The University of Idaho was created in 1889 by a statute of the 15th territorial legislature. Commonly known as the university charter, that act became part of the state constitution when Idaho was admitted to the Union in 1890.
The university is a publicly supported comprehensive land-grant institution with principal responsibility in Idaho for performing research and granting the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. The liberal arts and sciences, offered through the College of Letters, Arts and Social Science and the College of Science, are the heart of the university's educational programs. The primary areas of statewide responsibility of the university are agriculture, architecture, engineering, natural resources, foreign languages, and law.
Additional university responsibilities include programs in business, economics, and education as well as the regional medical and veterinary medical education programs in which the state participates.
To assist with its statewide mission, the university maintains resident instruction centers in Coeur d'Alene, Boise, and Idaho Falls, extension offices in 42 of Idaho's 44 counties, research and extension centers in Aberdeen, Caldwell, Dubois, Idaho Falls, Kimberly, Moscow, Parma, Salmon, Sandpoint, Tetonia, and Twin Falls, and field stations at McCall, Point Springs, and the Taylor Ranch in central Idaho. Through its international programs, the university extends its services to many other countries.
Each year over 11,600 students from all states and more than 90 foreign countries choose programs from a vast array of disciplines. Strong undergraduate programs are coupled with nationally recognized research and scholarly achievements. There are more than 870 faculty members in teaching and research, and 1,400 staff and professional personnel.
The University Library and the Law Library contain over 2 million items of books, bound periodicals, microforms, and U.S. government publications. These resources, together with the libraries at Washington State University (eight miles to the west), equal those of major metropolitan areas.
The Moscow campus and adjacent farms cover nearly 800 acres. Other university lands, including the nearby university farms and experimental forests, exceed 10,000 acres.
The university is proud of its friendly campus atmosphere and sense of community. For example, the tradition of "Hello Walk" leading to the Administration Building dates from the 1920s, when the university president greeted students and members of the faculty and staff with a warm hello and friendly smile on his way to work. By end of summer, 2007 the university will have granted more than 100,000 degrees since its founding, including more than 2,700 in 2006.
The feeling of camaraderie that pervades the campus extends to Moscow, the university's "hometown." It is a thriving community of 21,000 friendly people located in the northern part of the state about 90 miles southeast of Spokane, Washington.
Moscow is the gateway to a natural wonderland. The surrounding Palouse hills and the mountains and lakes of northern Idaho provide a scenic background for university facilities. Skiing, boating, and other outdoor recreation resources are available within easy driving distance. They include the Sawtooth and Hells Canyon national recreation areas, Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, and scenic rivers such as the Snake, Clearwater, Salmon, Lochsa, and Selway.
The university is a member of the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Additional approval or accreditation for specific programs has been granted by the following organizations: American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business, American Bar Association, American Chemical Society, American Dietetics Association, Association of American Law Schools, Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, Computer Science Accreditation Commission of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board (bachelor's degree in computer science), Council on Rehabilitation Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Architectural Accrediting Board, American Society of Landscape Architects, National Association of Schools of Music, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Society of American Foresters, Society for Wood Science and Technology, Society for Range Management, National Association of School Psychologists, the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, National Recreation and Park Association Council on Accreditation, Liaison Committee on Medical Education, National Association for Education of Young Children, and the PGA Professional Golfers Association of America.