When choosing a university to go to, many students get stuck between picking a university located in a bustling city, or one where they can make the most of the great outdoors. Why not have the best of both worlds? At Weber State University (WSU), located in Ogden, Utah, students get to enjoy a fun and exciting city life while taking in the panoramic views and fresh mountain air of the Wasatch range, part of the majestic Rocky Mountains, becoming part of Ogden’s “mountain-metro” community.
Covering more than 500 acres, the WSU campus houses 63 buildings, with residence halls that can accommodate more than 1,000 students. The university is home to more than 26,000 full- and part-time students who come from different backgrounds and are at various stages in their life, creating a learning environment that is as unique as it is diverse.
At WSU, students will find an atmosphere where they are encouraged to get involved and their contributions are valued. Personal attention is the hallmark of a WSU education – with a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1, the university ensures that it offers attentive, comprehensive academic guidance for all its students.
Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, WSU offers more than 250 undergraduate degree programs – the most two- and four-year degree offerings in the state. Additionally, the university offers 14 graduate degree programs, several professional certificate programs, online courses, and the Early College Program, which helps high school students get a head start in college.
Of its various distinguished colleges and departments, the John B. Goddard School of Business & Economics is among the university’s most outstanding – the school consistently makes the list alongside the country’s other prestigious business schools in the Princeton Review’s “Best Business Schools”.
Goddard offers a range of undergraduate programs, from Accounting, Economics, and Finance to Management, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management, as well as its renowned Master’s programs in Business Administration, Taxation, and Accounting. Students surveyed by the Princeton Review rated the school highly for academic experience, as well as how accessible and engaging its faculty is.
To supplement the classroom experience, the school offers students the opportunity to participate in learning experiences that can truly be life-changing, such as in-depth individual research projects, internship placements, the chance to open a start-up, and overseas study experiences at partner universities.
The school is known for its emphasis on developing professionals and career-oriented students, with degree programs grounded in WSU’s liberal arts tradition and focused on synthesis of theory across disciplines, application of theory to practice, and enhancement of professional skills. Though the school is primarily a regional institution, it prides itself in equipping students with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the global economy, with an impressive 96 percent of Goddard graduates securing employment by the time of graduation.
But there’s more to the student life than simply going to lectures or studying in the library. For students looking to explore the world around them and have great experiences, Ogden is the perfect city to do so.
An exciting range of outdoor sports
The mountains and rivers near Ogden offer an array of exhilarating opportunities for lovers of outdoor sports, like skiing, rock climbing, and kayaking.
The quartzite cliffs above Ogden’s foothills provide a variety of rock climbing routes, while the mountains east of the city feature three downhill ski areas: Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Wolf Mountain.
Kayaking is a popular sport on sections of the Ogden and Weber Rivers, featuring a challenging kayak park, which lies on the Weber River in the western portion of the city. The river also offers blue-ribbon certified fishing and nearby reservoirs are used for a number of water sports.
With all the outdoor sports activities available, it’s no wonder that the Wall Street Journal called Ogden “the center of outdoor sports gear in the U.S.” In 2002, the city gained international attention during the 2002 Winter Olympics Games, when several events were held at Snowbasin and the Weber County Ice Sheet.
Appreciate Mother Nature’s bounty
For those who wish to savor Mother Nature at a more leisurely pace, the city is within driving distance from six national parks, including the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Yellowstone National Park.
There are also a couple of scenic drives with picturesque views, such as the Ogden River Scenic Byway, which takes you up Ogden Canyon, along Ogden River, and through to Ogden Valley; while the Trapper’s Loop Road Scenic Backway leads you over rolling hills and fields, and ascends quickly toward the Snowbasin Ski Resort, offering a great view of the northern Wasatch range.
An extensive system of trails, immediately adjacent to the city’s eastern edge, gives residents and visitors immediate access to the foothills of the Wasatch range and are used for hiking, running, mountain biking, and sometimes snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Snowbasin and Weber County’s North Fork Park are well-known among regular cross-country skiers.
If you’re one for window-shopping or browsing stores, Ogden boasts everything from upscale boutiques and malls to charming souvenir shops, fine antique stores and cutting-edge art galleries. For a bit of local flavor, head into downtown Ogden, where historic 25th Street is lined with unique independent shops manned by friendly owners and staff always ready to strike up a conversation.
Newgate Mall is home to over 85 well-known stores, while a diverse lineup of big box stores can be found just south of the mall along Riverdale Road. The Junction is another option – the open-air lifestyle village in the heart of Ogden’s downtown includes a bowling alley, movie megaplex, glow in the dark golf, electric bumper cars, billiards, an arcade, indoor surfing, indoor wind tunnel and a 55-foot climbing wall, along with a state-of-the-art health club and two restaurants.
Culture and the arts
For the culturally-inclined, Ogden has much to offer: it is a satellite venue of the famous Sundance Film Festival, and is also home to the First Friday Art Stroll (held on the first Friday of every month); the Ogden Arts Festival; the Harvest Moon Festival; and the Historic 25th Street Farmers & Art Market.
Students can wander through museums, browse original works at one of fifteen independent galleries, enjoy local artists’ work at local eateries, or take in number of events at any one of the city’s many theaters, such as a symphony, light opera, film festival, live theater or dance performance.
Besides that, the city has been the filming location for several popular films – such as Con Air, The Sandlot, and Air Bud – and TV shows, like Everwood.
If students wish to travel further on, Ogden is also conveniently located 35 miles north of Utah’s lively capital, Salt Lake City, and is a 30-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport.
This article was sponsored by Weber State University (WSU), WSU prides itself on its quality teaching, its commitment to meeting the needs of students at every stage of life and its ongoing service to the community – a community they have been part of for more than 125 years.They offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs and 11 graduate degrees. Online courses, distance learning, independent study and evening classes are offered at times and places to meet the complex needs of students balancing family and work responsibilities. An Early College program allows high school students to enter college early and take WSU classes for credit. Their vision is to be the national model for a dual-mission university that integrates learning, scholarship and community. No matter what your educational goals are, they can help make them happen at WSU.