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University of Wyoming

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  • Statistics

    Location:
    Laramie, WY
    Setting:
    Rural
    Public/Private:
    Public
    Undergraduates:
    10,163
    Selectivity:
    Less Selective
    Acceptance Rate:
    95 %
    Tuition and Fees:
    $4,125
    See All Statistics
  • Summary

    Located on the windswept plains of Laramie, Wyoming, the University of Wyoming is the state’s only four-year educational institution.

    Its 13,000 or so students have a choice of seven schools: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Law. The most popular schools are Business and Education, but Wyoming also has very strong Geology and Biology programs. The university is the cultural center of town, and its population is half the size of the city population. The bars in Laramie are frequented by Wyoming students, and Laramie’s residents visit the campus to attend cultural and athletic events. Wyoming has a

    reputation as a big party school, and many of its students are involved in Greek life. Most of the student body comes from Wyoming or from nearby Colorado, and it is a predominantly white, conservative school. About a third of the students live on campus, which makes the UW residence halls the most densely-populated area in the state. Students frequently complain of the altitude (7,000 ft. above sea level) and the incessant wind. In true Western fashion, it is still legal to graze your horse on the university’s grassy quads.

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  • Student Ratings

    1= Low/Not Active10 = High/Very Active
    8
    Professors Accessible  
    7
    Intellectual Life  
    9
    Campus Safety  
    6
    Political Activity  
    8
    Sports Culture  
    6
    Arts Culture  
    4
    Greek Life  
    7
    Alcohol Use  
    4
    Drug Culture  
  • Additional Info

    The University of Wyoming was established as a land grant institution in September 1886. John W. Hoyt was the first president of the new university at Laramie, and during his three years as president, he oversaw the construction of Old Main and designed a liberal arts-centered curriculum. In its early days, UW served the sparsely populated Wyoming Territory, consisting of only a few buildings about a mile east of the Union Pacific Railroad Depot. Old Main and the Mechanical Building were the two primary structures on campus, and they formed the eastern border of the city of Laramie.

    The expansion of the University of Wyoming was driven by the growth and development of the city of Laramie over the next 50 years. The Wyoming Union was built in 1939 to be a place where students and faculty could relax and socialize. Today, it offers bowling, billiards, meals, coffee, air hockey, movies, and concerts.

    UW experienced significant growth during the 20-year administration of President George “Duke” Humphrey in the 1950s and 1960s. His $20 million building plan paved the way for most of the buildings that define the campus today, including the Agriculture Building, Ross Hall, the Education Building, the Anthropology Building, and the William Robertson Coe Library.

    The university now consists of seven colleges: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Law. Its college population makes up half of Laramie’s overall population.

    The newly renovated Wyoming Union is the hub of the campus, where the bookstore and numerous student facilities are located. The main quad of the campus is Prexy's Pasture (where it is still legal to graze your horse). Prexy’s is a large grassy area located within a ring of classroom and administrative buildings, and many students hang out there between classes. A sculpture at the center of Prexy's—the University of Wyoming Family— drew national attention when it was installed.

    The four main residence halls (Orr, White, Downey, and McIntyre) are connected via the Washakie Center (named after Chief Washakie). This center contains the main dining hall on campus, as well as other facilities for students.

    Many concerts and plays are staged in the Arena Auditorium, which is right next to the Rochelle Athletic Center and War Memorial Stadium (where the Cowboys play). Nearby is the Fine Arts Center, which hosts dance and theatre performances that draw many Laramie residents as well as students.

    The University of Wyoming is also home to the American Heritage Center, which contains numerous special collections, manuscripts and artifacts covering a broad range of disciplines. The collections relate to the American experience (Westward Expansion in particular) and not just that of Wyoming or its residents.

    The Geological Museum on campus contains more than 50,000 cataloged mineral, rock, and fossil specimens, including a dinosaur exhibit. The University of Wyoming has one of the strongest Geology Departments in the country.

    E. Willett Drive and East University Avenue are the main vehicular thoroughfares through campus, and downtown Laramie is just a short walk or drive away.

    The University of Wyoming is located in Laramie, a college town of about 27,000 people that is approximately two hours north of Denver. Downtown Laramie has a plethora of bars and restaurants that are popular among college students. There is also a cinema on South 20th Street, a local dance hall, and a bowling alley. Together, the University of Wyoming and Laramie have 20 sites that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The area surrounding UW offers a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The Snowy Range Ski and Recreation Area, located 32 miles from Laramie on Wyoming Highway 130 is open seven days a week from mid-November until Easter. Slopes are serviced by five lifts with 25 runs, and there is also a snowboard half-pipe and miles of cross-country ski trails.

