Study in Utah | Top Universities

Study in Utah

By Staff Writer

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

If you're looking for a dynamic, tolerant and friendly state, you should consider studying in Utah.

Mormonism is probably the first thing people think of when they hear the name Utah. Indeed, over half its population identify as practisers of the faith – a branch of Christianity founded in the 19th century in the US by Joseph Smith.

But it would be wrong to reduce the state to simply a religious belief. While its influence might be strong, particularly in smaller towns, there is more to 21st century Utah and Utahans.

The state was labelled by Forbes as the best state in which to do business in 2010, and ranks in the top quarter of states of the 2010 Information Technology & Innovation Foundation’s ‘State New Economy Index’ (The index measures innovation, and how much of a state’s economy is knowledge based, globalized and digital).

Capital city Salt Lake City is a modern and prosperous place, and has been known to surprise visitors with how liberal and progressive it is. It is popular with tourists looking to indulge in some outdoors pursuits, particular winter sports (Salt Lake City was the host of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games).

The Wasatch Mountains which provide the venue for this offer a glimpse into the state’s stunning scenery. Utah is known for being one of the most varied states in this regard, and from the soaring Rocky Mountains and the vast Great Salt Lake to the arid Great Basin (shared with parts of Nevada) and the Colorado Plateau, the state certainly does not suffer from a lack of the spectacular.

It can also boast more national parks than any state outside of the considerably bigger California and Alaska.

So, the advantages of a prosperous knowledge driven economy combined with enough natural beauty to last you a lifetime – Utah certainly has a lot to offer the international student!

Utah: Fast facts

•    Total population of 2.8 million, around half of which is based in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area

•    The Great Salt Lake from which the city takes its name is the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere, covering an area of around 1,700 square miles on average

•    Famous Utahans include outlaw Butch Cassidy, television inventor Philo T. Farnsworth, and music group The Osmonds

•    A colony of quaking aspen which share a root system in Fishlake National Forest is thought to be the heaviest (6,600 tons) and oldest (80,000 years) living organism in the world

•    The Mormon temple in Salt Lake City took 40 years to complete

•    94% of Utah’s population of 18-64 year olds are literate – the highest rate in the US

•    Utah has the sixth highest proportion of city based residents in the US

•    Named for the Ute (meaning ‘people of the mountains’) tribe who were its original inhabitants

Top universities in Utah

The University of Utah in Salt Lake City is the only university in the state to make the QS World University Rankings in 2011, coming in 288th place. The U, as it is nicknamed, is the flagship institution of the state’s public system and is also Utah’s oldest, having been founded in 1850 as the University of Deseret.

Divided into 15 colleges, the university offers over 70 majors at undergraduate level and more than 90 beyond that. It boasts a fine art and a natural history museum, gardens, and concert venues as well as all the usual amenities you would expect from a research university of 30,000 students.

The U produces more start ups from its research than any other university in the country according to The Association of University Technology Managers.

Utah State University, based in Logan, but with campuses in Brigham City, Tooele, Vernal and Roosevelt, is the state’s other research university. Founded in 1888 at the Agricultural University of Utah, the university offers 170 undergraduate majors and is particularly strong in education and human services.

Its library was ranked as the number one 'Smart Library' in the country by Campus Technology magazine. USU also has a proud athletic tradition.

More Mountain States:

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in March 2016

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