantage of Idaho’s world-class opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, snowshoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding!


Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students X
Apartments for single students X
Special housing for disabled students X
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing X
Other housing options  

A College of Idaho education empowers students to gain transformational, relevant experiences that prepare them to lead productive and fulfilling lives. Its innovative PEAK Curriculum offers the best of both worlds: a broad and deep liberal arts education paired with professional experiences. C of I graduates are recognized for their ability to think critically, analyze issues, and communicate clearly—exactly the type of person employers and graduate schools are looking for. The College of Idaho is an environment full of people dedicated to helping students learn and understand the world, develop a love for learning, and know that what they do matters.


Students receive assistance in finding internships through the College’s PEAK Center. Nearby Boise provides high-tech industries, regional businesses and cultural centers with numerous internship opportunities. C of I students have interned at NASA, Deloitte, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Boise Art Museum, Hewlett-Packard, Bank of China, and at the U.S. Capitol with Idaho’s senators and representatives.

Alumni Achievements

Recent graduates of the College are working at Hewlett-Packard, St. Luke’s Health System, Wells Fargo,, Microsoft, and hundreds of other employers. C of I alumni also are frequently accepted into prestigious graduate programs such as Harvard Law School, Oxford University, University of Washington School of Medicine and the Sarah Lawrence College MFA in Writing program. The medical school acceptance rate of C of I graduates is 75 percent, and a recent alumni survey indicated that 70 percent of C of I alumni go on to receive an advanced degree within 10 years of graduating.


Admissions Fall 2015

955 Total Applicants
863 Total Admissions
201 Total Freshmen Enrollment

90.37% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling Admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority: Feb 1

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Academic GPA

Rigor of secondary school record
Application Essay
Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation

Class rank
Standardized test scores
Extracurricular activities
First generation
Volunteer work
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 460 590
SAT Math 470 600
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 26
ACT Math 19 26
ACT English 20 26
ACT Writing    




Tuition $26,670
Fees $755
Total $27,425
Room and Board (on campus) $8,990
Estimated Total On Campus $36,415

Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 ESTIMATED

$22,793 First year students
$5,243 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 ESTIMATED

92% on average, the percentage of need that was met
20% of financial need students that had need fully met

$5,243 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,831 Average need-based loan


The College of Idaho awards three types of scholarships:

  • Need-based assistance includes scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. Eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a completed C of I application for admission.
  • Talent scholarships are awarded to students for outstanding achievement in activities including music, theatre, art, debate, and athletics.
  • Merit-based awards are based on student achievements, recognitions, and high academic standing, and students are automatically considered for most merit awards.