When it comes to the state's only public research university, Nebraskans gain a distinct advantage from having four campuses.
The University of Nebraska has more than 49,000 students and 16,000 employees; the four universities included in the system are: an R1 flagship land-grant university, the University of Nebraska‑Lincoln; an academic medical center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center; a metropolitan university, the University of Nebraska at Omaha; and a regional undergraduate university, the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
From metropolitan to rural, land grant to academic medicine—each University of Nebraska campus has unique strengths. And, these strengths create a breadth of expertise that is unmatched.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was chartered in 1869 as a land-grant university deeply rooted in the state of Nebraska. From its beginning, UNL has been a leader in higher education. It was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees and took an early institutional interest in literature and the arts. It established the world’s first undergraduate psychology laboratory, and is the birthplace for the discipline of ecology.
"UNL is the system’s flagship—a land-grant research institution and Big Ten member that has led and innovated for over 150 years."
Today, UNL is the flagship campus of the University of Nebraska system, serving Nebraska citizens through education, research and outreach. It is listed by the Carnegie Foundation within the “Research Universities (very high research activity)” category, is a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In Fall 2022, UNL was among the top 75 public universities listed in the U.S. News and World Report’s annual evaluation of America’s Best Colleges. UNL is ranked in the top third of all national universities, both public and private.
As home to nearly 24,000 students, UNL prepares students to join the ranks of legendary alumni, including investing mogul Warren Buffett, comedian Johnny Carson, and author Willa Cather. Through continuing to fulfill its three primary missions of teaching, research and service, UNL is building on the legacy set by its alumni—while also preparing current and future generations of students.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER
The University of Nebraska Medical Center was founded in 1880 as the Omaha Medical College and joined the University of Nebraska in 1902. What began as the state’s first medical college expanded and grew to incorporate a dental college, a pharmacy college, nursing college, and many more areas of study. Today, UNMC works to educate and build a 21st century health care work force. UNMC’s six colleges and two institutes, in partnership with Nebraska Medicine, not only educate future health care providers, but generate an annual economic impact of $5.9 billion for the state of Nebraska. In total, UNMC serves more than 4,000 students in more than two dozen programs. Approximately half of Nebraska’s physicians, dental professionals, pharmacists, bachelor-prepared nurses and allied health professionals have graduated from UNMC.
“Diseases change, but UNMC’s commitment and skill in researching and treating them is steadfast. Their expertise and leadership are shown in areas that are critical to the future of medicine, ranging from infectious diseases to technology-driven medical education.”
As Nebraska’s only public academic health science center, UNMC not only serves the people of Nebraska, but discovers cures and treatments for global diseases and provides world-class treatment for patients from around the world. UNMC holds high its responsibility to provide services for those in the global community. It has upheld this duty in multiple ways, such as combatting deadly Ebola outbreaks in West Africa or building a cutting-edge cancer research center that will benefit the entire nation.
Simultaneously, UNMC works effortlessly to reach out to all Nebraskans. Through health clinics, distance education, cancer screenings, and more, UNMC reaches out across Nebraska to eliminate health care disparities, including the shortage of health care providers and services available in rural areas. UNMC is consistent in upholding its mission of creating a healthier future for all people and communities through education, groundbreaking research and exceptional patient care.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT OMAHA
The University of Nebraska at Omaha is fueled by its historical ties to Omaha. UNO was originally founded in 1908 by the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Omaha. As the first municipal university in Omaha, the early founders’ goal was to make higher education accessible and affordable for the city’s residents. In 1968, the campus joined the University of Nebraska system, and today has the unique role of serving as the state’s metropolitan campus.
“UNO is a metropolitan institution—highly engaged with the community it serves. Its students, alumni, and faculty propel the economy of the largest city in Nebraska.”
Accessibility remains a top priority in UNO’s mission and vision. Today, the campus is known for its student-centered environment, its community engagement and its dedication to embracing students from all types of backgrounds. The campus has built strong partnerships with local business, education, government, arts and civic organizations in the city. UNO’s commitment to community engagement has landed UNO on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for seven consecutive years—the highest federal recognition a school can receive for civic engagement.
This honor is but one of many points of pride for UNO. The university has been consistently ranked in the top ten public institutions in the nation for military friendliness by Military Times magazine. Nearly 90 percent of UNO’s 15,000 students are from Nebraska, and roughly 60 percent of recent alumni surveyed report graduating with no debt or less than $5,000 in debt. It is simply one of the most competitively priced institutions in the region. UNO, while large enough to provide students with global opportunities, thrives on its personal and close-knit campus culture, where students come first and partnerships with the community grow every day.
UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA AT KEARNEY
The mission of the University of Nebraska at Kearney is to be one of the nation’s premier undergraduate institutions, with top-tier graduate education, scholarship and public service. UNK offers over 6,000 students these opportunities in an environment that gives them a private school feel, but on a major state university campus. It’s the type of place where the administration, the staff and the faculty know students by name. UNK has pledged to provide students four things:
- Quality academics paired with hands-on learning opportunities
- Premier education, that’s affordable
- An administration, staff and faculty who care for their students
- A vibrant and involved community
As the educational hub for rural Nebraska, UNK offers 121 undergraduate majors, 18 pre-professional programs, and 27 graduate programs. The campus is a model for undergraduate research, with over 30% of UNK students doing research outside of the classroom and presenting at academic conferences. More than 76% of full-time faculty have the highest degrees in their fields. UNK extends world-class education to rural Nebraska and serves its community with economics support while preparing students to enter the workforce.
“UNK focuses on undergraduate education—offering a hands-on, private-school feel on a major state university campus.”
The University of Nebraska at Kearney was originally founded by the Nebraska Legislature in 1903 as a “normal school,” referring to schools that trained high school graduates to become teachers. From 1921 to 1962 the college served as the Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney. In 1963 it joined the Nebraska state college system as Kearney State College, and officially entered the University of Nebraska system in 1991.