In 1879, eight physicians began a private, proprietary medical education program in Little Rock and became affiliated with the Arkansas Industrial University (AIU). In 1899, AIU became the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with the medical program in Little Rock serving as its medical department. The Department became the College of Medicine in 1918, and later, other related academic programs were established: the Graduate School (1943), College of Pharmacy (1951) and College of Nursing (1953). A new University Hospital was built and joined the campus in 1956, and in 1971, the School of Health Professions was established to provide allied health education. The College of Public Health was established in 2001. UAMS also provides support for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI). As the state’s primary health policy center, ACHI serves as a resource for non-partisan, policy-relevant information and has become widely recognized as a trusted advisor and catalyst for change.

As Arkansas largest public employer, and including its major teaching affiliates, UAMS estimates that its economic impact to the state economy is $4.5 billion annually. UAMS student enrollment has grown by more than 50 percent to approximately 2,836 students across all five colleges and the Graduate School. Most UAMS students remain in Arkansas after graduation as teachers, researchers, and as medical practitioners. UAMS has 10,500 employees of the total 17,000 that make up the University of Arkansas System. Last year, UAMS had almost 1,000 graduates from 75 accredited programs.

The Mission

The mission of UAMS is to improve the health, healthcare, and well-being of Arkansans and of others in the region, the nation, and the world through:

  • Educating of current and future health professionals and the public;
  • Providing high quality, innovative, patient and family-centered healthcare and specialty expertise not routinely available in community settings, and;
  • Advancing knowledge in areas of human health and disease and translating and accelerating discoveries into health improvements.

Core Values

Integrity – We foster, encourage, and expect honesty, accountability and transparency in pursuit of the highest ethical and professional standards in all that we do. We take responsibility for our performance and will engage our employees, patients and families, learners and stakeholders in our critical decisions that are timely, complete and accurate.

Respect – We embrace a culture of professionalism with respect for the dignity of all persons.

Diversity – We are committed to the importance of the diversity of UAMS leadership, faculty, staff, and learners in order to enhance the education of the learners, reduce racial and ethnic health disparities in our state, and honor the unique contributions by a diversity of values, beliefs and culture by providing an environment in which all employees and views are welcomed.

Teamwork – We seek to create interdisciplinary and inter-professional, synergistic, and collegial relationships characterized by honesty, collaboration, inclusiveness, and flexibility.

Creativity – We encourage and support innovation, imagination, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and vision.

Excellence – We strive to achieve, through continuous improvement and adherence to institutional policies and best practices, and collaboration with colleagues, patients and families, the highest quality and standards in all our endeavors.

Vision 2020

UAMS, with its intersection of education, research and clinical programs, brings a unique capacity to lead healthcare improvement in Arkansas. Among its assets for leadership are its status as the only academic health center in the state, its statewide network of centers for public education and clinical outreach, its emphasis on population health, and its leadership in health informatics and statewide information technology. In addition, UAMS has a unique capacity for translational research, speeding the rate at which research can inform clinical care and health improvement.

By 2020, UAMS Will:

  • Create an integrated, patient and family-centered healthcare environment that effectively and efficiently produces better health outcomes, enhances the patient and family experience, and fosters clinical program growth at UAMS;
  • Educate culturally competent health professionals equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to practice collaborative care and adapt to changes in the healthcare field;
  • Continue to develop and expand nationally recognized, multi-disciplinary research programs aligned with health needs in the state and nation;
  • Develop research, educational, and technical assistance expertise in population-health strategies to promote prevention efforts for high-priority health issues and to improve the health of Arkansans, and;
  • Support the talent-rich environment at UAMS through employee support programs, enhanced organizational communication, and employee development.

College of Medicine

The College of Medicine is the largest academic unit of UAMS with approximately 680 students and freshman enrollment of 174. In addition, the College is responsible for the training of approximately 800 residents and fellows each year in 58 ACGME-approved training programs. The College has over 1,780 faculty members (1,250+ full-time) and approximately 1,400 non-faculty staff members. The College is organized into 29 departments and freestanding divisions (22 clinical; 7 basic science). The overall budget for the College is just under $300 million. In addition, the College raised over $40 million in philanthropy last year.

College of Nursing

The College of Nursing, a CCNE accredited institution, offers six distinct programs: the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), the BSN Completion and Articulated BSN/MNSc, the Master’s in Nursing Science (MNSc) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The BSN Completion and Articulated BSN/MNSc program for RNs is offered online and is coordinated off campus through the Area Health Education Centers.

College of Pharmacy

The UAMS College of Pharmacy has a 56-year history of preparing pharmacists for practice. The College has an enrollment of 463 students, employs nearly 100 faculty and staff members and is supported by over 400 pharmacist preceptors throughout the state. The College of Pharmacy’s pharmaceutical science program was ranked 5th in the nation by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Programs operated by the college include the Arkansas Poison Control Center, the Arkansas Drug Information Center, the Nuclear Education Online program, and the Evidence Based Prescription Drug Program.

