By 2021, the University of Arkansas will be recognized as one of the nation's top 50 public research universities with nationally ranked departments and programs throughout the institution.
- Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Founded: 1871
- Enrollment: 27,194 (Fall 2016)
- Average ACT: 26
- Average high school GPA: 3.68
- Mission: The mission of the University of Arkansas is to provide an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in a wide spectrum of disciplines; contribute new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research and creative activity; and provide service to academic/professional disciplines and society, all aimed at fulfilling its public land-grant mission to serve Arkansas and beyond as a partner, resource, and catalyst.
Founded in 1871 as a land-grant college and state university, the University of Arkansas established its campus on a hilltop overlooking the Ozark Mountains. There were few facilities and little money that first academic year, but the eight students and three faculty members who gathered for the first classes in January 1872 showed the same dedication to learning and commitment to excellence that has carried the University of Arkansas into the 21st century.
More than 140 years later, the university’s enrollment has passed 27,000, and its students represent all 50 states and 120 countries. The university is the state’s foremost partner and resource for education and economic development. It serves as the major provider of graduate-level instruction in Arkansas. And its public service activities reach every county in Arkansas, throughout the nation, and around the world.
The University of Arkansas has 10 colleges and schools offering more than 200 academic programs including bachelor’s degrees in 75 areas of study. The university maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1 that promotes personal attention and mentoring opportunities. Individual classes may range from a large general-lecture class of more than 400 to a focused special-topics class of 4 or 5 students. U of A students are given the tools and encouragement needed to excel. Over the last 15 years, Arkansas students have become Rhodes, Gates Cambridge, Madison, Marshall, Goldwater, Fulbright, Boren, Gilman and Truman scholars. More than 120 students have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.
Students pursue a broad spectrum of academic programs leading to baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees, not only in traditional disciplines within arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, but also in the core professional areas of agricultural, food and life sciences; architecture; business; education; engineering; nursing; human environmental sciences; and law.
Students may also pursue a wide range of graduate degrees, including the Master’s, the Educational Specialist, the Doctor of Education, and the Doctor of Philosophy.
As you make your way around campus, you’re sure to notice something unique about many of the sidewalks. Historic Senior Walk showcases the names of more than 175,000 University of Arkansas graduates, grouped by year of graduation starting with the Class of 1876. A long tradition in both time and mileage, it’s concrete proof of the university’s commitment to students.
You won’t be able to discover everything the university has to offer in a day, but here are a few attractions that you don’t want to miss.
- The Arkansas Union — A primary gathering place for more than 40 years, the Arkansas Union serves as a place for students to attend educational and cultural events, access campus resources, eat, study and just meet friends between classes. The facility offers a food court, fitness center, technology center, bank, post office, Razorback shop, art gallery, theatre and much more.
- Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center — The university's old Field House, in which such legendary performers as Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong and Peter, Paul and Mary have performed, was renovated recently into a 600-seat acoustically tuned performance hall. More than 200 musical concerts, operas and theatrical performances occur in the course of each year.
- Chi Omega Greek Theatre — The Chi Omega Greek Theatre, based on the designs of ancient Greece, is a popular place for concerts, pep rallies or just catching some rays between classes. Chi Omega, founded at the U of A in 1895 and now the largest women’s fraternity in the nation, donated the Greek Theatre in 1930.
- Fulbright Peace Fountain and Statue — These two impressive landmarks commemorate the legacy of the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, a graduate and former president of the University of Arkansas. Fulbright famously helped create the Fulbright Scholarship Program, the largest international exchange program of its kind. Internationally renowned architect E. Fay Jones, a U of A graduate and former dean of the School of Architecture, designed the Peace Statue.
- Old Main — This architectural centerpiece of campus opened for classes in 1875, making it the oldest building at the University of Arkansas. Visit the restored classrooms, take a closer look at the inner workings of the tower clock on the fourth floor and enjoy the shade of the trees on the Old Main Lawn.
- The Inn at Carnall Hall — Built in 1905, the first women’s residence hall on campus is now a historic inn. The Inn at Carnall Hall is also home to the award-winning Ella’s Restaurant and Lambeth Lounge, the perfect spot for a little R&R on campus.
