The University of Arizona is the state’s super land-grant university, established in 1885. The placement of the college was not initially met with glee as counties need money that was controlled by the territorial legislature. Decisions related to financial matters were often decided by what were known as the “Thieving Thirteenth,” a reference to the 13th Territorial Legislature. That year, the legislature was to determine where an asylum for the insane would be placed as well as the state capital. Phoenix was given the insane asylum, Prescott the state capital and Tucson received the university as a consolation prize. The university came with a $25,000 appropriation, one-quarter of what Phoenix received for the insane asylum. In addition, the legislature required that the people of Pima County had to donate 40 acres of land for the university.
Jacob S. Manfield, a member of the new Board of Regents, walked into the desert and picked out a site for the university. The land was owned by two professional gamblers, E.B. Gifford and Ben C. Parker along with a saloon keeper, W.S. “Billy” Read, none of which were thrilled to donate the land. They were finally convinced to deed the land to the university in 1886 and ground was broken in 1887.
It was a bold move when the university was established in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, yet when the doors opened in 1891, 32 students enrolled. However, only six of the students enrolled entered the freshman class while the remaining students entered a prep school especially established to address the lack of high schools in the Arizona territory. For 17 years, prep school enrollment outnumbered college enrollments at the institution.
Students arrived on campus riding cow ponies, which were hitched to posts near Old Main. The use of firearms were prohibited on campus in 1892 and running on the balcony of Old Main cost a student ten demerits. When a student’s performance was not adequate, a meeting was scheduled with the entire faculty as well as the student’s parents.
The first class graduated in 1895 with three members of the class gaining recognition for their careers. Mercedes Shibell entered the college at the age of 15, becoming an early career woman. She worked for the Y.W.C.A. in food management for 35 years, taking positions in France during World War I and later South America. Charles Oma Rouse was the son of an Associate Justice of the U.S. District Court in Florence, entering the university at the age of 14½. He served as the Pima County School Superintendent and as president of the Alumni Association. Mary Flint Walker was born in Glasgow, Scotland, arriving in Arizona when her father took the position of foreman and Assistant Horticulturist at the University. She was the first foreign student, enrolling at the age of 17. She taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Benson, Arizona after graduation.
Today, the University of Arizona is recognized as a global leader, ranked 16th for employability of graduates. It is a leader in research with more than $580 million in research investment each year. The campus has grown to include 380 acres in central Tucson.
University of Arizona Accreditation Details
The University of Arizona is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Accreditation indicates that an institute of higher learning has met or exceeded requirements established by the accrediting agency regarding excellence in education. In addition to regional accreditation, the University of Arizona is accredited by numerous program-specific accrediting agencies including:
- Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
- Advisory Committee for International Scholars
- American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
- American Psychological Association
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- Commission on Rehabilitation Education
- Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- National Association of Schools of Art & Design
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
University of Arizona Application Requirements
Incoming freshmen who have not attended another college or university must complete an online application and pay the applicable fees. In addition, they must have official high school transcripts submitted by their school. Students must also provide their official SAT or ACT test scores. Some programs have additional application requirements so students are encouraged to speak to an admissions counselor before applying.
Students who have attended other colleges or universities and earned 12 or more transferrable credits are considered transfer students. Students must provide official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended as well as an official high school transcript if they are under the age of 22.
Graduate students must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited college or university. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.00. Some departments do require students to take the GRE, GMAT or the Miller Analogies Test although tests are not required for all admissions. Transcripts must be provided from every college and university attended.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for undergraduate students who are Arizona residents is $11,400 and for non-residents $32,800. Tuition for graduate students who are Arizona residents is $12,000 and for non-residents $30,400. Online tuition ranges from $490 to $515 per credit hour for both resident and non-resident students. Cost of tuition varies between programs so students are encouraged to discuss specific costs with an admissions counselor.
Financial aid is available and over 86 percent of undergraduate students receive a financial aid package. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet specific requirements in order to receive federal financial aid. Aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships and loans.
Online Degree(s) Available
Agricultural Education: Professional Agriculture Emphasis (MS)
The graduate degree in agricultural education prepares students for careers in agriculture and life sciences as well as those available in formal and informal educational settings. The program is designed for working professionals in agriculture with two options. Students may choose a traditional research option, which requires completion of a thesis or the professional agriculture option, which requires a cumulative project as opposed to a thesis. Students must complete nine units of online coursework and 21 remaining units of electives.
Business Administration – Eller College (MBA)
The Business Administration Master’s degree at the University of Arizona develops business leaders who solve real world problems with a critical thinking framework. Students are also provided advanced communication skills in order to provide solutions to a diverse group of stakeholders. Students may concentrate their studies in finance, marketing, management information systems as well as management and organizations. Students must complete 45 credits and the program can be completed in between 14 months to six years. The program is available completely online and are presented in a carousel format with eight-week sessions that begin six times per year.
Clinical Systems Leadership (RN to MS)
The online Clinical Systems Leadership program at the University of Arizona is designed for working RNs who want higher education that fits into their busy lives. Students may choose two tracks depending on whether they hold an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It is one of the country’s most respected nursing programs, offering an engaging and patient-centered curriculum.
Second Language Learning & Educational Technology MA
The Second Language Learning & Educational Technology graduate degree at the University of Arizona is designed for second language professionals who wish to enter the technologically advanced language classroom. Students are provided with instruction in computer-assisted language learning, online delivery and technology. The program is designed to be taken over two summers and two semesters.
The University of Arizona, despite its unique origins, has grown to become one of the nation’s leading research universities. At the University of Arizona, adults who have work, social or family obligations that prevent them from traditional classroom learning, have the ability to earn degrees in an online format that provides the flexibility they need to achieve their higher education goals.