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Brand Narrative

The Boise State brand is about much more than a B.

It is our reputation. It’s the way we speak, the way we act and the experiences our students, visitors and employees have on our campus.

How We Tell the Boise State University Story

The words we use to share our brand story and unique experiences are powerful tools to impact how our audiences perceive the university and reinforce the experiences for those who are a part of our community.

When creating marketing campaigns, advertising or promotional materials, a cohesive tone is as important as consistent fonts, colors and graphics.

Boise State’s core messages, points of pride, and brand narrative are mapped out here to help you tell and share the Boise State story in your marketing and communications. All are a reflection of 12 distinct brand attributes, the words that help articulate the current trajectory and outlook for students, faculty and staff at Idaho’s fastest growing research university.

Boise State

Brand Attributes

Adventurous. Character. Community. Creative. Distinctive. Innovative. Inquisitive. Relentless. Respectful. Strong. Tenacious. Transformative.

Core Messages and Points of Pride

Core Messages

Boise State has six Core Messages, which include a brand attribute or simply reflect the positive outlook and aspiration for the future that is unique to the Boise State experience. These are supported by Points of Pride and narrative examples to help shape your messaging. The narrative found here can be used in anything from marketing campaigns to web copy or talking points.

  • Points of Pride are facts about the university that include data, measurable details or time references that support a Core Message. As campus marketing experts, you are invited to submit a Point of Pride as a way to amplify the strength of your program. We will be adding to this website regularly so check back often.
  • Narrative is written copy that supports and promotes a Core Message or Point of Pride. When creating a distinctive narrative for your department, college or program, watch for opportunities to align with our branded messaging.

We never stop. We are relentless, tenacious and transformative.


  • Colleges hear it all the time – liberal arts graduates also need some technical skills. STEM majors have to be able to better communicate and work in teams. Everybody could stand to learn some basic coding. At Boise State, we’ve built a new set of offerings to tackle these concerns. Business skills for non-business majors, computer programming, negotiating, turning creativity into innovation, these and many more courses are offered through our Bridge to Career program.

Points of Pride

  • Boise State University has set a new fall enrollment record (2019) with a total of 26,272 students. The number marks a nearly 3 percent increase over fall 2018, and represents an almost 19 percent increase over the past five years. The university also welcomed the largest first-year class in school history for the fourth year in a row — there are 3,027 first-time students enrolled at Boise State this year, up 5 percent from last year. This first-year class includes 1,630 Idaho residents, a number that has climbed 23.2 percent over the past five years.
  • Boise State University is now a doctoral university with “high research activity” according to the nation’s premier college classification system. Idaho’s largest public university, which was bumped into the overall doctoral research class in 2016, now joins the University of Idaho and Idaho State University in the second-highest research category in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The Idaho State Board of Education recently approved Boise State’s 12th doctoral degree, in biomedical engineering, which joins other transdisciplinary advanced degrees targeted at Idaho industry and community needs. They include biomolecular science; ecology, evolution and behavior; materials science and engineering; computing; education; geosciences; public policy and administration and more. Some 350 students are enrolled in Ph.D. and other doctoral programs at Boise State (Jan. 2019).
  • Boise State University’s College of Education is among the top 30 public universities on the U.S. News and World Report 2020 best graduate schools list. The college has climbed in rankings every year for the last six years. The College of Education offers two doctoral programs, two educational specialist degrees, 14 master’s degrees and 13 graduate certificate programs training Idaho’s future teachers and educational leaders.
  • Boise State’s College of Business and Economics ranked 127 out of 220 national institutions for its part-time MBA program, jumping more than 40 rankings from its previous year’s ranking of 168.
  • Boise State University has been called one of the 20 “Rising Stars” in the world best positioned to challenge the higher education establishment on a global scale.
  • After nearly $400 million in capital development, the university now boasts state-of-the-art multidisciplinary buildings, high-tech classrooms, clean rooms and laboratories, and cutting-edge facilities for the arts, business and economics, engineering, science, public policy and more.

We seek today’s answers and tomorrow’s questions. We are creative, inquisitive and adventurous.


