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The University of Utah, also known as the U or the U of U, is a public, coeducational research university in Salt Lake Citymarker, Utahmarker, United Statesmarker. The university was established in 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, making it Utah's oldest institution of higher education. It received its current name in 1892, four years before Utah attained statehood, and moved to its current location in 1900. It is one of ten institutions that make up the Utah System of Higher Education.

The university offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and more than 90 graduate degree programs. Graduate studies include the S.marker J.marker Quinney College of Lawmarker and the School of Medicine, Utah's only medical school. As of 2008, there are 21,526 undergraduate students and 6,685 graduate students, with 85% coming from Utah and 7% coming from foreign countries. Just over 10% of students live on campus.

The university's athletic teams, the Utes, participate in NCAA Division I athletics (FBS for football). Its football team has received national attention in recent years for winning the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and the 2009 Sugar Bowl.


The "Block U" has overlooked the university since 1907
school was established on February 28, 1850 as the University of Deseret by the General Assembly of the provisional State of Deseret, and Orson Spencer was appointed as the first chancellor of the university. Early classes were held in private homes or wherever space could be found. The university closed in 1853 due to lack of funds and lack of feeder schools.

Following years of intermittent classes in the Salt Lake City Council House, the university began to be reestablished in 1867 under the direction of David O. Calder, who was followed by John R. Park in 1869. The university moved out of the council house into the Union Academy building in 1876 and into Union Square in 1884. In 1892, the school's name was changed to the University of Utah, and John R. Park began arranging to obtain land belonging to the U.S. Army's Fort Douglasmarker on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley, where the university moved permanently in 1900. Additional Fort Douglasmarker land has been granted to the university over the years, and the fort was officially closed on October 26, 1991. Upon his death in 1900, Dr. John R. Park bequeathed his entire fortune to the university.

The university grew rapidly in the early 20th century but was involved in an academic freedom controversy in 1915 when Joseph T. Kingsbury recommended that five faculty members be dismissed after a graduation speaker made a speech critical of mayor William Spry. One third of the faculty resigned in protest of these dismissals. Some felt that the dismissals were a result of the LDS Church's influence on the university, while others felt that they reflected a more general pattern of repressing religious and political expression that might be deemed offensive. The controversy was largely resolved when Kingsbury resigned in 1916, but university operations were again interrupted by World War I, and later The Great Depression and World War II. Student enrollment dropped to a low of 3,418 during the last year of World War II, but A. Ray Olpin was able to make substantial additions to campus following the war, and enrollment reached 12,000 by the time he retired in 1964. Growth continued throughout the following decades as the university developed into a center for computer, medical, and other research.

During the 2002 Winter Olympics, the university hosted the Olympic Village as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. Prior to the events, the university received a facelift that included extensive renovations to the Rice-Eccles Stadiummarker, a light rail track leading to downtown Salt Lake City, a new student center known as the Heritage Center, an array of new student housing, and a 134-room campus hotel and conference center.


A view of lower campus
takes up 1,534 acres, including the Health Sciences complex, Research Park, and Fort Douglasmarker. It is located on the east bench of the Salt Lake Valley, close to the Wasatch Range and approximately 2 miles east of downtown Salt Lake Citymarker.

Most courses take place on the west side of campus, known as lower campus due to its lower elevation. Major libraries in this area include the J.marker Willard Marriott Librarymarker and the S.J. Quinney Law Library. The primary student activity center is the A. Ray Olpin University Union, and campus fitness centers include the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Complex (HPER) and the Field House.

campus is also home to most public venues, such as the Rice-Eccles Stadiummarker, the Jon M.marker Huntsman Centermarker, the Utah Museum of Natural Historymarker, and the Utah Museum of Fine Artsmarker, a museum with rotating exhibitions and a permanent collection of American, European, African, and Asian art. Venues for performing arts include Kingsbury Hall, used for touring companies and concerts, Pioneer Memorial Theatre, used by the professional Pioneer Theatre Companymarker, David P. Gardner Hall, used by the School of Music and for musical performances, and the Marriott Center for Dance. Red Butte Gardenmarker, with formal gardens and natural areas, is located on the far east side of campus.

health sciences complex, at the northeast end of campus, includes the University of Utah Medical Centermarker, Primary Children's Medical Center, the Huntsman Cancer Institutemarker, the Moran Eye Center, and the Spencer Eccles Health Sciences Library. South of the health sciences complex, several university residence halls and apartments are clustered together near Fort Douglasmarker and the Heritage Center, which serves as a student center and cafeteria for this area. In addition, there are 1,115 university apartments for students, staff, and faculty across three apartment complexes on campus. At the southeast end of campus is Research Park, which is home to research companies including ARUP Laboratories, Evans & Sutherland, Sarcos, Idaho Technology, and Myriad Genetics.

