The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public university founded in the city of Lexington in 1865 which grew out of pre-existing institutions in the area. KU was established under a Morrill Land Grant – a scheme whereby land owned by the United States Federal Government was gifted to states so that they could sell it to raise money for university endowments. Today UK is a major public university with around 30,000 students and a commitment to becoming one of the USA’s top 20 public research institutions by 2020.
UK is the largest university in the state of Kentucky with 16 colleges (most of which were founded in the first half of the 20th century) and a graduate school. These offer around 90 undergraduate programs, nearly 100 masters programs and 66 doctoral programs. UK is rapidly growing its population of international students with around 120 countries represented in its student body.
The university has a proud athletic record and UK’s sporting teams, ‘The Wildcats’ are represented in men’s and women’s basketball, American football and baseball. In 2009 the Kentucky Wildcats became the first college basketball team to win 2000 games.
UK is spread over three campuses, north, south and central comprising student accommodation, academic and administration buildings and sporting facilities. The university also boasts 15 libraries across its campuses and an art museum, football stadium and botanical gardens.
Famous UK alumni include many former state governors, as well as being home to Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and William Lipscomb, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.