You’ll love it here.
We’re not just a great college. We’re a great college in an amazing college town.
If you’re imagining vast cornfields, rolling hills, and the guzzling sound of giant John Deere harvesters, well, forget everything you’re imagining. Here, in the middle of America’s heartland, is Iowa City. A lively, cosmopolitan, pedestrian-friendly small town that is bustling with arts, culture, restaurants, music, and Big Ten sports. All with a downtown that’s practically in our backyard.
It just so happens that Iowa City is also a great place to live, with phenomenal access to health care, public schools, and housing options. Iowa City, like Tippie itself, is a hidden gem. In fact, it’s ranked #3 best college town in America by The Fiscal Times.
Life in Iowa City
Walk from class to the downtown shopping district, where everyone you know and everything you need is a few steps away.
Grab your next meal where up-and-coming chefs meet age-old institutions in Iowa City’s vibrant culinary scene.
Join 70,000 fellow Hawkeye fans at Kinnick Stadium to cheer on the Hawkeyes, one of 24 Division 1 teams on campus.
Arts & culture
Stroll through homegrown artist wares, sample gourmet grilled cheese, screen an indie film, and tap your toes to the blues at IC’s downtown festivals.
Get inspired by great minds in the only UNESCO City of Literature in the U.S. Our world-famous Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumni have won 12 Pulitzer Prizes.
Catch acts like Matisyahu, Lena Dunham, and the Bolshoi Ballet at this vaudeville-era playhouse turned performance venue.
See indie rock, electronica, and hip-hop artists at the Blue Moose Tap House, one of Iowa City’s many live music hotspots.
Hear from world-renowned authors at this reading series broadcasted from Prairie Lights, named a top 10 bookstore by National Geographic.
Take in Jackson Pollock’s largest painting, “Mural,”* at the UI Museum of Art—a collection that includes work by Grant Wood.
Work out, float on the lazy river, or climb a rock wall at the #3 most amazing student rec center, according to Best College Reviews.
Skate down the Iowa River Corridor Trail to Terry Trueblood, where you can launch a kayak or paddleboard on the lake.
Iowa City is home to 42 parks and natural areas, and living here means you'll have a 99.4% chance of living within a half-mile of green space and open area.
For upperclassmen and graduate students, there are a plethora of options, from high-rise apartments to quaint cottages on quiet, tree-lined streets. Lease a room on your own or grab a five-bedroom apartment with your BFFs—it’s up to you. Iowa City is student-friendly, so you’ll find options to fit any budget. For more about leasing, visit Off-campus housing.
A perk of having campus smack-dab in the middle of the city: getting where you need to go is easy. Between the UI’s free Cambus and public transit in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty, nearly every neighborhood is on the bus line. Hit "snooze" without missing your bus—get real-time info on the eBongo mobile app. Coming from a big metro? Our idea of “traffic” is waiting through more than one cycle at a stoplight. You’re welcome.
Is there a doctor in the house? When you live here, the answer is usually yes. Having great health care in your backyard is a relief when you move. Our city earns a gold star on that front. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is a nationally ranked teaching hospital, steps from the business campus. Patients from around the Midwest come for top-notch care from over 1,600 doctors. So when you need a physician, you’ll find easy access to the best.
Schools and child care
Iowa City comes with stellar education for the under-18 set, too. The district has 20 elementary schools, three junior highs, and two (soon to be three) high schools. The high schools rank in the top 5 statewide, and the district’s ACT scores are well above the state and national average. Learn more.
Child care options are extensive, too, from day-care centers and Montessori to nannies and in-home providers. Check out the Iowa City Moms Blog and their fantastic Guide to Child Care in Iowa City. For student parents, the UI offers funding to offset the cost of child care.
*Jackson Pollock, “Mural” (detail), 1943, oil and casein on canvas, 7’ 11” x 19’ 10”, Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1959.6, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Reproduced with permission from the University of Iowa.