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University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati (UC or Cincinnati) is a public research university in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1819 as Cincinnati College, it is the oldest institution of higher education in Cincinnati and has an annual enrollment of over 44,000 students, making it the second largest[7] university in Ohio. It is part of the University System of Ohio.


In 1819, Cincinnati College and the Medical College of Ohio were founded in Cincinnati. Local benefactor Dr. Daniel Drake founded and funded the Medical College of Ohio. William Lytle of the Lytle family donated the land, funded the Cincinnati College and Law College, and served as its first president. The college survived only six years before financial difficulties forced it to close. In 1835, Daniel Drake reestablished the institution, which eventually joined with the Cincinnati Law School.[8]

In 1858, Charles McMicken died of pneumonia and in his will he allocated most of his estate to the City of Cincinnati to found a university. The University of Cincinnati was chartered by the Ohio legislature in 1870[9] after delays by livestock and veal lobbyists angered by the liberal arts-centered curriculum and lack of agricultural and manufacturing emphasis. The university's board of rectors changed the institution's name to the University of Cincinnati.[10]

By 1893, the university expanded beyond its primary location on Clifton Avenue and relocated to its present location in the Heights neighborhood. As the university expanded, the rectors merged the institution with Cincinnati Law School, establishing the University of Cincinnati College of Law. In 1896, the Ohio Medical College joined Miami Medical College to form the Ohio-Miami Medical Department of the University of Cincinnati in 1909. As political movements for temperance and suffrage grew, the university established Teacher's College in 1905 and a Graduate School in the College of Arts and Sciences in 1906.[11] The Queen City College of Pharmacy,[12] acquired from Wilmington College (Ohio), became the present James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.[13]

In 1962, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music was acquired by the university. The Ohio legislature in Columbus declared the university a "municipally-sponsored, state-affiliated" institution in 1968.[14] During this time, the University of Cincinnati was the second oldest and second-largest municipal university in the United States.

By an act of the legislature, the University of Cincinnati became a state institution in 1977.[11]

In 1989, President Joseph A. Steger released a Master Plan for a stronger academy.[15] Over this time, the university invested nearly $2 billion in campus construction, renovation, and expansion ranging from the student union to a new recreation center to the medical school. It included renovation and construction of multiple buildings, a campus forest, and a university promenade.

Upon her inauguration in 2005, President Nancy L. Zimpher developed the UC|21 plan, designed to redefine Cincinnati as a leading urban research university. In addition, it includes putting liberal arts education at the center, increasing research funding, and expanding involvement in the city.[16]

In 2009, Gregory H. Williams was named the 27th president of the University of Cincinnati. His presidency expanded the accreditation and property of the institution to regions throughout Ohio to compete with private and specialized state institutions, such as Ohio State University. His administration focused on maintaining the integrity and holdings of the university.[17] He focused on the academic master plan for the university, placing the academic programs of UC at the core of the strategic plan. The university invested in scholarships, funding for study abroad experiences, the university's advising program as it worked to reaffirm its history and academy for the future. Neville Pinto is the current and 30th president of the university.

In 2010, Kelly Brinson died after being tased by University of Cincinnati police officers at the university's hospital.[18] Five year later, Sam DuBose was shot and killed by University Police Officer Raymond Tensing.[19] DuBose had been stopped near the intersection of Vine and Thill Street for driving without a front license plate.[19] Body camera footage contradicted Officer Tensing's account of the incident.[19] Officer Tensing was indicted for murder[19] and the university reached a settlement of over $5 million with the Dubose family although Judge Leslie Ghiz declared a second mistrial on the case.[20]


The Uptown campus includes the West (main), Medical, and Victory Parkway campuses.

