Measuring Colleges' Impact on the Student Experience

The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) seeks to better understand student encounters with religious, spiritual, and worldview diversity across the spectrum of American higher education. As colleges and universities increasingly seek to engage religiously diverse students, actionable data and empirically-driven decision making are more important than ever before. 

IDEALS helps ensure that institutions have the knowledge base necessary to set a meaningful agenda toward this important aspect of diversity. Findings will be used by institutions and practitioners alike, helping campuses understand key indicators to track, identify interfaith initiatives that are most effective, and pinpoint high impact practices for further exploration. 

The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) is currently being administered at approximately 122 campuses, comprising a diverse and representative sample of colleges and universities. 


The Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) is part of a national study examining how undergraduate students from across the country engage with religious, non-religious, and spiritual diversity while in college. IDEALS is unique because it captures information about the student experience across four years, which in many cases encompasses students’ entire college careers. This research design makes it possible to examine how students’ interfaith diversity experiences and attitudes change over time, and to pinpoint programs, activities, and other environmental factors that foster meaningful interactions with diverse others.

The other unique aspect of IDEALS is the scope of the research study. Administered at 122 institutions nationwide, IDEALS makes it possible to compare the experiences of students from different institution types—public and private, large and small, secular and religiously affiliated. It is the first of its kind to address U.S. college students’ engagement with interfaith diversity in such an expansive and nuanced manner.

Meet our Survey Partners

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Project Manager

Research & Support