Boise State University
Former names
St. Margarets School (1892-1932)
Boise Junior College (1932–1965)
Boise College (1965–1969)
Boise State College (1969–1974)
MottoSplendor sine Occasu (Latin)
Motto in English
"Splendour Without Diminishment"
TypePublic research university
EstablishedSeptember 6, 1932; 92 years ago (1932)
Parent institution
Idaho State Board of Education[1]
Academic affiliations
Endowment$156 million (2022)[2]
Budget$516 million (2018)[3]
PresidentMarlene Tromp
ProvostJohn Buckwalter
Academic staff
757 (Fall 2018)
Students26,155 (Fall 2022)[4]
Undergraduates22,922 (Fall 2022)
Postgraduates3,233 (Fall 2022)
Location, ,
United States

43°36′14″N 116°12′14″W / 43.604°N 116.204°W / 43.604; -116.204
CampusMidsize city, 285 acres (1.15 km2)
NewspaperThe Arbiter
ColorsBlue and orange[5]
Sporting affiliations
MascotBuster Bronco
Administration Building seen from Friendship Bridge
Stueckle Sky Center

Boise State University (BSU) is a public research university 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.[6] It became a public institution in 1969.

Boise State offers more than 300 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; master's and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; MPA program in the School of Public Service; and the MPH program in the College of Health Sciences. In the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, it is among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".[7] According to the National Science Foundation, the university received approximately $48 million in research and development funding in 2022, ranking it 217th in the nation for research revenue and expenditures.[8]

The university's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Broncos, compete in the Mountain West Conference (MWC) in NCAA Division I.


Main article: History of Boise State University

The school became Idaho's third state university 50 years ago in 1974, after the University of Idaho (1889) and Idaho State University (1963). Boise State awards associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As of 2010, it has over 75,000 living alumni.


The 285-acre (1.15 km2) campus is located near downtown Boise, on the south bank of the Boise River, opposite Julia Davis Park. With more than 170 buildings, the campus is at an elevation of 2,700 feet (825 m) above sea level, bounded by Capitol Boulevard on the west and Broadway Avenue to the east. Through the 1930s, the site was the city's airport.

Boise State West Entrance
Boise State West Entrance
Main Campus in 2018
Main Campus, 2018
Interactive Learning Center
Interactive Learning Center

Albertsons Library

Albertsons Library on Campus in 2018
Albertsons Library

The university library is named for grocery pioneer Joe Albertson. It houses more than 650,000 books, over 130,000 periodicals, 107 public terminals for student use, and access to over 300 online databases.[9]

Morrison Center

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.[10] The venue opened its doors 40 years ago in April 1984.

Computer Science Department

The computer science department moved away from the main campus to a new building in downtown Boise. The CS department occupies 53,549 gross square feet, the full second and third floors of the building. The university's CS program is now located in the same building as Clearwater Analytics and within short walking distance of about 20 more of Boise's top technology companies.[11]

Micron Center for Materials Research

The Micron Center for Materials Research was established with a $25 million gift from Micron Technology, which is headquartered in Boise.[12] Completed in 2020, the building was designed by Hummel Architects and Anderson Mason Dale Architects, with Hoffman Construction as lead contractor. The building is designed with one research wing, home to sensitive equipment, and state of the art research laboratories, and a second wing, to hold classrooms, and office space. This latest donation by Micron marks a total of $40 million invested in materials science and engineering programs and associated research at BSU,[12][13] resulting in a full complement of degrees in materials science and engineering including bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs.

Other campuses

Extended Studies at Boise State offers regional programming at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Gowen Field, Twin Falls, Lewiston, and Coeur d'Alene.[14] BSU also offers 29 degrees and certificates fully online.[15] Beginning in 2016, Boise State began partnering with the Harvard Business School to offer the Harvard Business School Online business fundamentals program to Idaho students and the business community. This collaboration is the only such Harvard collaboration with a public U.S. university.[16]

Academics and organization

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

Boise State's fall enrollment in 2016 was 23,886 students, and approximately 76 percent of these students were Idaho residents.[17] More than 90 percent of Boise State's first-year students come directly from high school.[17]

In the 2015–2016 school year, Boise State awarded diplomas to 3,916 distinct graduates, including 18 doctorates, 10 education specialists, 670 master's and 2,998 bachelor's degrees.[12] The university is classified among "Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity".[7]


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]

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]


Main article: Boise State Broncos

Boise State's athletic nickname is the Broncos, and the official mascot is Buster Bronco. Men's teams include football, basketball, cross country, track and field, 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 (MWC).

Boise State College joined the NCAA in 1970 in the university division (Division I), except for football, which was in the college division (later Division II) for the first eight seasons. Big Sky Conference football moved up to the new Division I-AA (now FCS) in 1978, and the Broncos won the national championship two years later. BSU moved up to Division I-A (now FBS) in 1996 in the Big West Conference, joined the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2001, and the Mountain West in 2011. The last two moves came after the conferences dropped sponsorship of football.

