Believe it or not, not all US states have four-year institutions.
Case in point: Wyoming.
Although the state has 10+ postsecondary institutions, including community colleges and trade and career schools, it only has one four-year degree-granting institution.
It’s none other than the University of Wyoming.
Located in Laramie, Wyoming, UW came into being in 1886 — four years before Wyoming attained statehood. It’s a public research institution with a Carnegie R2 classification (high research activity).
Some of the best academic programs it offers include:
- Agricultural Sciences
UW is a great school for students who like participating in and spectating sports and those who like having fun — it’s a party school with lots of frat and sorority shindigs, and where homecoming is the largest social event.
Are you someone who likes adhering to traditional values and principles?
Consider adding UW to your college list. That’s because it’s one of the most conservative schools in the country, and college ranking sites like Niche and The Princeton Review agree.
A Day in the Lives of Cowboys and Cowgirls
UW has a 1,993-acre campus with a suburban setting.
Situated between two mountain ranges, 11,100 students share the campus. Around 77% percent of those are undergraduates — only about 19% are first-time, first-year degree-seeking students.
There are seven colleges around, and they are:
- College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Law
Some good University of Wyoming rankings make campus life promising.
For instance, Niche ranks it #230 in Colleges with the Best Student Life in America (out of 1,509 surveyed institutions). It also ranks it #408 in Best College Campuses in America (out of 1,387 surveyed institutions).
A First-Year Student? You are Required to Live on Campus for a Year
UW wants freshmen students to maximize their potential.
That is why new students must reside on campus during their first academic year — to make new friends, appreciate various backgrounds, hone their intrapersonal skills, and develop a sense of community.
There are three traditional residence halls and another (Tobin House) exclusive for students admitted into the Honors College. Each has the usual features, from wireless internet to laundry facilities.
Room options available are the following:
One of the best things about living on UW’s campus is that students can choose roommates.
When looking for a potential roommate, whether a high school buddy or a new acquaintance from school, send the person a roommate invitation to get paired with one another.
Compete in Varsity Sports or Through Club Sports
There are 17 varsity teams at UW. They are the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls.
UW is a member of the Mountain West Conference, and its athletic teams compete in 17 different NCAA Division I sports — they have won three NCAA team national championships so far.
Here are the sports that the Cowboys and Cowgirls shine in the most:
- Men’s basketball
- Women’s basketball
Besides being a student-athlete competing against student-athletes from other colleges and universities, you can play competitively against other teams composed of your schoolmates.
Such is possible through the University of Wyoming Club Sports Program.
The following are some of the options:
- Ice hockey
- Shotgun sports
Fun and Excitement Inside and Outside the UW Campus
UW is one of the biggest party schools in America and Wyoming, and Niche, Stacker, and Newsmax agree.
Homecoming is definitely the most crowd-drawing social event every year. Halloween and finals week are also some of those that the students are fond of celebrating.
On weekends, Greek-letter association members head to frat and sorority parties.
Merriments are not limited to campus — students also hang out and have fun outside of it.
Street music and live concerts abound during Laramie Jubilee Days, which is a commemoration of Wyoming’s statehood. It’s a week-long celebration with different events and activities almost daily.
UW students flock to hip lounges, historic bars, breweries, and dance halls when not busy with their homework.
Greek Life: Partying and Sharing
Students who wish to enjoy the Greek experience, which more than 500 UW enrollees share, can choose from 15 on-campus organizations — nine frats and six sororities.
The fraternity and sorority community at UW aims the following:
- Grow and develop as individuals
- Create connections with others
- Give back to noteworthy causes
- Lead with integrity
While it’s true that Greek parties are some of the grandest on campus, there are also programs that members can participate in.
They include philanthropy, leadership development, and safety workshops and training courses.
Various Academic and Professional Opportunities
UW has an acceptance rate of 96%. Yes, getting into it is very easy!
Students who successfully get in have a high school GPA average of 3.5 — around 12% have a 4.0 GPA, while more than 20% graduated in the top 10% of their class.
Although the admission process is test-optional, standardized test scores can add value to one’s application. For reference purposes, those who get accepted have SAT scores of 1030 to 1240 and ACT scores of 20 to 27.
UW may have a Carnegie R2 designation instead of R1, but it’s better than nothing.
Because of this, its high research activity draws the attention of many highly motivated degree-seeking students with the desire to obtain in-depth knowledge and engage in cutting-edge academic inquiry.
Declare a Major as Soon as You Possibly Can
As an undergraduate student at UW, you can choose from 107 majors.
Some of the most popular ones include:
- Elementary Education
- Exercise Science and Kinesiology
- Management Sciences and Information Systems
- Criminal Justice and Safety Studies
Typically, undergraduates have until the end of their sophomore year to declare a major.
UW recommends that students choose and commit to a major as soon as possible. No one should remain undeclared because this status is temporary and intended only for career exploration.
You can double major, too, although you must complete a minimum of 180 units instead of 160.
Start Your Dream Career ASAP
UW offers accelerated programs that can help students achieve their dream careers sooner.
For instance, there’s the Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree (BRAND). It is for those with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees who want to become registered nurses.
BRAND is not only an accelerated program but also a distance learning program.
On the other hand, UW’s College of Law offers the so-called 3+3 Accelerated Degree Program. Through this, students can earn a bachelor’s degree and a JD law degree in six years instead of the traditional seven.
Bachelor’s Degrees You Can Earn Completely Online
UW Online is the virtual campus of the University of Wyoming.
Whether you have a job or a child and attending college traditionally is far-fetched, you may consider working on your undergraduate degree wherever you are in the country — or on the planet!
Some online programs are fully online, while others are hybrid.
The following are bachelor’s degree programs you can complete 100% via the web:
- Criminal Justice
- Elementary and Special Education
- Elementary Education
- General Studies
- Secondary Career and Technical Education
Meanwhile, there are only two hybrid options:
- Dental Hygiene
Study Abroad to Travel or for Cross-Border Employment
Whether you are gearing up for a global career or simply love to travel and learn about other cultures and lifestyles, you may find UW’s education abroad program valuable and exciting.
The length of time students study abroad can vary:
- One J-term
- One summer term
- One semester
- One academic year
Also, study-abroad programs can come in these types:
- Exchange partner
- Program provider
- Direct enroll
Which education abroad program you should opt for depends on your academic and professional goals. Often, the journey to studying outside the US as a UW student begins five months in advance.
Some of the countries where students may fly to include:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- South Africa
- United Kingdom
UW Reaching Out to Educate the Community
The University of Wyoming aims to extend its academic offerings to the state (sometimes other states, too).
Such is through the Outreach School, which comes in several divisions — some divisions are collaborations between colleges and departments to bring blended learning outside of the campus.
For instance, UW’s Cybersecurity Education and Research (CEDAR) center teaches Computer Science to Wyoming’s students, parents, and teachers so that they can have basic concepts necessary for today’s technological world.
Meanwhile, the Office of Outreach and Engagement (OEO) facilitates community education on addressing complex economic and social challenges Wyoming faces.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.