University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Last updated on 8 May 2017

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) is an American public research university in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada. The 332-acre (134 ha) campus is about 1.6-mile (2.6 km) east of the Las Vegas Strip. The university includes the Shadow Lane Campus, just east of the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, which houses the School of Dental Medicine— the only dental school in Nevada. In addition, UNLV's law school, the William S. Boyd School of Law, is also the only law school in the state.

The university is classified a "research-intensive university" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration is annually ranked among the top hospitality programs in the United States due to the university's proximity to the Las Vegas Strip. Its Thomas & Mack Center hosted the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, concerts, as well as lectures by Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev as part of various UNLV-affiliated lecture series.

University of Nevada, Las Vegas seal.svg
University of Nevada, Las Vegas seal.svg
UNLV Logo.svg
UNLV Logo.svg

History

The first college classes, which would eventually become the classes of UNLV, were offered as the southern regional extension division of the University of Nevada, Reno in 1959 in a classroom at Las Vegas High School. In 1955, State Senator Mahlon Brown "sponsored the legislation to provide $200,000 to construct the campus's first building" - Frazier Hall. Groundbreaking on the original 60-acre (24 ha) site was in April 1956, and the university purchased a 640-acre (260 ha) site in North Las Vegas for future expansion. UNLV was officially founded by the Nevada Board of Regents as the Southern Division of the University of Nevada on September 10, 1957. The first classes were held on the current campus in the post and beam Mid Century Modern Maude Frazier Hall designed by the local architectural firm, Zick & Sharp. Twenty-nine students graduated in the first commencement ceremonies in 1964.

In 1965, the Nevada Legislature named the school Nevada Southern University, and the Board of Regents hired the campus's first president, Donald C. Moyer. who died in 2008 at the age of 88.

In 1968, Nevada Southern was given equal status with its parent institution in Reno, and the present name was approved by the Regents in January 1969, during a winter session and without input by representatives from the University of Nevada, Reno . During this time Nevada Southern University also adopted the southern "Rebel" athletics moniker and a mascot dressed in a southern Confederate uniform named Beauregard. The popular reasoning behind such a controversial moniker and mascot is that they did it to oppose the northern Union traditions and symbols of their northern rival, the University of Nevada. It was not long, however, before protests from NSU/UNLV students forced a slight change to their Confederate mascot, but the "Rebels" moniker remains to this day. Since its founding, the university has grown rapidly, expanding both its academic programs and campus facilities.

In 1969, the Board of Regents approved the new name of University of Nevada at Las Vegas and the abbreviation UNLV.

In 1973 Jerry Tarkanian was hired as the men's basketball coach by UNLV's second president, Roman Zorn.

The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) was established in 1975 to make available academic expertise in research projects that assist in the development of the Nevada economy and assist state and local agencies and private-sector enterprises in the collection and analysis of economic and market data.

In 1981 Claes Oldenburg's Flashlight sculpture was installed on the plaza between Artemus Ham Hall and Judy Bayley Theatre.

The Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies was established in 1989 to foster excellence in real estate education and research.

In 2001, The School of Dental Medicine opened to train students and offer low-cost dental care to residents. Also, the Lied Library on campus opened.

In 2003, the Institute for Security Studies was established to address Homeland Security concerns. The Lynn Bennett Childhood Development Center opened.

In 2004, UNLV opened its first regional campus on Shadow Lane, near the University Medical Center. The School of Dental Medicine is located on the Shadow Lane Campus. Also, The School of Public Health was established in the Division of Health Sciences to address new and emerging public health issues.

In 2005, construction began on the $113 million science and engineering building, which has 200,000 square feet of teaching space, laboratories, and high-tech conference rooms. The building, was completed in 2008. It was designed to support interdisciplinary research; draw students to high-demand fields such as electrical engineering, computer science, and environmental science; and attract national and international researchers. UNLV launched its first comprehensive campaign, Invent the Future, with the goal of raising $500 million by December 2008. Also, the Air Force ROTC program was established on campus.

In 2006, The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents raised the minimum GPA to 3.0 for admittance to UNLV. UNLV opened its first international campus in Singapore, where the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration offered its bachelor's degree program in hospitality management. UNLV plans to end its partnership with the Singapore Institute of Technology by 2015, due to economic issues such as rising tuition in Las Vegas and the falling value of the U.S. dollar in Singapore.

In 2007, an expanded student union (with study and social lounges, eateries, a new ballroom, and a 300-seat theater) and a new student recreation center (with high-tech weight and fitness rooms, swimming pools, and a juice bar) opened in the fall. Both these facilities reflected UNLV's goal of becoming more student-centered. The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs broke ground for the $94 million Greenspun Hall, which showcased the latest environmental and technological advancements and served as an anchor for "Midtown UNLV."

