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University of Central Arkansas

University of Central Arkansas Rating: 3.7/5 (18 votes)

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The University of Central Arkansas (UCA) is a public university with approximately 11,000 students. It was founded in 1907 in Conway, Arkansas, about 30 miles north of capital city Little Rock. The area, which is also home to two other colleges, is often referred to as the “City of Colleges” because so many of its residents are college students.

UCA offers more than 80 undergraduate degrees, 39 master’s programs, and five doctoral programs broken down into six colleges. Each college provides a unique educational experience that will help shape your time at the University. For example, the College of Business offers a state-of-the-art facility with small class sizes and 12 seminar rooms that foster individual learning. The College of Liberal Arts stresses a community environment with collaborative learning and a free exchange of ideas.

Study Abroad

Students who want to study abroad during their college career should visit the Study Abroad Office to learn about available opportunities. UCA students can participate in semester-long and year-long programs, including special exchange programs with UCA’s partner schools all over the world. Students can also learn about financial aid opportunities and scholarships for specific study abroad programs. International travel can be a big part of your college education – dream big, start planning early, and it’s easy to make your study abroad plans a reality!

The Honors College

The Honors College gives exceptional students the opportunity to challenge themselves both inside and outside the classroom. Once students have been accepted to UCA through the general admissions process, they may apply for the selective Honors College through a separate application that includes two essays and letters of recommendation. Part of the process of acceptance is the ‘Inform and Interview Day,’ when prospective students visit campus to learn more about the College and to meet with Honors faculty. On this day, students are also assessed on the basis of skills and values. Less than 20% of applicants to the Honors College are accepted, but those that are have access to scholarships, additional academic resources, closer relationships with professors, and an interdisciplinary curriculum that stresses leadership and citizenship.

Most Popular Fields of Study


To apply to UCA, start by filling out the online application form, which is available on the school’s “Applying to UCA” webpage. Be sure to send in your high school transcripts, ACT (preferred) or SAT scores, medical immunization records, and the application fee in hard copy. Admissions is decided on a rolling basis, and students generally know within seven to ten days whether they’ve been approved. Registration happens in June and July, and accepted students are guided through this process with the help of their faculty advisors.

Incoming freshman can choose to participate in the SOAR (Summer Orientation and Academic Registration) program, which introduces students to college life, helps them register for classes, and gives freshman a chance to meet people before beginning school in the fall. It’s a short, two-day program filled with activities and helpful tutorials. Space fills up quickly, so be sure to apply early!


UCA is home to over 200 student groups and clubs. To join a student organization, first take a look at the list of available groups online. These groups are categorized by function: Greek, departmental (sponsored by a university department), service, special interest, sports clubs, honorary (recognized honor societies), religious, recreation, and more. There are clubs for everything from Model United Nations to Quidditch, hall governments to Bear bowling. You’re sure to find a group that fits your interests.

If you’re interested in Greek life, you might want to join one of UCA’s 19 fraternities and sororities, which belong to four different governing body councils. As a member of UCA’s Greek organizations, you’ll make new friends, participate in exclusive events, give back to your community, and more. The ‘deferred recruitment’ process means that you can receive a bid once you’ve earned 12 college credits and meet a minimum GPA requirement.

For students who want to become campus leaders, the i.d.e.a.l. Leadership Team is the perfect training program. Designed to help incoming freshmen become effective leaders, the program teaches students about communication skills, conflict resolution, and ethical decision making, as well as introducing them to the people and resources on campus that help facilitate good leadership at UCA.

Campus Life

There are 10 residence halls and a number of apartment housing options on campus. Three residential colleges combine living and learning in a co-education environment to give students a comprehensive package of higher education through clustered classes and a side-by-side living with UCA faculty.