Courses are also held at off-campus centers located in Bountifulmarker, Murraymarker, Park Citymarker, downtown Salt Lake Citymarker, and Sandymarker.

Transportation and sustainability

A number of campus shuttles, running on biodiesel and used vegetable oil, circle the campus on six different routes. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) runs several buses through the university area as well as the TRAX University Line (light rail), which connects the university to downtown Salt Lake City and the Sandy TRAX Line. Students and staff are given a free pass to ride UTA TRAX and buses.

Other sustainability efforts include a permanent sustainability office, a campus cogeneration plant, building upgrades, behavior modification programs, purchasing wind power and local produce, energy efficient building standards, and student groups including a bicycle collective. The university is ranked 11th by the EPA for annual green power usage among universities, with 14% of its power coming from green sources. The Sustainable Endowments Institute gave the university a "B" in its College Sustainability Report Card 2009, with A's for administration and transportation. The university's Office of Sustainability, which grew out of the student group SEED (Sustainable Environments and Ecological Design), was made permanent in 2008. Sustainability and transportation are also a large part of the university's campus master plan.


university is part of the Utah System of Higher Education, and the president of the university is Michael K. Young. As of 2008, the university's endowment is US$594,545,000. The primary colleges at the university are:

Other divisions that support academics at the university include Continuing Education, the Graduate School, the Honors College, and the Office of Undergraduate Studies. There are also a number of interdisciplinary academic programs.


The university offers 72 undergraduate majors, over 70 minors and certificates, over 40 teaching majors and minors, and 95 major fields of study at the graduate level. Students at the undergraduate level can also create an individualized major under the direction of the Bachelor of University Studies program and the supervision of a tenure-track faculty member. In late 2009 the University announced that it would be adding a Masters in Real Estate program to their offerings. The university has three semesters a year: spring, summer, and fall. Tuition and fees for 2008-2009 were US$2,226 for Utah residents and $6,954 for non-residents per 12-credit-hour semester.

The university is classified as a research university with very high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, with research and training awards for 2007-2008 amounting to US$298,044,997. The university's research expenditures were the 67th highest in the nation in the Center for Measuring University Performance's 2008 report. Additionally, the university was the 58th highest for federal research expenditures, 52nd for National Academy of Sciencesmarker membership, 50th for faculty awards, 51st for doctorates awarded, and 42nd for postdoctoral appointees. For technology transfer, the university was responsible for the 2nd highest number of startups in both 2006 and 2007, just behind MITmarker.

Admissions and demographics

In 2007-2008, the university accepted 94% and admitted 80% of its 16,933 domestic undegraduate applicants; accepted 94% and admitted 66% of its 1,017 international undergraduate applicants; accepted 80% and admitted 44% of its 6,773 domestic graduate applicants; and accepted 70% and admitted 38% of its 1,992 international graduate applicants.

Of admitted freshmen, the average GPA was 3.4 and the average ACT score was 23.5. The university uses an admissions index number that gives equal weight to GPA and ACT/SAT scores. If a freshman applicant's index number is at or above the current cutoff, they are guaranteed admission, assuming the student has or will graduate from an accredited high school, has satisfactorily completed all course requirements, has a cumulative high school GPA of at least 2.6, and has an ACT score of at least 18 or SAT score of at least 860. Special requirements apply to non-accredited high schools.

In 2008, the undergraduate and graduate student body was 28,211, with 21,526 undergraduate students and 6,685 graduate students. 69% of students were full-time, 55% were male and 45% female, 85% were Utah residents, and 7% were foreign students. The student body was 77% white, 6% non-resident alien, 5% Asian, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander, 5% Hispanic, 1% black, and 1% Native American. Ethnicity or citizenship was unknown for 6% of the student body. The university was ranked 20th by The Princeton Review for having the most religious students in the nation in 2009.

Notable programs

The University of Utah has the only accredited architecture program in Utah, as well as the only medical school. In 2009, U.S. News & World Report ranked the university's medical school 51st in the nation for medical research and 29th in the nation for primary care. The school has made several notable contributions to medicine, such as establishing the first Cerebrovascular Disease Unit west of the Mississippi River in 1970 and administering the world's first permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik-7, to Barney Clark in 1982. Areas for which the school is often praised include cardiology, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, pulmonology, and rheumatology.