  • Located on the west end of campus along Capitol Boulevard, the Center for the Visual Arts is a work of art in itself. The $48 million building brings all of the university’s visual art programs – history of art and visual culture, art metals, art education, ceramics, graphic design, illustration, photography, printmaking, sculpture, drawing and painting – together under one roof. It also features public art galleries and, soon, the World Museum, a high-tech, high-touch immersive space designed to bring virtual and experimental arts experiences to Boise State and the community.
  • Talented, highly motivated students are drawn to the personalized attention of Boise State Honors College, which brings together more than 900 outstanding students each year from every major, so class sizes are smaller and provide dynamic interactions between students and faculty.
  • Living-Learning Communities at Boise State create natural connections between the classroom and daily life. Students can enjoy all the advantages of living on campus with the added benefit of being neighbors with those who share the same academic goals and interests.
  • The College of Innovation and Design is about nurturing new ideas – born out of the best faculty, student, and community input to ensure the growth and value of a Boise State education. From new cross-disciplinary majors to new courses designed to build skills employers demand, to re-imagining the future of a university, CID is looking to incubate the most innovative and exciting ideas facing Boise State and higher education today.
  • Boise State’s collaboration with Harvard Business School’s HBX program connects Boise State students to a global learning community. This 9-credit hybrid course combines online content with a local, weekly class. Upon successful completion of the final exam, students will earn the Credential of Readiness from HBX and Harvard Business School. The program is offered through Boise State’s College of Innovation and Design.

Points of Pride

  • Boise State University has been named one of the most innovative national universities in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Five trailblazing, early-career faculty in the Boise State College of Engineering were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards in 2020, totaling more than $2.5 million to conduct research on pressing issues. Boise State earned the highest number of NSF CAREER awards in Idaho for the year. CAREER awards are the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious early-career awards. They are distinct in that selected faculty must serve as academic role models in research and education and present integrated research and educational plans.
  • Expenditures for research projects at Boise State University reached an all-time high of more than $41 million in fiscal year 2018 – an 18 percent increase over the previous year and impressive 64 percent increase since fiscal year 2014, according to data tracked by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Higher Education Research and Development survey.
    • Boise State joins fellow western universities including Stanford, Cal Tech, University of Washington and UCLA on this year’s list. It is Boise State’s first time on the Most Innovative list, and just the second year Boise State has been categorized as a “National University,” which came on the heels of its emergence in 2015 as a doctoral research university in the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education.
    • Boise State is tied for 45 on the 2019 list. The list is compiled of responses by top college officials from around the country who nominate universities “making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.”
  • The College of Innovation and Design (CI+D) was created to serve as a catalyst for Boise State University, a model for the higher education industry, and a partner to selected external ventures looking for visionary university partners. During the 2016-2017 academic year, 750 students took at least one course offered by CI+D.
  • In 2016-2017, 450 CI+D students pursued degrees or certificates in our Gaming, Interactive Media and Mobile major, our Leadership program and our just-launched Design Ethnography certificate.
  • Boise State students can choose from more than 200 areas of study in seven academic colleges – including the nation’s only master’s degree in raptor biology.
  • Boise State offers a comprehensive internship program with more than 1,300 students participating yearly in internships throughout the state and beyond.

Our focus is students. We are distinctive, nimble and responsive.


  • Boise State University’s College of Engineering has been recognized for its dedication to promoting diversity and awarded the Bronze Award for the 2019 ASEE Diversity Recognition Program by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The Bronze Award is the highest level that was conferred during 2019 and distinguishes colleges who are among the nation’s leaders in inclusive excellence.
  • Boise State’s Bridge to Career program is open to all majors and allows students to add value to their degree by gaining practical skills in everything from entrepreneurship to building mobile apps, to the art of negotiation.
  • Our students enjoy access to some of the world’s leaders in their fields, to state-of-the-art research opportunities and learning laboratories, and to campus facilities and academic support designed to ensure they achieve their graduation goals on time and on budget. At Boise State, there is a campus-wide willingness to change for the better.
  • Boise State University is continually expanding research opportunities for undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students, knowing these experiences have been shown to boost success at all levels regardless of their chosen career path.
  • Boise State University is one of five universities in the nation being recognized for innovative efforts to help students stay in college and complete their degrees. As part of its ongoing efforts to increase degree completion, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) announced Boise State University, Colorado State University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Texas at Austin, and Western Michigan University as finalists for its 2017 Project Degree Completion Award. The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward institutions that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.

