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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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Academic affiliations

Total enrollment
25,897 (2016)

Lil' Red, Herbie Husker

Acceptance rate
69.9% (2014)

+1 402-472-7211

University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Literis Dedicata et Omnibus Artibus (Latin)

Motto in English
Dedicated to Letters and All the Arts

Flagship Public Land grant

February 15, 1869 (1869-02-15)

Parent institution
University of Nebraska system

1400 R St, Lincoln, NE 68588, USA

Undergraduate tuition and fees
Local tuition: 8,170 USD (2015), Domestic tuition: 22,090 USD (2015)

University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Law

Notable alumni
Johnny Carson, Willa Cather, John J Pershing, Warren Buffett, Ted Kooser

University of Nebraska, Creighton University, University of Nebraska, University of Nebraska, Nebraska Wesleyan University


The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, often referred to as Nebraska, UNL or NU, is a public research university in the city of Lincoln, in the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. It is the state's oldest university, and the largest in the University of Nebraska system.


The state legislature chartered the university in 1869 as a land-grant university under the 1862 Morrill Act, two years after Nebraska's statehood into the United States. Around the turn of the 20th century, the university began to expand significantly, hiring professors from eastern schools to teach in the newly organized professional colleges while also producing groundbreaking research in agricultural sciences. The "Nebraska method" of ecological study developed here during this time pioneered grassland ecology and laid the foundation for research in theoretical ecology for the rest of the 20th century. The university is organized into eight colleges on two campuses in Lincoln with over 100 classroom buildings and research facilities.

Its athletic program, called the Cornhuskers, is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Nebraska football team has won 46 conference championships, and since 1970, five national championships. The women's volleyball team has won four national championships along with eight other appearances in the Final Four. The Husker football team plays its home games at Memorial Stadium, selling out every game since 1962. The stadium's capacity is about 92,000 people, larger than the population of Nebraska's third-largest city.


The University of Nebraska was created by an act of the Nebraska state legislature in 1869, two years after Nebraska reached statehood. The school was given a mission to "afford to the inhabitants of the state the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and the arts." The school received an initial land grant of about 130,000 acres (53,000 ha) and the campus construction began with the building of University Hall in its first year. By 1873, the University of Nebraska had offered its first two degrees to its first graduating class. The school remained small and suffered from a lack of funds until about 20 years after its founding, when its high school programs were taken over by a new state education system. From 1890 to 1895 enrollment rose from 384 to about 1,500. A law school and a graduate school were also created at about this time period, making it the first school west of the Mississippi to establish a graduate school. By 1897, the school was 15th in the nation in total enrollment.

Through the turn of the 20th century, the school struggled to find an identity as both a pragmatic, frontier establishment and an academic, intellectual institution. It also developed a competitive spirit in the form of a debate team, a football team (first called the Cornhuskers in 1901), and the arrival of fraternities and sororities. In 1913–14, a fierce debate ensued over whether to keep the University in downtown Lincoln or to move it out of town. The issue was not resolved until a statewide referendum sided with the downtown plan. After purchasing property downtown, the school experienced a building boom, both on the new property and on the farming campus. The school would not experience another boom until the late 1940s, when the sudden arrival of thousands of soldiers returning from the war for an education forced the school to seek further expansion.

Governing bodies

University of Nebraska is governed by the Board of Regents. The board consists of eight voting members elected by district for six-year terms, and four non-voting student Regents, one from each campus, who serve during their tenure as student body president. The board supervises the general operations of the university, and the control and direction of all expenditures.

Faculties and schools

The university today has nine faculties which offers more than 150 undergraduate majors, 20 pre-professional programs, 100 graduate programs and 275 programs of study.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Business Administration
  • College of Education and Human Sciences
  • College of Engineering
  • Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts
  • College of Journalism and Mass Communications
  • College of Law
  • UNL also offers programs at its campus from other University of Nebraska institutions, including the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Public Affairs and Community Service, the University of Nebraska Medical Center colleges of Dentistry and Nursing, and the Peter Kiewit Institute managed in partnership with the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


    In 1869, the original University of Nebraska campus was laid out on four city blocks and comprised one building called University Hall. Currently, the university has two campuses, totaling 2,815 acres (1,139 ha): City Campus, which is north of downtown Lincoln, and south of the old Nebraska State Fair grounds and East Campus which is approximately two miles east-northeast of City Campus.

