About UNL

For 145 Years, A Leader in Higher Education

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. UNL is listed by the Carnegie Foundation within the “Research Universities (very high research activity)” category. UNL is a land-grant university and a member of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. UNL celebrated the 145th anniversary of its founding on Feb. 15, 2014.

A Strong Foundation

Always a place of high ambition, this was one of the first institutions west of the Mississippi River to award doctoral degrees—the first was granted, in physics, in 1896. The University of Nebraska established the world’s first undergraduate psychology laboratory. The discipline of ecology was born here, and the campuses reflect that tradition, being recognized as botanical gardens and arboreta. An early institutional interest in literature and the arts provided the foundations for today’s Prairie Schooner literary magazine, for the University of Nebraska Press, and for the Sheldon Museum of Art, which houses one of the world’s most significant collections of 20th century American art.

Today, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln is one of the nation’s leading teaching institutions, and a research leader with a wide array of grant-funded projects aimed at broadening knowledge in the sciences and humanities.

Better to Best

In Fall 2013, for the tenth-straight year, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln was among the top 50 public universities listed in U.S. News and World Report’s annual evaluation of America’s Best Colleges. UNL is ranked near the top third of all national universities both public and private. UNL is also listed in the ranking report among “A-Plus Schools for B Students.”

  • Princeton Review Best Value Public University, 2014
  • Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges, 2014
  • Fiske Guide to Colleges Best Buy Public Colleges, 2013–14
  • Washington Monthly Best Bang for the Buck, 2013
  • U.S. Dept. of Education College Scorecard Low Costs, High Graduation Rate

Excellence in Undergraduate Education

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a research-extensive institution with an extraordinary focus on Undergraduate Education. Our undergraduates learn from faculty who create new knowledge, who are leading scientists and scholars, and who care about students’ success. Several signature programs exemplify this commitment to undergraduate success.

The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experiences Program (UCARE) connects faculty and students who work collaboratively on independent study projects that advance new knowledge.

The Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management develops leaders for this era of expanding information technology and business globalization. Students are selected for this innovative program based on high academic achievement, outstanding leadership experience, demonstrated interest in computer science and business, and career goals. The program provides an education balanced in technology and management while developing professional skills in leadership, communications and collaboration.

The Heuermann Lectures focus on providing security—and here security means enough to sustain the world—in the areas of food, natural resources, and renewable energy for people, as well as on securing the sustainability of rural communities where the vital work of producing food and renewable energy occurs.

The University Honors Program hosts Honors Forum talks to complement the 20-year-old E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

Research & Economic Development

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is the intellectual center for the state of Nebraska, providing leadership in education and research. The citizens of Nebraska benefit from the knowledge and research generated by our faculty and students. This research-based service to our state is a feature that distinguishes UNL as a land-grant university.

UNL’s research expenditures totaled more than $253 million in 2012, the most recent fiscal year for which expenditure information is available. This total included nearly $105 million in federal research expenditures. The National Science Foundation accounted for 30 percent of UNL’s federal research expenditures, followed by 20 percent from the Department of Health and Human Services, including the National Institutes of Health, and 12 percent from the Department of Defense. UNL’s goal is to achieve $300 million in total research expenditures by 2017, with at least half coming from federal agencies.

At Home in Lincoln

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is located in an up-and-coming and safe city of 300,000 people that has many of the cultural and entertainment benefits of a much larger city, with the feel of a friendly Midwestern community.

Students hang out at a rooftop restaurant in downtown Lincoln.

New Arena in 2013

Lincoln voted for bigger concerts and events, and now the Pinnacle Bank Arena is here. Around it, the Historic Haymarket has expanded from being a hotspot to buzzing entertainment district. Lincoln residents enjoy more restaurants, more options in downtown nightlife and more ways to enjoy time with friends. What remains the same is the short walk downtown from UNL’s City Campus.

Beautiful Parks

Many people are surprised to learn that Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Ore.; and all but a handful of U.S. cities.

Legend & Legacy

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has been home to many legendary figures, including the literary naturalist Loren Eiseley, geneticist George Beadle, artists Aaron Douglas and Weldon Kees, social researcher Alvin Johnson, investor Warren Buffett, comedian Johnny Carson, diva Barbara Hendricks, artist and engineer Harold Edgerton, soldier John J. Pershing, authors Willa Cather and Mari Sandoz, and many others. Today, students are building on this legacy through their research involvement in fields as diverse as sociology, geosciences, virology and agricultural sciences.