Nationally and internationally, Indianapolis is noted for many distinctions. We’re home to the mighty Colts, part of the NFL’s elite class. We are the “Racing Capital of the World,” thanks largely to the Indianapolis 500. We are the “Crossroads of America,” as evidenced by the pinpoint convergence of several major interstates at the center of our map. A more subtle designation that has begun to emerge over the last couple of decades is that Indianapolis is can claim many fine colleges and universities as its own, and the city is becoming a real academic star in the Midwest. Here are some of Indy’s finest institutions of higher learning.
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI)
As the name implies, IUPUI is a mid-State marriage of Indiana’s two largest universities, Indiana University and Purdue University. From its humble beginnings as a way to bring a few higher education courses here and there to students living in Indianapolis, IUPUI has grown organically into a full-fledged powerhouse offering just about any type of program that you can imagine. Located just west of downtown, IUPUI’s buildings and athletic complexes add a decidedly academic flavor to Indianapolis’ metropolitan experience. The IU medical school is cutting-edge in every regard, and its doctors can be found in all of the nearby hospitals. IUPUI also offers a full slate of intercollegiate athletics and the cultural events that we have come to expect from a top-flight university.
Founded in 1855 and located just five minutes from the heart of Indy, Butler has gained well-deserved renown in the college sports world over the last few years, culminating in the basketball team’s trip the NCAA championship game in March 2010. However, long before the national media made Butler a darling, the school was a gem on the Indianapolis academic landscape, featuring colleges of business, communication, education, fine arts, liberal arts, and health sciences. And just about every Indiana native is familiar with the storied Hinkle Fieldhouse, where countless high school and college hoops legends have been born.
University of Indianapolis
Located on the city’s south side, the University of Indianapolis was founded as Indiana Central in 1905, changing to its current moniker in 1986. This fine private school offers a wide variety of programs and degrees, ranging from liberal arts, to business, to nursing. In 2009, “UIndy” established its graduate school, offering 27 master’s degree programs and five doctoral programs.
Located ten minutes from downtown Indianapolis, Marian University is a small (2000 students) Liberal Arts school sitting on a picturesque wooded campus. In addition to the college of Liberal Arts, Marian offers programs in business, education, math & sciences, and nursing, as well as adult studies. Like many private learning institutions, Marian maintains a strong religious base, with ties to the Catholic and Franciscan churches.
There are other schools in the Indianapolis area, of course, but these are some of the very best. During the years when Indianapolis has thrust itself onto the national sports scene and transformed its downtown area into a true jewel, the city has also been blossoming into an educational and research leader, as evidenced by these fine programs. This, in turn, has brought a more diverse population to the Circle City and further enhanced its overall makeover. As the academic firepower in Indianapolis continues to grow, so too will the reputations of its finest institutions.