The University of Delaware is one of the most popular universities in the U.S. More than 26,700 students applied to be part of the Class of 2016. That's the most freshman applicants in UD history. The freshman class totals 3,855, with the middle 50 percent of the class earning an SAT score between 1770 and 2000 and a high school GPA between 3.28 and 3.87. The middle 50 percent of freshmen admitted to the Honors Program had a GPA between 3.86 and 4.16, and an SAT score between 2020 and 2170.
A leader in international education, UD offered the first study-abroad program in the world in 1923, and celebrates its 90th anniversary of study abroad in 2013. UD ranks third nationally among public doctoral institutions in study-abroad participation. More than one of every three UD undergraduate students (34.7%) studies overseas; programs are offered in nearly 50 countries. In 2010, the Education Advisory Board’s University Leadership Council cited UD’s study-abroad program as a model.
UD is committed to providing an atmosphere in which all students are welcome and can achieve. UD’s First Year Experience helps freshmen build social connections and a strong academic foundation that serves students well: UD’s freshman retention rate, 92 percent, ranks in the 97th percentile among universities nationwide. At 77 percent, UD’s six-year graduation rate is more than 21 percentage points higher than the national average. UD’s four-year graduation rate, 61.8 percent, is nearly double the national average. UD’s Latino and African American students also graduate in numbers far higher than the U.S. average—nearly 23 percentage points higher and 18 points higher, respectively.
Many of UD's doctoral programs were ranked among the best in the U.S. in a recent National Research Council survey that examined criteria such as student financial support, average time to degree completion, student career plans and diversity of the academic environment. UD graduate programs in physical therapy, engineering, education, business, city management, mathematics and public affairs have been recognized in recent Best Graduate Schools guides published by U.S. News Media Group.
UD's exceptional faculty includes internationally known authors, scientists and artists, among them a Nobel laureate, Guggenheim and Fulbright fellows, members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and American Association for the Advancement of Science. UD has more than 100 endowed professorships, honoring distinguished teachers and scholars recognized by their peers on campus, across the nation and around the world.
UD attracts talented, accomplished students and cultivates an environment in which they thrive. The University has graduated 12 Rhodes scholars since the celebrated program began in 1904. Our most recent Rhodes scholar—2011 graduate Matthew Watters—is now studying global health science at Oxford. UD also produces numerous Marshall and Truman scholars, and has been named a Truman Scholarship Honor Institution for its outstanding record of Truman scholars selected. In 2012, junior chemical and biomolecular engineering major Alexandra Bayles won the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, one of 282 awarded nationwide to students who show exceptional promise in science, technology, engineering and math.
Each year, the federal government bestows early career development awards on young faculty considered most likely to become the 21st century’s academic leaders. Five UD faculty won early career awards in 2012. Mary Watson and Sandeep Patel, both assistant professors of chemistry and biochemistry, and Holly Michael and Clara Chan, both assistant professors of geological sciences, received the prestigious award from the National Science Foundation. Joshua Zide, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, earned his award from the U.S. Department of Energy. Additionally, Joel Rosenthal, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was selected as a 2012 DuPont Young Professor, a recognition bestowed by the chemical company on some of chemistry's most promising talents; and Salil Lachke, assistant professor of biological sciences, was named a 2012 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, an honor previously won by several Nobel laureates. In 2010, Matthew Oliver, assistant professor of oceanography, won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on faculty in the early stages of their careers. It is awarded to just 100 researchers each year. It was the second-straight year that UD boasted a PECASE winner. Thomas Epps, associate professor of chemical engineering, won the award in 2009.
In 2012, UD was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction; it was the fifth-straight year that UD was named to the honor roll, and the third time the University earned the even more elite “with distinction” designation. The honor roll is the highest federal recognition for volunteering, service learning and civic engagement. Susan Serra, Office of Service Learning coordinator at UD, said the selection is a tribute to the University. “It's gratifying to have UD recognized for the outstanding work our faculty and students are doing in reaching out to the community.” More than 12,000 students—over half of UD’s student population—donated 140,000 hours to community service projects in 2010–11, from teaching opera to middle school students, to developing computer databases for the Food Bank of Delaware.