The S.J.marker Quinney College of Lawmarker, founded in 1913, was the only law school in Utah until the 1970s. In 2009, it was ranked 45th in the nation by U.S. News.

Warnock Engineering Building
2009, the university's College of Engineering graduate program was ranked 62nd in the nation by U.S. News. The university's School of Computing, part of the College of Engineering, was ranked 39th in the nation. The University of Utah was one of the original four nodes of ARPANET, the world's first packet-switching computer network and embryo of the current worldwide Internet. Notable innovations of faculty and alumni include the first method for representing surface textures in graphical images, the Gouraud shading model, magnetic ink printing technology, the Johnson counter logic circuit, the oldest algebraic mathematics package still in use (REDUCE), the Phong reflection model, the Phong shading method, and the rendering equation. The school has pioneered work in asynchronous circuits, computer animation, computer art, digital music recording, graphical user interfaces, and stack machine architectures. The School of Computing also takes part in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institutemarker, which continues to make advances in visualization, scientific computing, and image analysis.

In the sciences, U.S. News ranked the university 36th in chemistry (2007) and 43rd in earth sciences (2006) among national graduate programs, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the university 36th in the world in the life sciences in 2008. The university has made unique contributions to the study of genetics due in part to long-term genealogy efforts of the LDS Church, which has allowed researchers to trace genetic disorders through several generations. The relative homogeneity of Utah's population also makes it an ideal laboratory for studies of population genetics. The university is home to the Genetic Science Learning Center, a resource which educates the public about genetics through its website.


The university has 7 men's and 11 women's varsity teams. Athletic teams include men's baseball, basketball, football, golf, skiing, swimming/diving, and tennis and women's basketball, cross country, gymnastics, skiing, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. The school's sports teams are called the Ute, though some teams have an additional nickname, such as "Runnin' Utes" for the men's basketball team. The university participates in the NCAA's Division I (FBS for football) as part of the Mountain West Conference. There is a fierce University of Utah–Brigham Young University rivalry, and the Utah-BYU football game, traditionally a season finale, has been called the "Holy War" by national broadcasting commentators. The university fight song is "Utah Man", commonly played at athletic games and other university events.

In 2002, the university was one of 20 schools to make the U.S. News & World Report College Sports Honor Roll. In 2005, Utah became the first school to produce #1 overall draft picks in both the NFL Draft and NBA Draft for the same year. Alex Smith was picked first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft, and Andrew Bogut was picked first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2005 NBA Draft. The university has won ten NCAA Skiing Championships, most recently in 2003, as well as the 1977 AIAW National Women's Skiing Championship.


The men's basketball team won the NCAA title in 1944 and the NIT crown in 1947. Arnie Ferrin, the only four-time All-American in Utah basketball history, played for both the 1944 and 1947 teams. He also went on to help the Minneapolis Lakers win NBA Championships in 1949 and 1951. Wat Misaka, the first person of Asian descent to play in the NBA, also played for Utah during this era.

Utah basketball rose again to national prominence when head coach Rick Majerus took his team, including guard Andre Miller, combo forward Hanno Möttölä, and post player Michael Doleac, to the NCAA Final Four in 1998. After eliminating North Carolinamarker to advance to the final round, Utah lost the championship game to Kentucky, 78-69.


2004-2005, the football team, coached by Urban Meyer and quarterbacked by Alex Smith, went 11-0 during the regular season and defeated Pittsburghmarker 35-7 in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl, becoming the first team from a conference without an automatic Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bid to go to a BCS bowl game. The team ended its perfect 12-0 season ranked 4th in AP polling.

2008-2009 was another undefeated year for the football team as they finished the season 13-0 and defeated Alabama 31-17 in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. Utah finished the season 2nd in AP polling, their highest rank ever. At the end of the season, the Utes were the only unbeaten team in the country, with the nation's longest active streak of bowl victories (8).


The women's gymnastics team, the Red Rocks, has won ten national championships and placed 2nd nationally eight times. As of 2009, it has qualified for the NCAA championship every year, the only program to do so. The program has averaged 10,840 fans a meet 1992-2008 and has been the NCAA gymnastics season attendance champions 14 of these 17 years.

Marching band

The university marching band, known as the "Pride of Utah", perform at all home football games, as well as some away games and bowl games. They performed at the 2005 BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the 2009 BCS Allstate Sugar Bowl, and the Inaugural Parade of President Barack Obama.

The band began as a military band in the 1940s. In 1948, university president A. Ray Olpin recruited Ron Gregory from Ohio State Universitymarker to form a collegiate marching band. Support for the band dwindled in the 60s, and ASUU (the Associated Students of the University of Utah) discontinued its funding in 1969. The band was revived in 1976 after a fund raising effort under the direction of Gregg I. Hanson. As of 2009, the band is under the direction of Dr. Brian Sproul.

