From the rolling farmlands and surrounding forests to the ocean and coastal watershed, the University of Rhode Island (URI) enjoys natural resources that inspire students and faculty to innovate and discover daily. URI's 1,200-acre, picturesque rural setting in historic Kingston Village is perfectly located just six miles from Rhode Island's coastal beaches. At only 30 miles south of Providence, an hour train ride to Boston, and a few hours from New York City, it's also an ideal location for some of the best cultural and internship offerings.
URI is the largest university in the nation's smallest state. That means it offers the innovative research, discovery, and experiences typically found at larger universities, alongside the warm, friendly, student-centered atmosphere of smaller institutions. In fact, with the low student/faculty ratio (16:1) and smaller student body (13,500 undergraduates and 2,500 graduate students), students and faculty often make the kind of personal connections that inspire creative ideas and research collaboration.
Students come from 45 states and 52 nations; 21 percent of students identify themselves as students of color; and the campus community represents diverse cultures, lifestyles, beliefs, religions, political affiliations. To prepare graduates to succeed and lead in the 21st-Century world, URI is committed to ensuring that all members of the campus community feel welcomed and valued and develop the ability to communicate, understand, and engage productively with people different than themselves.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
The University houses a large collection of American historic textiles, center for robotics research, planetarium, Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response, Inner Space Center, Digital Forensics and Cyber Security Center, Confucius Institute, medicinal garden, two animal science farms, and the state Crime Lab for forensic study.
In the last 20 years, the University has invested nearly $1 billion into building, rebuilding, or renovating more than 50 campus buildings designed to increase cutting-edge resources available to students and faculty alike. Many of those eco-friendly buildings utilize some of the most innovative and current climate control and energy efficiency systems and have opened with U.S. Green Building Council LEED ratings.
Among the newer academic buildings at URI, is the College of Pharmacy building, featuring telepresence video conference technology in all classrooms and three conference areas, a Good Manufacturing Practice Facility for development and manufacturing of human use pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, a 3D visualization auditorium, 3D animation lab, and 3D printer room, compounding lab, and medicinal garden. The Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences features modern teaching labs, cutting-edge research labs, high-tech facilities for DNA sequencing and analysis, an aquarium lab, and auditoriums. In 2013-14, URI opened a new, state-of-the-art Student Wellness Center and comprehensive athletic performance and student-athlete enhancement center. This year, the University continues work on its new Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences and free-standing LGBTQ Center.
URI's Providence Campus is home to the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education (ASFCCE), the University's biotechnology manufacturing program, and the "Admission Option" for incoming traditional-aged students. The coastal Narragansett Bay Campus, six miles east of Kingston, overlooks the West Passage of Rhode Island's prized bay and is the site of URI's internationally renowned Graduate School of Oceanography, as well as ocean engineering labs and marine sciences research.
Student Organizations & Activities
Students can choose from more than 100 student clubs and organizations reflecting recreational and academic pursuits, cultural and ethnic interests, spiritual and political affiliations, lifestyles, community service, professional growth opportunities, and more. And if a student can't find the club they’re looking for, they're encouraged to form it.
About 15 percent of the total University undergraduate population are part of URI's Greek community, which consists 14 fraternities, 10 sororities, and eight organizations that make up the Multi-Cultural Greek Council. The Greek community prides itself on Scholarship, Leadership, Philanthropy, and Friendship.
Outreach is at the core of the University's role as a land-, sea-, and urban-grant institution. Whether doing disaster relief work or environmental clean-up, monitoring water quality, building new homes for Habitat, tutoring and mentoring, or offering medication review and counseling, students and faculty are always sharing their knowledge with people around the state, nation, and world. So strong is URI's commitment and student involvement that the school was listed among The Princeton Review's "Colleges with a Conscience: 81 Great Schools with Outstanding Community Involvement."
Out on the playing field, students can engage in sports and recreation at any level they want from 18 NCAA Division I intercollegiate programs to 11 intramural sports, to 15 regionallyand nationally-ranked club teams that involve more than 400 student-athletes competing at the intercollegiate club level.
The school’s proximity to the beach and to other major cities like Providence and Boston make it appealing to students from all over the Northeast. “I think its beauty is definitely a strength, and the location near the beach is great,” says a communication major. If fine dining is meaningful to your quality of life, it’s worth noting that URI’s dining hall has “won a national award the past two years in a row.” There are complaints about the dry campus. One senior says, “Because we have a dry campus, people usually live in the surrounding neighborhoods, so you can travel to your friends’ houses and party.” Others say that students who live nearby still choose to stay on campus during weekends, since this is where their social life is centered. Life isn’t all about “getting wasted,” chides one sophomore. “Sometimes we get together [to] make dinner and just have a movie night inside our apartment.” Students are said to have a “two brain track” in terms of serious attention to study followed by equal attention to “relaxing and having a good time.” One student says, “Basketball games are really fun to watch,” and “Newport cliff walks are popular during the nice weather.” Greek life is a big part of URI’s campus yet many students don’t feel obliged to pledge; still they enjoy the Greek life’s social offerings, “which accounts for the majority of on-campus activities.”