Student outcomes and career preparation is top priority for the College of Business at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. UNI is consistently selected as an outstanding business school by the Princeton Review, and accredited by the AACSB® (an accreditation that is awarded to less than five percent of business schools in the world). Beyond the rankings and reputation, UNI Business offers many different academic programs, several student organizations, and opportunities for professional development that international students can take part in to advance their skills and increase their marketability. In addition, the faculty and staff at this small, public university of almost 10,000 students is committed to ensuring that students are professionally prepared for a successful career during and after completing their degree at UNI.
The College of Business offers nine undergraduate programs as well as the Master of Business Administration and Master of Accounting programs.
Areas of study, including majors and minors, are offered in:
- Real Estate
- Supply Chain Management
The Accounting program at UNI is highly regarded and has one of the highest CPA pass rates in the entire country. As a result, the “Big Four'' accounting firms from all over the world are looking to hire accounting graduates from UNI. In 2019, UNI ranked ninth overall and third in medium-sized programs in the CPA Success Index ranking. UNI students can also participate in an undergraduate research program and earn many professional credentials and licensures before they graduate, including Certified Associate in Project Management, Certified General Appraiser, or Certified Global Business Professional, which can easily be achieved by taking an exam or additional class or two after your core courses. These additional credentials could be just what you need to help you stand out from the competition.
Students interested in entrepreneurship will find many programs within UNI to assist with business endeavors. This includes an entrepreneurship center, offering a business incubator program, and support from professionals. The Student Business Incubator was recognized as the Student Incubator Program of the Year in 2016 by the International Business Innovation Association.
Get Prepared with UNI
UNI is able to provide a personal classroom experience and individualize support with an average class size of 27 students. The professional faculty and staff are prepared to assist in planning a program of study, advising student organizations. and assisting with the internship search process. UNI is also unique in its offering the Professional Readiness Program (PRP) to UNI students. The PRP’s purpose is to give students the opportunity to gain more skills and prepare them for the competitive job market. Employers have recognized the PRP for its excellence in producing employees who are productive, knowledgeable and ahead of the curve.
According to Vicky Zhou, a senior accounting major from China, “The Professional Readiness Program (PRP) is one of my favorite courses provided by UNI College of Business. There are four levels of PRP courses, and the first two are required for all the business students. We will get trained for the career and professional business world by taking the first two level courses. The higher two are electives which include professional skills, such as self-paced classes for the software and the development of relationships between an alumni mentor in your chosen career path.”
The Career Services Office, in conjunction with the UNI International Student and Scholars Office and the College of Business, supports students in their search for employment and internship opportunities. In addition to help with resumes and interview skills, the Career Service Office organizes several job fairs throughout the year held on campus and offers students the opportunity to interact with hundreds of potential employers. Students who graduated from UNI’s College of Business have a career placement rate of 98%, and many UNI international student alumni have successfully established their own businesses or have risen to leadership positions in prominent companies as a result of their experiences at UNI.
Get involved with UNI
UNI has a wide variety of organizations available, including many focused on business, for students to participate in and expand and use the new skills they are learning in classes and as part of the PRP. The International Students in Business (ISB) was created to be the voice of international students within the Business program and support their success. ISB especially focuses on first-year and transfer international students with their transition to college and connects students to faculty, staff, and other fellow students. The Global Business Club offers members the opportunity to learn about global business issues and provides an environment in which students can share ideas and experiences as well as network with students from other nations. There are also several other competitions that students could join like the Elevator Pitch Competition, Network of International Business Schools (NIBS) Case Analysis Competition, or Marketing Strategy Competition, which can assist students with collaboration, presentation, and networking skills.
Katie Hillyer, director, Office for Professional Distinction, says, "The UNI College of Business has a long history of student success in and out of the classroom. Students who study business at UNI are able to hit the ground running after graduation thanks to our innovative and challenging curriculum, our focus on professional readiness, and our wide-ranging support for student development opportunities. At UNI, we pride ourselves on providing our students one-on-one support, both in and out of the classroom."