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Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public university situated near the San Francisco Peaksmarker in Flagstaff, Arizonamarker in the United Statesmarker.

As of spring 2009, 21,413 students were enrolled, 13,752 at the main Flagstaff campus. Average class sizes are 37 students in 100-level courses; 34 in 200-level courses; 23 in 300-level courses; 18 in 400 level courses; and 12 in graduate courses. Average cost of tuition for an on-campus, full-time, Arizona resident student for two semesters is $5,145.

NAU is governed by the Arizona Board of Regents.


Old Main, site of Northern Arizona Normal School; currently houses an art gallery, museum, and offices
Initially named the Northern Arizona Normal School, the institution was formed on September 11, 1899. In 1925, the Arizona State Legislature allowed it to grant the Bachelor of Education degree. Following this change, the school was called Northern Arizona State Teacher's College.

In 1928, the name was changed to Arizona State Teacher's College of Flagstaff. In 1945 the name was changed to Arizona State College of Flagstaff. In 1966 the name was changed to the current incarnation Northern Arizona University.

The building that was to be Northern Arizona University was not meant to become a school. In the early 1800s, construction of the building began under the supervision of Governor Hughes and Anson Smith. By the end of the first year of construction, all funds for the building had been spent, and the building stood unfinished. The Flagstaff community, however, didn't complain about the building being unfinished as The Act of 1883 stated when the building was finished, the surrounding counties would start sending their "delinquents" there; as such the building first started out as an establishment for the insane.

When the community learned that a building was to be constructed to house the mentally ill, Governor Hughes in his 1885 report proposed that the government establish a summer school of science instead. The Phoenix Enterprise stated that, "Northern Arizona is entitled to an educational institution."


NAU is ranked 78th on Forbes Magazines "America's Best Public Colleges" list and is ranked 344th overall on Forbes America's "Best Colleges 2009" list , but is not ranked by U.S. News & World Report, being deemed a Tier 4 institution. It has ninety-one academic programs; and consists of six colleges, as delineated below.

College of Arts and Letters

The Riles Building, Department of Humanities, Art, and Religion
College of Arts and Letters encompasses everything from philosophy to music education, from theatre to teaching tolerance. Programs include Asian studies, English, history, humanities, arts and religion, modern languages, philosophy, theatre, art, music, and liberal studies. The college hosts many productions every semester in opera, voice, dance, theatre, and more.

College of Education

The College of Education is primarily responsible for preparing professional educators at the university: “Our vision is to prepare educational professionals who create tomorrow’s opportunities.” In addition to future teachers, the college prepares counselors, school psychologists, and administrators.

Accredited by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the college was ranked seventh in the nation for providing degrees in education to all minorities.

Fields of study include teaching and learning (e.g., early childhood, elementary, secondary, and science education), educational leadership, educational psychology, and educational specialties (e.g., bilingual and multicultural education, career and technical education, educational technology, and special education).

College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences

Department of Geology building, Frier Hall
College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences promotes undergraduate and graduate learning experiences that integrate science, engineering, and mathematics, sustained by a commitment to research, scholarship, and the creative application of knowledge. The faculty, staff, and students collaborate to actively engage in the possibilities and practicalities of their fields.

The college has 11 departments and a Quaternary Program, 13 centers and two institutes, and supports 300 baccalaureate degrees. It continues to expand its degree programs. Programs include Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Management, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Sciences and Education, Geology, Mathematics and Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, Quaternary Studies, Master of Engineering, and Master of Science in Engineering.

The School of Forestry was incorporated into the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences in 2008.

College of Health and Human Services

The College of Health and Human Services promotes excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service, provides students with a broad educational background, and prepares students to assume professional responsibilities as providers of health and human services.

NAU's College of Health and Human Services, the only one of its kind within the Arizona state university system, consists of the School of Nursing, and three departments:

Rehabilitation sciences: physical therapy, athletic training, and communication sciences and disorders

Health sciences: physical education and school health, community health, Bachelor of Interdisciplinary studies (BIS) in Speech-language Sciences and Technology (SST), diagnostic medical imaging and therapy, respiratory care, physical therapist assisting, paramedic care and medical assisting, and a Bachelor of Applied Studies in health sciences for allied health professionals

Dental Hygiene: a residential degree program and a degree completion program for licensed hygienists

The School of Nursing offers the following undergraduate degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The School of Nursing also offers the a Master of Science (MS) family nurse practitioner specialty, MS nursing education specialty, and MS public health nursing specialty.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) teaches, discovers, disseminates, and applies knowledge in the social and behavioral sciences. The focus of the college is on human connections between students and faculty, academic disciplines, the college and communities, and people and their cultures. SBS helps students to understand the diversity and complexity of human experience via perspectives that are informed by the scholarship of the social and behavioral sciences.

Programs include anthropology, applied indigenous studies, criminology and criminal justice, ethnic studies, geography, planning and recreation, political science, psychology, communication, sociology/social work, and women's and gender studies.

