UNI is located in the city of Cedar Falls, in the heartland of the United States. Situated on the banks of the Cedar River in northeast Iowa, the Cedar Falls-Waterloo metropolitan area (population 110,000) provides the benefits of urban life in a small-city setting.

Cedar Falls is centrally located between Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Kansas City and St. Louis. The nearby municipal airport in Waterloo is only a 10-minute drive from the UNI campus.

The Cedar Falls/Waterloo community offers a wide range of opportunities that make it an inviting and nurturing place for students and their families:

  • Art galleries and museums
  • Theatrical and musical performances
  • Places of worship, including Christian churches, a Jewish synagogue, and Islamic centers
  • Movie theatres and a variety of restaurants
  • Major shopping centers, as well as hundreds of individual stores, including ethnic grocery stores
  • Elementary, middle and high schools within a short distance from campus
  • Parks and nature reserves featuring hiking, biking, boating and cross-country skiing trails
  • Evening entertainment establishments for social activities and dancing


In a review of crime statistics on all U.S. campuses, UNI was found to be one of the 50 safest schools.

The UNI/Cedar Falls community was also named the safest of 467 campus communities in the nation by Crime at College: The Student Guide to Personal Safety.

Weather and Climate

Iowa experiences four distinct seasons each year and students should be prepared for all types of weather. At the start of the fall semester in August it is usually quite warm. The weather gradually cools as fall turns to winter, when you can expect cold and windy weather with snow. The weather begins to warm up in March and by semester’s end, students are ready for a hot and sunny summer.

  Mean high Mean low
Winter, Dec. 21-March 20 -2.5 °C -12.8 °C
Spring, March 21-June 20 11.3 °C 5.6 °C
Summer, June 21-Sept. 20 24 °C 19.5 °C
Fall, Sept. 21-Dec. 20 13 °C 6.4 °C