The University of Kentucky, better known as UK or just Kentucky, is the largest public university in the state and the highest ranked out of all public schools in the state. Established in 1865, it opened as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky and worked closely with Kentucky College. The two schools later split to form both UK and Transylvania University. UK chose blue and white as its official colors, which the university still uses today, and added graduate programs to its curriculum. The university also began introducing athletic teams to its campus. Its basketball team won more NCAA championships than almost any other college in the country.

Washington Monthly, ARWU, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes all rank UK as one of the nation’s top colleges, but it also ranks on lists of the world’s best schools put out by ARWU, QS, Times and U.S. News & World Report. UK now offers more than 90 undergrad degree programs, nearly 100 master’s programs, more than 60 doctoral programs and four programs designed for professional studies. It also offers courses through 16 different colleges, and its College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, which opened in 1908, is its oldest college. The University of Kentucky has an acceptance rate of around 72%, which puts it on par with other public colleges in the state like the University of Louisville.

University of Kentucky Accreditation Details

The regional accreditation that UK has comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is the type of accreditation necessary to offer degree programs and to grant degrees to students who complete those programs. SACS requires that UK apply and renew its regional accreditation every decade, and this type of accreditation is also mandatory for students who want to get federal financial aid. UK also has accreditation from more than 20 organizations and agencies for its degree programs in nursing, art, design, music, medicine and other topics that come from groups like:

  • American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management
  • Commission for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration

University of Kentucky Application Requirements

All graduate programs offered by UK are available through the University of Kentucky Graduate School. Instead of offering its own online application, it uses the Hobson Apply Yourself Application Network, which is similar to the Common Application because it consists of more than 700 colleges. When students create an account with this site, they can use the same information to apply to UK that they use to apply to any other college in that network. There is also a $65 application fee that rises to $75 for those living outside of the United States. Students cannot submit the application without paying the fee first.

UK requires more than just some basic information and an application though because it wants to find the best possible graduate students. Prospective students must submit a transcript that shows the student earned a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher. Those accepted will also need to submit an official transcript. The university asks for an official score on a graduate exam like the GRE or the GMAT also as well as one or more letters of recommendation. Some programs may ask for other things too like a resume, writing sample or personal essay statement.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As UK is a public university, it charges a separate tuition rate for Kentucky residents and nonresidents. The cost for nonresidents is a little over $14,000 a semester, but the cost for Kentucky residents is around $6,200 a year. Its MBA program charges a higher rate of nearly $17,000 for nonresidents and around $7,000 for residents. All of its professional programs, which prepare students for working as lawyers and in other jobs, charge higher fees too.

Some students assume that they cannot get financial aid when they sign up for online classes, but UK offers a number of financial aid opportunities for its online graduate students. Those students must file the FAFSA in the same way as traditional students do. Once the university receives that form, it will immediately create a financial aid package around the student and his or her own contribution or the contribution of the student’s parents. Most online graduate students qualify for grants as well as unsubsidized student loans. Select programs through the university may have grants and other financial aid programs too. UK also accepts the alternative student loans that are available from private lenders.

Online Degree Programs

Eight of the UK colleges offer programs that are available entirely online, but the university also offers some hybrid programs that let students take some classes on the Lexington campus. One online program is its Master in Library and Information Sciences, which can help students develop the skills needed to work as librarians and in archive museums. Management in library science, information representation and access, information seeking, retrieval and services and information in society are core courses in this program. It also includes classes like online information retrieval, intro to data science, information architecture and introduction to information services.

Another program available is the MS in Instructional Design, which is open to education majors. Students can take 36 credits of courses or take 30 credits and do a thesis. Those enrolled in this program learn the fundamentals of creating programs for their future students. They learn how to develop and design a curriculum around a specific subject or create an entire education program.

There is also an online MA in Arts Administration program open to online students with an undergrad degree. This program consists of around 14 classes that teach students how to run arts programs and assist schools that offer art classes. It includes courses on financial management that help them learn how to budget for those programs and a course on fundraising that teach them how to raise the necessary funds. The University of Kentucky also offers an internship for students in this program and can help students find internship opportunities in their own areas outside of Lexington.