    Both campuses have an institute area and a residential area. The institute area consists of the departments, headquarters, governing body, research institutes, laboratories, theaters, auditoriums, recreation centers, fraternity and sorority housing, power plants, facilities and managements. The institute area occupies 613 acres (248 ha) combining the campuses. The larger part is the residential district, which consists of student housing, residential apartments, and on campus living for faculties in apartments or individual cottages. Water supply management in the residential district, supplies water throughout the campus. Remote sensing located in East campus, rail management factory in city campus, and some other remote research centers on telecommunications and wireless technology are also in residential districts of the campus. Parks and recreation places inside the UNL city campus and East campus is a part of the residential area of the university.

    Beside the two main campuses, UNL also operates the UNL technology park on the north side of Lincoln. The park covers an area of 25 acres (10 ha). It is supplied by some laboratories on artificial intelligence. The Technology Park was launched in 1997 as a joint effort of the University of Nebraska, private sector investors and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

    Major campus expansion

    In January 2010, the university acquired a 249-acre (101 ha) property north of city campus that had been used to host the Nebraska State Fair. Plans for redevelopment include an US$800 million expansion called the Nebraska Innovation Campus to house agricultural biotechnology and other life science research.

    The grand opening of Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons was on January 11, 2016. Named in honor of alumna Adele Coryell Hall (Class of 1953), this $10 million dollar, 30,000 square foot project was made possible from nearly $7 million in private donations. This addition is located on the first floor of Love Library North and is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. It features 18 private study rooms that are all equipped with wall-to-wall whiteboards and smart TVs.


    Nebraska Union is the student union on the southern part of City Campus. Many services are offered to the students, including dining, computer labs, and other recreational activities, while the lower level of the union houses the University Bookstore. The Nebraska Union also provides space for student organizations, events, and speakers, as well as offices for the Daily Nebraskan and the student government. The Union is home to the Greek Affairs office and the Women's Center. The Rotunda Gallery showcases various student artwork. In spring 2006, the student body voted to finance an expansion to the Nebraska Union, including adding space for the university Culture Center.

    Nebraska East Union is on East Campus and offers similar student services as the Nebraska Union. The Loft Gallery provides space for community and student artwork.

    Performing arts venues

  • The Lied Center for Performing Arts is a performing arts venue used primarily for orchestra concerts and theatre performances. The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center is a two screen theater on the UNL City Campus. It features primarily arthouse and independent films, and documentaries. The Howell Theatre, Studio Theatre, and Lab Theatre are home to the performances of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film.
  • Other points of interest

  • Architecture Hall, formerly the university's library and now home of its architecture program, is the oldest building on campus. This historic structure is linked to the old law building via a glass connecting space, known as "The Link."
  • Since 1928, UNL has been the home of the headquarters of the National Society of Pershing Rifles, a military fraternal organization for college-level students. John J. Pershing, an 1893 NU law school graduate and professor of Military Science and Tactics, created "Company A," a competitive drill team, for the University of Nebraska's Cadet Corps in 1891. The drill team won the National Competitive Drills in 1892, changed its name to the "Varsity Rifles" when it became a recognized fraternal organization in 1894, and changed its name again to the "Pershing Rifles" in 1895 in honor of Pershing.
  • The International Quilt Study Center is on East Campus and will be LEED certified.
  • The Maxwell Arboretum on East Campus is part of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum.
  • There are several research centers on Physics like the Brace Laboratory, Center of Materials and Nanoscience, High equipped laboratories are provided in Hamilton Hall which is the department as well and Chemistry institute. Othmer Hall houses the College of Engineering Dean's Office, the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and the Biological Process Development Facility (BPDF). Research in Othmer Hall's Mesoscale Engineering Laboratory has received attention in Science. Some highly equipped laboratories such as the Genetic research and Biotechnology laboratory are on East Campus.
  • University is renowned also in Robotics. It has a well-equipped robotics laboratory.
  • East Campus also has a wireless telecommunication system on remote sensing of Satellites.
  • Admissions and demographics

    Admission to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is rated "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report.