In 2011 the UNLV's business college was formally renamed after a $15 million donation from the Ted and Doris Lee Family, the Las Vegas real estate, hotel, restaurant and casino investors.

Organization

UNLV offers more than 350 degrees to choose from in varying fields leading to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, which are taught by approximately 850 faculty members.

Academic Schools, Colleges & Divisions:

  • Academic Success Center
  • School of Allied Health Sciences
  • Lee Business School
  • School of Community Health Sciences
  • College of Education
  • Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering
  • College Fine Arts
  • Graduate College
  • Honors College
  • William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • School of Nursing
  • College of Sciences
  • Greenspun College of Urban Affairs
  • UNLV Libraries

Professional Schools:

Research

UNLV Research and economic development activities increased for the fourth consecutive year, according to the fiscal-year-end report from the Division of Research and Economic Development. Research awards rose by 7.5 percent to nearly $34.5 million, and proposals increased by 2 percent. Total sponsored program expenditures held steady from FY2015 at roughly $49.2 million.

The College of Sciences received the largest amount of award funding among the colleges once again this fiscal year: nearly $15 million through more than 100 awards. Engineering followed with roughly $7.6 million in awards. The College of Education posted the largest percentage gain in award funding in FY16 with a nearly 47 percent increase from $1,776,332 in FY15 to $2,609,366 in FY16.

UNLV’s economic development activities continue to grow. Sixty-one patents were filed in FY16, an increase of 17 percent over FY15, and licensing revenue doubled from $126,242 in FY15 to $252,309 in FY16.

Another measure of university research activity is the number of doctoral degrees conferred, as doctoral programs require a strong research component culminating in the doctoral dissertation. UNLV doctoral conferrals increased nearly 13 percent in FY16 to 166 degrees conferred.

For more details on these figures, please review the attached research profile on the right. Please note that this year's version contains a full list of awards received in FY16.

Source: https://www.unlv.edu/news-story/fy16-research-activity-data

Undergraduate admissions

Fall Freshman Statistics
  2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Applicants 8,533 7,666 7,408 7,343 6,366
Admits 7,064 6,781 6,437 6,250 5,133
 % Admitted 82.8 88.5 86.9 85.1 80.6
Avg GPA 3.31 3.28 3.24 3.25 3.24
SAT Range* 900-1130 890-1120 880-1110 890-1110 880-1110
ACT Range* 19-24 18-25 19-24 19-24 18-24
*(out of 1600)

UNLV's admissions process is considered "selective" according to U.S. News & World Report. For freshmen entering Fall 2016, 7,064 were accepted out of 8,533 applicants, an 82.8% acceptance rate, and 3,859 enrolled. Women constituted 58.4% of the incoming class; men 41.6%.

Among freshman students who enrolled in Fall 2016, SAT scores for the middle 50% ranged from 450-560 for critical reading, 450-570 for math, and 430-540 for writing. ACT composite scores for the middle 50% ranged from 19–24. In terms of class rank, 20% of enrolled freshmen were in the top 10% of their high school classes; 52% ranked in the top quarter and 82% ranked in the top half. The average high school Grade Point Average was 3.31.

Rankings

Lee Business School's part-time MBA program is ranked in the top 28 percent in U.S. News & World Report's 2014 ranking of best business graduate programs.

The Atlantic recognized UNLV's English Department as having one of the nation's most innovative Master of Fine Arts programs and one of the top five doctoral programs in creative writing.

Down Beat Magazine, the internationally recognized industry standard trade publication for jazz music, recognized the work of the 2010 UNLV Jazz Ensemble as "Outstanding Large Jazz Ensemble Performance" among graduate college-level jazz bands in their annual Student Music Award issue of that year.

Student life

Demographics of Undergraduate student body Fall 2012
Undergraduate
African American 7.9%
Asian American 16.0%
White American 40.3%
Hispanic American 21.2%
Native American 2.3%
International 4.4%
Multiple Ethnicities 6.2%
Other/Not Stated 1.7%

Much of the student life at UNLV revolves around its Student Union, or SU. The SU houses the offices for its student government and student organizations on its third floor.

Student government

The Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, abbreviated CSUN, is the undergraduate student government at UNLV. It is a body that consists of an executive board, a senate of 25 members from all of the colleges at UNLV, a judicial council, and directors that plan and organize events and marketing. CSUN currently has an annual budget of about 1 million U.S. dollars that is funded through student fees. The senate ways and means committee determines how that the CSUN budget will be divided up to be set aside for such items as student organization funding and scholarships. The final say on spending in CSUN is the senate.

Together with UNLV, CSUN founded an on-campus preschool in 1974 as part of the College of Education. Both students and staff can utilize this accredited preschool.

