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5 Study Spots That Aren’t the Library

Midterms are here, professors are constantly giving out tests and assignments and the first study place people think to go is to the library. This time of semester, the library is ususually full, especially on the first floor near the Food for Thought Café, so it can be hard to find a place to study as well as a place that has your perfect noise level.

Some people like noises in the background while studying and others don’t, so here are some other study spots on Iowa’s campus that you should definitely study in before you take that test with rated noise levels, one being the quietest and five being the loudest.

Boyd Law Library, located at the Boyd Law School on the west side of campus is a hidden gem. The library is an extremely quiet study spot for students, open to the general public, has cubicles for individuals to study in and generally not bustling with any people. The only problem is that no food is allowed in the library portion and it can be a little difficult to find the library within the law school. If you need a place for concentration, though, this is the spot. 

Noise level – 1/5

Another gem we have on the west side of campus is Art Building West.  There’s a library on the second floor where it’s very quiet and covered by all glass, so you can see the serene views Iowa City has to offer. On the first floor there’s a café kiosk where you can purchase snacks and they sometimes give out free samples! Only con: you might get distracted by the scenery and have to Instagram a picture.

Noise level – 1/5

Want a place closer to the east side residence halls? The Pomerantz Business Library, located on the third and fourth floor of the Pappajohn Building, is your place. There are cubicles there for you to sit and study in and work on projects without being told to shush. There are a lot of computers that are available as well. Pat’s Dinner is on the first floor and takes flex swipes. Pat’s has walking tacos, pizza, sandwiches and salads. Your only con: distraction from the attractive business students when they dress up for interviews.

Noise level – 2/5

An underrated place to study on the east side of campus is the Iowa Memorial Union, aka IMU. While everyone goes to the library, the IMU gets overlooked. You have multiple places within the building where you can do work, and multiple floors you can go to. There’s also the River Room café where you can use flex meals. The only problem here is there are a lot of events held and a place of constant traffic, so if you get too easily distracted maybe somewhere else will do.

Noise level -3/5

If you’re a coffee and food fanatic when you’re studying or doing homework, your safest bet is The Java House located on 211½ E. Washington Street, on the same block as the Englert Theatre. There’s lots of studying space between the Java house and Heirloom Salad Company and multiple food and drink options (because we’re all hungry college students!). The only problem here is that there’s a lot of traffic and a lot of people talking over drinks and food, which echoes off their hardwood floors, and the sounds of the milk frothier going off, but some people are into that.

Noise level – 5/5 


Not feeling any one of those places? You can always go to tutor.uiowa.edu for additional study spaces. 


Amy is currently a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Mass Communication, minor in political science with certificates in Event Planning and Entrepreneurial Management and HC UIowa's Trouble Maker. Her dream job is to work in Public Relations or Event Planning and plans to also become a lawyer, like the 9 years old Amy planned. Whenever she's not writing articles, she's usually online shopping, binging on Netflix, or laughing at her own jokes. Midwestern Prep with the worst luck in the world, you can keep track of her worst case scenarios on Twitter.
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