    For Fall 2015, UNL received 9,724 freshmen applications; 7,425 were admitted (76.4%) and 4,628 enrolled. The high school grade point average (GPA) of enrolled freshmen was 3.65, while the middle 50% range of SAT scores were 500-630 for critical reading and 500-660 for math. The middle 50% range of the ACT Composite score was 22-28. In terms of class rank, 26% of enrolled freshmen were in the top tenth of their high school class and 52% in the top quarter.

    As of 2015, 77% of UNL's undergraduates were classified as "white, non-Hispanic"; 53% of the undergraduate population was male and 47% female.

    University libraries and museums

    The University Libraries are the only set of comprehensive research libraries in Nebraska. 3.5 million volumes reside in UNL's two main libraries. The Don L. Love Memorial Library is the main library on campus and houses collections on social sciences and humanities. Other academic disciplines are housed in six branch locations on campus:

  • Architecture Library
  • C.Y. Thompson Library
  • Engineering Library
  • Geology Library
  • Mathematics Library
  • Music Library
  • The Marvin and Virginia Schmid Law Library serves the UNL College of Law.

    The University of Nebraska State Museum is on campus in Morrill Hall. The museum holds several collections and exhibits particularly featuring natural history and famously houses Mammoth bone fossils. Because of these fossils, and a large bronze Columbian Mammoth statue located in front of the building, it is popularly known as "Elephant Hall."

    The Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden is home to more than 12,000 works of art in all media and is a comprehensive collection of American art with prominent holdings in 19th century landscape and still life, American Impressionism, early Modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, pop, minimalism, and contemporary art. The museum has the largest collection of 20th Century North American art in the world; it includes works by such well known artists as Edward Hopper, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mary Cassatt, Wayne Thiebaud and Georgia O'Keeffe.

    The Great Plains Art Museum is home to the Christlieb Collection, and features American western art and Americana.

    The Lester F. Larsen Tractor Museum is on the university's East Campus. It houses 40 historical tractors, an antique auto and various types of farm tools. In addition it documents Nebraska's tractor testing law examinations that to this day requires testing of all tractors to be sold in Nebraska, ensuring performance is as advertised.

    Digital Research

    The Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH) carries out numerous digital humanities projects funded by institutes like the National Endowment for the Humanities. The CDRH works with multiple departments across campus including Modern Languages, Anthropology, Art & Art History, and History. Several digital history projects, including Civil War Washington Railroads and the Making of Modern America, and O Say Can You See Early Washington D.C Law & Family.

    The University's English Department has an active program in the digital humanities, with digital projects such as the Walt Whitman Archive and the Willa Cather Archive. Projects are also underway for the production of a free online Native American Omaha-Ponca language dictionary. In addition, the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities hosted the annual conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations in 2014.

    AAU membership and removal

    In 1908, Nebraska was inducted as a member of the Association of American Universities, an organization of research universities. In recent years, Nebraska had been at or near the bottom of the AAU's statistical criteria for members, a ranking attributed in part to the university's extensive agricultural research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is not included in the AAU's rankings because it is not awarded by peer-reviewed grants; and because Nebraska's medical school is a separate institution whose research funding is not under UNL's auspices.

    Nebraska successfully retained its AAU membership after a 2000 challenge. This provided Nebraska with an advantage when the Big Ten was looking to expand in 2010, as all of its members at that time were AAU members. Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman said. "I doubt that our application would've been accepted had we not been a member of the [AAU]." However, in 2011, after an extended campaign to retain its membership and a close, contentious vote, Nebraska became the only institution to be removed from the AAU membership by a vote of the membership (a few other institutions had voluntarily resigned.)

    Big Ten Academic Alliance

    The University of Nebraska is a participant in the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference. Engaging in $10 billion in research in 2014-2015, BTAA universities provide powerful insight into important issues in medicine, technology, agriculture, and communities. Students at participating schools are also allowed "in-house" borrowing privileges at other schools' libraries. The BTAA uses collective purchasing and licensing, and has saved member institutions $19 million to date. Course sharing, professional development programs, study abroad and international collaborations, and other initiatives are also part of the BTAA.


