Best college and university iPhone apps

While there are thousands of applications available for the iPhone, there are surprisingly few dedicated to promoting the interests of higher education institutions. And among those institutions willing to design, build and publish their own app, the degree of quality varies greatly.

Here’s some of the best:

Missouri State University

Main Navigation:
News | Map | Go Maroon! | iTunesU

What I Liked:
The news, map and iTunesU features are all pretty straight forward, providing exactly what you’d expect. But what I liked most about the Missouri State application was Go Maroon!. This section provided information about how to download university ringtones, links to various social media platforms, and 23 different pieces of university-designed digital wallpaper. It also included detailed instructions as to how to participate in the university’s Bearwear, Bearwhere? game.

What I Disliked:
Ringtones could not be downloaded directly from the application. All downloads send the user out of the app and into iTunes.

University of Nebraska

Main Navigation
Chant | Videos | Pics | Share

What I Liked:
This app was created by Straxis Technology and is filled with information pertinent to both prospective and current students. In addition to the navigation as listed above, the app includes 11 categories of information through a rotating icon menu — References, Polls, Campus Map, Events, Campus News, Athletics, Twitter, Multimedia, Bulletins, Weather, Links. It’s a pretty slick design and the icons are easy to read.

What I Disliked:
There’s almost too much information. The app takes a pretty broad focus and might benefit from a more targeted menu. It doesn’t help that the rotating icon menu is extremely sensitive to the touch.

College of Charleston

Main Navigation
Welcome | Schedule a Tour | Self-Guided Tour

What I Liked:
The College of Charleston app is clearly geared for external audiences visiting its South Carolina campus. It uses current location to guide the tour and offers details, images, video and map of each location. The videos star students of the university, are well put together and put a great personal touch on an impersonal touring method.

What I Disliked:
The welcome text could use a little sprucing up to entice readers to want more. Here’s an example of what’s up there now: “In 1770, even before the nation was founded, the framework for a university was established in Charleston, South Carolina.”

The College of Saint Rose

Main Navigation
Undergrads | Grads

What I Liked:
Everything. I couldn’t imagine a better college iPhone app than the one designed by the College of Saint Rose. It’s awesome. This app has it all: It’s easy to navigate, provides tons of information, includes a call to action and presents it all within a pretty cool design. The two greatest features, in my opinion, are the “How to Apply” section for both grads and undergrads, as well as the scholarship calculator. Enter your ACT/SAT scores and high school GPA and the app will tell you what kind of scholarships you could expect to receive for attending. Very sweet.

What I Disliked:

Loyola University Maryland

Main Navigation
Bus Schedules | College Town | eSuds | WLOY | Maps

What I Liked:
The design of this app isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s still incredibly functional, especially for current students of the university. The app clearly is geared toward those already attending and providing them with the daily information they may need to make college life just a little bit easier. Users can find where their next class is on a map, plan the best bus route to get there; and check the status of their clothes in the wash — all through the university app.

What I Disliked:
The design is minimal and there isn’t all that much to draw in prospective students.

University of Texas at Austin

Main Navigation
News | Maps | Directory | Multimedia | Events | Landmarks | Sports | Extras | Tower Talk

What I liked:
The app is well designed, well branded and does an excellent job at conveying what makes the University of Texas at Austin a special place. A dedicated section of “extras” provides Texas-related puzzles, songs and traditions — explaining the significance of the Tower, “Hook ‘em Horns,” and Bevo.

What I Dislike:
The news and “tower talk” sections were great, but I couldn’t really determine a difference in the content pushed through either.

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24 Responses to “Best college and university iPhone apps”

  1. Check out UVa’s that launched this week — pretty sweet — think it sets a new standard for college/university apps.

    September 1, 2010 at 7:11 pm
  2. Jose #

    University of Virginia and did a great job with that app introducing a first-ever augmented reality function for campus tours, etc. Pretty cool sports push notifications too just like ESPN. The Virginia App is a new standard, that’s for sure.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:10 pm
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