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University of Kentucky College Portrait

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University of Kentucky

Kentucky's Flagship University

Nestled in the heart of the scenic Bluegrass region, the University of Kentucky was founded in 1865 as a land-grant university. UK is a public, research-extensive university dedicated to improving people's lives through excellence in teaching, research, health care, cultural enrichment, and economic development. Students from over 100 countries, every state in the nation and every Kentucky county provide a diverse learning and cultural environment that enriches the educational experience at UK. Our students enjoy an enormous array of choices, with some 200 majors and degree programs available in 17 academic and professional colleges. UK is one of only a handful of universities with both a full-service academic medical center as well as a College of Agriculture on a single campus.


Living in the Wildcat's Community

A Cat's Life

Graphic Silhouette of College Students

Academic support at the University of Kentucky is offered in many ways, such as peer tutoring, academic consultations, and guided study groups through our Academic Enhancement program. Students can also find assistance with academic performance, psychological needs, career counseling, and specialized services through various departments and programs. UK offers a variety of opportunities outside the classroom with over 350 student organizations including academic clubs, social groups, Greek organizations, student media, cultural events, and leadership activities. UK students are also actively involved in making Lexington a better place through the Center for Community Outreach and events like UK FUSION (For Unity and Service In Our Neighborhoods) where over one-thousand students participate with faculty and staff in a one-day service event throughout Lexington. UK also offers over 50 varsity, club, and intramural sports and a state-of-the-art recreational facility.


The Big Picture: How many students were on campus in Fall 2014?

Undergraduate and Graduate Student Total
Total Students 29,203

Undergraduate Snapshot

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown
Total Undergraduate Students 22,223
Women 11,557 52%
Men 10,666 48%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 37 <1%
Asian 565 3%
African American / Black 1,690 8%
Hispanic 845 4%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 26 <1%
White 16,943 76%
Two or More Races 684 3%
International 811 4%
Race/Ethnicity Not Reported 622 3%
Geographic Distribution (Degree-Seeking)
Where do UK undergraduates call home?
Kentucky 71%
Other US States & Territories 26%
Other Countries 3%
How old are UK undergraduates?
Average Age 21
Percent of Undergraduates Age 25 or Older 7%

New Student Applications (Fall 2014)

Of the 20,677 new freshman applicants, 72% were admitted and 35% of the admitted students enrolled at University of Kentucky in Fall 2014.
Of the 3,111 transfer applicants, 57% were admitted and 60% of the admitted students enrolled at University of Kentucky in Fall 2014.

New Freshmen High School Background and Test Scores

Test(s) Required for Admission: SAT or ACT recommended

Shows middle 50% of testing range
Test Scores of Enrolled New Freshmen ACT SAT
Composite 22 - 28  
Math 22 - 28 510 - 640
English 22 - 30  
Critical Reading   490 - 620
50% of admitted students have test scores within the ranges listed, 25% have scores above, and 25% have scores below.
High School Preparation
High School Background of Enrolled New Freshmen
Percent in top 25% of High School Graduating Class 57%
Percent in top 50% of High School Graduating Class 85%
Percent of New Freshmen who submitted HS GPA 52%
Average High School GPA (4-point scale) 3.60
Percent who submitted High School GPA 100%

Sticker Price: How much does it cost on average?

Typical Undergraduate Costs for without Financial Aid (Full-Time, In-State Students)

Total Typical Cost of Attendance: $25,330

Out-of-State & Other Costs

The cost to attend University of Kentucky varies based on the individual circumstances of students and may be reduced through grants and scholarships.

How much would I pay?

Financial Aid: How much help is there to pay?

Scholarships & Grants

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based grants or scholarships; the average award for the year was $0. Scholarships and grants are financial aid that does not need to be repaid and is sometimes referred to as gift aid.

Annual Need-Based Loans

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based work-study and/or loans (not including parent loans); the average loan for the year was $0. Loans need to be repaid. Typically, repayment starts once you are no longer enrolled full-time. Please refer to page 12 of the Funding Education Beyond High School guide on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website for more information about Financial Need.

Percent of 2013 Full-time Beginning Students Receiving Each Type of Financial Aid

NOTE: Students may receive aid from more than one source.


UK Classes & Instructors

Classroom Environment
Students per Faculty 18 to 1
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 30 students 63%
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 50 students 84%
Total Full-Time Instructional Faculty 1,351
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Female 38%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Persons of Color 19%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Have the Highest Academic Degree Offered in Their Field of Study 92%

Campus-based Housing

89% of new freshmen live in campus-based housing or residence halls.
29% of all undergraduates live on campus


Campus Safety

The University of Kentucky's on-going safety and security initiatives include a campus-wide emergency notification system, a focus on peer influence to reduce violence, widespread safety and security education, improved campus lighting and landscaping, innovative fire safety practices, expanded police patrols, and enhanced health and mental health services. UK constantly and continuously examines and refines its policies and procedures to ensure a safe and secure campus environment.

Campus Crime Statistics


Carnegie Classification of Institutional Characteristics

The Carnegie Classification's were created "to reference the great diversity of colleges and universities in the United States, and ... enable [people] to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions." For information on the Carnegie Classifications system, please visit their website: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/

Basic Type
Research Universities (very high research activity)
Size and Setting
Large four-year, primarily residential
Enrollment Profile
High undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile
Full-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
Undergraduate Instructional Program
Professions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional Program
Comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary

NOTE: Institutional classifications based on the Carnegie 2005 edition.


Student Activities and Involvement at UK

This university is still in the process of collecting and tabulating survey results.


Majors and Degrees

Degrees awarded at University of Kentucky in 2013-14
Degrees awarded at University of Kentucky in 2013-14
Bachelor's 3,988
Master's 1,263
Doctoral 870
Total 6,121
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2013-14
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2013-14
Psychology, General. 6%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse. 5%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General. 5%
Speech Communication and Rhetoric. 5%
Accounting. 4%
Links to degree programs at University of Kentucky
Links to degree programs at University of Kentucky





Future Plans of Bachelor's Degree Recipients

Survey Response Rate: 33%

Survey Administration Process


Student Success & Progress Rate

A 91% four-year success and progress rate means that 91% of students starting in Fall 2008 either graduated or are still enrolled at a higher education institution four years later.
Counts for the Fall 2008 entering class shown in the graph above.
  • 4,045 First-Time, Full-Time Students
  • 844 Full-Time Transfer Students

Success & Progress Rate Table


Retention of Freshman Class

First-time students in Fall 2013 that returned for their second year: 82%


Student Learning at University of Kentucky

All colleges and universities use multiple approaches to measure student learning. Many of these are specific to particular disciplines, many are coordinated with accrediting agencies, and many are based on outcomes after students have graduated.

Learning Assessment Examples


Pilot Project to Measure Core Learning Outcomes

Colleges and universities participating in the College Portrait measure the typical improvement in students' abilities to think, reason, and write using one of three tests. This is part of a pilot project to better understand and compare what students learn between their freshman and senior years at different colleges and universities.