The graduate student government at UNLV is separate from the undergraduate student government. The Graduate & Professional Student Association, or GPSA, is the graduate student government at UNLV.

Student organizations

According to U.S. News, UNLV has over 250 student organizations. To become a student organization, the organization must become recognized by UNLV's Office of Civic Engagement and Diversity.

The Rebel Yell

The Rebel Yell is the student newspaper on campus. It covers many topics about higher education in Nevada and the state of UNLV as well. The Rebel Yell extensively covers CSUN senate meetings and elections. It is printed twice weekly and also posts its articles online.

Greek life

Interfraternity Council

Panhellenic Conference

Multicultural Greek Council

National Pan-Hellenic Council

Campus

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The Las Vegas Strip can be seen in the distance from various points on the UNLV campus

The main campus of UNLV is on a 332-acre land grant in centrally located Paradise, Nevada.

Midtown UNLV is an ongoing private-public development along Maryland Parkway, a border street to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Development began in 2002 and the purpose is to expand the university to meet the demands of a major university in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The project to improve the "front door" of the University by improving amenities for students and businesses along Maryland Parkway. The goals are to reduce vacant spaces, lower business turnover rates, as well as create space for the University to expand. Additionally, the project aims to create new housing developments close to campus. Major funding is through state funding sources along with private donations.

Sustainability

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas has created an Urban Sustainability Initiative that strives to implement sustainable practices on campus and in the larger Las Vegas community. In addition to having two campus buildings in the process of LEED Silver Certification and one building in the process of LEED Gold Certification, UNLV has reduced its use of electricity and natural gas by 38 percent per square foot since 2001 by retrofitting older campus buildings. In the 2009 edition of the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card, University of Nevada-Las Vegas received a grade of "C".

The Science and Engineering building received a LEED Silver rating in March 2009. SEB achieved this rating by using recycled glass, steel, concrete, and wood. More than 60% of the leftover construction materials were recycled. The roof of SEB was made to reflect 92 percent of sunlight. This reduces the amount of heat absorbed into the building and therefore, reduces energy needed to cool the building. Incoming air to SEB is also pre-cooled through evaporation so the need for air conditioning is reduced. High performance window glazing also allows light to come in while keeping the building insulated. Occupancy sensors allow lights to automatically turn off when a room is not occupied, saving electricity. Low-flow sinks, toilets, and showers, as well as a drip irrigation system for the native desert landscape reduces water usage by 42%. SEB also uses a reclaimed water system that captures wastewater, providing 750 gallons of water a day that is used to flush toilets.

The Greenspun College of Urban Affairs building of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas received a LEED Gold rating in April 2010.

In 2009, UNLV received the Cashman Good Government Award for the campus' sustainability measures. UNLV earned the award for "maintaining consistent energy costs despite substantial campus growth," saving nearly $11 million from 2001-2009. UNLV was also recognized for managing the xeric demonstration garden and for its recycling efforts.

Residence halls

There are four different residence hall complexes on the campus: Dayton Complex, Tonopah Complex, South Residential Complex (SOU), Upper Class Complex (UCC).

Libraries

UNLV has several libraries (University Libraries) on the main campus. The biggest library on campus is the Lied Library in the center of campus. Opened in 2001, the 301,000-square-foot (28,000 m2), $58 million facility is named for real estate entrepreneur Ernst W. Lied.

Many colleges also have their individual libraries that hold materials more closely related to the college:

  • The Architecture Studies Library in the UNLV School of Architecture
  • The Teacher Development & Resources Library in the College of Education
  • The Music Library in the Lee & Thomas Beam Music Center
  • The Wiener-Rogers Law Library in the William S. Boyd School of Law

Athletic facilities

UNLV's main athletic facilities include Sam Boyd Stadium, Thomas & Mack Center(1983), Cox Pavilion, Buchanan Natatorium and Earl Wilson Stadium. These facilities hold home games for UNLV sports programs and have hosted events such as the Mountain West Conference Basketball Tournament and the National Finals Rodeo.

In 2007, the 188,000 sq ft (17,500 m2) recreation center was completed. This recreation center caters to the needs of UNLV students' physical and mental health.

Most recently, the Mendenhall Center, a training center dedicated for the UNLV basketball program, opened up in 2012.

Other notable buildings

Performing arts facilities include the Judy Bayley Theatre (1972), the Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall (1976), the Black Box Theatre, the Alta Ham Fine Arts Complex (1982), and the Lee and Thomas Beam Music Center (2001).

In 1997 the Paul B. Sogg Architecture Building opened.

In 2007, a new 135,000 sq ft (12,500 m2) student union was opened. This building offers many amenities for students including a social atmosphere, a diverse food court, conference rooms, a game room, student government offices, and student organization offices.

