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About the University of Kentucky

About UK

Through education, cultural stimulation and economic development, the University of Kentucky’s impact can be felt across all 120 Kentucky counties. Blending creative teaching and instruction methods with innovative research, medical care and community service, it is no wonder that UK is The University of Kentucky.


Founded in 1865 as a land-grant institution adjacent to downtown Lexington, UK is nestled in the scenic heart of the unique Bluegrass region of Kentucky. From its early beginnings, with only 190 students and 10 professors, UK's campus now covers more than 716 acres and is home to over 26,000 students and nearly 11,000 employees.


UK's diverse student population represents 117 countries, every state in the nation, and every Kentucky county. The average ACT score for its first-year students is four points above the national average. UK students compete successfully for the most prestigious scholarships and awards, such as the Fulbright, Truman, Goldwater and Marshall. UK was selected as one of only 13 universities nationwide to participate in the Beckman Foundation Scholarship program in 2002 and the grant was renewed in 2005. This prominent program allows UK to award grants of $17,600 to students to support their own research projects. UK also was recognized as a Harry S. Truman Foundation Honor Institution for exemplary participation in the program. To date, UK boasts 12 Truman Scholars.


The university is committed to strong public service, reaching out to communities across the Commonwealth, sharing knowledge and making a difference in the towns, cities and lives of all Kentuckians. An example is Health Education through Extension Leadership, an ever-expanding Cooperative Extension Service initiative to enhance extension agents' capacity to deliver research conducted on campus throughout the state. In 2000, officials launched The Campaign for the University of Kentucky, a $600 million fund-raising effort – the largest in state history – to enhance facilities, academic programs, public service and scholarships. After soaring past that goal, UK set a new mark of $1 billion. UK is well on our way, having brought in more than $900 million.


Students can choose from some 200 majors and degree programs in 17 academic and professional colleges: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Communications and Information Studies, Dentistry, Design, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Social Work.


The university is working aggressively to achieve its top-20 research goal. During fiscal year 2005, UK faculty received a record-breaking total of $274 million in extramural funding for grants and contracts. The achievement marked the fourth year in a row UK exceeded the $200 million level in sponsored project awards. In federal expenditures, UK is ranked 28th among all public universities. Research at UK is a dynamic enterprise encompassing both traditional scholarship and emerging technologies. In April 2005 the university opened the $74 million Biomedical Biological Sciences Research Building, affectionately known as the BBSRB. The BBSRB – UK’s largest research facility – features an “open-format” design that encourages collaborative research across disciplines.

Medical Center

The UK Chandler Medical Center, opened in 1960, is considered one of the nation's finest academic medical centers. The faculty, students and staff of our young, dynamic Medical Center take pride in achieving excellence in education, patient care, research, and community service. As one of two Level 1 Trauma Centers in Kentucky, UK cares for the most critically injured and ill patients in the region. The 473-bed UK Chandler Hospital and Kentucky Children's Hospital are supported by more than 500 faculty physicians and dentists, 400 resident physicians, and a staff of 3,200 health professionals committed to high-quality patient care. UK HealthCare recently announced construction of a new $450 million UK Chandler Hospital. The new hospital, a 1-million square foot facility that was completed in 2010, and is the cornerstone of a 20-year, $2.5 billion plan to construct the Commonwealth Medical Campus of the Future. The medical campus includes a new $120 million pharmacy building, additional research buildings, a new shared Health Sciences Learning Center and additional buildings to house programs for the colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Health Sciences, Dentistry and Public Health.


UK's agenda is simple. It is to accelerate the movement toward academic excellence and to become known worldwide for the quality of its academic programs, its commitment to undergraduates, its success in building a diverse community, and its engagement with the larger society. That is what the University of Kentucky is all about. 

Location: Lexington, KY 

Founded: 1865 

Enrollment: 29,000 

President: Dr. Eli Capilouto 

Provost: Dr. Timothy S. Tracy

Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration: Eric N. Monday   

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs: Dr. Michael Karpf

University of Kentucky