University of Nevada – Las Vegas

Any student interested in studying Hospitality – the business of welcoming visitors and tourists to hotels, restaurants and vacation destinations – should look at UNLV. The Harrah College of Hotel Administration is highly-ranked and of course, located in the middle of one of the entertainment centers of the U.S. Students have many opportunities to put their studies into practice with jobs and internships, which are required for graduation from this school.

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A P-51 Mustang hangs in the lobby of the main Engineering building at UNLV

UNLV also has strong science, engineering and STEM programs. A new medical school is planned to be built in 2017 to complement the existing medical school at UN-Reno. The Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering is focused on several different areas of research, with opportunities for undergraduates to get involved. Traditional engineering disciplines are offered (including Biomedical Engineering), as well as some unique offerings:

The Entertainment Engineering and Design major helps students learn engineering techniques that can be translated into the entertainment industry (like gaming, electronic arts related to live shows, etc.).

The business school is also strong at UNLV – students can focus on marketing, entrepreneurship and international business, along with the traditional finance, accounting and economics.  The Lee business school also has an MBA program.

There are 10 colleges and 220+ degree programs at UNLV, including a law school.  A list of all undergraduate programs is here.

About 17% of the 24,000 undergraduates at UNLV are from out-of-state, and California is well-represented among that group.  UNLV is proud to be among the most diverse colleges in the country, with over half of the students classified as minority.

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The dorms at UNLV are pretty nice!

School spirit is obviously very high at UNLV – the “Runnin’ Rebels” are frequent competitors in NCAA basketball post-season play.  UNLV has 17 Division I sports teams, and all students receive free tickets to all home games!  There are also many other ways to get involved on campus; on my tour, we came across an activities fair, as well as a free cookout hosted by the Hillel and Chabad groups.

Greek life is popular (19 fraternities and 17 sororities) and gives students opportunities for leadership and philanthropic/volunteer work.  UNLV is also close to great hiking at Red Rocks (about 20 minutes away), as well as Lake Mead for water sports and the Hoover Dam.  Students can take a class backpacking the Grand Canyon to satisfy their PE requirement!

Admissions officers tell me that despite the fact that UNLV is literally a mile and a half away from the Las Vegas Strip, it’s not much of a distraction for the majority of students.  [Keep in mind that most college students are not allowed in the casinos or bars because they are underage. Parents may be distracted! The kids, not so much.]

UNLV focuses on student success with the Academic Success Center, where there are free tutoring services, study workshops, a writing center, a career services center and counseling and psychological services.  Just like any other large public university, students need to actively advocate for themselves and stay focused to complete all requirements and graduate in four years.

UNLV participates in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, but scores and GPA requirements are fairly high for California students.  Students can be admitted with lower test scores and GPAs than listed here, but they may not receive the tuition discount.

Evelyn visited UNLV in January, 2015.  You can see all of the photos from her visit here.

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