College of Health Professions

The College of Health Professions (CHP) was founded in 1971. The CHP currently offers programs at various degree and certificate levels in 17 different professional areas. Graduate and undergraduate enrollment in the professional programs currently totals more than 600 students. A newly developed Physician Assistant Program enrolled its first students in the summer of 2013 and had its first graduating class in 2015. The CHP added a physical therapy program in 2015 and an occupational therapy program is under development.

College of Public Health

The UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health was established as the sixth and newest academic unit at UAMS in July 2001. Teaching programs provide instruction for over 260 students in Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, six different versions of the MPH, four MPH combined degree programs (MPH combined with MD, PharmD, JD, and Master in Public Service), two PhD programs and a Doctorate in Public Health (DrPH). Research programs are currently funded with over $31 million in total extramural funding. The College was accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) in May 2004.

Graduate School

The Graduate School is the home of all biomedical research-based graduate degrees at UAMS. Masters of Science and PhD degrees are housed in the Graduate School including a PhD in Nursing in coordination with the College of Nursing. The Graduate School started a Biomedical Bioinformatics program in the Fall of 2017, offering both an MS and PhD level degrees. All faculty members at UAMS who are engaged in conducting research and training graduate students in pursuit of research degrees may apply for a joint appointment in the Graduate School.


University of Arkansas Health System

The UAMS Health System has recently completed a period of significant facilities expansion and improvement. In 2009, a $200 million, 540,000-square-foot hospital expansion and other expansion since then has resulted in a total of 514 inpatient beds, including 411 adult beds, 64 bassinets and 40 psychiatric beds. These facilities enable the people of UAMS to create comfort, hope and healing for more patients and families than ever before. UAMS operates the only adult Level I Trauma Center in the state of Arkansas.

The outpatient clinics, which saw 495,329 visits this past year, are located in the Outpatient Center, as well as in the institutes and in the distributed primary care program. Hospital & Health Networks magazine of the American Hospital Association has named UAMS one of the “100 Most Wired Hospitals” for its use of technology.

Additionally, of the 308 Arkansas physicians named among the Best Doctors in America by Best Doctors, Inc, in 2018, 200 of them practice at UAMS. UAMS has the only high-risk pregnancy program in Arkansas with board-certified physicians in maternal-fetal medicine. The UAMS Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) has one of the highest survival rates in the United States. UAMS was named one of 405 hospitals in the nation to the first list of top performers on key quality measures compiled by The Joint Commission.

UAMS institutes attract patients from every state and more than 50 countries for specialized care, featuring the latest in treatments. The staff includes clinicians and caregivers with national and international reputations for excellence.

Regional Presence and Rural Hospital Program

Regional Campuses, established in 1973, include the UAMS Regional Centers (formerly the Area Health Education Centers – AHECs). Regional Campuses facilitate and coordinate with other statewide programs at UAMS including the Center for Distance Health and the Arkansas Aging Initiative.

The mission of the UAMS Regional Campuses is to educate healthcare professionals for rural Arkansas. This mission is accomplished at eight centers located throughout the state. Services include ER and outpatient visits (including veterans), hospital admissions, nursing home visits, infant deliveries, health professional continuing education, consumer education and medical interpretation training.

UAMS Northwest Regional Campus

UAMS announced plans in 2006 to establish a satellite campus located in Fayetteville, which opened in the Fall of 2009. The Northwest Regional Campus is helping to address growing healthcare workforce shortages by providing additional training sites, thus enabling UAMS to increase its enrollment. Students from the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing and Health Professions currently receive all or a portion of their education on the UAMS Northwest Campus.

Family Medicine and Internal Medicine residency training programs affiliated with UAMS are conducted in Northwest Arkansas. The campus provides facilities for 250 to 300 medicine, pharmacy, nursing and allied health students, resident physicians, faculty, and patients.

University of Arkansas System

The University of Arkansas System provides communities in Arkansas with access to academic and professional opportunities, develops intellectual growth and cultural awareness in its students, and provides knowledge and research skills to an ever-changing society. With more than 70,000 students and more than 17,000 employees, the UA System is a driving force in the state’s economy.

Since the inception of the flagship campus in Fayetteville in 1871, the UA System has developed a tradition of excellence that extends to five universities, five community colleges, a college of medicine, two schools of law, a presidential school, a math and science high school, and divisions of agriculture, archeology and criminal justice. The individual entities of the UA System maintain cooperative strength, as well as diverse offerings that exhibit unmatched economic and social impact to the state.

Each Arkansas campus is led by a chancellor who reports to the System President under governance of the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees is appointed by the Governor to 10-year terms. Currently, there are 10 active members.