Download PDF: About the University of Nevada, Reno
About the University of Nevada, Reno
The University of Nevada, Reno is a place of unexpected beauty and history, with an impressive breadth of academic programs and the state’s largest research portfolio. The University has an enrollment of 18,000 students.
A Place of Beauty and History: Founded in 1874 in Elko, Nev., as the state’s land-grant higher education institution, the University of Nevada moved to Reno in 1885. The University’s main campus is minutes away from downtown Reno’s Truckee River Whitewater Park and less than an hour away from Lake Tahoe and skiing. With the Sierra Nevada as its backdrop, the campus is designated as a state arboretum because of its wide variety of trees, shrubs and flowers. Its historic Quadrangle and surrounding original campus are designated as a Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. At the north end of the Quad sits the statue of John Mackay, a gift funded by the family of the famed Comstock Lode mining czar and created by Gutzon Borglum, the artist who carved Mount Rushmore. The family also funded the creation of the Mackay School of Mines, today the world-renowned Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.
Academic Breadth and Depth: The University offers nearly 170 degree programs from eight schools and colleges, including the University of Nevada School of Medicine. The University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education as a Comprehensive Doctoral institution. The range of academic specialties extends from environmental sciences – the University pioneered snow surveying and a method to measure the water content of snow at high elevations, for example – to renewable energy, molecular medicine, engineering, business and health sciences.
Notable Alumni: Notable Nevada graduates include famed authors Walter Van Tilburg Clark (“The Ox-Bow Incident”) and Robert Laxalt (“Sweet Promised Land”); noted higher education leaders Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, Susan Desmond-Hellman, chancellor of the University of San Francisco and John Etchemendy, provost of Stanford University; as well as NFL Hall of Famer Marion Motley, who helped break the color barrier in the National Football League in the 1940s. Six of Nevada’s governors graduated from the University, and the University has produced six Pulitzer Prize winners in journalism.
Building for the Future: Significant new facilities are helping shape the future of the campus and the state. Medical and nursing students study and learn together in the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building which opened fall 2011. Fall 2010 saw the opening of the Davidson Mathematics and Science Center and the Center for Molecular Medicine. Three more buildings form a hub for student socializing, engagement, leadership and learning. The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center is one of the most technologically advanced libraries in the country, encompassing all facets of the digital age in a single, multifunctional, exemplary facility. Next door is the Joe Crowley Student Union, a four-story center of campus life. Nearby is the Marguerite Wattis Petersen Athletic Academic Center.
Reach Beyond Campus: As a true statewide institution, the University’s Cooperative Extension programs and offices, agricultural experiment stations, laboratories and medical facilities bring programs and services to all Nevada counties. The University of Nevada Medical School extends teaching and research across the state and includes facilities in Reno and Las Vegas. The University also administers the University Study Abroad Consortium (USAC), offering study abroad programs in 25 countries.
Points of Pride:
- The University ranks in the top tier of “best national universities” by U.S. News and World Report.
- The University’s Master of Business Administration degree program is ranked in fourth in the nation by BusinessWeek and, as one of the most affordable, is recognized as an outstanding value.
- University students have established an increasingly high standard of accomplishment in national competitions. University teams have also won regional, national or world titles in recent years in the National Concrete Canoe Competition (civil engineering), Integrated Marketing Communications Competition (marketing and journalism), Mars Society’s University Rover Competition (mechanical/materials engineering), Micro-mouse (electrical engineering), debates competitions including the National Parliamentary Debate Association Championship Tournament and mining engineering competitions.
- The University’s talent in earthquake expertise is nationally recognized. Not only does Nevada have experts in seismology, geology, geodesy and civil engineering, the University has a world-class engineering laboratory that simulates earthquakes to test seismic stresses on large-scale structures and is home to the state’s seismological laboratory, which conducts innovative seismological research and provides important data in the wake of earthquake events.
- University researchers are part of a team of scientists whose work to save the world’s largest freshwater fish has been chronicled by National Geographic. Zeb Hogan, a National Geographic Explorer, conservation biologist and University researcher, is regularly featured on National Geographic Channel’s fish-focused “Hooked” television series.
- By its very proximity, the University is in a unique position to study and research the many facets of Lake Tahoe and its environment. Nevada researchers have studied everything from the lake’s watershed to the effects of wildfire on water clarity.
- In 2008, University researchers were chosen to head a team of scientists from across the Nevada System of Higher Education who have been charged to conduct a groundbreaking study on climate change in the state. The $15 million, five-year effort was made possible by the National Science Foundation.
- The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded the University a $1.2 million grant to develop and operate the National Geothermal Institute, a consortium of top geothermal schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, Stanford University, Oregon Institute of Technology and University of Utah.
- The University offered the first graduate degree in environmental literature, and the program has served as the model and inspiration for similar programs around the world.
- The University’s Early Childhood Autism Program, part of the psychology department’s highly recognized Behavior Analysis Program, is world-renowned for its successful treatment of autism and is one of only a handful of such university-based programs in the country.
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) was developed at the University. It has broad applicability and has been used to alleviate human suffering in a variety of ways, and is currently recognized by the American Psychological Association as a treatment for depression and chronic pain. Nevada psychology professor Steven Hayes was featured in TIME magazine for his work in establishing and promoting this “third wave” of behavioral therapy.
- The University’s Nevada Terawatt Facility specializes in experiments in the field of high energy density, lasers and plasma physics.
- The University has been named a National Merit Sponsor school for enrolling and retaining these scholars.
- The University is home to the Davidson Academy of Nevada, where profoundly gifted 11- to 17-year-olds study at the country’s only free, public specialized school for these students on a college campus.
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Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.
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