DEGREE FINDER is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

University of Kentucky appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Engineering Schools

15 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Kentucky

The University of Kentucky was established in 1865 by lawyer John Bryan Bowman under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. Courses at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky were initially held at Ashland, Henry Clay's historic estate. By the early 1880s, the school admitted its first women and started one of the United States' Agricultural Experiment Stations. Nearing its sesquicentennial, UK now stands as a flagship public, co-educational RU/VH research powerhouse with a $1.14 billion endowment. More than 22,700 undergrad and 7,000 post-grad Wildcats enroll in UK's 16 colleges. The University of Kentucky occupies 784 urban acres, including Memorial Coliseum, in Lexington just 78 miles from Louisville.

According to the U.S. News, Kentucky is the 133rd best national university and 63rd top public school with 82 percent freshman retention. In particular, UK has America's sixth best pharmacy, fourth top health librarianship, and sixth best rehabilitation counseling programs. Forbes applauded UK as the 130th best research university countrywide. On Niche, the University of Kentucky was recognized for the 11th "Best Greek Life" and 16th "Best College Athletics." Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked Lexington as the nation's sixth best value city. The Princeton Review placed UK within the "Best 172 Law Schools." ARWU also puts Kentucky in the globe's top 400 universities.

University of Kentucky Accreditation Details

At Level VI, the University of Kentucky had its regional accreditation reaffirmed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in 2013. Therefore, it's a Title IV-eligible institution in the U.S. Department of Education's eyes. More specialized accreditations maintained by UK departments include:

• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

• National Association of Schools of Arts and Design (NASAD)

• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

• Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

• Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

• Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)

University of Kentucky Application Requirements

Getting into the University of Kentucky is a challenging feat with the "more selective" admission rate of 69 percent. First-year freshmen with less than 23 college credits must have graduated with a high school diploma or GED equivalency certificate. Following a college-prep curriculum, including four years of English, with passing 4s and 5s on AP exams is highly preferred. UK students often rank in the top 20 percent of their class with a mean GPA of 3.63. On average, freshmen also present an SAT score of 1679 and ACT score of 25.

Undergraduates at other accredited institutions who are "seeing blue" can transfer with 24+ college-level credits. Being in good standing with no probations or suspensions and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required. Associate degree pathways can guarantee admission from nearby schools like Bluegrass Community & Technical College. International students hailing from over 100 countries must earn I-20 status and obtain a TOEFL iBT score over 70. Graduate criteria varies by program, but all seek bachelor's degree holders with a 3.0 GPA or better in the last two years. UK master's and doctoral candidates achieve a mean GRE score of 155 or GMAT score of 619.

At the University of Kentucky, applicants must submit their materials before the Early Action deadline of December 1st or Regular Decision deadline of February 15th for Fall. Spring enrollment has only one deadline of September 30th. Prospective Wildcats must send the Common Application or UK Application online with:

• Non-refundable processing fee of $50

• Official high school and college transcripts

• Standardized test scores for SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT

• At least one signed recommendation letter

• Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)

• Academic writing sample or personal statement

• Professional resume or CV (grad students only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from Kentucky are charged lower-division tuition at $5,660 or upper-division tuition at $5,823 per semester. Non-residents pay significantly more for $13,078 per lower-division and $13,256 per upper-division semester. Studying part-time would cost $458 (in-state) and $1,090 (out-of-state) per credit. Room and board is estimated to add $11,434 each year. UK suggests budgeting $3,330 for other expenses, including textbooks. Total annual cost of attendance is roughly $26,700 (in-state) and $40,032 (out-of-state). Graduate students pay based on their program. For instance, the MBA costs $7,070 for residents and $16,944 for non-residents yearly.

The NCES has good news because 94 percent of beginning UK students are assisted. More than $150.6 million in financial aid is gifted. Institutional awards, such as the Commonwealth Scholarship, Otis A. Singletary Scholarship, Patterson Scholarship, Bluegrass Spirit Scholarship, and William C. Parker Diversity Scholarship, are numerous. Need-based programs like the Federal Pell Grant and FSEOG Grant are run federally. "Bluegrass State" natives could benefit from the College Access Program (CAP), Kentucky Go Higher Grant, and KEES Scholarship. Federal Work-Study will provide minimum-wage jobs at facilities like the Johnson Center. Students could also borrow Federal Direct, Perkins, or PLUS loans and the Short-Term Emergency Loan if needed.

Degrees Available at UK

The University of Kentucky is the state's largest research-oriented education hub conferring 93 bachelor's, 120 master's, and 65 doctoral programs. There's a 17:1 student-faculty ratio, which means the PhD-level, tenure-track faculty aren't highly accessible. However, students benefit from vastly diverse resources like the Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing and Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. Within the SEC Academic Consortium, UK confers noteworthy degrees like:

B.A. in Social Work

The CSWE-accredited B.A. in Social Work program at Kentucky spans 120 credits to instill the professional values for serving society's most vulnerable citizens. Courses dive into human behavior, social welfare, community health, racial relations, family studies, and more. Students can add the Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP) for full-tuition coverage. Two field practicum semesters of 600+ clock hours are integrated from Blackburn Correctional Complex to Accra, Ghana.

M.S. in Special Education

Housed in the Taylor Education Building, UK's M.S. in Special Education program transforms certified teachers into advanced practitioners in Central Kentucky. The 30-credit curriculum offers three specializations: Moderate and Severe Disabilities, Learning and Behavior Disorders, or Assistive Technology. Courses look into behavioral analysis, content design, classroom culture, and teacher leadership before a two-credit practicum. Participating in the Kentucky Deaf-Blind Project also provides a Visual Impairments Certification.

Other unique degrees awarded at the University of Kentucky include the B.S. in Equine Science, B.A. in Linguistics, M.S. in Crop Science, Master of Historic Preservation, and Ph.D. in Toxicology.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Man working at desk