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Profile of Northern Arizona University

This entry is part 12 of 17 in the series Employers

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona provides 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in education, health and human services, forestry and natural sciences. The university boasts the W.A. Franke College of Business and rare programs, such as a B.S. in surgical technology and an online M.S. degree in bilingual education. The Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research recently recognized the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management. U.S. News & World Report ranked the undergraduate engineering program as one of the top in the nation.

Northern Arizona University currently enrolls over 23,000 students. The university offers many alternatives to traditional learning. One-third of students attend day, night and accelerated classes at 39 satellite sites across the state. Several university programs are offered entirely online.

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NAU History

Northern Arizona University was founded in 1899 as the Northern Arizona Normal School, a place where educators earned credentials to teach in the Arizona Territory. The school became known as Northern Arizona State Teacher’s College in 1925, when it started granting education degrees. With the addition of other programs, the college became known as Arizona State College of Flagstaff in 1945 and the University of Northern Arizona in 1968.

Today the university carries on the legacy of education as a research institution, engaging faculty and students in real-world problems in the energy and healthcare fields. Northern Arizona University has emerged as a leader in technology transfer. Faculty members are authors, scholars and speakers with expertise that range from genomics to linguistics. Research provides employment, networking and hands-on learning opportunities for students. The Northern University Alumni Association has 115,000 members, who have gone on to become influential thought leaders.


Northern Arizona University is home to “Louie the Lumberjack,” the school’s official mascot. Student athletes compete in a number NCAA Division I sports programs, including basketball, diving, football, golf, soccer and track and field. A wide variety of intramural sports are offered on campus, such as flag football, lacrosse, racquetball, rugby and water polo.

Campus activities include a student-run newspaper, radio station and television station. Unions and Student Activities provide special movie programming throughout the year. The College of Arts and Letters presents theatrical performances, lectures and art exhibitions regularly. The Northern Arizona Choral Union is comprised of eight choral ensembles: Men’s Chorale, the Harold M. Harter Memorial Handbell Choir, the High Altitude and Northern Voices vocal jazz ensembles, the internationally touring Shrine of the Ages Choir, the University Singers, Vocal Chamber Ensemble and the Women’s Chorale.

As one of the region’s largest employers, Northern Arizona University is committed to diversity. The campus encourages people of all backgrounds, experience and skill-levels to join the campus community. The university serves rural Arizona and Native Americans through the development of cultural and economic partnerships.

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