One of the newer buildings on campus, the Greenspun Hall, opened its doors in 2008. Home to the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs and the Brookings Mountain West Institute, this five-story, 120,000 square foot building is home to state-of-the art media facilities. It also houses the campus radio station KUNV-FM, student-run HD2 radio station, and the television station, UNLV-TV. Certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, the building was named after Las Vegas Sun founder and publisher, Hank Greenspun. The Greenspun family also donated $37 million to the total cost of the building.

In 2008, the Sciences and Engineering Building opened. The building was created to serve both the College of Sciences and the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering in environmentally friendly manner.

Athletics

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The Thomas & Mack Center and adjoining Cox Pavilion house many of the university's athletic teams.

UNLV supports varsity teams in 17 different sports. The men's basketball team is referred to as the Runnin' Rebels and the men's baseball team is referred to as the Hustlin' Rebels. The Rebels are a founding member of the Mountain West Conference, in the NCAA's Division I. The only exceptions are the UNLV men's soccer team and swim & dive team, which compete in the Western Athletic Conference.

The school's official colors of scarlet and gray can be traced to the late-1950s when UNLV adopted as mascot a wolf wearing a Confederate uniform. Scarlet and Gray were traditional colors of the Confederacy with its gray uniforms and red-based flag. UNLV's mascot is Hey Reb, the toned down version of the original mascot named Beauregard, which was a wolf character dressed in Confederate hat and uniform. UNLV's Hey Reb mascot made his debut in 1983. He received his first makeover in 1997 and second in 2009. Named one of 12 All-American Mascots, he competed for the title of 2004 Capital One Mascot of the Year and made a strong showing by coming in second in online voting. No stranger to national television, Hey Reb has also appeared in two memorable ESPN SportsCenter commercials.

UNLV has many traditions in its athletic programs. Each year the men's football team plays the Nevada Wolf Pack in a football game called the Battle for Nevada. The trophy for that game is the Fremont Cannon. Built by the Kennecott Copper Corp., Nevada Mines Division, the cannon is valued at more than $10,000 and is considered one of the best, and loudest, symbols of rivalry in college football. UNLV trails Nevada in the series 17-24 after winning the 2015 contest in Reno 23-17.

UNLV is most known for its men's basketball program. Made famous by Coach Jerry Tarkanian in the 1970s–1990s, the Runnin' Rebels are the third most winning team in Division I basketball history by percentage, only behind Kentucky and North Carolina.(.713, 1037-418 through 2008) UNLV is well known for their 1990 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship by defeating Duke University 103-73, which was and still is the largest margin of victory in a championship game. In that same game, UNLV became the first team to ever break 100 points in a championship game.

UNLV is also well known for its golf program. Led by coach Dwaine Knight, the UNLV Golf program has turned out PGA Tour pros such as Adam Scott, Chris Riley, Chad Campbell, Ryan Moore, Skip Kendall, Charlie Hoffman, Bill Lunde, and Andres Gonzales. They won the NCAA National golf team championship in 1998. In February 2011, the Rebel men's swimming and diving team won their seventh straight Mountain West Conference titles. Three Rebel swimmers competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics; Joe Bartoch and Richard Hortness represented Canada and Jonas Anderson represented Sweden.

Faculty

Notable faculty include:

Alumni

UNLV has seen many of its former students go on to local and national prominence. This includes many athletes that have excelled at the collegiate and professional levels.

Former Rebels in the entertainment world include:

UNLV has also produced politicians including:

Other notable alumni include:

Gallery

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Aerial view of the main campus

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The five-story Rod Lee Bigelow Health Sciences Building houses the offices, classrooms, and laboratories for health physics, nursing, radiological sciences, physical therapy, kinesiology.

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The glass wall of the Robert L. Bigelow Physics Building was built in the shape of a sine wave, while banners inside represent the colors of the spectrum.

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The Boyd School of Law facilities include the state's largest law library and the Thomas and Mack Moot Court.

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UNLV's Science and Engineering Building (SEB).

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"The Flashlight" by renowned sculptor Claes Oldenburg stands 38 feet tall and symbolizes UNLV as a "Beacon of Knowledge" in Southern Nevada.

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UNLV's School of Dental Medicine is located in the heart of Las Vegas' medical district. In addition to training dental professionals, the school provides quality, low cost dental services to Southern Nevadans.

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Beam Hall is home to the colleges of Business and Hotel Administration.

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The University Libraries attracts scholars from around the globe with the most comprehensive collection of documents related to the history of gaming in the world.

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A view through the windows of Lied Library. The library holds more than a million volumes and has 2,500 study spaces.

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The Carol C. Harter Classroom Building Complex holds more classrooms than any other building on campus.

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The new Science and Engineering Building includes flexible laboratory and teaching spaces, offices, high-tech conference rooms, and integrated research areas.

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