About UNL

For 147 Years, A Leader in Higher Education

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln, chartered in 1869, is an educational institution of international stature. Nebraska, a member of the Big Ten Conference and the Big Ten Academic Alliance, is classified within the Carnegie “Doctoral Universities: Highest 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. The University of Nebraska was founded on February 15, 1869.

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 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, Nebraska 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

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln consistently ranks in the top tier of national research universities. In fact, we are ranked near the top third of all national universities, both public and private. In recent years, Nebraska has been ranked highly for value, graduation rate and access.

  • Princeton Review Best Value Public University, 2014
  • Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges, 2016
  • The National Jurist #1 Best Value Law School in the U.S., 2015
  • U.S. Dept. of Education College Scorecard Low Costs, High Graduation Rate
  • U.S. News & World Report A-Plus Schools for B Students

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, are leading scientists and scholars, and 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 to 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.

Over the past two decades, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues has established itself as one of the most distinguished speakers series in higher education. The mission is to bring a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and the residents of the state to promote understanding and encourage debate. 

The Heuermann Lectures focus on the sustainability of food, natural resources, renewable energy and rural communities for all people. 

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 Nebraska is a feature that distinguishes the land grant mission of our university.

The university’s research expenditures totaled more than $278 million in 2013-14, the most recent fiscal year for which expenditure information is available. This total included more than $94 million in federal research expenditures. The National Science Foundation accounted for 30 percent of our 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. Our goal is to achieve $300 million in total research expenditures by 2018, 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.

Lincoln is Building

The Pinnacle Bank Arena, opened in 2013, routinely hosts major touring acts. A buzzing entertainment district, the Railyard, connects the arena area to the Historic Haymarket. Cuisines from all continents provide the entreé to dynamic urban nightlife and a wide variety of ways to enjoy time with friends. Nebraska's City Campus is one with Lincoln's city center, as it has been since the university was founded.

Beautiful Parks

Lincoln has more parkland per capita than Austin, Texas; Portland, Oregon; and all but a handful of U.S. cities. The well-manicured Pioneers Park, the native woods of Wilderness Park and the open grassland of Nine-Mile Prairie are each within a 10-minute trip from campus. Connecting many of these parks is an extensive trails network.

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.