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Boise State University (BSU) is a public research university located in Boise, Idaho. The school was founded in 1974, making it Idaho’s third state university. As a metropolitan campus, enrolled students are only a quick walk from the heart of the state’s largest city. The university offers a variety of degrees, including bachelor’s and master’s programs. The institution claims to be re-imagining higher education and to be a trail blazer in the field. From groundbreaking research and academics to state-of-the-art facilities and outstanding visual arts, the school certainly has a lot to offer prospective students.

Overview of Boise State University (BSU)

Known for its innovation, the university is Idaho’s largest graduate school and is designated as a doctoral research institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Other notables include having the nation’s only master’s degree in raptor biology, as well as having a NASA astronaut teaching on campus.

The school employs approximately 784 faculty members full time and 584 faculty part time, many of whom are recognized as national and international experts in their fields. All have access to state-of-the-art research opportunities and learning laboratories. In addition to working with accomplished professors, those enrolled and attending classes on campus get to enjoy living in one of the most talked-about cities in the country. The campus and Boise are both easily walkable and bike-friendly.

Boise State University has strong ties to the surrounding community, region, and the area’s industry leaders. As a result, students have a plethora of opportunities within and beyond their majors.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Midsize
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 18:1
Graduation Rate 55%
Year Founded 1932

Student Enrollment

Total Students26,217


Undergraduate Student

Male 9,845
Female 13,051

Graduate Student

Male 1,428
Female 1,893

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BSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 6,894
Female 8,617


Male 5,171
Female 6,807

Acceptance Rate77%

Male 75%
Female 79%

Enrollment 2,866

Male 1,210
Female 1,656
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations N/A
SAT/ACT Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted No

BSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

The overall cost of attending Boise State University will depend on several factors including degree type, residency, housing plans, and the meal option selected. Students should also anticipate paying additional institutional fees, as well as the cost of books and supplies.

The average charge for tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students is $8,060 per academic year. Out-of-state students, however, should expect to pay an estimated $24,980 for the same duration. This does not include the cost of room and board, which is $11,018. Both student types should anticipate paying an additional $1,240 for books, $2,078 for transportation, and $2,258 for personal items yearly.

Boise State University offers a number of financial aid options to help pay for an education, including automatic scholarships for Idaho residents and transfer students. These merit-based and need-based scholarships are automatically awarded to admitted resident degree-seeking students who meet the criteria. There are also some opportunities for non-resident students. Notably, some academic programs are ineligible for these scholarships including nursing, pre-nursing, radiologic sciences, and fully online degrees.

Prospective students may also qualify to receive additional scholarships, grants, loans, and/or work study payments. Approximately 84% of full-time beginning undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid. The majority of student aid utilized is in the forms of grants and scholarship, but approximately 42% of students rely on student loans.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $13,237
Average Total Aid $10,260
Students Receiving Financial Aid 84%
Room & Board $11,246

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,068
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $24,988
  • Books and Supplies - $1,200
  • Room & Board - $11,246
  • Other - $3,786


Boise State University believes the study of language and literacy prepares humans to be careful and compassionate thinkers, as well as creative problem-solvers. As a result, the school strives to be a place where faculty and graduates can engage nationally and locally through various forms, including scholarship, writing, pedagogy, and community.

Students can choose from more than 200 areas of study, with opportunities to pursue various academic minors, certificates, internships, hands-on research, and more. The institution offers 94 degree programs, 67 master’s degree programs, and 15 doctorate and education specialist degree programs. Additionally, students can enroll in one of the school’s 45 graduate certificate programs.

The total student population as of the 2020-2021 academic year was 24,103, including full time and part time students. Approximately 66% of those enrolled were state residents, while over 34% came from other parts of the United States. This is significant, as the school does offer lower tuition and fee rates for in-state students. Additionally, the student-faculty ratio is 18:1, making it somewhat easy to receive one-on-one attention from instructors.

The retention rate at Boise State University for first-time students pursing bachelor’s degrees in fall 2019 was 78% for full-time students and 39% for part-time students. Retention rate statistics are important because they measure how many freshmen students choose to return to an institution to continue their studies for a second year. The national average retention rate is 68%, which indicates that the majority of students enrolled at Boise State University are satisfied with their overall experience at the institution.

Prospective students should also become familiar with overall graduation rates and transfer out rates. Graduation rates indicate the percentage of first-time students who earn their degree or certificate within 150% of the standard completion time. In 2019, the overall graduation rate for Boise State University was 55%, with 20% of tracked students transferring out before their final academic year.

Boise State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The institution is capable of awarding a wide variety of baccalaureate, graduate, education specialist, and doctoral degrees.

Student Population Total

Student Population 26,217

Evening Classes : NA
Online Learning : NA

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Health Professions and Related Programs 883 Total Graduates / 25%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 418 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Clinical Sciences, Other 215 Graduates
Respiratory Care Therapy/Therapist 139 Graduates
Radiologic Technology/Science - Radiographer 86 Graduates
All Business Majors 664 Total Graduates / 19%
Business/Commerce, General 194 Graduates
Accounting 112 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 102 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 100 Graduates
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 235 Total Graduates / 7%
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, General 149 Graduates
Multi-/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other 65 Graduates
International/Globalization Studies 11 Graduates
Business Analytics 10 Graduates
All Engineering Majors 203 Total Graduates / 6%
Mechanical Engineering 91 Graduates
Civil Engineering, General 40 Graduates
Electrical and Electronics Engineering 40 Graduates
Materials Engineering 24 Graduates
Communication, Journalism, and Related Programs 201 Total Graduates / 6%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 129 Graduates
Communication and Media Studies, Other 72 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 38%

Outcome & Salary

In general, most on-campus students enrolled at Boise State University can expect to graduate, with 74% graduating in four years. This is an upward trend at the institution, but timeframes do vary by degree program. In 2020, only 56.8% of accountancy majors graduated in four years, for example.

Additionally, 79% of the school’s 2018-2019 graduated reported having jobs.

The top 15 partnering employers with Boise State University are:

  • Balsam Brands
  • Clearwater Analytics
  • C.H. Robinson
  • Consolidated Electrical Distributors
  • Deloitte
  • Eide Bailly
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car
  • Happy Family Brands
  • J.R. Simplot
  • KPMG
  • Mass Mutual
  • Micron
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Ripley Doorn
Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $45,500
College Grads Average Salary $63,728
College Grads Mid Career Salary $65,800
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $637,280
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,295,280
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $52,948
10 Year Projected ROI $584,332
20 Year Projected ROI $1,242,332
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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