Defining Our Future

Frequently Asked Questions: academic programs, classes and careers

UNI has announced strategic changes to strengthen the core mission of the university, and to prepare for a strong future. UNI announced the closing of several academic programs with low enrollments. Some of those announcements have created some misinformation and questions regarding the following programs.  Please read below for more information.


Can I still attend UNI to become a special education teacher?
Yes, UNI still has a special education department. Students major in elementary or secondary education and minor in four special education interest areas including the Early Childhood Special Education-Teaching Minor; Instructional Strategist I: Mild/Moderate 5-12 Emphasis Minor; Instructional Strategist II: Mental Disability K-12 Emphasis Minor; and the Visual Impairment M.A.E. program.

Can I still attend UNI to be a health teacher?
Yes, UNI students have the opportunity to minor in health education. Many of these students also major in PE or science education.  UNI's health program learned that school districts prefer to hire students with a minor in health education and a PE or Science Education degree. UNI will continue to offer the health education minor.

Is UNI's Teacher Education program closing because the Malcolm Price Laboratory School is closing?
No, UNI's Teacher Education Program is strong and will continue to provide students quality learning and teaching experiences. Teacher education majors will continue to do many of their field experiences in pre-K through 12 schools and programs in Cedar Falls and Waterloo -- which they have been doing for years.  Many students also student teach in communities throughout Iowa, the nation and the world. UNI graduates 500 new teachers annually. 


Is UNI cutting its Biology program?
No, UNI is still offering several bachelor's and master's degree programs in biology. Changes in UNI's biology majors reflect specific undergraduate degrees that offered particular content specialty areas such as microbiology.  UNI's biology program remains the second largest department on campus. Students will continue to pursue classes in microbiology, plant bioscience and biotechnology. For more information, visit

Earth Science

I heard UNI is also cutting earth science, is this true?
No, UNI will continue to offer a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Earth Science Teaching. The university closed the B.A. in Earth Science-Interpretive Naturalist Emphasis.

Can I still take courses in Geology?
The bachelor's degree program in Geology has been closed, but there will still be courses offered in Geology.


Can I still major in Geography?
Yes, UNI offers degrees in geography and geographic information science. Essentially, the department is streamlining seven degree programs into two geography programs. The Bachelor of Arts in geography will allow students a broader array of courses and content focus. To read the department's letter about these changes, visit


Can I attend UNI and get a four-year degree in physics?
Yes, UNI will continue to have a strong physics department and will continue to offer a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Bachelor of Arts Physics Teaching degree, for those students who wish to be a physics teacher. These programs will include many of the content areas in the physics programs being closed.

Foreign Languages

I heard UNI is cutting all of their foreign language programs, is that true? 
No, the Spanish degrees remain and students can continue to take foreign languages at UNI, including French, but the bachelor and graduate programs in French, Russian and German are closing. For example, students can enroll in French I and II to meet the foreign language requirement and will still have an opportunity to enroll in the French Study Abroad program.

Philosophy & World Religions

Is UNI eliminating its philosophy and religion programs?
No, UNI will continue to offer degrees in philosophy and world religions. Despite cut-backs, the department faculty offers strong programs with courses both in topics and historical periods in philosophy, and the major world religions and enduring, yet timely, themes in the study of religion.