The University of Rhode Island is a public research, land and sea grant university located in Kingston, Rhode Island. Currently the only public institution in the state to offer the distinct educational opportunities of a major research university, the University of Rhode Island was originally chartered as an agricultural school in 1888. At the time of its founding, the Oliver Watson Farm was purchased for the school’s site and the old farmhouse – now restored – still stands to this day. In 1892 the school became known as the Rhode Island College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. Less than 20 years later the college’s program of study was revised and expanded and a new name, Rhode Island State College, was adopted in 1909. In 1951 the college achieved university status and changed its name once again to the University of Rhode Island by an act of the General Assembly.
Academic ProgramsThe University of Rhode Island’s mission is to be “committed to enriching the lives of its students through its land, sea, and urban grant traditions.” The University’s mission statement continues, “Our undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, research, and outreach serve Rhode Island and beyond. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni are united in one common purpose: to learn and lead together. Embracing Rhode Island’s heritage of independent thought, we value: Creativity and Scholarship; Diversity, Fairness, and Respect; Engaged Learning and Civic Involvement; Intellectual and Ethical Leadership.”
The University of Rhode Island is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and has been so since 1930. More than 80 majors are offered by the University through its several colleges and schools, including: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the College of Education and Professional Studies, the College of Engineering, the College of the Environment and Life Sciences, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, plus the Graduate School of Oceanography. A variety of graduate-level degree programs are also offered.
Student LifeThe University of Rhode Island has a total enrollment figure of nearly 17,000, including nearly 14,000 undergraduate students. Students hail from more than 40 states, districts, and territories as well as over 65 foreign nations and the male to female ratio is approximately 45% to 55%, respectively. Nearly 7,000 choose to live on campus; student housing is offered through more than two dozen residence halls, many of which are either recently renovated or brand new, some certified as environmentally “green”. Many of the University’s first-year students choose to live in Living and Learning Communities, which are designed to bring together students of a particular major, passion, or interest.
More than 120 student organizations are recognized by the University of Rhode Island, from groups centered on cycling and sailing to slam poetry and meditation and everything in between. The student newspaper and radio station keep students up-to-date and offer students leadership positions. On-campus jobs, off-campus internships and volunteer opportunities also abound. As an NCAA Division I-AA school, the University of Rhode Island boasts nearly 20 varsity teams which compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association.