Boise State University

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Boise State University
Former names
Boise State College
Boise College (1965–1969)
Boise Junior College
Motto Splendor sine Occasu
Motto in English
Splendour Without Diminishment
Type Public University
Established 1932
Endowment $88.9 million (2016)[1]
Budget $177.73 million FY(2016)[2]
President Robert W. Kustra
Provost Martin E. Schimpf
Academic staff
650 (Fall 2014)[3]
Students 22,259 (Fall 2014)[3]
Undergraduates 19,351 (Fall 2014)[3]
Postgraduates   2,908 (Fall 2014)[3]
Location Boise, Idaho, U.S.
43°36′14″N 116°12′14″W / 43.604°N 116.204°W / 43.604; -116.204Coordinates: 43°36′14″N 116°12′14″W / 43.604°N 116.204°W / 43.604; -116.204
Campus Urban
175 acres (71 ha)
Colors Blue, Orange[4]
Nickname Broncos
Mascot Buster Bronco
Sporting affiliations

NCAA Division I

Boise State University logo.svg

Boise State University (BSU) is a college in Boise, Idaho. Founded in 1932 by the Episcopal Church, it became an independent junior college in 1934, and has been awarding baccalaureate and master's degrees since 1965.[5]

Boise State offers 201 degrees in 190 fields of study and has more than 100 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the College of Social Sciences & Public Affairs. The university did not qualify for a ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 National College Rankings, because its composite score ranked in the bottom 25% of universities in that category. Universities in the bottom 25% do not have a published rank, and are listed alphabetically.[6][7]

The university's athletic teams, the Broncos, have participated in NCAA Division I athletics since 1996.


The school became Idaho's third state university in 1974, after the University of Idaho and Idaho State University. Boise State now awards associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As of 2010, the university has over 75,000 living alumni.


The campus is located in Downtown Boise. The primary campus covers 175 acres (70.8 ha), and includes more than 170 buildings. The campus is situated at an elevation of 2,700 feet (823 m) above sea level.

Albertsons Library[edit]

The school's library is named for grocery pioneer and longtime Boise resident Joe Albertson, who never attended BSU. The library is said to be large enough to fit the entire student body of Boise State. It houses more than 550,000 books, has 80 public terminals for student use, and features a Starbucks and public lounge area. An extensive library remodel was completed in the mid-1990s.

Student Union Building[edit]

The "SUB" brings together an eclectic mix of services under one roof, including the Boise State Bookstore, Bronco Gear apparel shop, bowling lanes, arcade, an art gallery, several fast food restaurants, banquet facilities and other student services. The building is located along University Drive, and is connected to the "SPEC" or Special Events Center. This part of the building houses a smaller auditorium used for community productions, including the Idaho Dance Theatre. The SUB was recently remodeled and added significant space.

Morrison Center[edit]

The "Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts" has 2,000 seats in its primary performance hall, and hosts a wide variety of fine arts performances, including the Broadway in Boise series, concerts and other events. The venue opened its doors in April 1984. It is designed to be shaped roughly like the State of Idaho when viewed from above.

Other campuses[edit]

Boise State once operated a commercial truck driving school at its "West Campus" in Nampa, Idaho that featured a 65,000-square-foot (6,000 m2) building with 28 classrooms, a bookstore and a library. However, in January, 2009, the West Campus transitioned into the College of Western Idaho, a two-year community college. Additional education centers can be found at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Gowen Field and in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Campus events[edit]

An active student association provides a large number of activities and programs to engage students outside the classroom. In addition, the school rallies around its popular football program in the fall – and to a lesser degree, men's basketball during the winter months.

The Distinguished Lecture Series brings speakers such as journalist Seymour Hersh, author Michael Cunningham and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Wałęsa to campus. Other notable lecturers are sponsored by the Brandt Foundation and the Campus Read Committee. The university hosts the Martin Luther King, Jr./Human Rights Celebration every January and presents numerous cultural festivals and activities, including the International Food Song and Dance Festival and the Seven Arrows Pow Wow.

Academics and organization[edit]

Boise State's more than 190 fields of study are organized into seven colleges:

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business and Economics (COBE)
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Graduate Studies
  • Health Sciences, and
  • Social Sciences and Public Affair (SSPA)

Roughly 20% of freshmen do not come to Boise State straight from high school. Over 76% of incoming freshmen have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and nearly 40% have 3.5 GPA or higher.[8] With over 2,000 graduate students, Boise State also has the second largest graduate school enrollment in Idaho, after the University of Idaho.[8][9]

Only one in ten students graduated from Boise State in four years, as of 2013, which ranked the school third out of four Idaho state universities. The university offers five doctoral degrees, 16 graduate certificates, 77 master's degrees, 99 baccalaureate degrees, and seven associate degrees. In 2010-11, the university awarded 11 doctorates, 641 master's degrees, 2,571 baccalaureate degrees, 219 associate degrees, and 157 certificates.