Albertsons Stadium

Main article: Albertsons Stadium

Albertsons Stadium is home to the Boise State football program. It hosted the NCAA Division I Track and Field Championships in 1994 and 1999, and has been the home to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl since 1997.

Boise State vs Fresno State on The Blue Turf, November 9th 2018

Boise State Football has a long history of success starting with the junior college days and the national championship team of 1958, coached by the father of Bronco football, Lyle Smith. Now named Lyle Smith Field in Albertsons Stadium, the synthetic turf field was standard green before 1986. "The Blue" was the idea of athletic director Gene Bleymaier and was the first non-green football field in the country. Through 2019, Boise State's home record was 189–39 (.829) in 34 seasons on The Blue, with fifteen conference championships.[21]

Ground was broken after the 1969 season, 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.

ExtraMile Arena

Main article: ExtraMile Arena

Known as the "Boise State University Pavilion" until June 2004, and "Taco Bell Arena" between 2004 and 2019,[22] ExtraMile Arena is home to BSU basketball, wrestling, women's gymnastics, community events, and several concerts each year. Opened 42 years ago in May 1982, the arena seats 12,380 on three levels. It has hosted rounds one and two of the NCAA basketball tournament on eight occasions from 1983 to 2009, and the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA women's 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, and the program was discontinued that May. The tennis courts were rebuilt immediately west of the arena, on the former baseball field (infield & right field).

Student life

Undergraduate demographics as of Fall 2020
Race and ethnicity[23] Total
White 74% 74
Hispanic 14% 14
Other[a] 6% 6
Asian 3% 3
Black 2% 2
Foreign national 1% 1
Economic diversity
Low-income[b] 24% 24
Affluent[c] 76% 76

Boise State's enrollment for the 2020-21 year was 24,103 students, with approximately 66 percent Idaho residents.[17] Boise State University has the largest graduate enrollment in Idaho.[24] More than 90 percent of Boise State's first-year students come directly from high school.[17]


Boise State is considered a commuter school more than 86% of its students live off campus.[25]

Social fraternities and sororities

Boise State has seen a growing in Greek community; as of fall of 2023, there are 8 Panhellenic sororities and 11 fraternities active on campus. In 2023, the fraternity Alpha Kappa Lambda was suspended for a period of four years due to hazing rituals and incidents of alcohol abuse.[26]


Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[27]332
U.S. News & World Report[28]1399

Notable alumni

For a more comprehensive list, see List of Boise State University people.

See also


Informational notes

  1. ^ Other consists of Multiracial Americans & those who prefer to not say.
  2. ^ The percentage of students who received an income-based federal Pell grant intended for low-income students.
  3. ^ The percentage of students who are a part of the American middle class at the bare minimum.


  1. ^ "Idaho State Board of Education-Public Higher Education".
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Boise State University". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved August 4, 2023.
  5. ^ "Colors – Office of Communications and Marketing". Archived from the original on August 26, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Boise State Enrollment Breaks Record". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Carnegie Classifications Institution Lookup". American Council on Education. 2022. Retrieved May 26, 2023.
  8. ^ "National Science Foundation, Research Revenue and Expenditures of Research Universities".
  9. ^ "Fast facts about Albertsons Library". Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  10. ^ "Performance & Technical Facilities - Theatre Arts". Theatre Arts. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  11. ^ "Computer Science Program Moving into Downtown Boise | Update". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c News, Boise State. "News". Boise State News. ((cite web)): |last= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ "Boise State to Receive Largest Charitable Gift in Its History - $13 Million From Micron to Advance Materials Science". Micron Technology.
  14. ^ "Boise State University Locations Throughout Idaho - Flex". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  15. ^ "Growing Number of Online Programs Help Students Succeed - Update". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "Boise State offers credit-bearing digital course from Harvard Business School - Inside Higher Ed". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d Management, Student Affairs and Enrollment. "Home". Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
  18. ^ "About Us - Western Writers". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  19. ^ "Albertsons Library Digital Collections". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  20. ^ "Publications Office - Boise State University". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  21. ^ "Visit "The Blue", Boise State Football's Home". Varsity B Club. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  22. ^ "Boise State will rename Pavilion 'Taco Bell Arena'". Daily Herald. June 18, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  23. ^ "College Scorecard: Boise State University". United States Department of Education. Retrieved May 8, 2022.
  24. ^ Idaho State Board of Education. "Annual 2016-2017 Postsecondary Headcount and FTE". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  25. ^ "U.S. News & World Report- 2020 College Rankings".
  26. ^ Black, Brydon (February 5, 2023). "Boise State fraternity suspended for hazing". Arbiter Online. Retrieved August 17, 2023.
  27. ^ "2023-2024 Best National Universities". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 22, 2023.
  28. ^ "2022-23 Best Global Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved February 25, 2023.