Excel in Engineering: Study at a Carnegie-classified research university in the Pacific Northwest


Set in a prime location in Pocatello, Idaho, Idaho State University (ISU), is a world-class education provider that attracts prospective engineering students from around the globe to its safe, secure and undeniably stunning campus in the Pacific Northwest.

Learning in such a diverse geographical region means students get the best of unforgettable recreation activities like cross-country skiing, hiking, paddle boarding, climbing, and kayaking, alongside achieving world-class academic goals.

On top of this, Yellowstone National Park, encompassing nearly 3,500-sq-mile of wilderness atop a volcanic hot-spot, lies just a short drive away, providing ISU students the opportunity uncover its beauty and many wonders. Why not venture to nearby Jackson Hole, Wyoming, situated at the base of the majestic Teton Mountains, and discover what initially drew explorers to this exciting region? Or for those yearning for that big city vibe, Salt Lake City, Utah, is easily accessible with various transport links directly from the campus, and is always a fun day out for those taking a well-earned break from the books.

yellowstone national park
Image courtesy of Idaho State University

The College of Science and Engineering at ISU seeks to provide an exceptional engineering education for aspiring students from all walks of life. The College is home to a diverse portfolio of programs ranging from Bachelor of Science, to MSc’s, to PhD’s and research degrees. ISU’s first-class programs include:

Each comprehensive program boasts competitive strengths for students choosing to pursue engineering at ISU. One specific example of this can be seen in the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering program, which currently ranks 8th in the U.S. for the Top Environmental Engineering Programs.

Nuclear Engineering program  Idaho
Image courtesy of Idaho State University

ISU’s Nuclear Engineering program is part of an elite group founded in the U.S. It is one of only 27 universities to offer graduate degrees in the subject, and also one of only 19 to offer the discipline at undergraduate level. Majoring students expand their expertise by working in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory, which houses an AGN-201 nuclear reactor. The strength of the program draws on established relationships with the Idaho National Laboratory and the Idaho Accelerator Center, which houses more research and commercial accelerators than any other U.S. university.

ISU is a designated Carnegie Research University, a distinction held by only 10 percent of institutions in the U.S., allowing ISU engineering students to benefit from the US$9.5 million in research funding being awarded to the College.

Research at the College focuses on solving current problems and developing brand new innovations. One such project is being led by Dr. Chad Pope, Associate Professor of Nuclear Engineering, and is funded with a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Motivated by events related to a 2011 earthquake that caused damage at three Fukushima nuclear reactors, the goal of the project is to investigate nuclear power plant responses to various hazards, including global seismic and flooding events.

ISU Students are heavily involved in all research activities. But the opportunity for them to participate in faculty-led research is not just limited to graduate students – all engineering participants, from those seeking a bachelor of science degree through to Ph.D., are able to pursue their own unique research interests. These opportunities create rich educational experiences that promote academic rigour and advance career goals. Many students get the chance to present research findings at conferences, as well as to publish research results in professional and academic journals. They are also able to receive invaluable financial support when involved with these respected research projects. Support can often come from graduate assistantships or paid Career Path Internships (CPI) specifically-designed for undergraduate and graduate students. Last year, 70 engineering students were employed through the CPI program.

Image courtesy of Idaho State University

Alongside research and internship opportunities, engineering students have a variety of extracurricular activities directly linked to their academic program of study. Civil Engineering students construct a steel bridge and concrete canoe to compete in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pacific Northwest Regional Conference; Mechanical Engineering students compete in the Baja SAE competition where students design and build a small off-road vehicle that’s put to the test by various competition challenges. These are just a few of the enriching means by which students are able to apply engineering concepts learned in the classroom throughout their time at ISU.

ISU’s strong international diversity leads to a warm and supportive environment that’s incredibly attractive to the international community. Currently, the College of Science and Engineering’s international student body makes up 25 percent of its total population. Ultimately, academic diversity is a natural result when cultural diversity is encouraged to thrive. The College of Science and Engineering is fully-committed to encouraging further growth in the diversity of its student population, inviting interested students to explore its outstanding engineering portfolio. Please visit http://isu.edu/cse/ to begin carving your path to a successful career in engineering.

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Feature image courtesy of Idaho State University

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