Boise State University

Boise State University (BSU) is a public research[6] 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.[7]

Boise State University
Former names
Boise State College
Boise College
Boise Junior College
MottoSplendor sine Occasu
Motto in English
Splendour Without Diminishment
Endowment$107.9 million (2018)[1]
Budget$516 million FY(2018)[2]
ChairmanRic Gale
PresidentMarlene Tromp
ProvostTony Roark (interim)
Academic staff
757 (Fall 2018)
Students25,540 (Fall 2018)[3]
Undergraduates22,064 (Fall 2018)[4]
Postgraduates  3,476 (Fall 2018)[4]
Location, ,

43.604°N 116.204°W / 43.604; -116.204
285 acres (115 ha)
ColorsBlue and Orange[5]
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division I FBS – MW
MascotBuster Bronco
Location of Boise State University
Boise State University (the United States)

Boise State offers more than 100 graduate programs, including the MBA and MAcc programs in the College of Business and Economics; Masters and PhD programs in the Colleges of Engineering, Arts & Sciences, and Education; and the MPA program in the School of Public Service. Boise State has invested in the future over the past decade, including spending over $300 million since 2003 on academic, residential, and athletics facilities across campus.[8]

The university's intercollegiate athletic teams, the Broncos, have participated in NCAA Division I since 1978; the football program moved up to FBS in 1996.


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


The 285-acre (115 ha) 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.

Boise State broke ground in May 2017 on a $42 million Center for the Fine Arts, which will house sculpture, metalwork, painting, graphic design and other visual arts, as well as gallery space and a digital “World Museum” devoted to high-tech arts experiences. [9]

Albertsons Library

The school's library is named for grocery pioneer and longtime Boise resident Joe Albertson. It houses more than 650,000 books, over 100,000 periodicals, 107 public terminals for student use, and access to over 300 online databases.[10] The physical structure also features a Starbucks and public lounge area, and houses the College of Innovation and Design, including the fast growing degree program in Gaming, Interactive Mobile and Media.

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.[11] The venue opened its doors 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.[12]

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.[13] Scheduled for completion 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, planned to house 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 Boise State University,[13][14] resulting in a full complement of degrees in materials science and engineering including bachelors, masters and doctoral programs.

Other campuses

Extended Studies at Boise State offers regional programming at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, Idaho, at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Gowen Field, Twin Falls, Idaho, Lewiston, Idaho and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.[15] Boise State also offers 29 degrees and certificates fully online.[16] Beginning in 2016, Boise State began partnering with the Harvard University 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.[17]

Academics and organization

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

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Business and Economics
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Graduate Studies
  • Health Sciences
  • School of Public Service
  • Innovation and Design

Boise State's fall enrollment in 2016 was 23,886 students. Approximately 76 percent of these students were Idaho residents, with the remaining 24 percent coming from out of state or out of country.[18] More than 90 percent of Boise State's first-year students come directly from high school.[18]

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.[13] The university has "Moderate Research Activity" as scored by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[19]


Since 1971 the university has published the Western Writers Series, monographs focusing on authors of the American Frontier and American West.[20] The university also maintains an on-line library of publications and documents related to Idaho history through the Albertsons Library.[21]

A not-for-profit literary publisher, Ahsahta was founded in 1974 at Boise State University to preserve the best works by early poets of the American West. Its name, ahsahta, is the Mandan word meaning “Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep,” and was first recorded by members of the Lewis and Clark expedition; the founding editors chose the word to honor the press's original mission to publish Western poetry.

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.[22]


Boise State's athletic nickname is the Broncos. The official mascot is Buster Bronco. BSU fields many different teams in sports. Its men's teams include football, basketball, cross country, track and field, golf, tennis, and baseball to resume play in 2020 after a 40-year hiatus.[23] 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.

