Students interested in cutting-edge industrial and medical technology and research at a major university in a large metropolitan area should consider the University of Akron.
Located on an urban campus on 218 acres in Akron, Ohio, the University of Akron is known for its research into polymers and its excellent legal and business school programs. The university is also home to the Archives of History of American Psychology.
The University of Akron has its roots as a institute of higher learning associated with the Universalist Church. The school is now a state-assisted institution and no longer has formal ties with the Universalist Church, but the traditions of intellectual curiosity and free-thinking associated with the church remain engrained in the core ethics, values and personality of the University of Akron.
The University of Akron has very strong research programs and is considered a world leader in the research of polymers. In 2007, the University produced more than $6.3 million in technology licensing, putting it among the top universities in the nation for technology licensing.
The university is currently working to create a Center for Biomaterials and Medicine, which will extend the university’s polymer research to apply to biomedicine, focusing on wound healing and orthopedics.
Some recent research by the university to draw international attention are projects by Dr. Zhenhai Xia into dry-adhesive nanotechnology, research into antibiotic treatment for pneumonia, cystic fibrosis and other pulmonary infections done in concert with the Washington University School of Medicine and research by Dr. Arkadii Leonov suggesting that sonic booms can be used to suppress hurricanes.
The University of Ohio is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. The NCA accredits schools in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The NCA also accredits schools in the Navajo nation. More than 1,000 colleges are accredited by the NCA.
The University of Akron offers about 300 undergraduate majors and 100 graduate degrees, including a law program. Also, through a partnership with Northeastern Ohio University it offers an accelerated BS/MD program that allows students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in two years and a medical degree in four.
The university’s law program is one of the few that offer an LL.M. in intellectual property, a growing field of law in the Internet age.
The university’s degree programs are divided among 14 colleges, including the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the College of Creative and Professional Arts, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, the College of of Law, the College of Nursing, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, Honors College, Graduate School, University College, Wayne College and Summit College.
The University of Akron is a well-regarded institution, and has been recognized in many publications for excellence, including a No. 2 ranking for best value in a law school by National Jurist and Pre-Law Insider magazine, a No. 1 ranking for highest rate of return for research investment by Ohio’s state Board of Regents, is one of 161 colleges and universities ranked as best in the Midwest by the Princeton Review in 2008, plus many other accolades.
The University of Akron recently completed $300 million in expansion and renovations to the campus. The new construction, called “A New Landscape for Learning” by the university, included the building of nine new buildings and renovations to 14 more, among other projects. The new buildings included a new home for the College of Arts and Sciences, a new residence hall for honors students, and new student recreational and exercise facilities. Also added were new parking decks to alleviate the parking problems which plague all universities. The building project also included lots of new greenspace for students and staff to enjoy.
For undergraduate students, the admissions deadline for honors students is Nov. 1 for fall semester, while the general admissions deadline is March 1.
The average high school GPA of freshmen admitted to the University of Akron is a 3.0. Most incoming freshman have an SAT score of 1000 or better or an ACT score of 21 or better. Various programs within the school may have further requirements.
The university requires an application fee consisting of $30 regular application fee, $30 out-of-state application fee and thirty dollars online application fee.
In addition to federal grants and student loans, there are many scholarships available to University of Akron students. The university offers more than $15 million in financial aid to students per year, helping thousands of students make attending the University of Akron affordable.
For example, the university offers general scholarships to students who maintain an GPA of 3.0 and have SAT scores of at least 980 or ACT scores of 21 or better. The scholarships range between $1,000 and $6,000. Students who get general scholarships may also qualify for honors scholarships.
The university also gives scholarships to students who participate in certain activities or belong to certain organizations. The university’s office of financial aid can help students find out more about what scholarships they may be eligible for.
Located in a metropolitan area, there’s plenty outside of the university for students to do, but there’s also a strong on campus community at the University of Akron.
About 29,000 students attend the university. While students of all races are represented there, the campus is mostly white, as 76 percent of on campus students identify as non-Hispanic Caucasians.
The university has more than 20 fraternities and sororities, and the Delta Gamma sorority was actually founded at the University of Akron. Many of the fraternities and sororities have houses east of the campus in the Spicertown neighborhood near the football stadium.
With more than 200 college organizations, the university has a wide variety of clubs and activities to appeal to students.
The university offers 13 intramural sports, including perennial college campus favorite ultimate Frisbee.
Off campus, students can check out the Akron Art Museum or Inventor’s Hall of Fame, or take a short trip to Cleveland to see the Pro Football Hall of Fame or Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The University of Akron Zips are a NCAA Division-1 school and play in the Mid-American Conference.
The Zips have a big football rivalry with in-state opponent Kent State, who they play annually for the Wagon Wheel. In 2005, the team made it to the Motor City Bowl, a Division 1-A game, but unfortunately they lost to the University of Memphis.
The university’s men’s basketball team in 2010 played in the MAC Tournament Championship and narrowly lost to Ohio. The basketball team has reached the MAC Tournament Championship for four years in a row, capturing the title in 2009.
The soccer team is strong, with the Zips capturing a national championship in 2010 against the University of Louisville, marking the first national championship won by the university in any team sport.
The university also has several strong women’s teams, including a women’s cross country team that won the MAC Championship in 2005.
The university offers rifle, softball and baseball, men’s cross country, football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball golf soccer track and field; and women’s cross country, basketball, golf, women’s association football, tennis volleyball, track and field and swimming and diving.
The university mascot is a kangaroo, nicknamed Zippy. School colors are blue and gold. Athletic facilities include the InfoCision Stadium, James A. Rhodes Arena, and Lee Jackson Field, among others.
A major tradition of the University of Akron is the annual Wagon Wheel game between the Zips and Kent State. The first game was played in 1946. The winner of the annual game gets possession of a wagon wheel said to belong to the University of Akron founder John Buchtel.
TubaChristmas is an annual Christmas tuba concert at the university that’s been going on for more than 30 years. At the concert, musicians play festively decorated tubas.
The AK rowdies is a traveling cheer section for the Zips that follow university athletic teams around the country to lend their support. It’s one of the largest and best organized groups on campus, and a great way to feel like a part of the university community.
But perhaps one of the university’s strongest traditions is its tradition of academic excellence in research, as the university has been in the forefront of research into various industrial and medical applications in recent years.
Additional School Information
The University of Akron was originally named Buchtel College, after a major benefactor. The college was renamed the Municipal University of Akron in 1913, and in 1967 it became the University of Akron.
The university has launched a major initiative alongside the city of Akron to help improve 40 blocks of the city around the campus. The University Park Alliance has helped build new living space and restaurants in the area around the school.
The university has many distinguished alumni, such as Ohio congresswoman Betty Sutton, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ray Bliss, and Goodyear CEO Charles J. Pilliod.