University of Arkansas

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Updated August 7, 2020

The University of Arkansas was initially established in 1871 as Arkansas Industrial University under the Morrill Land-Grant Act. In 1948, UARK made history by becoming the first Southern public college to admit African American students. Carrying on a legacy of diversity, UARK enrolls more than 22,200 undergraduates and 4,000 post-graduates. The University of Arkansas is classified as a flagship, public space-grant institution with "very high research activity." UARK stands upon a 412-acre urban campus in Fayetteville, deep within the Ozark Mountains. The university's famous, 2.5-mile "Senior Walk" includes notable names like Mike Beebe, Jerry Jones, and Bill Clinton. UARK's eight colleges have an average retention rate of 82 percent.

According to the U.S. News, the University of Arkansas is the 129th best national university, 62nd top public school, and 107th top college for veterans. In particular, the College of Engineering is lauded as America's 112nd best engineering school with the 33nd best online graduate engineering programs. Forbes magazine ranked UARK as the 121st top research university nationally. The Princeton Review named Arkansas among its "Best 380 Colleges" with the country's 16th best Greek life. Kiplinger's Personal Finance crowned UARK the seventh best public value in the Southeastern Conference. The University of Arkansas was also hailed the 223rd best master's institution for social mobility by Washington Monthly.

Accreditation Details

Set for reaffirmation in 2016-17, the University of Arkansas is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA). This is one of six agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The College of Engineering has discipline-specific approval from the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Management courses are aligned with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). UARK also has accreditation from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB).

Application Requirements

Getting into the University of Arkansas isn't easy because only 62 percent of applicants pass the selective admissions process. First-year freshmen must be graduating from a licensed secondary school with a diploma or GED equivalent. Engineering majors must hold four units of English, four units of math, and four units of natural sciences. AP or IB courses in scientific disciplines are preferred. On average, admitted Razorbacks earn a high school GPA of 3.62. Freshmen also achieve a mean SAT score of 1120 or ACT score of 26. The Engineering Honors Program mandates a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.

Undergraduate transfers wishing to study engineering at UARK must obtain 12 to 64 credits at another regionally accredited college. Incoming transfers can earn credits for coursework that's not vocational or remedial with a minimum grade of "C." The College of Engineering suggests community college students enroll in the STEM Preparation Program with partnering schools. For international learners, submitting a minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required. Applicants to the master's in engineering programs must already possess a four-year bachelor's degree. Non-engineering majors will complete extra prerequisite courses. Holding a minimum 3.0 GPA in science and math courses is mandatory.

Before the final deadline on August 1st, aspiring engineers can apply to the University of Arkansas by submitting the following:

  • Online application for admission
  • Copies of final academic transcripts
  • Standardized testing scores (ACT, SAT, or GRE)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • One-page statement of purpose
  • Current resume or CV (graduate only)
  • Payment for $40 application fee

Tuition and Financial Aid

Undergraduates from Arkansas will pay $240.12 per credit hour. Non-resident and international students must afford $718.39 per undergraduate credit. Undergraduate tuition and fees typically cost $8,522 (in-state) or $21,826 (out-of-state) every year. Room and board adds $6,314 and $3,566 respectively. UARK suggests budgeting $1,000 for textbooks and $2,032 for personal expenses. At the graduate level, Arkansas residents are charged $409 each credit. Non-resident and international graduates are billed $1,046 per credit. Online courses pay the same rates with a $30 Global Campus administrative fee.

The University of Arkansas gives financial aid to 79 percent of beginning, full-time students. This averages $6,919 each year. Packages may include borrowing Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, and Grad PLUS loans. There's also the UA Emergency Loan for $500. Low-income students can satisfy need with the Federal Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). The Federal Work-Study (FWS) program and graduate assistantships are available. In-state residents should apply for the Arkansas Academic Challenge, Arkansas Higher Education Opportunities Grant, or Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship. Veterans benefits are awarded through the Yellow Ribbon Program. Many scholarships are offered, including the UA Transfer Scholarship, Freshman Scholarship, New Arkansan Scholarship, and Arkansas Alumni Association Scholarship.

Online Degree(s) Available

For a century, the College of Engineering has been the state's only ABET-accredited, PhD-granting division for engineering education. There are currently eight bachelor's, master's, and doctoral tracks for several engineering specialties. Two master's programs are even available wholly online. UARK's College of Engineering features over 100 state-of-the-art labs for exploration. The student-faculty ratio of 19:1 also facilitates close interaction with professors. Engineers could pursue the online:

Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.)

In convenient eight-week terms, the Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) program at UARK is delivered online for graduate-level generalist courses over two years. The 30-credit curriculum uses Blackboard for courses like structural dynamics, electric circuits, control systems, data analytics, logistics, cost estimation, and quality management. Applicants can begin the M.S.E. with five flexible start dates without taking the GRE. The online program completely mirrors the on-campus one for high-quality engineering training.

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.)

UARK's Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (M.S.E.E.) program consists of 30 credits of online, engaging eight-week sessions to develop mastery of electric power and energy systems. Over two years, online students delve into coursework on semiconductor devices, modern control, nanostructures, circuitry, power system operation, wireless communications, motor drives, and electronic theory. Full-time graduate faculty from the College of Engineering teach all courses 100 percent online. Admissions requires holding a B.S.E. and at least one year of professional experience.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

Other engineering degrees granted by the University of Arkansas include the B.S.E. in Computer Engineering, B.S.E. in Biomedical Engineering, M.S.E. in Civil Engineering, and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering.

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