Albertsons Stadium

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

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 turf field was actually the typical green before getting its proud moniker after the 1985 season. Installed in the summer of 1986, THE BLUE was the idea of Athletic Director Gene Bleymaeir and was the first non-green, artificial football field in the country. With the closing of the 2017 season, Boise State football held a home record of 177-37 (14 Conference Championships) since THE BLUE was installed prior to the 1986 season.[24]

Ground was broken for the stadium in 1969, 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. In August 2010, the university unveiled a $100 million expansion plan for Bronco Stadium. The first stage will include: adding a new facility to the north endzone to house the football offices, weight room, training room, equipment room and locker room; removing the track; and adding a 13,200-seat grandstand behind the north endzone. Later stages include: lowering the field to add 3,300 seats; completing the south endzone horseshoe; building an east side skybox; and renovating the east concourse. Seating capacity for the fully expanded Bronco Stadium will exceed 55,000.[25]

ExtraMile Arena

Known as the "Boise State University Pavilion" until June 2004, and “Taco Bell Arena” between 2004-2019, [26] ExtraMile Arena is home to BSU basketball, wrestling, women's gymnastics, community events, and several concerts each year. Opened in May 1982, the arena seats 12,380 on three levels. The arena has hosted rounds one and two of the men's NCAA Division I basketball tournament on eight occasions from 1983 to 2009, and the third and fourth rounds of the NCAA women's Division I basketball 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. Baseball was discontinued as a varsity sport following the 1980 season. The tennis courts were rebuilt immediately west of the arena, on the former baseball field (infield & right field).

Student life

Boise State's fall enrollment in 2016 was 23,886 students. Approximately 76 percent of these students were Idaho residents, with the remaining 24 percent coming from out of state or out of country.[18] Boise State University has the largest graduate enrollment in Idaho.[27] More than 90 percent of Boise State's first-year students come directly from high school.[18]


Boise State is considered a commuter school, due to more than 86% of its students living off-campus[28]. The dominant form of school-supported housing are co-ed residence halls.

Social fraternities and sororities

Boise State has seen a growing in Greek Community on campus, from less than a couple hundred in 2010 to over 1,400 today. There are eight fraternities, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Alpha Tau Omega, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Theta Phi, Phi Gamma Delta, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi, Sigma Lambda Beta, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and nine sororities Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Xi Delta, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Pi Sigma, Lambda Theta Alpha, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Zeta Tau Alpha.[29]

Notable alumni


  1. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Endowment Market Value and Change* in Endowment Market Value from FY17 to FY18". Retrieved March 9, 2019.
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 22, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Boise State University Census Day Enrollment Profile Fall 2017 Overall Enrollment" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  4. "Boise State University Census Day Enrollment Profile Fall 2017 Overall Enrollment" (PDF). Retrieved March 11, 2018.
  5. "Colors – Office of Communications and Marketing". Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  6. "Carnegie Classifications | Institution Lookup". Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  7. "Boise State Enrollment Breaks Record". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  8. "2017 President's Report - Focus". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  9. Berry, Harrison. "At Boise State Fine Arts Center Groundbreaking, A Promise of Huge 'Cultural Thoroughfare'". Boise Weekly. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  10. "Fast facts about Albertsons Library". Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  11. "Performance & Technical Facilities - Theatre Arts". Theatre Arts. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  12. "Computer Science Program Moving into Downtown Boise | Update". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. News, Boise State. "News". Boise State News.
  14. "Boise State to Receive Largest Charitable Gift in Its History - $13 Million From Micron to Advance Materials Science". Micron Technology.
  15. "Boise State University Locations Throughout Idaho - Flex". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  16. "Growing Number of Online Programs Help Students Succeed - Update". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  17. "Boise State offers credit-bearing digital course from Harvard Business School - Inside Higher Ed". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  18. Management, Student Affairs and Enrollment. "Home". Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
  19. "Carnegie Classifications - Institution Lookup". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  20. "About Us - Western Writers". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  21. "Albertsons Library Digital Collections". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  22. "Publications Office - Boise State University". Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  23. "Gary Van Tol Named Boise State Head Baseball Coach". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  24. "Visit "The Blue", Boise State Football's Home". Varsity B Club. Retrieved November 11, 2018.
  25. "Boise State Expansion Project". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  26. "Boise State will rename Pavilion 'Taco Bell Arena'". Daily Herald. June 18, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  27. Idaho State Board of Education. "Annual 2016-2017 Postsecondary Headcount and FTE". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  28. "U.S. News & World Report- 2020 College Rankings".
  29. "Sorority & Fraternity Chapters at Boise State". Retrieved December 23, 2017.
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