- The Fine Arts Center — Designed by renowned architect Edward Durell Stone, the Fine Arts Center at the University of Arkansas was the first complex to integrate the fine arts — theatre, music and art — in one building with the intention that students from each discipline would be inspired by each other. The center houses the University of Arkansas Theatre, the Fine Arts Gallery and the Stella Boyle Smith Concert Hall.
- Silas Hunt Memorial Sculpture — Near Old Main, you’ll find this tribute to the first black student to integrate a major Southern public university since Reconstruction. A veteran of World War II, Hunt was admitted without litigation into the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1948.
- Pi Beta Phi Centennial Gate — A new landmark, the gate serves as a formal entrance to the university’s historic core. The striking entranceway was a gift, commemorating the first 100 years of Pi Beta Phi on campus.
- Il Porcellino — This wild boar statue with fountain is a replica of the original Il Porcellino, in Florence, Italy. The Italian title of the statue means “piglet” and comes from the local Florentine nickname for the statue. One of many Razorback tributes on campus!
- Razorback Stadium/Hall of Champions Museum —Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium is one of the finest collegiate football facilities in the nation and home to the Jerry Jones/Jim Lindsey Hall of Champions Museum, located in the Frank Broyles Athletic Center. Bud Walton Arena houses two more athletic museums.
- Walmart On Campus — The nation’s first Walmart on Campus is also the smallest Walmart in the country. It’s located in the Garland Center, which also includes the U of A Bookstore as well as boutiques, salons and dining options.
The campus features many other landmarks and noteworthy facilities including the Clinton House, the small brick home on campus in which future President Bill Clinton and future Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton lived while both served on the U of A’s law school faculty.
Fayetteville is routinely considered among the country’s finest college towns, and the area is regularly ranked as one of the best places in the United States to live, raise a family, work, play and retire. A thriving city of 77,000, Fayetteville is located in the hilly northwest corner of the state and has been named one of the top 5 cities in America the last two years by U.S. News & World Report.
Quickly gaining recognition as a nationwide center for arts and culture, the region is home to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. This world-class museum features a permanent collection of art spanning five centuries, from the Colonial era to the current day. The collection includes several works considered masterpieces. Crystal Bridges also offers miles of wilderness trails and a unique dining experience. If that’s not enough, admission is free. Another major cultural amenity, the Walton Arts Center, is located just two blocks from campus, where Broadway touring shows appear regularly.
Dickson Street, one of the state’s most popular entertainment districts, is also just a short walk from campus. A part of Fayetteville’s downtown historic district, Dickson Street offers a variety of restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and clubs unique to the area. Fayetteville’s historic square, College Avenue and the area around the Northwest Arkansas Mall are also great places for shopping and dining. The Fayetteville Farmers' Market, an area tradition since 1974, was recently named one of “America’s Favorite Farmers' Markets.”
Nearby Rogers offers the region’s newest open-air shopping experience with many of the nation’s most popular shops and eateries. And Eureka Springs, a Victorian mountain village known as the “Little Switzerland of the Ozarks,” offers more than 100 specialty shops and 70 restaurants about 45 minutes from campus.
Arkansas is a natural wonder of forests, mountains and lakes framed by picturesque rivers and streams. Some of the nation’s best outdoor amenities and most spectacular hiking trails are within a short drive of campus. Devil's Den State Park is a short distance south of Fayetteville. Beaver Lake is 30 minutes to the northeast. Hawksbill Crag and the Buffalo National River, America’s first National River and one of the few remaining undammed rivers in the lower 48 states, are an hour's drive to the east. The Razorback Greenway, a 36-mile bicycle route, runs from campus north to Bella Vista. Even closer to campus, Fayetteville’s Botanical Garden of the Ozarks offers another outdoor option.
Northwest Arkansas is one of the most economically stable regions in the nation and serves as the base of operations for Walmart, Tyson Foods Inc. and J.B. Hunt Transport Services. Because of their presence, many other corporations have established primary or secondary headquarters in the region. Their close proximity to the U of A campus, along with their executives’ and employees’ active involvement in university life, offers students and faculty exceptional opportunities for research partnerships, internships, and post-graduation employment.
The Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport has direct flights to most major metropolitan areas, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York, Newark and Orlando; and, Fayetteville is within a day’s drive of several larger metropolitan areas, including Dallas, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis and Tulsa.