Student life

large portion of university students live off-campus, as the university is located in a large metropolitan area and has beds for less than 10% of its undergraduate population in residence halls and single student apartments. An additional 1,115 family apartments are available to students, staff, and faculty. One of the university's primary four goals for long-term campus growth is to increase student engagement through the addition of on-campus housing, intramural fields, athletic centers, and a new student activity center.

The current student activity center, the A. Ray Olpin University Union, is a common gathering place for university-wide events such as Crimson Nights, roughly monthly student activity nights; PlazaFest, a fair for campus groups at the start of the school year; and The Grand Kerfuffle, a concert at the end of the school year. The building includes a cafeteria, computer lab, recreational facilities, and a ballroom for special events. The Union also houses the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center and ASUU (the Associated Students of the University of Utah), which is responsible for appropriating funds to student groups and organizations on campus. ASUU holds primary and general elections each year for student representatives, typically with 10-15% of the student population voting.

Due to the large number of LDS Church members at the university, there is an LDS Institute of Religion building directly on campus, as well as several LDS student groups and 46 campus wards. Approximately 650 students participate in fraternities and sororities at the university, primarily located on "Greek Row" just off campus. The University of Utah has a dry campus, meaning that alcohol is banned on campus.

In 2004, Utahmarker became the first state with a law expressly permitting concealed weapons on public university campuses. The University of Utah tried to uphold its gun ban but the Utah Supreme Courtmarker rejected the ban in 2006.


university has several public broadcasting affiliations, many of which utilize the Eccles Broadcast Centermarker. These stations include KUEDmarker channel 7, a PBS member station and producer of local documentaries; KUENmarker channel 9, an educational station for teachers and students from the Utah Education Network; KUER 90.1 FM, a public radio affiliate of National Public Radio, American Public Media, and Public Radio International; and K-UTE 1620 AM a student radio station combining talk, current events, and music.

The Daily Utah Chronicle, also referred to as The Chrony, has been the university's independent, student-run paper since 1890. It publishes daily on school days during fall and spring semesters and weekly during summer semester. The paper typically runs between eight and twelve pages, with longer editions for weekend game-guides. The paper converted to a broadsheet format in 2003 when the Newspaper Agency Corporation began printing it. The Society of Professional Journalists selected the newspaper as one of three finalists for best all-around daily student newspaper in the nation in both 2007 and 2008.

The University of Utah Press, the oldest press in Utah and now part of the J.marker Willard Marriott Librarymarker, publishes books on topics including the outdoors, anthropology and archaeology, linguistics, creative nonfiction, Mesoamerica, Native American studies, and Utahmarker, Mormon, and Western history. The university is also home to a national literary journal, Quarterly West.

Notable alumni and faculty

Notable alumni include politicians Rocky Anderson, Frank E. Moss, Bob Bennett, E. Jake Garn, Jon Huntsman, Jr., and Karl Rove; recent LDS Church presidents Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson; authors Orson Scott Card, Stephen Covey, and Wallace Stegner; William DeVries, Russell M. Nelson, and Robert Jarvik in medicine; educator Gordon Gee; and serial killer Ted Bundy.

Notable science and engineering alumni include Jim Blinn; Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape Communications Corporation, myCFO, and Healtheon; Henri Gouraud; Ralph Hartley; Alan Kay; Simon Ramo; and John Warnock, co-founder of Adobe Systems. Entrepreneurs and businessmen in other areas include Alan Ashton, co-founder of WordPerfect and Thanksgiving Pointmarker; Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese; Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar; J. Willard Marriott, founder of Marriott International; Robert A. "Bob" McDonald, CEO of Proctor & Gamble; and David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue.

In athletics, notable alumni include basketball players Andrew Bogut and Keith Van Horn; football players Steve Smith, Jamal Anderson, Kevin Dyson, and Alex Smith; and football coach LaVell Edwards.

Notable faculty in science and engineering include David Evans and Ivan Sutherland, founders of Evans and Sutherland; Henry Eyring, known for studying chemical reaction rates; Stephen Jacobsen, founder of Sarcos; Suhas Patil, founder of Cirrus Logic; Stanley Pons, who claimed to have discovered "cold fusion" in 1989; Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, later co-winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry; and Thomas Stockham, founder of Soundstream. In medicine, notable faculty include Mario Capecchi, the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; Willem Johan Kolff; and Russell M. Nelson.


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