  • West (main) Campus:[21] This campus includes 62 buildings on 137 acres (0.55 km2). The university moved to this location in 1893. Most of the undergraduate colleges at the university are located on main campus. The exceptions are part of the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center on the Medical campus. In spring of 2010 the University of Cincinnati was honored by being one of only 13 colleges and universities named by Forbes as one of "The World's Most Beautiful College Campuses".[22]
  • Medical Campus:[23] this campus contains nineteen buildings on 57 acres (230,000 m2). It is catty corner to West campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The undergraduate colleges of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing and graduate colleges of Medicine and the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy are located there. The hospitals located there include University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati VA Medical Center, and the Shriners Hospital for Children.
  • Victory Parkway Campus: this campus was formally home to the College of Applied Science. It is roughly 3 miles (4.8 km) from main campus in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati and overlooks the Ohio River. When it merged with the College of Engineering to become the College of Engineering and Applied Science many of the classes were moved to main campus, however limited courses are still taught there. There is a shuttle that runs between this and main campus throughout the day.
  • Blue Ash College (UCBA) (regional campus, located in Blue Ash, Ohio). Formerly known as Raymond Walters College.
  • Clermont College (CLER) (regional campus, located in Batavia, Ohio); includes UC East (located in a renovated Ford plant in Batavia, OH, this facility serves as expansion space for Clermont College and select programs in the College of Nursing and the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, as well as the BTAS in Applied Administration[24] program.)

UC Online offers over 80 graduate, undergraduate and certificate programs through an online platform. Each program is delivered 100% online and holds the same accreditation and academic excellence as the university’s on campus programs.

  • Center Hill Research Facility
  • UC Reading Campus & UC Metabolic Diseases Institute
  • Cincinnati Center for Field Studies[25]
  • Cincinnati Observatory (university owns the facility and the nonprofit Cincinnati Observatory Center operates it)

The university has had a strategic plan for the last decade for new architecture to be built by "signature architects." In recent years, the university has received attention from architects and campus planners as one of the most beautiful in the world.[26][27]

In recent years the University of Cincinnati has made significant strides to include more green initiatives and encourage sustainability among students, faculty, and staff. In autumn of 2010, the University of Cincinnati maintained its position in green and sustainability initiatives by being named one of only 286 "Green Colleges" by The Princeton Review. The university has received this distinction each year since.[28] UC was the only public university in Ohio and the only university in the Southern Ohio region included on this list. Some of the programs that helped achieve this distinction include: a bike share program where UC students can rent bikes from the university, an expanded recycling program, improved and expanded campus transportation options, the addition of vehicle charging stations, fuel pellet use in place of coal, greatly decreased energy and water use throughout campus, and the addition of 6 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings since 2005.[29] In 2007, former university president Nancy Zimpher signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment, which confirms the university's dedication to reducing its environmental impact and take the necessary steps to become climate neutral.[30]

In 2010, UC opened up a privately funded athletic practice facility and women's lacrosse stadium named Sheakley Athletic Complex. As a continued effort to go green, a chilled water thermal energy storage tank was placed under the fields and at night water is chilled and then used to air-condition buildings on campus. The storage tank helps the university reach annual energy savings of about $1 million.[31] In the fall of 2010, the university began placing "All Recycling" containers throughout campus. This expansion of recycling efforts and receptacles provides a greater opportunity for students, staff, and visitors to participate in recycling a broader range of materials. In 2010, UC recycled just over 4,600 tons of material, which was a 23 percent increase over the previous year.[32]

The student group Environmental Students for Activism Volunteering and Education, or E-SAVE, launched the first environmental sustainability campus campaign in 2000–2002. In a meeting with then President Joe Stegler, students secured a commitment to create an presidents committee environmental sustainability.

Professional Practice Program

UC is the originator of the co-operative education (co-op) model.[33] The concept was invented at UC in 1906 by Herman Schneider, Dean of the College of Engineering at the time. The program generally consists of alternating semesters of coursework on campus and outside work at a host firm, giving students over one year of relevant work experience by the time they graduate. All programs in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, Architecture and all design programs in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and Information Technology in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, require co-operative education experience to graduate.

