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University of Alaska Anchorage

University of Alaska Anchorage
Former names
Anchorage Community College (1954-77)
Anchorage Senior College (1971-77)
Established 1954
Type Public
Endowment $50,159,275 (2013)
Chancellor Tom Case
Students 20,000 (16,577 on the Anchorage campus and 3,000+ enrolled in the community campuses)
Location Anchorage, Alaska, U.S.
Campus Urban
Main campus: 387 acres
Colors Green and Gold
Athletics NCAA Div. II]GNAC, RMISA
Nickname Seawolves
Affiliations University of Alaska system
Website .edu.alaska.uaawww

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a public research university located in Anchorage, Alaska. UAA also administers four community campuses spread across Southcentral Alaska. These include Kenai Peninsula College, Kodiak College, Matanuska–Susitna College, and Prince William Sound Community College. Between the community campuses and the main Anchorage campus, over 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are currently enrolled at UAA. This makes it the largest institution of higher learning in the University of Alaska System, as well as the state.

UAA's main campus is located approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) southeast of its downtown area in the University-Medical District, adjacent to the Alaska Native Medical Center, Alaska Pacific University and Providence Alaska Medical Center. Nestled among an extensive green belt, close to scenic Goose Lake Park, UAA has been recognized each of the past three years as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.[1] Much of the campus is connected by a network of paved, outdoor trails, as well as an elevated, indoor "spine" that extends east to west from Rasmuson Hall, continuing through the student union, and terminating inside the Consortium Library.

UAA is divided into six teaching units at the Anchorage campus: the Colleges of Education, Health and Social Welfare, Arts and Sciences, Business and Public Policy, the Community and Technical College, and the School of Engineering. UAA offers Master's Degrees and Graduate Certificates in select programs, and the ability to complete certain PhD programs through cooperating universities through its Graduate Division.[2] As of May 2012, the university is accredited to confer doctoral degrees.[3] UAA is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.[4]


  • History 1
  • Academics 2
    • 3+3 Law School partnerships 2.1
    • Aviation technology 2.2
    • Colleges and schools 2.3
    • Libraries 2.4
    • Financial-aid 2.5
    • Centers and Institutes 2.6
  • Rankings 3
  • Publications 4
  • Athletics 5
  • Demographics 6
  • Student life 7
    • Housing 7.1
    • Student Government 7.2
      • Student Media 7.2.1
    • Student research, scholarship and creativity 7.3
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


The University of Alaska Anchorage traces its origins back to 1954, five years before Alaska became the 49th U.S. state. That year, Anchorage Community College (ACC) was founded and began offering evening classes to 414 students at Elmendorf Air Force Base. This was the first time that college-level courses were offered in the Anchorage area. In 1962, ACC, along with other community colleges around the state, was incorporated into the University of Alaska statewide system. Five years later, ACC began offering both day and evening classes at the current campus location. ACC provided academic study for associate degrees, the first two years of work toward baccalaureate degrees, and a wide variety of adult learning, career and continuing education programs.

In the late 1960s, strong interest in establishing a four-year university in Anchorage brought about the birth of the University of Alaska, Anchorage Senior College (ASC). While ACC administered the lower division college, ASC administered upper division and graduate programs leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees, as well as continuing education for professional programs. In 1971, the first commencement was held at Anchorage’s West High School, where 265 master’s, baccalaureate and associate degrees were awarded. ASC moved to the Consortium Library Building in 1973. The following year, when the first classroom and office facility was completed, daytime courses were offered for the first time. In 1977, ASC became a four- year university and was renamed the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UA,A). Ten years later, ACC and UA,A merged to become what is now known as the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).

Since 1987, the university has continued to grow and expand; it is increasingly a university of first choice. More than 200 programs, ranging from certificate programs to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees are offered at campuses in Anchorage and community campuses and extension centers throughout Southcentral Alaska. The university's mission is to discover and disseminate knowledge through teaching, research, engagement and creative expression.[5]

Today, UAA remains committed to serving the higher education needs of the state, its communities and its diverse peoples. The University of Alaska Anchorage is an open-access university with roughly 17,000 students and actively seeks to maintain a rich, diverse and inclusive environment. In addition to thousands of students from across the state, the university retains a large commuter population from in and around Anchorage, many of whom are non-traditional or returning students. Nearly ten percent of the student population is from outside of Alaska or the United States. UAA also has the largest population of student veterans in the state.[6]


3+3 Law School partnerships

The University of Alaska Anchorage currently partners with the University of Washington School of Law and Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Oregon to provide qualified students with the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree and law degree on an accelerated schedule, typically in six years rather than the usual seven. These are often referred to as 3+3 programs or an Accelerated JD Program because students spend three years as undergraduates and three years in law school.[7]

