University of Nevada, Reno

Magellan College Counseling - UN - Reno MacKay Hall 3
Home to the Earth Sciences and Engineering departments, MacKay Mines is on the National Historic Registry.

You might think of UNLV when you think of colleges in Nevada, but the University of Nevada, Reno is the flagship institution of the state.  Founded in 1874, UNR has 150 majors and programs within eight undergraduate colleges.  There are about 17,000 undergraduates and about 3,000 graduate students.

Nursing is one of the more popular undergraduate programs at UNR, and classes can be impacted.  Some introductory courses (in all majors) can grow as large as 200-300 students, but as with most colleges, classes get smaller as students get past those introductory levels; about 20% of classes have more than 50 students.  The student-to-faculty ratio is about 22:1.  The students we met with said that it’s rare for students to not be able to get into a prerequisite class.

UNR has strong programs in education and the natural sciences; for now, UNR is the only medical school in Nevada, but this will change when UNLV’s approved medical school opens in 2017.  Students who graduate from UNR’s School of Education do so with a teaching credential that is valid in California.  The School of Journalism is also strong, and students have a variety of university media outlets at which they can practice their craft.  Within the College of Liberal Arts, criminal justice is a popular major, with both pre-law and law enforcement tracks.

Magellan College Counseling - UN - Reno - Nevada SagebrushThe UNR campus looks exactly how you would expect a college campus to look – old brick buildings built on several bustling quads.  Tahoe’s mountains provide added scenery, and are just 45 minutes away for students who ski or snowboard.  Students we met were very happy with their experience at UNR, and seemed to have a good balance between their academic and social life.  About 10% of students join Greek fraternities and sororities.  There is an active student government organization (elected officers are paid for top jobs like student body president/vice-president) and a very active center for cultural diversity, which supports groups that provide programming for minority students.  There is an active Hillel as well.  UNR’s sports are Division 1, and there is very strong school spirit for the baseball, basketball, football teams.

UNR participates in the WUE program, which means that California students who meet the requirements (3.0 GPA minimum, 22 ACT or 1100 SAT CR+M score) and who live on campus will pay a reduced tuition rate.  This is an important feature as less than 11% of students live on campus – there is not enough housing to provide rooms for all students.  Therefore, UNR recommends that students apply for housing as soon as possible after applying, without waiting to hear if they are admitted. UNR is building new residence halls rapidly at this point, trying to keep up with demand.

Debbie visited UNR in May, 2014, and Evelyn visited UNR in April, 2015.  You can see all of our photos of the campus here.

Admissions Stats:

  • Looking for 3.0 weighted GPA in core courses (they do not include foreign language in the GPA)
  • Recommend four years of math, will take the best three.
  • Require 3 yrs of natural science, 2 with lab.
  • GPA requirement can be waived with 22 ACT or 1040 SAT (CR+M) score.
  • WUE is only awarded to students with 3.0 core academic GPA, PLUS 1100 SAT CR+M or 23 ACT.  No exceptions.

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