Academic profile

In the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings, UC was listed as tied for the 189th best global university, tied for 147th ranked national university, and tied for 75th best public university (U.S.).[43]

The university has some 14 colleges and schools:

The university has two regional campuses: Clermont College (CLER) and Blue Ash College (UCBA) in Blue Ash, Ohio.[51]

UC is also the home of the Institute for Policy Research, a multidisciplinary research organization which opened in 1971. The center performs a variety of surveys and polls on public opinion throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, primarily through telephone surveys.

Each year UC welcomes roughly 375 students to the University Honors Program and usually includes the top 5%-8% of students that apply to UC each year. The average credentials for an UC Honors students include an ACT score of 32 or higher, an SAT score of 1400 or higher (critical reading and math combined), a class rank in the top 10%, and an unweighted high school GPA of 3.8.[52]

The program is centered around students taking part in "experiences." Experiences are defined as "fall[ing] within one of five competencies: community engagement, creativity, global studies, leadership, and research." [53] Experiences could take the form of Honors Seminars, which are certain three credit-hour courses, Pre-Approved Experiences, which consist of programs the Honors Program has already deemed to meet the requirements of an experience, and Self-Designed Experiences, where students design their own experience plan to submit to the Honors Program for approval. Students are required to complete at least five experiences before graduation.[54][55]


The university is classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a "Research 1" university, since renamed "R1: Doctoral Universities – Highest Research Activity."

One of many notable examples is the archaeological work in Cyprus (at Maroni-Vournes—involving British Museum) by a team from the university, has been going on for several years, including 2010.[56]

The Ohio Centers of Excellence[57] were designed to recognize the extensive research at universities in Ohio and encourage the development of new technologies and techniques to help retain and create Ohio jobs. Most recently the College-Conservatory of Music was honored for its excellence in Cultural & Societal Transformation and is the only performing arts program in Ohio to earn the designation:

  • Advanced Energy: Sustaining the Urban Environment[58]
  • Advanced Transportation and Aerospace: Intelligent Air & Space Vehicle Energy Systems[59]
  • Biomedicine and Health Care: Transforming Health Care in the 21st Century[60]
  • Cultural & Societal Transformation: Music and Theater Arts[61]
  • Cultural & Societal Transformation: Center for Design and Innovation[62]
  • Enabling Technologies: Materials and Sensors, Nanoscale Sensor Technology[63]
  • Center Hill Research Facility
  • UC Reading Campus & UC Metabolic Diseases Institute
  • Cincinnati Center for Field Studies[64]
  • Cincinnati Observatory (university owns the facility and the nonprofit Cincinnati Observatory Center operates it)

Several discoveries, inventions, accomplishments, and "firsts" have taken place at the University of Cincinnati.

The University of Cincinnati has 14 libraries, which are housed in 11 different facilities. This also includes the Digital Projects Department. The university library system has holdings of over 4 million volumes and 70,000 periodicals. The average circulation is around 451,815 items and 116,532 reference transactions. The University of Cincinnati is a member of the Association of Research Libraries and the OhioLINK consortium of libraries.

  • Walter C. Langsam Library (main library) Named after a former president of the university, Langsam Library is the main and largest library on campus. It offers a 24/7 computer lab named [email protected] which is available to students for computer, printing, copying and study use. It is also a Federal Depository Library Program, allowing students free access to thousands of federal publications.
  • Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library (formerly AIT&L)
  • Archives and Rare Books Library
  • Business & Economics Library (Langsam)[[INLINE_IMAGE|//|// 1.5x, // 2x||h158|w220|thumbimage]] Van Wormer Library, the first library on campus
  • Ralph E. Oesper Chemistry-Biology Library
  • John Miller Burnam Classical Library
  • Albino Gorno Memorial Music (CCM) Library
  • Robert A. Deshon and Karl J. Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP)
  • College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services
  • College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Library
  • Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library
  • Robert S. Marx Law Library
  • Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions
  • Clermont College Library
  • Blue Ash College Library


The university competes in 19 Division I (NCAA) sports, and its athletics teams are known as the "Bearcats". Since July 1, 2013, they have been members of the American Athletic Conference (The American). They were previously members of the Big East Conference, Conference USA (of which they were a founding member), the Great Midwest Conference, the Metro Conference, and the Mid-American Conference, among others.

