Idaho’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Idaho? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Idaho’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Idaho

Just over half of the 13 colleges and universities in Idaho are public schools. Boise State University, Idaho’s largest public university, serves roughly 17,000 students. Here, students can pursue degrees in fields like communications, earth sciences, and engineering. Idaho is also home to five private schools, including the state’s largest school, Brigham Young University Idaho, which has a student population of nearly 49,000 students.

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While students at BYU school can expect to pay around $4,000 in tuition, well below the national average, the other private school tuition costs range between $13,000 to $30,000. The majority of Idaho’s colleges and universities can be considered small schools, serving student populations of 4,000 or less. However, the state’s largest schools offer the most affordable tuition fees, ranging from as little as $4,000 to $8,000. Students who pursue their degrees in Idaho can study fields like chemistry, law, and anthropology at the University of Idaho or religious studies, psychology, and literature at New Saint Andrews College. Additionally, Idaho offers a loan forgiveness program of up to $100,000 to physicians who work in the state’s rural areas.

French fries, mashed potatoes, tater tots, and even potato-inspired ice cream — Idaho is, as per its reputation, a potato lover’s dream. But it’s not all spuds in this state. Along with countless hiking trails, rivers perfect for rafting trips, and 72 types of gemstones, this state offers higher education institutes with competitive tuition fees and programs.

For more information, explore some of Idaho’s top programs and future career possibilities.


What are Idaho’s Colleges & Universities?

Idaho’s Best Overall

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How do we determine Idaho's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 3 research universities in Idaho, all of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.

Best Research Universities in Idaho for Undergrads

  1. #1

    University of Idaho

    #637 institution's historical influence
    #1023 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Moscow, ID

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    What is University of Idaho known for?

    University of Idaho’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Law
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
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  2. #2

    Boise State University

    #1516 institution's historical influence
    #981 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Boise, ID

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    What is Boise State University known for?

    Boise State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
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  3. #3

    Idaho State University

    #1519 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    9K

    Pocatello, ID

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    What is Idaho State University known for?

    Idaho State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Anthropology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Research Universities in Idaho for your Major

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