In addition to academic buildings and residence halls, UCA also has some special interest buildings on campus. Music and theatre lovers will enjoy the Donald W. Reynolds Performance Hall, which serves as the stage for resident dance, theatre, and music students and often features professional performances and shows as well. Or stop by the Baum Gallery if you’re interested in art; the gallery has rotating exhibitions and educational programs for students and faculty alike.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


UCA is a NCAA Division I school that has 15 varsity men’s and women’s teams in a variety of sports, including football, basketball, soccer, track and field, and others. The Bears belong to the Southland Conference, which allows it to compete with schools in Texas and Louisiana.

The HPER (Health, Physical Education, and Recreation) Center is a top-rate athletic facility that is free for student use. Stop by for a quick round of volleyball, a basketball game, a yoga class, or weight training in the fitness center. You can also sign up for intramural sports teams, which are organized by students and give more casual athletes a chance to compete within the campus.

Additional School Information

Welcome Week at UCA is a tradition that many students look forward to all summer. Beginning with move-in day and continuing through a week of events, concerts, activities, and programs, this is a fun-filled way to get acclimated to campus life and meet new people.

Freshman are initiated during the Opening Convocation ceremony, which officially welcomes new students to the Bear family. The Conway Daze program and RSO Fair introduce students to the different opportunities available on and off campus, and the Back to School Pep Rally immediately following launches the athletic season with UCA Basketball & Football Scrimmage games.


  • Registered Student Organizations. RSO List Sprint 2011. The University of Central Arkansas. XLS.
  • UCA Go Greek. Greek Life – The University of Central Arkansas. Print.
  • UCA | University of Central Arkansas | Best College | US News.” US News & World Report | News & Rankings | Best Colleges, Best Hospitals, and More. Web. 20 July 2011.
  • University of Central Arkansas – Home. Web. 20 July 2011.
  • University of Central Arkansas Office of Orientation. S.O.A.R. Brochure. Print.
  • You Belong. The University of Central Arkansas. The University of Central Arkansas. Web. 20 July 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 5th in Arkansas and 683rd overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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Contributed Photos

Campus building :: University of Central Arkansas Irby hall :: University of Central Arkansas Chemistry building :: University of Central Arkansas

Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Arkansas and 385th overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 3 0.03
Robbery 1 0.01
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 28 0.25
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 2 0.02
Arrest 33 0.30

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 139 0.23
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 4 0.01
Forcible Rape 22 0.04
Robbery 82 0.14
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 406 0.68
Larceny 2,208 3.72
Vehicle theft 105 0.18

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4428th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Arkansas.

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduateSingle doctoral (other field)
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District502

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1635th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $5,745 $5,745 $11,490
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $1,850 $1,850 $1,850
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $192 $192 $383
FT Graduate Tuition $4,247 $4,247 $8,495
FT Graduate Required Fees $1,196 $1,196 $1,196
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $236 $236 $472
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $18,596 $18,596 $24,341
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $20,084 $20,084 $25,829
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $13,046 $13,046 $18,791

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $7,183 $7,333 $7,183 $7,333 $12,569 $12,830
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,100 $1,200
On-Campus – Room & Board $5,180 $5,270
On-Campus – Other Expenses $4,757 $4,251
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $7,605(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $4,891 $4,251
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,757 $4,251

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$25
Graduate Application Fee$25
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 3,659 (1,519 male / 2,140 female)
Admitted 3,292 (1,338 male / 1,954 female)
Admission rate 90%
First-time Enrollment 2,157 (910 male / 1,247 female)
FT Enrollment 2,130 (893 male / 1,237 female)
PT Enrollment 27 (17 male / 10 female)
Total Enrollment11,534

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other tests

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Southland Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Southland Conference

ACT Test Admission

476th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 97%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 27
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 20 / 26

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity3,596
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$3,120
Board Fee$2,430

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 2263rd for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $60,186 ($65,222 male / $52,182 female)
Number of FT Faculty 533 (263 male / 270 female)
Number of PT Faculty 723
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $11,169,389

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