The university hosts various club sports, some of which are distinguished as Club Varsity.[66] Some include the wrestling club and the club rowing team, which produced 2000 and 2004 Olympian Kelly Salchow.[67]

The university has four individual and six team championships. The Bearcats won the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1961 and 1962, both times against Ohio State. Charles Keating won the 1946 200-meter butterfly national title for UC as a member of the men's swimming team, and, most recently, Josh Schneider[68] did the same in the 50-yard (46 m) freestyle in 2010. In women's diving, Pat Evans (3 m dive – 1989) and Becky Ruehl (10 m dive – 1996) have brought home titles for the Bearcats. The UC Dance Team has won 4 National Championships from 2004 through 2006 and again in 2009. They are the first team in UC history to ever capture three consecutive national titles. They remain one of the top dance programs in the country and are the winningest team in University of Cincinnati history. In 2009 the dance team was also selected to represent the United States of America in the first ever world dance championships where they won the gold medal in all three dance categories.[69]

Notable athletics alumni include Baseball Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Miller Huggins; Basketball Hall of Famers Oscar Robertson and Jack Twyman; All Star first baseman Kevin Youkilis; FC Cincinnati forward Omar Cummings; Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick; New York Knicks forward Kenyon Martin; Olympic gold medalist track and field athlete Mary Wineberg; and tennis great Tony Trabert.

All of the athletic facilities (with the exception of Fifth Third Arena and Marge Schott Stadium) are open 24/7 for student use.[70]

  • Richard E. Lindner Varsity Village Commissioned as part of UC's entrance into the Big East and serves as the centerpiece of UC's athletic facilities. It opened in 2006 and includes the Richard E. Lindner Center, which provides training, meeting, studying, and classroom space, as well as the George and Helen Smith Athletics Museum. Construction of the Varsity Village project included Gettler Stadium (soccer), Trabert-Talbert Tennis Center, Baseball Stadium (eventually named Marge Schott Stadium), and an open athletic field for student use called Sheakley Lawn.
  • Marge Schott Stadium Home to the UC Baseball team. it is named for the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott, and replaced Johnny Bench Field. Shortly after this facility opened in 2006, it was named by Big East coaches and players as the best baseball facility in the conference.
  • Armory Fieldhouse Home of UC indoor track and field teams and former home of the men's and women's basketball teams
  • Fifth Third Arena Home to UC men's and women's basketball as well as volleyball teams
  • Nippert Stadium Home to UC's football team (sometimes used for women's lacrosse)
  • Ben and Dee Gettler Stadium Home to UC men's and women's soccer and men's and women's track and field teams
  • Trabert-Talbert Tennis Center Home to UC women's tennis team
  • Keating Aquatics Center Home to UC men's and women's swimming and diving teams
  • Sheakley Athletics Center New facility constructed in 2010 that provides one full and one half football field for varsity teams to practice on, and the home facility for the women's lacrosse team. From November to February a temporary bubble is inflated over the facility to provide teams practice space during cold months.

Student life

The Center for First-Year Experience provides leadership for each student's first-year experience and related academic program. The center serves as a resource for all the university's undergraduate colleges and programs. This collaboration between UC colleges, academic programs, and student groups allow freshman to continue the transition from high school to college. The program is designed to help freshmen and their faculty to develop relationships that will continue and grow throughout their time at the University of Cincinnati.[71]

Many students at the University of Cincinnati have the opportunity to participate in learning communities. These are diverse groups of students and faculty in which 20–25 students have at least two classes together throughout their first year on campus. Students have the opportunity to join these based on their major or area of study. There are nearly 120 learning communities to choose from. They are offered in the following colleges: College of Allied Health Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, College of Nursing, and the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences. A few majors require freshmen to be in these learning communities. Many of these groups have specialized courses taught by their academic advisor.[72]