Points of Pride

  • Boise State University recent graduate Elena Gallina has been named a Rhodes Scholar. The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world. Applicants come from more than 320 American colleges and universities. One of 32 people chosen for the award this year, Gallina joins students and recent graduates from universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, MIT and Johns Hopkins.
  • In spring 2020, two Boise State University students were awarded the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship — setting a record both for Boise State and the state of Idaho for the most Truman Scholars in a single year. Created by Congress in 1975, the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation is a living memorial designed to support future generations who answer the call to public service leadership.  Students Jackson Blackwell, majoring in economics and political science, and David Shin, majoring in economics and physics, were chosen for the nationally competitive scholarship for their outstanding leadership potential, academic excellence and commitment to careers in public service.
  • Boise State University and inaugural partner CapEd Credit Union are rolling out a unique program in 2018 that will enable more than 75,000 Idaho-based credit union members to pay a monthly subscription rate for online college courses, allowing them to earn a college degree or certificate at a significant cost savings over traditional tuition. The new program, known as Boise State Passport to Education, will provide students individualized academic advising and student success coaching in a high-quality, affordable online degree program. Students pursuing their bachelor’s degree can concentrate coursework in a variety of academic areas that match their career and life goals.
  • Boise State has increased its overall number of annual graduates to nearly 4,200, up from 3,052 in 2008-2009. That includes 3,141 bachelor’s degree recipients — well above the 60 percent benchmark of 2,986. Today, 58,714 graduates of Boise State University live in Idaho — some 19,000 more than in 2008-2009.
  • Boise State University’s College of Education is ranked among the top 50 public universities on the US News and World Report 2019 best graduate schools list. The college has climbed in rankings every year for the last five years. The college climbed 3 spots in overall ranking to No. 54, and is No. 43 of ranked public universities. This ranking is the highest to date for the college and puts it in the top 3 in the Northwest, the top 3 in the Intermountain West and the top 15 in the West.
  • We’ve become Idaho’s largest graduate school through record-setting growth. A recent study showed that Boise State is one of just three universities in the nation that have ranked in the top 5 percent of graduate school growth in both of the past two decades.
  • Home to more than 900 students, the five-story, $40 million Honors College and Sawtooth Hall includes Honors-dedicated living and learning spaces, as well as housing for other students, a dining venue, classrooms and spaces designed to boost the student experience on campus. The 236,000-square-foot building is located in the center of campus on University Drive across the street from the Student Union Building.
  • Boise State has seen a 10-fold increase in sorority and fraternity membership since 2010. Our Greek system is focused on academics and service and last year every chapter posted higher GPAs than the university average.
  • A recent Boise State scholarship campaign raised more than $52 million, double the goal. It was supported by 17,819 donors.

Our trajectory is unrivaled, our outlook is unlimited.


  • We are a top choice for students from around the West and beyond. As the Chronicle of Higher Education has said, Boise State University is “demonstrably on the move.”
  • Boise State has significantly revamped the undergraduate experience to make sure students are more career-ready when they graduate. We’ve redesigned core classes and other offerings to focus on building the skills students need to succeed, including problem-solving, communication, innovation, teamwork, ethics and diversity.

Points of Pride

  • Writer Emily Ruskovich, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing, has won the 2019 International Dublin Literary Award for her novel “Idaho.” The award, given by the Dublin, Ireland city council, comes with a prize of 100,000 euros. It is the largest prize for a single novel published in English. Ruskovich is the fourth American author to win the prize in its 24-year history.
  • Boise State University’s official enrollment for the fall 2018 semester is 25,540 — an increase of 5.7 percent over the previous year.
  • After a decade of investing nearly $400 million in new facilities across campus, the university continues to find innovative ways to enhance the student experience.

We envision new connections between the university and the region we serve every day.


  • Boise State University is empowering graduates with the skills and experiences they need to be successful after graduation. Built around the idea that the job itself makes for a great classroom, Boise State’s new Work U program is an educational, cooperative learning opportunity that allows students to earn three academic credits while working in a part-time professional position.
  • Industry leaders have credited Boise State University and its programs as leading drivers in their decisions to move to or expand in Idaho’s largest city. Recently, at a summit on innovation sponsored by AT&T, then-Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman credited the university for helping grow talent in emerging technologies like cybersecurity and augmented reality.
  • When Idaho’s growing software industry came to Boise State with an urgent need for more developers, we reacted the best way we know how. We changed. Boise State is now bringing computer science students within steps of the very companies clamoring to hire them as interns and full-time, highly paid technology workers.

Points of Pride

  • Boise State, Idaho’s largest public university, drove $667.2 million of the state’s economy in fiscal year 2015 and created 6,987 jobs across the state, according to a report being compiled by Tripp Umbach, a leading economic analysis group that has completed more than 150 similar studies in the past 20 years for universities and health care organizations.
  • Boise State graduates around 4,000 students each year and is committed to fostering mutually beneficial relationships with our partners in business and industry.
  • Since the program began, Boise State has offered service-learning courses to over 33,000 students. Annually, it impacts over 160 classes, 44 departments, and 100 community partners. In total students and faculty have contributed over $13 million to the community through their Service-Learning.
  • Boise State is located in one of the fastest growing high-tech cities in the nation and home to several corporate headquarters, state and federal offices, medical centers and media outlets. The city has garnered national recognition from U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Inc. for being a great place to live, work and study, and has been dubbed one of the hottest cities for entrepreneurs. With stats like these, it’s easy to see why more than 46,000 graduates have chosen to live in the Treasure Valley after earning their degree from Boise State.
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