Aviation technology

UAA offers Associate of Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degrees[8] in:

  • Air Traffic Control
  • Aviation Administration
  • Professional Piloting

An associate of applied science degree is also offered in:

  • Aviation Maintenance

The University of Alaska Aviation Technology division is part of Center of Excellence for General Aviation (CGAR)[9] which is a collaborative research effort between the following member universities:

Colleges and schools



  • Alaska Advantage Education Grant
  • University of Alaska Grant[10]

Centers and Institutes

As a center of research and understanding, UAA sponsors research, training, public service and other activities related to northern populations and in support of local and regional economic development. The state’s vast resources and unique challenges are central to these sponsored programs and specialty research. They address concerns of Anchorage and Alaska communities as well as issues of national and international interest. Below is a list of institutes and centers that support the university's mission:

  • Alaska Center for Rural Health/Alaska’s Area Health Education Center (ACRH/AHEC)
  • Alaska Center for Supply Chain Integration (ACSCI)
  • Alaska Natural Heritage Program (AKNHP)
  • Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC)
  • Center for Alaska Education Policy Research (CAEPR)
  • Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (CAAS)
  • Center for Behavioral Health Research and Services (CBHRS)
  • Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL)
  • Center for Economic Development (CED)
  • Center for Economic Education (CEE)
  • Center for Human Development (CHD)
  • Environment and Natural Resources Institute (ENRI)
  • Ethics Center
  • Institute for Circumpolar Health Studies (ICHS)
  • Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER)
  • Justice Center
  • Montgomery Dickson Center for Japanese Language and Culture
  • Psychological Services Center (PSC)


U.S. News and World Report has ranked UAA in the top 20 public regional universities in the West and 58th overall.[11] Forbes has ranked UAA 428th among all colleges and universities and 85th in the West.[6]


  • Accolades is the University of Alaska Anchorage Magazine for Alumni and Friends.[12]
  • The Alaska Quarterly Review is a literary magazine published by UAA.
  • The student newspaper is The Northern Light.
  • Understory is a magazine run by Creative Writing and Literary Arts graduate students, open for submissions from any UAA undergraduate student.[13]
  • True North is a yearly magazine produced by students in the Department of Journalism and Public Communications.[14]

The Pacific Rim Conference on Literature and Rhetoric is a yearly conference showcasing Literary Scholars and Rhetoricians from around the nation, as well as a venue for graduates from UAA and other universities to share their work. See UAA English Web site to learn more about the Pacific Rim Conference.


UAA’s highly visible athletic teams, known as the Seawolves, compete in 13 NCAA sports: men’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s skiing, men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball. The university is a NCAA Division I school for gymnastics and hockey, and a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. UAA is a Division II member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in men's and women's basketball, volleyball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track & field, and men's and women's outdoor track and field. Other conference affiliations are the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (gymnastics) and the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association.

Over the years, the Seawolves have produced multiple national champions in skiing and gymnastics as well as several NCAA Tournament bids in other sports. UAA sports receive national television exposure thanks to the annual GCI Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament, held at the Sullivan Arena. The Kendall Hockey Classic is one of the top preseason college hockey tournaments in the country, and the Seawolf volleyball team hosts some of the top Division II programs every September in the SpringHill Suites Invitational.

The Seawolves train and compete in some of Alaska’s top facilities, including the Sullivan Arena for hockey and the Alaska Airlines Center for volleyball, gymnastics and basketball. UAA’s alpine skiers take advantage of nearby Mount Alyeska, a world-class slope, while the Nordic skiers and cross-country runners use Anchorage’s intricate trail system to train in a recreational getaway. The 5,000 seat Alaska Airlines Center opened in September 2014, replacing the Wells Fargo Sports Complex as the home of UAA's athletic department and programs.[5]


According to the College Board, as of July 2012 there were 16,577 undergraduates at the University of Alaska Anchorage campus. Out of that number, 1,965 are first-time degree seeking freshmen. There are 970 graduate students.

The racial/ethnic breakdown of the student population is as follows:

58% White, 10% Two or more races, 7% American Indian/Alaska Native, 7% Asian, 7% Hispanic/Latino, 4% Black or African American, 5% Ethnicity unknown, and 2% Non-resident alien.

The average age of full-time students is 24.

The gender breakdown of the student population is 58% women and 42% men.