The School of Communication was incorporated into Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2004. It offers undergraduate degrees in Advertising, Electronic Media & Film, Journalism, Merchandising, Photography, Public Relations, Speech Communication and Visual Communication, and a masters program in Applied Communication.

The W.A. Franke College of Business

The W.A. Franke College of Business primary focus is undergraduate education, but it also offers a master’s level education and research opportunities.

Businessman Bill Franke's commitment of $25 million, the largest in NAU's history, resulted in the renaming of the college in his honor. The W.A. Franke College of Business was fully reaccredited November 5, 1998, by the national accrediting body AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The NAU program is one of about 400 accredited programs among the more than 1,000 throughout the nation. In 2006, the college moved into a new 111,000-square-foot, LEED-certified building.

The 2008 Princeton Review ranked the MBA program in three top-10 categories: No. 4 for Best Professors, No. 9 for Best Campus Facilities, and No. 10 for Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students. NAU also was ranked in the 2007 edition.

The college also houses the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, which prepares students for leadership responsibilities in hospitality-related enterprises. The undergraduate degree curriculum provides intellectual growth, communication skills, ethical awareness, appreciation of values and society, and professional knowledge of the hospitality industry.

NAU's School of Hotel and Restaurant Management is ranked among the top three hotel/restaurant schools in the United States.


Flagstaff campus

Perched at above sea level, the main campus is surrounded by the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest on the North American continent and enjoys a four-season climate. Snow is common in winter, with accumulations most prevalent in December and January. Winter skiing is accessible at Arizona Snowbowlmarker, an alpine ski resort located on the San Francisco Peaksmarker, northeast of Flagstaff.

Extended campuses

Northern Arizona University maintains campuses throughout Arizona that offer alternatives to the traditional learning experience including evening, weekend and accelerated classes. By offering more than 123 degree, certificate, and endorsement programs in person and/or on the web. Extended Campus students are learning in-person in classrooms across the state at 39 different locations throughout Arizona. One-third of Northern Arizona University students are served through the Extended Campuses program.

The U.S. Distance Learning Association honored Northern Arizona University's Extended Campuses with the 2007 21st Century Best Practice Distance Learning Award . The award goes to institutions with outstanding leadership, innovation, and technology in distance learning.

Residence Halls

Northern Arizona University has twenty-one dorms situated all around its Flagstaff campus. Students who wish to live on-campus can choose from freshmen connection halls, traditional-style halls, apartment-style halls, and family living. Freshmen only have the option of living in freshmen connection halls where as sophomores and upperclassmen can choose from any of the other three options.

Freshman residence halls

Sechrist Hall
  • Allen Hall
  • Cowden Learning Community
  • McConnell Hall
  • Reilly Hall
  • Wilson Hall
  • Sechrist Hall

Sechrist Hall is an eight story dorm, making it the tallest building in Flagstaff. The New Student Programs, Campus Tours and one of the Undergraduate Admissions Officers is located there.

Traditional-style halls

"Traditional-style" refers to a hall with single rooms meant to house either one or two occupants. The aforementioned halls are open to sophomores and upperclassmen, with only two of these halls are coed.
  • Campbell Hall
  • Morton Hall
  • Taylor Hall
  • Tinsley Hall (Beginning Fall 2010, Tinsley will be a blended Freshman Connections and upper division hall)
  • Wilson Hall

Suite-Style Halls

Suite-Style Halls have two people per room with a bathroom connecting every other room. This means that two rooms with a total four students share a bathroom. These rooms are also slightly bigger than a traditional styled dorm room. Both suite-styled halls are coed

  • Gabaldon Hall
  • Mountain View Hall
  • Aspen Crossing Learning Community, as of the Fall 2009 semester, Aspen Crossing will be reserved for sophomore honor students.

Apartment-Style Halls

NAU also offers apartment-style halls. Apartment-style halls are halls that have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and some kind of living space shared between two to three people. These dorms all come with their own kitchen and bathroom.

  • Gillenwater Hall
  • McDonald Hall
  • Raymond Hall
  • Roseberry Hall

There are also two other apartment styled dorms at NAU that are set up as communities. Students must be juniors, seniors, Graduates or students over 25 years of age to live at these two dorms.

  • Pine Ridge Village
  • McKay Village

Family Housing

NAU has two housing options for family living; these apartment-styled halls are for married couples and students with children.

  • Campus Heights
  • South Family

Center for International Education

The Center for International Education welcomes international students from around the world and provides services for its students ranging from foreign student and scholar advising, field trips to area attractions like the Grand Canyon, and leadership opportunities through the International Club.


Northern Arizona Lumberjacks logo
NAU's athletic teams have gained national prominence with their accomplishments. Student athletes go on to compete at national, international, and professional levels in football, basketball, baseball (including catcher Robert Howeth), ice hockey, track and field, tennis, swimming and diving. The university participates in 15 intercollegiate sports programs. NAU teams compete at the Walkup Skydomemarker, which is a multipurpose building which provides facilities for football, basketball, indoor track and field, soccer, weight lifting, lacrosse, student recreation, major concert events, commencements, intramurrals, and a variety of other university and community activities.

