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UNLV Highlights

The information on this page highlights university achievements, community programs, faculty and student milestones, current institutional statistics, and more. This site will continually be updated as new information develops.


  • UNLV is one of the nation’s most diverse campuses for undergraduate students, according to U.S. News & World Report’s best college ranking of 2014. UNLV is tied with two other universities at sixth place, up two spots from last year’s rankings. In addition, UNLV ranks as the top hospitality degree producer for minority students according to Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine.

  • UNLV beat out every other American university participating in the prestigious Solar Decathlon sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. UNLV’s student-designed home, named DesertSol, blended consumer appeal and optimal energy efficiency. The team won second place overall in the international competition, just behind the Austrian entry. UNLV did very well in several of the individual events, placing first in the market appeal category, tying for first place in its management of the home’s hot water system, and ranking second in communications. UNLV bested entrants from other international and American universities including Stanford, the University of Southern California, and the University of North Carolina.

  • The School of Nursing’s master of science program is in the top 10 percent of online graduate programs according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings for the best nursing programs.

  • A team of UNLV business students recently took first place in the CFA Institute Research Challenge Americas Final, an investment competition pitting 350 student teams from across North, Central, and South America. The competition promotes ethics and best practices in equity research among the next generation of financial professionals.

  • U.S. News & World Report recognized UNLV as one of the nation’s top universities by yield – the rate of students who are accepted and decide to enroll. This is the fourth consecutive year UNLV has been on this list. The publication analyzed fall 2012 entering class information and placed UNLV 11th, up one spot from a 12th place ranking the past two years. UNLV ranked 25th in 2011.

  • Eighty percent of Boyd School of Law graduates who took the Nevada Bar Exam for the first time in July passed the test, marking the fourth highest pass rate since the school was founded in 1998. Statewide, 76 percent of people who took the exam for the first time passed.


  • UNLV’s College of Engineering has long been active in the area of unmanned aerial systems, and its faculty has been researching drones, including sensors, communications, controls, secure data transfer, and privacy concerns as unmanned aerial vehicles become a part of everyday life.  UNLV’s expertise is a major reason why the Federal Aviation Administration has designated Nevada as one of six national testing sites.

  • UNLV’s High Pressure Science and Engineering Center received a three-year, $3.1 million grant to develop a new fire-resistant solid electrolyte battery. The new battery could lead to an alternative to the corrosive liquid used in today’s lithium-ion batteries, which can catch fire from impact, overheating, and overcharging.

  • UNLV is the lead institution in a 13-university partnership receiving a $20 million National Institutes of Health grant to put clinical health research into practice. The University of Nevada School of Medicine is a partner in the grant, which will expand the capacity of participating regional institutions across seven states. The partnership will address access to care, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular and infectious diseases. For UNLV, the grant is part of an expected major build-out in health sciences over the next five years.

  • Nature Geoscience has published a study by a team of UNLV researchers that examines life-creating chemical reactions that were possible on early Mars. The team was able to create and then dissolve synthetic phosphate-containing minerals similar to those found on the planet. Grant funding for the research came from the NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program, the Nevada Space Grant Consortium, and the Geological Society of America.

Community Outreach

  • The Veterans Administration has designated UNLV as a VetSuccess campus. The university has been increasing its services to student veterans and active-duty personnel, offering on-site support to help military members and families successfully pursue a college education. In addition, UNLV was named a military friendly school for the fourth consecutive year by G.I. Jobs. An estimated 1,267 active duty, reservist, National Guard members, veterans, and their dependents enrolled this fall at UNLV.

  • For more than 15 years, UNLV’s Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy has been improving the lives of Nevada children through research, advocacy, and other services. The center collaborates with community groups, parents, educators, and policymakers.

  • UNLV’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health is helping protect Henderson families from lead-based paint hazards and other home health and safety concerns. UNLV and Henderson’s Neighborhood Services Division have received more than $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to remove lead from older homes and examine households for other hazards, including pests and mold. The department also has alerted the public to high levels of lead in consumable products such as hot sauces and candy imported from Mexico.


  • A $10 million gift from Jim and Beverly Rogers to UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute will enhance the center’s literary programs, expand support for UNLV graduate students, establish a $50,000 award for fiction, and reactivate the City of Asylum program, which provides a safe haven for international writers living with the threat of imprisonment or death. In recognition of the gift, the center will be renamed the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.


  • Two UNLV researchers have been named as “emerging scholars under 40” by the magazine Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. William J. Bauer Jr., associate professor of history, and Julia Sun-Joo Lee, assistant professor of English, are two of only twelve scholars selected nationally. Lee is featured on the cover of the January 2014 edition.

  • Rebecca Nathanson, professor of education and law, established the Kids’ Court School to ensure children can tell their stories in court. It educates children about the courtroom process, reducing their anxiety before legal proceedings. Nathanson’s program has garnered national attention, winning Harvard University’s Bright Ideas award.

  • Professor Hart Wegner has been awarded the Umhoefer Prize for Achievement in Humanities by the Arts and Humanities Foundation.  Wegner teaches German, comparative literature, and film studies at UNLV. The prize honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the humanities.

  • Geoscience professor Brenda Buck specializes in medical geology, performing human health risk assessments on dust in the Las Vegas Valley. In addition to her own considerable expertise as a Fellow of the Soil Society of America, Buck serves as a sort of translator, helping medical doctors, toxicologists, epidemiologists, public health specialists, geologists, mineralogists, and chemists communicate effectively to address health problems related to arid soils. Most recently Buck has researched high amounts of naturally occurring asbestos in Boulder City.

  • David Schwartz, director of the UNLV Center for Gaming Research, recently was named among the top 40 emerging gaming leaders by Global Gaming Business magazine.

  • Psychology professor Brad Donohue has received a National Institutes of Health grant to combine traditional counseling with sports psychology to help student-athletes deal with the unique challenges of juggling class, practice, homework, workouts, exams, games and external pressures. The Optimum Performance Program in Sports (TOPPS) is attracting interest at other universities nationwide.

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