The Transition and Access Program, which does not lead to a degree, allows certain disabled adults to take classes, interact with other students, and intern at companies. After four years, participants receive a certificate which can be used to get a job.[73]

Student Activities & Leadership Development (SALD)[74] oversees over 550 registered student organizations ranging from student government to religious organizations to spirit groups. Housed in the Steger Student Life Center, the divisions overseeing these groups include Club Sports Board, Diversity Education, Greek Life, Leadership Development, Programming, RAPP, and Student Government. Other Student Life Offices on campus include the African American Cultural & Resource Center, Bearcat Bands (the largest and oldest student group at UC), Early Learning Center, Ethnic Programs & Services, University Judicial Affairs, Resident Education & Development, Wellness Center, and Women's Center.

The University of Cincinnati was one of the first universities in the country to be classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a Community Engagement focused university and was one of only 35 research universities on this list.[75]

Fraternities and sororities have been a part of the university since 1840. There are over 2,500 students participating in fraternities and sororities, which represents approximately 11% of the undergraduate population (Uptown Campus). 52 chapters have called UC home over the years, and currently includes 39 social fraternities and sororities: 21 Interfraternity Council fraternities, nine Panhellenic Council sororities, seven National Pan-Hellenic Council (three fraternities and four sororities), and two non-affiliated (Delta Phi Lambda and Phi Sigma Rho organizations.[76])

There are several media outlets for university students. The student newspaper, The News Record, has been in production for more than 130 years, taking its current name in 1936.[77] It is an independent, student-run newspaper and not attached to any academic program and therefore any student, regardless of program, is able to apply and work for the newspaper. A student-run radio station named Bearcast is housed in the College-Conservatory of Music on campus. The programming streams online as opposed to a traditional radio station and, like the News Record, is open to any student attending the university. There is also a television station called UCast.[78]

The 48-hour film festival is held each year for the general public to attend. Notable speakers and filmmakers are known to kick off the event including Fraser Kershaw, as well as guest speakers and artists from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Actors, directors, editors, and composers are showcased at the MainStreet Cinema for students and professionals.[79][80]

6,500 students live on campus in ten residence halls that offer both traditional and suite style options. Students also have the option to live in themed housing, which include honors, business, and STEM-specific floors. In the fall of 2012, Campus Recreation Center Housing (CRC) was named on The Fiscal Times' list of "10 Public Colleges with Insanely Luxurious Dorms".[81] Nearly 80% of Uptown Campus incoming freshman students live on campus their first year.[82]

In recent years, record freshman classes and increased interest by upperclass students has led to higher demand than supply for on-campus residence halls. To meet this demand, UC Housing and Food Services has added residence halls (Morgens Hall in 2013) and purchased block leases at University Park Apartments, Campus Park Apartments (formerly Sterling Manor), University Edge Apartments, and Stetson Square Apartments near campus.[82] This has pushed the "on-campus" housing student population higher. The university announced that Scioto Hall will undergo a renovation and open in the fall of 2016. There are also plans for a new residence hall and dining center where Sawyer Hall once stood.

UC Housing & Food Services[83] manages ten undergraduate residence halls:

  • Calhoun Hall
  • Campus Recreation Center Housing (CRC is only available to students who are sophomores or older)
  • Dabney Hall
  • Daniels Hall
  • Siddall Hall
  • Jefferson Complex Consists of Schneider Hall and Turner Hall (JCSH, JSTH).
  • Stratford Heights (as of summer 2009)
  • Morgens Hall[84]
  • Scioto Hall
  • Marion Spencer Hall

The university also offers limited housing to graduate students. Bellevue Gardens is an apartment community owned and operated by the university. It is located close to the Academic Health Center (AHC) and medical campus. Two off-campus university-affiliated (but not university-managed) housing options were introduced in 2005: Stratford Heights and University Park Apartments. All leases in the Stratford Heights housing area have been terminated, and control of the housing complex reverted to University control as a residence hall in the summer of 2009.

Notable alumni and faculty members

See also

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