The University of Arizona is a place of wonder where you can do the extraordinary with extraordinary people.
Who We Are
As Arizona’s land-grant university, we are driven to do great things. It’s our passion to transform the lives of our student Wildcats and to solve some of the biggest challenges facing our state and the world.
But what makes us unique is how we do it. We live our purpose, mission and values every day. And we do this in one of the most incredible places on Earth, surrounded by majestic mountains and Saguaro forests, and under a sky that ignites imaginations with cotton candy sunsets and diamond-filled nights. At the University of Arizona, everywhere you look is filled with wonder.
We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples. Today, Arizona is home to 22 federally recognized tribes, with Tucson being home to the O’odham and the Yaqui. Committed to diversity and inclusion, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.
The University of Arizona was established in 1885, and 27 years later, Arizona became a state. The first building, Old Main, was completed in 1890. It housed the School of Agriculture with classrooms, labs and a mess hall.
There were many obstacles on the path to opening the university. However, we never gave up on our mission. Our first graduating class of three students in 1895 set us on an incredible journey of learning and discovery with stories of wonder that continue to shape our Wildcat spirit:
The Morrill land-grant acts of 1862 and 1890 designated us as Arizona’s Land-grant university
Bear Down! Our beloved rallying cry, first heard in 1926, has become part of our core identity and is used by Arizona Wildcats all around the world
In 1937 we invented tree-ring research and opened the first lab for dendrochronology
We helped map the moon so that the Eagle could land in 1969 and sampled an asteroid in 2021 for the first time in U.S. history. #SpaceIsWildcatCountry
Our military history runs deep. In 2016, on the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we honored the service members killed on the USS Arizona with the USS Arizona Mall Memorial
In Spring 2022, we open the new Student Success District, a restoration of iconic campus buildings with cutting-edge technologies and services to improve how students live, work and study.
Land-grant designation and completion of Old Main
The birth of "Bear Down!"
Invention of tree-ring research
NASA uses our lunar map to land on the moon
Installation of the USS Arizona Mall Memorial
The OSIRIS-REx mission samples asteroid Bennu