UD traces its origins to a small private academy founded in 1743 by the Rev. Francis Alison, whose first class was a remarkable one. That first class included three Signers of the Declaration of Independence: George Read, Thomas McKean and James Smith. Read also signed the Constitution. Their names are memorialized on residence halls on the Laird Campus.
Notable University of Delaware alumni include U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman; former Oakland Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon and current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco; the inventor of Gore-Tex, Robert Gore; and Wayne Westerman, whose revolutionary computer technology, based on human touch, is used in Apple's iPhone and other products.
Two UD alumni have won the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, also known as the “genius award.” They are Jacqueline Jones, a 1970 graduate and Truman Professor of American Civilization at Brandeis University, and Charles Lewis, a 1975 graduate who founded the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, D.C.
Other distinguished alumni include David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt, chief strategists for the 2008 presidential campaigns of Pres. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain; Tom Degnan, named a 2007 “Hero of Chemistry” by the American Chemical Society for his work on PxMax at ExxonMobil; Mary Patterson McPherson, executive director of the American Philosophical Society and former president of Bryn Mawr College; and Suzanne Thomassen-Krauss, senior textile conservator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History who led the 14-year project to conserve the Star-Spangled Banner.
UD has a long, proud tradition of excellence in intercollegiate athletics, and during 2011–12, three Fightin’ Blue Hen teams were invited to NCAA tournament play. The #7-ranked women’s basketball team completed an undefeated Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) season, and made it to Round 2 of the NCAA tournament. Then-junior Elena Delle Donne, a first team All-American, led the NCAA Division I in scoring. UD’s volleyball team won its fifth-straight league title and earned an NCAA tournament slot for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The men’s soccer team captured its first-ever CAA championship and advanced to the second round of NCAA play.
A citation in the Princeton Review once referred to the UD campus as “absolutely the most gorgeous anywhere,” and a 2007 Washington Post story noted, “with its elegant, elongated Green, [UD] is a stunning landscape of Georgian Colonial red-brick, white-columned architecture to rival anything conceived by Thomas Jefferson.”
With several centers dedicated to renewable energy science, education and policy—such as the UD Energy Institute and the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy—UD is working on the world’s most pressing energy sustainability challenges. UD scientists are conducting path-breaking research in solar cells, wind power, vehicle-to-grid technology, next-generation magnets and catalysis. The University is going green as well: A 2-megawatt wind turbine powers UD’s campus in Lewes, Delaware; UD’s shuttle fleet includes two zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell buses—among only a dozen nationwide; and a 2,000-panel solar installation on three campus rooftops gives UD the third-largest solar capacity of all East Coast colleges.
The world-class collections of the University Museums enrich the campus community and far beyond. The Old College Gallery has over 10,000 objects, artworks and artifacts, with particular strengths in vintage and contemporary photography; Pre-Columbian and Southwest Native American ceramics; American prints and drawings from the 19th century to the present; and significant works by the renowned Brandywine School artists Howard Pyle, Stanley Arthurs, Frank Schoonover and N.C. Wyeth. UD also is home to the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of works by 20th-century African American artists. At the core of the Mineralogical Museum’s vast holdings are 2,000 specimens purchased from Tiffany in 1919 by Irénée du Pont, then president of the DuPont Company. They had been on display in the jeweler’s Fifth Avenue showroom in New York.
The UD Chorale continued its winning ways in 2012, taking the silver award in the Béla Bartók International Choir Competition in Hungary, where the singers finished a close second behind a choral group known as one of the best in the world. In 2010, the choir took second-place awards and a third-place award at the 42nd International Tolosa Choral Contest in Spain, placing in every category in which it competed. Appearances at the festival are by invitation only, and UD was one of only two U.S. choirs competing in the global event.
UD's spirit teams regularly take top honors in national competition. YoUDee, the Fightin' Blue Hens mascot and a member of the Mascot Hall of Fame, clinched the 2012 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) national championship in Orlando, Florida—its second-straight championship, and its fourth in 11 years. UD's cheerleading squad finished second in the UCA Division I championships, and the dance team, also Division I, took second place in the hip-hop finals. The highly regarded UD Marching Band is 300 members strong and performs championship-caliber halftime shows at football games.