Nevada’s largest university, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – better known as UNLV – had a humble start in 1957 as an extension campus for the flagship UN Reno. Meeting in a high school, it took only a little more than a decade for UNLV to reach the same status as its mother institution, and subsequently to grow even larger. It was inevitable that, as Las Vegas became the state’s largest city, UNLV would take on a more crucial role in higher education for the city and state, and as Vegas has grown in respectability, UNLV has grown in reputation. Today UNLV is one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, and home to Nevada’s only dental and law schools, and high rankings for their business, writing, and music programs.
Academic ProgramsUNLV is a crucial part of life in Nevada. Home to the state’s only law school and only dental school, UNLV is quickly becoming a leader in all disciplines; the new UNLV School of Medicine is set to fill a major shortfall in medical care for the state when it opens in 2017. The Lee Law School has been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, earning top 75 status nationally and top 10 rankings for individual programs like legal writing and conflict resolution. UNLV’s status as a research university has been steadily growing as well, with patent applications, funding, and doctoral degrees up by large percentages in recent years.
While UNLV’s research ranking has grown, the university has kept traditional liberal arts and professional education central to its mission. Fitting Las Vegas’ reputation for entertainment, UNLV is also one of the nation’s foremost universities for hospitality, with the Harrah College of Hotel Administration ranked the best in the world by QS World University Rankings. UNLV is also a destination for the humanities, especially creative writing and music. With low tuition and a strong reputation in the region, UNLV is showing success – in the top 4 for lowest student debt, UNLV’s quality and affordability are a model for major public research institutions.
Student LifeRanked by U.S. News & World Report as the #2 most diverse student body in the nation, UNLV is the first university in Nevada to reach a 25% Hispanic/Latino population, and has been designated a Minority-Serving Institution by the US Department of Education. UNLV meets qualifications for a Hispanic-Serving, Asian-Serving, and Native American-Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, an extremely rare set of credentials that reflects Las Vegas and Nevada’s fascinating makeup. With more than 50 ethnic, cultural, and religious student-led organizations, few universities have made diversity more of a priority than UNLV.
The UNLV Runnin’ Rebels, of course, are one of the most prominent NCAA Division I men’s basketball teams in the nation, and varsity athletics are a major part of student life at UNLV. The university’s rivalry with sister institution, the University of Nevada Reno, and their Wolfpack football team, is called the Battle for Nevada, and is one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports. Of course, students find plenty to do in UNLV’s home city as well; it may have toned down in the 21st century, but Sin City still has no shortage of entertainments for young people, or shortage of job opportunities for graduates.