    Directly to the east of Laramie are the Medicine Bow Mountains. The Happy Jack area is a swath of national forest where students go to hike, cross-country ski, and mountain bike. To Laramie’s west, across the high plains of the Laramie River Valley, are the tall, granite peaks of the Snowy Range (where the ski resort is).

    Students with cars will sometimes head to the larger college town of Fort Collins, CO, on the weekends, which is about an hour away.

    Homecoming turns Laramie into a festive place. The celebration includes sporting events, tailgating, and numerous parties around campus. Homecoming turns Laramie into a festive place. The celebration includes sporting events, tailgating, and numerous parties around campus.

    Traditionally, the University of Wyoming hosts the first National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament of the year in mid-September.

    UW Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival began in 2004 as an annual celebration of the school’s summer theater and dance programs, anchored around the university’s Fine Arts Center.

    “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” is a popular rally song at sporting events, led by Cowboy Joe and Pistol Pete, the school mascots.

    Traditionally, the University of Wyoming hosts the first National Parliamentary Debate Association tournament of the year in mid-September.

    UW Snowy Range Summer Theatre and Dance Festival began in 2004 as an annual celebration of the school’s summer theater and dance programs, anchored around the university’s Fine Arts Center.

    “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” is a popular rally song at sporting events, led by Cowboy Joe and Pistol Pete, the school mascots.

    Gerald “Jerry” Buss (1953) is the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Dick Cheney is Vice President of the United States.

    Jay Novacek is a former NFL Tight End and five-time Pro Bowl participant.

    General Peter J. Schoomaker (1969) served as the 35th US Army Chief of Staff from 2003 to 2007.

    Craig Thomas was US senator from Wyoming. The Republican senator served more than twelve years in the Senate and previously served as a Wyoming congressman.

    The University of Wyoming competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Mountain West Conference, and athletics are hugely popular at the school. Men’s varsity sports include basketball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, track and field, and wrestling. Women’s varsity sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.

    “Ragti At big sports games, the school mascots can be seen rallying the crowd. Cowboy Joe is a pony who shows up mostly at football games, and Pistol Pete is a cowboy. Teams are also cheered on by the school song “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” and the fight song "Fight, Wyoming, Fight."

    “Ragti The most popular sport is men’s football. Each year, Wyoming and Colorado State meet in the Border War, and the winner receives the Bronze Boot trophy. The series is currently tied at an even 20-20. Brigham Young University is also a big rival. For nearly four decades, the Cowboys went without winning a bowl game, but that changed in 2004 when they defeated UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl.

    “Ragti In addition to varsity sports, UW has 18 club teams that compete regionally and nationally. In recent years, the men’s and women’s Nordic ski teams have won national championships. There are also 45 different intramural sports, in which 6,000 students, faculty, and staff compete. There are both traditional sports (basketball, softball, volleyball) and nontraditional ones (disc golf, inner-tube water polo, wallyball). Being the Cowboys, UW also has its own Rodeo Club. The club competes nationally, and the men’s and women’s teams have finished among the top teams in recent College National Final Rodeos.

    The nickname Cowboys was used as early as 1891, when a real cowboy assisted the Wyoming football team in a game against a team from Cheyenne. Supposedly, one of the Cheyenne players yelled "Hey, look at that cowboy," and the name stuck.

    The University of Wyoming sits 7,000 feet above sea level.

    The UW residence halls are the most densely populated area in Wyoming.

    McIntyre Hall, a 12-story dormitory, is the tallest residential building in Wyoming.

    War Memorial Stadium becomes the third-largest population center in Wyoming when filled to capacity.

    The library houses a miniature books collection, with books that are not much bigger than a penny.

    It is still legal to graze your horse on Prexy’s Pasture, the main grassy quad on campus.

    UW’s Speech and Debate Team has been in existence since 1912 and is very competitive, capturing national championships in parliamentary debate in 1995 and 2003, with national runners-up in 1996, 2000, and 2001.

    The four main residence halls on campus are Orr, White, Downey, and McIntyre. They are connected via Washakie Center, which contains the main dining hall and other student services. The Crane and Hill Halls are for upperclassmen only. Married students may live in town homes east of War Memorial Stadium, and the university has off-campus apartments available to upperclassmen along Spanish Walk. All incoming freshmen are expected to live on campus, in one of the main residence halls. Another option for freshmen is the FIG program. These “Freshman Interest Groups” are living-learning communities in which incoming students live and take classes together. All told, about 21% of students live on campus.

    Nearly all of UW’s fraternities and sororities are located on campus in university-owned buildings. Houses are located on Fraternity and Sorority Row, which is the main party spot on campus. Fraternities line the northern road and sororities line the southern road, which are separated by a large park and athletic field.