The Lumberjacks compete at the NCAA Division I level in all sports. In football, the Lumberjacks compete at the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) level. NAU competes in the Big Sky Conference in all sports except swimming and diving, which is part of the Western Athletic Conference. All NAU students receive free admission to regular-season home contests.


NAU Walkup Skydome
Lumberjacks have made the NCAA tournament twice in school history. The first came in 1998 as a #15 seed in the West Region hosted in Boise ID. The Jacks gave the #2 seed, Cincinnati Bearcats all they could handle with the game coming down to the last few seconds in front of a crowd that heavily cheered on the underdog Lumberjacks. Cincinnati won the game on a three pointer with 3.6 seconds remaining giving the game a final score of 65-62. The Lumberjacks narrowly missed out on being the fourth #15 seed to beat a #2 seed in tournament history. The second NCAA tourney appearance came in 2000 when the #15 seeded Lumberjacks tried once again to knock off a #2 seed this time against the St. Johns Red Storm. The Jacks gave another valiant effort coming up just short once again 61-56.

Center for High Altitude Training

The Center for High Altitude Training at Northern Arizona University offers a location to train in a fully-supported altitude environment ( ).

Athletes training through NAU have won 191 Olympic and Paralympic medals since the 1996 Games in Atlanta. Since 1994, NAU has hosted nearly 5,000 athletes from 40 countries in 15 different sports.

More than 75% of all athletes and teams training with NAU return for repeat training camps.

The U.S. Olympic Committee designated NAU one of only nine official U.S. Olympic Training Sites in the states.

The Australian rules football club Collingwood regularly use the Center for their pre-season training.

It was announced in January 2009 that the Center for High Altitude Training would be closing due to budget cuts.

On Campus Activities/Student Media

NAU has more than 180 recognized professional, academic, service and social organizations; an intramural sports program; The Lumberjack student newspaper; and active residence hall organization.

The Lumberjack, KJACK, NAZ Today, and UTV62

The university's award-winning, weekly newspaper is an independent, student-run publication called The Lumberjack. Founded in 1914, it is the second-oldest newspaper in Northern Arizona. In May 2007, the newspaper won a Society of Professional Journalists national award in the editorial writing category for articles printed during 2006.

KJACK is available in Flagstaffmarker on 1680 AM or online. KJACK reports to the College Music Journal and specializes in new music. NAU's televised news program, NAZ Today airs Monday through Thursday in Flagstaff on NPG cable channels 4, 59 and UTV 62 on campus at 6pm MST, and on Dish Network's UniversityHouse Channel (9411) 9pm MST. Since the shutdown of Channel 2 news in August 2008, NAZ Today is now the only TV news source for all of Northern Arizona. UTV 62 is NAU's student run and produced television station. UTV 62 runs 24 hours a day 7 days a week on channel 62 on campus.

The Lumberjack is an affiliate of UWIRE [6], which distributes and promotes its content to their network.


The Northern Arizona University Choral Union consists of eight ensembles: Men's Chorale, Women's Chorale, University Singers, two Vocal Jazz Ensembles: Northern Voices and High Altitude, Vocal Chamber Ensemble, the Harold M. Harter Memorial Handbell Choir, and the Shrine of the Ages Choir, the premier choral ensemble that tours internationally.

Recreation services

The NAU Recreation Center provides facilities for all students, including a fully equipped weight room, a two-court basketball/volleyball gymnasium, five glass-back racquetball courts, an aerobic/dance studio, a six-station climbing wall, locker rooms with dry saunas, and conference rooms for meetings, classes, or activities.

Intramural sports

Intramural sports are organized for teams and individuals and include flag football, soccer, volleyball, softball, racquetball, and backgammon. Sports clubs include sports such as rugby, hockey, lacrosse, water polo, and judo.

Movies and other events

Unions and Student Activities offers many services and events for the campus community, such as movies and the popular Friday night AfterHours program produced by SUN Entertainment. SUN also presents several concerts and special events each year and coordinates Welcome Week concerts.


The NAU Alumni Association represents more than 115,000 alumni from the U.S.

Other information

The Arizona Cardinals of the NFL conduct their summer training camp at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus.

See also


  1. Enrollment Highlights Northern Arizona University Planning, Budget and Institutional Research Office, accessed 2009-06-10
  2. NAU Institutional Data and Analysis
  3. NAU brings predictability to cost of education with guaranteed tuition proposal November 8th, 2007
  4. Student Life Handbook History
  5. Forestry to join Engineering, Natural Sciences
  6. Biotic Communities of the Colorado Plateau
  8. Northern Arizona University- Residence Life
  9. NAU Residence Life- Communities at a Glance Sechrist Hall
  11. NAU Residence Life- Communities at a Glance Aspen Crossing Learning Community
  13. J. Lawrence Walkup Skydome
  14. Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards, Society of Professional Journalists, 2005
  15. NAU's 'Lumberjack' wins 4 awards, Northern Arizona University, March 30, 2005
  16. Frequently Asked Questions- NAU Alumni Association, September 2008

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