    The University of Nebraska has adopted LEED certification for all new construction projects. UNL's Sustainable Food Project, started in 2005, is designed to serve meals on campus that feature locally and sustainably produced foods. The university's motor pool includes vehicles fueled by soy biodiesel as well as gasohol (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline blend). The University of Nebraska received a grade of C on the College Sustainability Report Card 2011. As of 2009, the University's cafeterias no longer provide trays to the students, a program implemented to reduce organic waste and save money.

    The University of Nebraska established a separate Office of Sustainability in 2014 with projects such as EarthStock and Bugeater Student Organic Farm.


    Nebraska's sports teams are nicknamed as the Cornhuskers (or simply the Huskers). They participate in Division I (Division I FBS for football) in the NCAA as members of the Big Ten Conference. The Huskers have 21 varsity teams that compete in 14 different sports and claim all or part of 23 National Championships across five sports, including volleyball, football, and gymnastics. In football, the Huskers have had three Heisman Trophy winners: Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch, along with five national championship victories in 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, and 1997.


    Notable among a number of songs commonly played and sung at various events such as commencement and convocation, and athletic games are Dear Old Nebraska U. and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln fight song, Hail Varsity. In Nebraska, the lyrics and music to Dear Old Nebraska U. are attributed to Harry Pecha, a 1924 Nebraska graduate. However, other schools and locales across the United States – including the University of Chicago, the University of Florida, and the Toledo, Ohio public school system – sing similar tunes, often with similar lyrics.

    Student life

    About 78 percent of UNL students are from Nebraska, while the rest are from all forty-nine other states and 114 foreign countries. On-campus students are also members of the UNL Residence Hall Association, which serves as the governing body for the residence halls. Select honorary seniors include the Nebraska-only Society of Innocents and the Black Masque chapter of Mortar Board.

    Residence halls

    Approximately 40% of the student body lives on-campus in 15 traditional residence halls, two on-campus apartment-style halls, and three on-campus suite-style halls.

    There are 12 traditional residence halls on the City Campus:

    Three traditional residence halls are on the East Campus: Burr, Fedde, and Love Memorial Co-op. Two on-campus apartment-style halls are located on the City Campus: The Courtyards, and The Village. Three on-campus suite-style halls are located on the City Campus: Eastside Suites, Robert E. Knoll Residential Center, and University Suites.

    Student government

    The governing body for UNL students is the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska (ASUN). Every year students vote for a president, two vice presidents, and a senate that is composed of representatives from each college. The president also acts as the student regent to the NU Board of Regents.

    Student organizations

    UNL has around 400 student organizations on campus that represent a variety of interests. Organizations are supported by Student Involvement.

    Greek organizations

    UNL has a significant Greek population, with about 5,200 students being members of 30 fraternities (28 chapters and two colonies) and 16 sororities. There are numerous events on campus throughout the year such as decorating "Greek Row" for the homecoming parade and various philanthropy events.


    The Daily Nebraskan, known to students as the "DN", is UNL's student newspaper. It was established in 1901 and is published every weekday during the fall and spring semesters and weekly during the summer.

    UNL operates a Class A FM radio station, KRNU, which broadcasts on 90.3 FM and has a range of approximately 20 miles (32 km). The station plays mostly alternative and modern rock as well as running sportscasts of Nebraska's home events, news, live public affairs broadcasts of campus speakers and forums.

    In February 2008, The Publications Board recognized the Dailyer Nebraskan as an affiliated publication and approved the printing costs of the first three issues of the satirical paper.

    Notable alumni, faculty, and staff

    Many of UNL alumni have had considerable success in scientific research, public service, education, and business. As of 2012, 3 alumni have won the Nobel Prize, 8 have won the Pulitzer Prize, 22 have been selected as Rhodes Scholars, 1 has been selected as a Marshall Scholar, 29 have been selected as Goldwater Scholars and 15 have been selected as Truman Scholars. In 2010 UNL was named a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution.

    In the area of creative writing, the department has as a member of its faculty former United States Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser. Willa Cather, a Pulitzer Prize recipient, is a notable literary alumna. The school's University of Nebraska Press is the second-largest public university press in the United States.


    University of Nebraska–Lincoln Wikipedia

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