91% of matriculants to the university are considered Alaska residents, and 9% of matriculants are considered out-of-state residents.[15]

Student life

The University of Alaska Anchorage is an open enrollment institution but remains selective with an acceptance rate of 75-80% between 2010-14. The student-faculty ratio at UAA is 12:1, and 53.1 percent of classes enroll fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at UAA include: Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Health Professions and Related Programs; Engineering; Psychology; and Social Sciences. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 71.3 percent.[16]


UAA's student housing comprises nearly 1,000 students:

  • Three co-educational residence halls (North, West, and East Halls), completed in 1998. Each holds 230 students, most living in individual bedrooms; rooms are grouped in suites of one, two, or four.
  • The Main Apartment Complex (MAC), completed in 1984, was once family housing. There are 74 four-bedroom apartments in six buildings, each housing four same-sex students.
  • The Templewood Apartments hold 80 students in 20 apartments.

Student Government

The Union of Students of the University of Alaska Anchorage (USUAA) is the student governing body for the University of Alaska Anchorage. Each student pays $1 per credit hour for students registered in 3 or more credits. The maximum fee is $12. USUAA is currently led by President Jonathon Taylor and Vice President Matthieu Ostrander.[17]

The President, Vice President, 10 Senators, and 16 Delegates are elected at-large to serve on the Assembly. Four representatives from the Residence Hall Association, Club Council, Greek Council and Graduate Student Association complete the assembly. The President and Vice President are elected in the spring for one year terms. Students who serve as elected assembly members, including the President and Vice President, are unpaid and not considered University employees.

The union has co-sponsored political debates in Anchorage, including a 2004 debate held at the university between Senatorial candidates Tony Knowles and Lisa Murkowski.[18] In 2015, USUAA sponsored a Mayoral Debate in the Alaska Airlines Center, which was notable for its use of social media to connect and engage with the community.[19]

USUAA also governs organizations that are created as a result of student ballot initiatives, such as the Concert Board and the Green Fee Board, which collect fees to enhance student life and provide services to students.

Student Media

UAA has two primary sources of student-run media. Both media organizations are administered by paid student employees and governed by the Media Board, a USUAA organzation. The Northern Light is an award winning student newspaper printed every Tuesday with a wide coverage, ranging from school news, sports, community events, and entertainment reviews.

KRUA 88.1FM is the on-campus, non-commercial radio station run by a collective of student staff and a host of volunteers from both the school and greater Anchorage community.

Student research, scholarship and creativity

The University Honors College Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) is the center for undergraduate research and experiential learning at UAA. The Honors College supports and funds research and scholarship for students across all UAA disciplines, schools, colleges, and within a global community of scholars. Fostering inspired teaching and active student learning, OURS advances the involvement of UAA students in research and creative activities—whether they be independent or with UAA faculty. OURS supports a wide variety of opportunities, including 14 campus-wide award programs.

Every April, the Undergraduate Research and Discovery Symposium celebrates and connects undergraduate research taking place across UAA and fosters scholarly discussion between students, faculty and the community. Participation in the symposium provides undergraduates with opportunities to gain valuable experience in both oral and visual presentation of their research. Attending the symposium is also a great way for students who want to become involved in undergraduate research to learn about the opportunities to do so at UAA. The symposium and UAA’s annual Student Showcase emulate professional meetings wherein student research and creative expressions are reviewed by faculty and culminate in university publications.

See also


  1. ^ Accessed 15 August 2013
  2. ^ "UAA Graduate School Degrees". Accessed December 15, 2011.
  3. ^ Green and Gold News. 3 May 2012. UAA. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  4. ^ Directory of Institutions S - U, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, 2013. Accessed 24 Jan. 2013.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b Neale Godfrey. "University of Alaska, Anchorage". Forbes. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  7. ^ University of Alaska Anchorage. "UAA and University of Washington School of Law partner to offer accelerated admission program - Green & Gold News". Green & Gold News. Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Aviation Technology, Academics," University of Alaska Anchorage, 2012. Accessed 24 Jan. 2013.
  9. ^ "Welcome to CGAR." Center For General Aviation Research, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. 2013. Accessed 24 Jan. 2013.
  10. ^ Logistics & Supply Chain Education Financial Aid at UAA
  11. ^ "University of Alaska--Anchorage," Regional University West Rankings, U.S. News and World Report, 2013. Accessed 24 Jan. 2013.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ "College Search - University of Alaska Anchorage - UAA". Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "University of Alaska--Anchorage - UAA - Academic Life - Best College - US News". Retrieved 3 July 2015. 
  17. ^ "USUAA Student Government Executives". University of Alaska Anchorage. May 4, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2015.
  18. ^ "Knowles, Murkowski debate Tuesday". KINY/Associated Press. October 26, 2004. Accessed March 9, 2008.
  19. ^ "Social media enhances Anchorage mayoral debate at UAA". Devin Kelly/Alaska Dispatch News. April 3, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2015.

External links

  • Official website
  • UAA Seawolves Athletics
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