Colleges and Universities of Arkansas

Arkansas (AR)

Southern Arkansas University's Overstreet Hall, the administrative building, from University Avenue.

Arkansas features a network of public universities and colleges, including two major university systems: Arkansas State University System and University of Arkansas System. The University of Arkansas, flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System in Fayetteville was ranked #63 among public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Other public institutions include University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Arkansas Tech University, Henderson State University, Southern Arkansas University, and University of Central Arkansas across the state. It is also home to 11 private colleges and universities including Hendrix College, one of the nation's top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report


Arkansas State University • Arkansas State University developed from an agricultural school founded on April 1, 1909 by Act 100 of the 37th Arkansas General Assembly. It was created as one of four Arkansas high schools to teach agriculture, horticulture and the art of textile manufacturing. Today, the university grants bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees through its various colleges. With cutting-edge research capabilities, Arkansas State is building on its first hundred years and looking to the future. Collectables
Arkansas Tech University • Tech is dedicated to student success, access, and excellence as a responsive campus community providing opportunities for progressive intellectual development and civic engagement. Embracing and expanding upon its technological traditions, Tech inspires and empowers members of the community to achieve their goals while striving for the betterment of Arkansas, the nation, and the world.
Harding University • Harding began as a senior college in 1924, when two junior colleges, Arkansas Christian College and Harper College, merged their facilities and assets, adopted the new name of Harding College, and located on the campus of Arkansas Christian in Morrilton, Ark. Harper had been founded in 1915 in Harper, Kan., and Arkansas Christian had been chartered in 1919.
Henderson State University • Henderson State University is more than a public learning institution: it’s where we aspire to be a vital educational and cultural center for our local community, region, and state. Collectables The faculty and staff are dedicated to serving a diverse student body from across Arkansas and over twenty-five other states as well as a number of foreign countries. They encourage scholarly and creative activities in a caring, personal atmosphere that reflects the university’s motto for over a century: The School with a Heart.
Hendrix College • A liberal arts education isn’t easy. You don’t just “learn a little about a lot.” You read, think, write, argue, change your mind, and shape your unique view of the world. You constantly discover. It happens in lectures and labs, in recital halls and residence halls. It happens on the playing field and in field research. It doesn’t stop. That’s Hendrix.
John Brown University • Founded in 1919, JBU is a leader in Christian higher education, providing a top-ranked academic, spiritual and professional foundation for world-impacting careers. JBU offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 40 areas of study, including engineering, education, business, counseling and graphic design.
Lyon College • Founded as Arkansas College by Arkansas Presbyterians, Lyon College opened its doors in September 1872. Originally located on the "downtown" block now occupied by the First Presbyterian Church of Batesville, the College remained under the guidance of the Long family for much of its first four decades—Rev. Isaac J. Long serving as president from the College's founding until his death in 1891 and his son, Eugene R. Long, serving two terms as president, 1891 to 1895 and 1897 to 1913. The College was co-educational from the beginning and remained dedicated to a classical course of study into the early 20th century.
Ouachita Baptist University • As a leading liberal arts university, Ouachita has earned a strong academic reputation. Combine all that with a close-knit campus community and you have a setting where students thrive academically, spiritually and personally.

Year after year, Ouachita is ranked among the nation’s top colleges by such publications as U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. Our students also earn state and national recognition for accomplishments ranging from scientific research and business competitions to student publications and musical performances. We even host an annual Scholars Day to celebrate academic achievements.


Philander Smith College • Founded in 1877, Philander Smith College is the result of the first attempt west of the Mississippi River to make education available to freedmen (former African American slaves). The forerunner of the college was Walden Seminary, named in honor of Dr. J.M. Walden, one of the originators and the first corresponding secretary of the Freedmen's Aid Society.
Southern Arkansas University • The mission of Southern Arkansas University is to educate students for productive and fulfilling lives in a global environment by providing opportunities for intellectual growth, individual enrichment, skill development, and meaningful career preparation. The University believes in the worth of the individual and accepts its responsibility for developing in its students those values and competencies essential for effective citizenship in an ever-changing, free, and democratic society
University of Arkansas - Fayetteville • The 1871 establishment of the first public university in Arkansas — a state still ravaged and rankled by four years of civil war — might seem to us today to be an act more foolhardy than full of hope. Collectables The founding of the university, however, was one of the few achievements during the state's Reconstruction era that brought former political and military rivals together. Over the course of its history, the university has continued to bring the citizens of the state together by raising educational standards, improving business and economy, and giving Arkansans a hardy mascot around which to rally
University of Arkansas - Little Rock • In 1927, Little Rock Junior College opened to provide college-level courses to central Arkansas citizens who wanted and needed access to higher education. In its first year, Collectables “Jaycee” – as students would soon refer to the new college – met at Little Rock Senior High School and enrolled approximately 100 students paying five dollars per semester hour for the college’s two-year liberal arts program.
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences • Just a few weeks before Thomas Edison invented the first light bulb in October 1879, eight physicians pooled their money and invested $5,000 to start the first medical school in Arkansas. The eight founding physicians were led by Dr. P. O. Hooper of Little Rock, and the street where many patients and visitors now enter the UAMS campus is named in his honor. The initial investment of $625 made by each of the founding physicians now represents nearly $4 billion in economic impact for the state of Arkansas from UAMS and its affiliates every year.
University of Arkansas - Monticello • The University of Arkansas at Monticello was established in 1909 by an act of the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas to serve the educational needs of Southeast Arkansas. Originally called the Fourth District Agricultural School, the University opened its doors September 14, 1910. In 1925, the General Assembly authorized the school's name to be changed to Agricultural and Mechanical College of the Fourth District. It received accreditation as a junior college in 1928. In 1939, the name was changed to Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College and it received accreditation as a four-year institution in 1940.
University of Central Arkansas • President Davis joins UCA from Kennesaw State University, where he served as interim president from June to November 2016. President Davis previously served as the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer of the University System of Georgia. President Davis also previously served as the vice chancellor for academic affairs for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and functioned as the state’s liaison to the national Complete College America initiative.
University of the Ozarks • Sept. 8, 1891 Arkansas Cumberland College is opened in Clarksville as the direct successor of Cane Hill College with F. R. Earle as President. It began with only one stately building, Cumberland Hall, which had been the site for the first deaf school in Arkansas. Substantial improvement and progress in the affairs of the College, including a fairly strong endowment, were evident by 1906. By 1917 a new women’s dormitory, Grove Hall, had been constructed. Athletic contests were held in baseball, football and basketball with various colleges and high schools throughout the state.
Williams Baptist College • Williams was founded as Southern Baptist College in 1941 by Dr. H.E. Williams. It started in Pocahontas, Ark., but in 1947 the campus was relocated to a nearby, former World War II military base at Walnut Ridge, which has been the college’s home ever since. WBC began as a two-year college, but moved to four-year status in 1984. The name was changed to Williams Baptist College, in honor of its founder, in 1991.

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