University of Utah
#74 Overall Influence#1235 Desirability Rank

University of Utah

Public coeducational space-grant research university in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

By James Barham, PhD

The University of Utah was established as the University of Deseret in 1850. Like all “Deseret” (the original name for Utah) institutions, it was originally closely associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (“Mormons”).

Eighteen-fifty was the same year the Utah Territory was established by the US Congress as a part of the Compromise of 1850 on slavery in the new territories acquired by the US as a result of the Mexican-American War of 1846–1848.

During the first two decades, there were no funds for building a proper campus, and classes were held in private homes, in the Council House (or State House), or wherever space could be found. The Territorial Legislature had trouble paying faculty salaries, and class offerings were spotty.

Finally, beginning in 1869, the financial situation of Utah Territory stabilized and the University of Deseret began to function on a more secure basis. The school’s president traveled to Europe to study the best academic practices of the day.

In 1876, the university was finally able to move to a permanent campus of its own. The school granted its first degree in 1886.

In 1892, the school’s name was changed to the University of Utah, and in 1900 it was relocated to a roomier site in East Bench, a neighborhood on the northern edge of Salt Lake City.

Today, the University of Utah is a secular institution with 100 undergraduate programs and 92 graduate degree programs. The student body numbers about 33,000 souls.

Utah is associated with four Nobel laureates, to wit,

  • Cosmologist, Kip Thorne
  • Particle physicist, James Cronin
  • Geneticist, Mario Capecchi
  • Structural biologist, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

There are also three Turing Award–winners connected to Utah, namely,

  • Alan Kay
  • Edwin Catmull
  • Ivan Sutherland

Other prominent Utah-linked individuals include the following:

  • Mathematicians, Alessio Corti, James Keener, Christopher Hacon, Graeme Milton, Richard Eliot Chamberlin & John Emory Dennis, Jr.
  • Computer scientists, Henry Fuchs, David C. Evans, John Warnock, James H. Clark, Alexei Efros, Bui Tuong Phong, Christopher Ray Johnson & Jim Waldo
  • Philosophers, Elijah Millgram, Leslie P. Francis, Stephen Downes & Lex Newman
  • Novelist, Wallace Stegner
  • Conservationist and non-fiction author, Terry Tempest Williams
  • Science fiction author, Orson Scott Card
  • Screenwriter and blogger, Tracy McMillan
  • Actor, Matthew Davis
  • Inspirational author and speaker, Stephen Covey
  • Physicists, Thomas Ypsilantis, Stanley Pons & Martin Fleischmann
  • Ballistic missile pioneer, Simon Ramo
  • Electrical engineers, Mac Van Valkenburg & Calvin Quate
  • Electrical engineer and entrepreneur, Thomas Stockham
  • Electronics and information theory pioneer, Ralph Hartley
  • Chemists, Henry Ehring & Peter John Stang
  • Pharmaceutical engineers, Jindřich Kopeček & Sung Wan Kim
  • Hemodialysis pioneer, Willem Johan Kolff
  • Cardiothoracic surgeon, William DeVries
  • Artificial heart pioneer, Robert Jarvik
  • Cognitive scientist, Jeffrey Bradshaw
  • Evolutionary ecologist, Jon Seger
  • Historian, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
  • Iranologist, Richard Foltz
  • TV journalist, Martha Raddatz
  • Non-fiction author and political commentator, Shelby Steele
  • Marriott hotel chain founder, John Willard Marriott, Sr.
  • Former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson
  • Political strategist and senior advisor in the George W. Bush administration, Karl Rove
  • US diplomat, Jon Huntsman, Jr.
  • Former US Senators Frank Moss, Jake Garn & Bob Bennett

Admissions

What does this school look for?

Annual Applications

23,096

Acceptance

67%

Graduation Rate

65%

Median SAT Score

1240

Median ACT Score

25

Costs

How much does it cost to attend?

Tuition (in-state)

$7,997

Fees (in-state)

$1,225

After Graduation

Averages for 10 years after enrolling

Avg Earnings

$63,500

Employed

85%

Campus Life

What's it like to attend this school?

The People

Full time on-campus stats

Student Body

27K

Under-Grads

22K

Graduates

5K

The Campus

Where will you be attending?

Location

201 Presidents Circle, ROOM 201, Salt Lake City UT 84112-9008

On Campus Crime Rates

Property Crime

18k per 100k

Violent Crime

0k per 100k

City Crime Rates

Property Crime

85k per 100k

Violent Crime

9k per 100k

What is University of Utah known for?

Our answer to this is to show you the disciplines in which a school's faculty and alumni have had the highest historical influence. A school may be influential in a discipline even if they do not offer degrees in that area. We've organized two lists to show where they are influential and offer corresponding degrees, and where they are influential through scholarship although they don't offer degrees in the disciplines.

Top areas of influence with degrees offered

#23 World Rank #17 USA Rank
Computer Science
#82 World Rank #32 USA Rank
Chemistry
#63 World Rank #35 USA Rank
Biology
#63 World Rank #35 USA Rank
History
#52 World Rank #39 USA Rank
Engineering
#88 World Rank #42 USA Rank
Religious Studies
#52 World Rank #46 USA Rank
Communications
#54 World Rank #46 USA Rank
Business
#70 World Rank #46 USA Rank
Medical
#74 World Rank #49 USA Rank
Education
#62 World Rank #49 USA Rank
Nursing
#134 World Rank #50 USA Rank
Physics
#94 World Rank #50 USA Rank
Anthropology
#98 World Rank #55 USA Rank
Law
#163 World Rank #61 USA Rank
Mathematics
#148 World Rank #62 USA Rank
Literature
#83 World Rank #64 USA Rank
Criminal Justice
#96 World Rank #66 USA Rank
Political Science
#202 World Rank #70 USA Rank
Earth Sciences
#132 World Rank #79 USA Rank
Psychology
#192 World Rank #86 USA Rank
Economics
#118 World Rank #88 USA Rank
Social Work
#342 World Rank #148 USA Rank
Sociology
#700 World Rank #268 USA Rank
Philosophy

Influential People

Who are University of Utah's Most influential alumni?

University of Utah's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Engineering, and Communications. University of Utah’s most academically influential people include Orson Scott Card, Alan Kay, and Marion G. Romney.

Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card

American science fiction novelist

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Alan Kay
Alan Kay

Computer scientist

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Marion G. Romney
Marion G. Romney

Leader of the LDS Church

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Michael Ghiselin

American biologist

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Gordon B. Hinckley
Gordon B. Hinckley

President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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David O. McKay
David O. McKay

President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Wallace Thurman
Wallace Thurman

American novelist active during the Harlem Renaissance

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Joseph F. Merrill
Joseph F. Merrill

American religious figure

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Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Bushnell

American entrepreneur

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Bruce R. McConkie
Bruce R. McConkie

American Mormon leader

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James H. Clark
James H. Clark

American entrepreneur and computer scientist

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John Warnock
John Warnock

American computer programmer

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