BSU offered classes to become a truck driver through its Selland College of Applied Technology up until 2009, when the College of Western Idaho was formed.[10] CWI became the only community college in the Treasure Valley. BSU's transition from a Junior College to a University, which began in the 1970s left the Boise metropolitan area without a community college. This is likely why BSU continues to serve a high proportion of non-traditional students.


University rankings
Forbes[11] 612
U.S. News & World Report[12] Tier 2
Master's University class
Washington Monthly[13] 133
General rankings

According to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 College Rankings, Boise State University is currently ranked as a National University, "Tier 2.[14] A Tier 2 designation means the school's composite score placed it in the bottom 25% of similar institutions.[15] Boise State is ranked at 612 (of 650 ranked institutions) in Forbes America's Top Colleges for 2016, which placed it last out of the five Idaho 4-year universities included in the ranking.[16]

Alumni Earnings

Boise State alumni were ranked fourth out of the five Idaho universities studied for early-career and mid-career earnings in the 2016-17 analysis.[17] The median mid-career salary for a BSU graduate is $69,000 according to that analysis, $15,500 per year less than top ranked University of Idaho.


Since 1971 the university has published the Western Writers Series, monographs focusing on authors of the American Frontier and American West.[18] The university also maintains an on-line library of publications and documents related to Idaho history through the Albertsons Library.[19]

A not-for-profit literary publisher, Ahsahta was founded in 1974 at Boise State University to preserve the best works by early poets of the American West. Its name, ahsahta, is the Mandan word meaning “Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep,” and was first recorded by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition; the founding editors chose the word to honor the press’s original mission to publish Western poetry.

The Center for Idaho History and Politics offers a nine-credit place-based field school called "Investigate Boise" which focuses on heritage, government, and urban affairs. Each series of classes results in a student written and faculty edited publication.[20]


Official Athletics wordmark

Boise State's athletic nickname is the Broncos. The official mascot is Buster Bronco. BSU fields many different teams in sports. Its men's teams include football, basketball, cross country, track and field, wrestling, golf, and tennis. Its women's teams include volleyball, basketball, cross country, swimming and diving, soccer, track and field, gymnastics, golf, softball and tennis. Most of these teams compete in the Mountain West Conference.


The wrestling team competes in the Pac-12 Conference because the Mountain West Conference does not sponsor college wrestling.

Greg Randall led Boise State wrestling to four Pac-12 titles and seven top-25 finishes at the NCAA Championships including a 9th-place finish at the 2010-11 NCAA Championships until he was fired in 2016 and replaced by Mike Mendoza. The Bronco's Wrestling team has 7 Pac-12 Conference titles, 20 individual All-Americans, and 2 individual NCAA Champions: Ben Cherrington and Kirk White.[21] In April 2017, Boise State announced the elimination of the wrestling team to resurrect a baseball program. [22]


BSU Football has faced substantial challenges since moving up to the Mountain West Conference in 2011. Despite ten years of strong performance in the Western Athletic Conference, BSU has only won one outright Mountain West Conference Championship.[23] This struggle in the MWC has come despite the fact that, due to major conference realignment, most of the MWC membership is the same as the former WAC membership. Former MWC stalwarts, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and Texas Christian University have all left the MWC.

The Broncos are currently coached by Bryan Harsin.

The Boise State Spirit Squad consists of the BSU Cheerleaders and the Boise State Harvey Neef Mane Line Dancers. They perform at basketball and football games, as well as gymnastics meets and occasionally soccer games.

Albertsons Stadium[edit]

Main article: Albertsons Stadium

Albertsons Stadium is home to the Boise State football and Track & Field programs. It has played host to the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in 1994 and 1999, and is home to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Bronco Stadium is best known for its bizarre blue playing surface. Originally nicknamed the "Smurf Turf", "the Blue", as it is commonly known to fans, was originally a bright blue AstroTurf installed in 1986. The NCAA considered banning BSU from wearing blue uniforms on the field in 2013, due to the unfair advantage that the team receives from the lack of contrast between the artificial blue pigments

Ground was broken for the stadium in 1969, and it opened in September 1970 with a capacity of 14,500. Subsequent expansions were completed in 1975 and 1997, and current capacity sits at around 37,000. In August 2010, the university unveiled a $100 million expansion plan for Bronco Stadium. The first stage will include: adding a new facility to the north endzone to house the football offices, weight room, training room, equipment room and locker room; removing the track; and adding a 13,200-seat grandstand behind the north endzone. Later stages include: lowering the field to add 3,300 seats; completing the south endzone horseshoe; building an east side skybox; and renovating the east concourse. Seating capacity for the fully expanded Bronco Stadium will exceed 55,000.[24]

Taco Bell Arena[edit]

Main article: Taco Bell Arena

Known as the "Boise State University Pavilion" until June 2004, Taco Bell Arena (TBA) is home to BSU basketball, wrestling, women's gymnastics, community events, and several concerts each year. Opened in May 1982, the arena seats 12,380 on three levels. The TBA has hosted rounds one and two of the men's NCAA Division I basketball tournament on eight occasions from 1983–2009, and the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA women's Division I basketball tournament in 2002.

