Founded in 1874 in the town of Elko, the University of Nevada was the state's first institution of higher education, a land-grant university established to create and sustain agricultural and other academic programs to serve the state of Nevada. In 1887, the University was moved to a 250-acre site just north of downtown Reno, where the new campus was modeled after Thomas Jefferson's design for the University of Virginia. The University remained the state's only institution of higher education for 75 years. Throughout its history, the University has served as an important resource for the State of Nevada, through its campus-based teaching and research, Cooperative Extension, and through Extended Studies programs that offer evening-studies courses, independent learning, and schedule-friendly options to students across the state. University of Nevada, Reno also operates programs and research initiatives, such as agricultural experiment stations, laboratories, medical facilities, and other resources, that help extend the impact of the University's work to all of Nevada's counties.
The University offers over 180 degree programs, including masters-level and doctoral programs in the Graduate School, and serves a growing number of students through its Extended Studies program of on-line and alternately-scheduled courses. The University consistently ranks in the top tier of "best national universities" as rated by U.S. News and World Report. Faculty and students are drawn to its attractive location on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada foothills, 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe and four hours from the San Francisco Bay Area. For additional information about the University of Nevada, Reno, please visit www.unr.edu.
Today the four-fold mission of University of Nevada, Reno is to: 1) prepare graduates to compete in a global environment through teaching and learning in high-quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees in the liberal arts, sciences, and selected professions in agriculture, engineering, health care, education, journalism, and business; 2) create new knowledge through basic and applied research, scholarship, and artistry, in strategically selected fields relevant to Nevada and the wider world; 3) improve economic and social development by engaging Nevada's citizens, communities, and governments; and 4) respect and seek to reflect the gender, ethnic, cultural, and ability/disability diversity of the citizens of Nevada in the university's academic and support programs, and in the composition of its faculty, administration, staff, and student body.
The University has a strong reputation for its student-centered education, committed and collegial faculty, and motivated, career-oriented students. All undergraduates at the University enroll in a Core Curriculum, which provides a classic liberal arts education at a fraction of the price of similar prestigious private programs. Students may also participate in the new Nevada Living and Learning Community Residence Hall which blends 9 academic programs with 320 students and includes classrooms and faculty offices, undergraduate research projects, service learning and internships or they can study in a foreign country through the University Studies Abroad Consortium, which was developed at the University 30 years ago. University of Nevada, Reno students participate in a vast array of cultural, social, and athletic activities on an informal and formal basis. The University sponsors a winning Division I athletics program that as of 2012 competes in the Mountain West Conference. Outside the classroom, students enjoy campus leadership and involvement opportunities in more than 200 clubs and organizations, an active intramural sports program, evening and weekend programs on campus and easy access to whitewater kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, rock climbing, and other activities. For more on student life at the University, see http://www.unr.edu/student-life.
The University of Nevada, Reno is one of the top 120 universities in America for funded research, according to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; it is a doctoral-granting research university ("high research activity"), and is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as "National University, Doctoral (Tier I)". Over the last decade, external funding for the University's programs has increased from $120 million to more than $150 million. The University has deep roots in the sciences, operates several research centers, and has many areas of research excellence, including the environmental sciences, renewable energy, molecular medicine, engineering, business, and health sciences. The University is in a unique location to study and research the many facets of Lake Tahoe and its environment, and it is a member of the National Geothermal Institute, a consortium of top geothermal schools. The University is renowned for its expertise in seismology, geology, geodesy and civil engineering with a world-class engineering laboratory that simulates earthquakes to test seismic stresses on large-scale structures.