The University of Nevada, Las Vegas was founded in 1957 as an extension of the University of Nevada in Reno. This young public university now offers almost 200 undergraduate majors, as well as master’s and doctorate programs. Due to UNLV's location on the Las Vegas Strip, the most popular majors are in the business, engineering, and hospitality fields, however the post-graduate English and creative writing programs are also well regarded.
UNLV began expanding outside of the U.S. in 2006, with a new campus opening in Singapore on the top floors of the National Library of Singapore. The branch offers students bachelor’s degrees in hotel administration and hospitality management.
UNLV is located on a 337-acre urban campus that features palm trees and green quads. It’s only 1.5 miles away from the Las Vegas Strip, and students can see the city’s attractions and casinos from their classroom windows. The buildings are very modern and fairly close together. Some student organization members can be seen riding golf carts around campus, and fraternities and sororities are always on campus promoting clubs and bars. The result of a very large grant, UNLV recently completed construction of an ultra-modern 135,000-square-foot student union and a 188,000-square-foot Recreation Center.
Temperatures can reach scorching levels in Vegas, so most students tend to hang out inside during their free time.
MSU, also called the “Student Union,” is a three-story building with an elevator and stairs. The first floor contains the kind of fast-food restaurants that all college students enjoy. The Rebel Card office, where students apply for their UNLV ID (or replace an existing one), is also located here. There are many comfortable chairs and sofas that students enjoy lounging on while using their laptops. Wi-fi is available throughout the building.
The second floor has the Student Union ballroom, which serves as a venue for different events throughout the year. There are also lounge rooms and meeting rooms that student organizations can reserve for their use. A computer lab is available for UNLV students with a Rebel Card, although it’s sometimes hard to grab a computer, since the lab is always full.
The third floor is the location of student body offices like UNLV’s CSUN (Consolidated Students University of Nevada), SIA(Student Involvement & Activities), and Rebel Yell Student Newspaper Office.
Students, staff and people just walking through the open UNLV campus find the Sidewalk Café a convenient place to get something to eat. Located along the sidewalk across the engineering building and on the way to the parking garage, the Sidewalk Café is cheap and easily accessible.
The Tonopah Complex is one of the more popular dorms because of its location on campus directly across from the Dining Commons. Tables and benches found in front of the dorms serve as a popular student hangout.
The five-story Lied Library (LLB) is completely Wi-Fi enabled (you can use your laptop!). The library has designated floors in which you can use your cell phone or be “noisy,” as well as other floors that are labeled “quiet floors.”Known for its interesting architecture, you’ll find many students who go to the library just to hang out. Because the library is open until midnight Sunday through Thursday, students find it easy to access books or work on group projects together. The library also has a Seattle’s Best Coffee where students can get an energy boost during store hours.
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center, or “The Rec Center” as it’s called by students, is a four-story building. Each floor is packed with student-friendly activities. The Balance Café in front of the Rec Center serves a variety of healthy food. Students usually grab something to eat here after a strenuous workout.
The first floor hosts racquetball rooms, a pool, and a spa. The second floor consists of several dance rooms where Rec Center classes such as Yoga, Pilates, aerobic kickboxing, and aerobic hip-hop are also held.
Students who enjoy playing basketball are usually found on the third floor. Complete with two courts and wooden floors, many students get a game in during their spare time. Above the third floor basketball court is the indoor track. Sometimes UNLV attendees are found doing their daily run on the indoor track instead of going nowhere on the treadmills.
Las Vegas is known for being a 24-hour city, and UNLV students have unlimited choices when it comes to nightlife destinations. The McCarran Airport is just a ten-minute drive away, and shopaholics can walk to the Boulevard Mall during their breaks or eat at numerous restaurants surrounding UNLV if they’re tired of the cafeteria food. Students have a few favorite hangouts right outside of campus:
Raising Canes is located right across the street from the campus. Students agree that this is one of the best places to get chicken fingers. Many enjoy the coupons given to students in a coupon book during the first weeks of classes.
In-N-Out is open late. A two-minute walk away from campus, this fast-food restaurant has great food and secret menus with even more to offer, if you know to ask. Students sometimes claim that their constant trips to In-N-Out contributes to their "freshman 15."
Known for its huge burritos, Chipotle serves Mexican food. Students like the fact that they get their money’s worth. Chipotle also gives free drinks to students who show their Rebel Card ID. The restaurant is located directly across from the Student Union and is only a two-minute walk away.
The Coffee Bean is also located across from the Student Union, along with many other restaurants. Students say this is one of the places to go if the Starbucks in the Student Union has a long line. But there’s another Starbucks directly behind the Einstein Bagels that's next to The Coffee Bean.
The Boulevard Mall runs along the main street of the UNLV campus. Usually, students who live in the dorms walk to the mall. Those staying in the dorm like having a mall to walk to, but those who drive like to explore the Las Vegas shopping scene beyond the Boulevard Mall. It is also convenient if you need a part-time job during school.
At the start of the school year, the university hosts an outdoor party known as "Premier UNLV," which culminates in students standing next to each other to form the letters "UNLV." They then shine flashlights to make the letters glow in the dark for a memorable photograph.
At the beginning of November, UNLV organizes a dinner, community service projects, tailgating and other bonding experiences known Family Weekend. Students invite their family members to hang out and enjoy the festivities for the weekend.
It's UNLV's 50th birthday this year, so Homecoming arrangements are already in the works. It promises to be a legendary event for this new school.
Guy Fieri (1990) is a celebrity chef.
George J. Maloof, Jr. (1987) is the owner of the Palms casino resort and president of Maloof hotels.
Kenny Mayne (1982) is a SportsCenter anchor and author of An Incomplete And Inaccurate History Of Sport.
Anthony Zuiker (1991) is the creator of the TV show CSI.
The UNLV Rebels play in the NCAA Division I conference. The 17 teams are fairly popular on campus, and athletic events draw large crowds, especially football and basketball games. UNLV’s archrival is University of Nevada Reno (UNR), the school from which UNLV was born in 1957. The football teams face off in the annual Battle for Nevada and Fremont Cannon, events that generate a lot of school spirit every year. UNLV’s the major football rival is the University of Hawaii.
Intramural and club sports are popular at UNLV, and the brand-new Recreation center is always packed with students. The dance team can often be seen practicing in one of the specially designated dance rooms in the Center.
Students refer to UNLV as "You Never Leave Vegas."
Suge Knight played football for UNLV in 1985 and 1986
Only about 1,500 of UNLV's 25,000 students live on Campus.
Tonopah Complex houses Honors students and Millennium scholars. It has two-person suites, and two suites share a bathroom.
South Complex is the coed freshman dorm.
Dayton Complex houses all class years. It’s the newest dorm, and it's known for being the dorm where the majority of UNLV student athletes live.
Upper Class Complex is a coed dorm that houses all class years, except freshmen.