The construction of the pavilion began in February 1980 on the site of the tennis courts and a portion of the BSU baseball field. The Bronco baseball team played their home games in 1980 at Borah Field (now Bill Wigle Field) at Borah High School. Baseball was discontinued as a varsity sport following the 1980 season. The tennis courts were rebuilt immediately west of the arena, on the former baseball field (infield & right field).

Student life[edit]

In 2010, Boise State had over 20,000 full-time students, nearly 4,000 of which are non-traditional. The school serves a large number of non-traditional students, or adults who did not come directly from High School, due to its urban setting. Approximately one in five BSU students is a non-traditional adult learner.

  • White 15,197 (80.3%)
  • Hispanic 1,202 (6.3%)
  • Asian-American 654 (3.5%)
  • African-American 361 (1.9%)
  • Native American 212 (1.1%)
  • Pacific Islander 70 (0.4%)
  • Not Reported 1,241 (6.5%)[25]

Of those students enrolled in 2009, 86.1% are Idaho residents and 54% are female.

Spring Blossom, Broncos Stadium


The dominant form of school-supported housing is in coed dorms which make up 60% of all accommodations. Although the college is known as a commuter school, seven residential halls (Chaffee, Morrison, Driscoll, Taylor, Keiser, Barnes Towers, Suites) house 1,492 students in shared (Driscoll, Chafee, and Towers) and single rooms (Taylor, Keiser, and Morrison). Units for disabled students make up 2%. There are 5 university owned apartment complexes as well.

Driscoll Hall[edit]

Driscoll Hall is the home of the Honors College, this is where a vast majority of the Honor students live and hang out.

Social Fraternities and Sororities[edit]

There are eight fraternities (Alpha Kappa Lambda, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Upsilon, Sigma Chi, Pi Kappa Phi , Phi Gamma Delta , Kappa Sigma and Tau Kappa Epsilon), and nine sororities (Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Delta Delta), Alpha Pi Sigma, Lambda Theta Alpha and Sigma Lambda Gamma on campus.

Boise State has seen a growing in Greek Community on campus, from less than a couple hundred in 2010 to over 1,400 today.


Transportation is available through Boise's City busing system. Since the campus is close to Downtown there are many bus stops within walking distance. Many students also have cars.


Since most students live off campus, the majority of transportation to and from campus is by automobile. Students must obtain permits to use most on-campus parking facilities, with the exception of some hourly parking inventory. BSU is served by a parking garages on the west edge of the campus and across from the "SUB", and a wide variety of surface parking. Plans currently call for additional parking garages to serve the growing student population. Parking has frequently been a problem on campus, especially for General permit holders. On campus events such as concerts and football games can cause huge parking disruptions as some General lots are closed to student parking to allow for event parking.

Alternative methods[edit]

Boise Shuttle Service offers a circulating shuttle on campus, and walking and biking are encouraged. Limited mass-transit options are available. The city of Boise is served by the Boise Airport and the Greyhound Bus company.

Broadcast media[edit]

Boise State Public Radio is broadcast from the Boise State campus. Stations include KBSU-FM 90.3, KBSX-FM 91.5, KDBI 730 AM, and KBSW-FM 91.7.

Notable alumni[edit]



  1. ^ As of June 30, 2016. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2015 to FY 2016" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers and Commonfund Institute. 2017. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Facts & Figures 2014-2015", Retrieved on 15 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Official Colors". Boise State University. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  5. ^ Boise State Enrollment Breaks Record
  6. ^ "2017 Best Colleges Ranking". 
  7. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions: 2017 Best Colleges Rankings". 
  8. ^ a b "Boise State University State of the University Address 2010". Boise State University. 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Postsecondary Student Enrollment (PSR-1)" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-17. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. July 5, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Best Colleges 2017: National Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. September 12, 2016. 
  13. ^ "2016 Rankings - National Universities - Masters". Washington Monthly. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Forbes America's Top Colleges". 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "About Us - Western Writers". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  19. ^ "Albertsons Library Digital Collections". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "Publications Office - Boise State University". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "BSU Wrestling Informational Facts". Boise State University Athletics. Retrieved 2014-08-08. 
  22. ^ TEGNA. "Kustra: Decision to drop wrestling program final". KTVB. Retrieved 2017-04-21. 
  23. ^ Fawkes, Ben. ESPN Retrieved 24 December 2016.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  24. ^ Boise State Expansion Project
  25. ^ "The New U Rising" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-09-17. 

External links[edit]