Download the Strategic Plan for 2022-2027 (PDF)

Founded in 1847 as Iowa’s first public institution of higher education, the University of Iowa has a rich history of innovation, creativity, and resilience. 

UI scholars, researchers, and artists have realized remarkable achievements that have had a tremendous impact on the world—and have established the University of Iowa as a locus of distinction in areas such as space physics, educational testing, creative writing, and health care.  The UI’s tradition of leadership includes having been the first public university in the U.S. to admit women and men on an equal basis, among the first to admit students regardless of race, and the first to confer the Master of Fine Arts degree.  Over its history, the UI community has weathered many challenges—including a 500-year flood in 2008, and most recently a global pandemic—but has never lost sight of its commitment to excellence and to those it serves.  

Today, the UI is one of the nation’s premier public research universities—and one of only a small number of universities nationwide to offer a full range of academic programs on a single campus, including arts, sciences, and humanities; professional programs; and comprehensive health sciences, with one of the largest and most acclaimed academic medical centers in the country.  At the same time, as the second smallest public member of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) according to total student enrollment, the UI pairs extraordinary opportunities with a personalized educational experience built on relationships and collaboration.  The UI is proud to be the only public university (sitting with Duke, Yale, Harvard, and Stanford) ranked in the top 10 for writing across the disciplines, reflecting its commitment to teaching communication and writing skills throughout its 12 colleges.   

Iowa is a Carnegie R1 Doctoral University, a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), and an institution of global reach and impact.  A student-centered university with undergraduate education at its core, Iowa offers both an impressive array of educational opportunities in and out of the classroom and vibrant programs in support of student success.  

As the university celebrates its 175th anniversary, it is charting a course that will build on its extraordinary history to lead to an even brighter future.  Iowa will advance excellence in its core missions, accelerate progress in areas of strategic importance, and establish itself as a destination of first choice for talented faculty, staff, and students.