The University of Kentucky was founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution, and the present name dates to 1916.
The campus in Lexington has 673 acres and is located just south of downtown. It consists of a graduate school, the University hospital and 16 colleges. The colleges are: allied health professions, architecture, arts and sciences, agriculture, business and economics, communications and information studies, dentistry, engineering, education, fine arts, human environmental sciences, law, medicine, nursing, pharmacy and social work. The graduate school offers 97 master’s degree programs and 59 doctoral programs. Enrollment on the campus in Lexington is more than 24,000 and includes students from every Kentucky county, every state, and more than 100 foreign countries. Full-time faculty numbers 1,796. Approximately 98 percent of the full-time faculty hold the highest possible degrees in their field. UK’s faculty and staff attract more than $120 million in grants, gifts and contracts; and the University has been designated a Research University of the First Class by the Carnegie Foundation — one of just 59 public universities in the country.
The University attracts excellent students. The number of National Merit Scholars entering UK consistently ranks among the top 10 public universities in the country. The average ACT score for first-year students is four points above the national average.
The University of Kentucky Community College System is made up of 14 colleges throughout Kentucky. Enrollment numbers over 40,000. The colleges offer associate degrees in technical subjects, two-year programs toward a bachelor’s degree, and wide variety of continuing education, community service and business liaison programs. UK now educates 39 percent of all students going to private and public colleges in Kentucky.
The number of UK alumni is more than 150,000. Private support from alumni and friends of the University exceeds $30 million annually.
The University of Kentucky Library maintains more than 2.5 million volumes, the 49th largest collection in the country. Work is close to completion on the $58 million William T. Young Library that will serve the entire state thanks to the wonders of computers and technology. The six-floor facility will encompass more than 350,000 square feet and have seating for 4,000 people.
In addition, UK maintains 23 research centers which conduct applied research in areas as diverse as tobacco and health, aging, cancer, toxicology, equine health, mineral production, manufacturing systems, and public policy.