The State of Nevada has had a fairly recent boom of higher education institutions, with most of the public universities and colleges in the state having been founded since the 1950s. It wasn't until the second half of the 20th century that the population of Nevada began to grow significantly, and at this point the state needed to create more institutions for higher education in order to keep up with the growing population. The four private schools within the state all were formed since 1969.
The University of Nevada, Reno was the sole university and degree-granting institution in the state for many decades. It was founded in Elko in 1874, but was later moved to Reno in 1885. It is the only land-grant institution in Nevada, and is considered to be both a teaching university as well as a research university. It is mostly known for its engineering programs, specifically the study of seismology and the study of its impact on large-scale structures. Other notable programs include its journalism school, which has produced many quality journalists including 6 Pulitzer Prize winners. Actors Gabriel Damon and Grant Harvey both graduated from the university.
The next institute of higher learning to be founded in Nevada after UNR was the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This school split from UNR in 1957, and was originally called a southern extension of UNR. It eventually split completely from the university to become its own degree-granting institution. It is located in Paradise, Nevada, just outside the city of Las Vegas. This research university is home to the only law school and the only dental school in the entire state, and it draws a broad range of students. One of its other most prominent programs is its hospitality and hotel management programs. It's not surprising, considering the school is located extremely close to the famed Las Vegas Strip, home to some of the most opulent and exciting hotels in the world.
Compared to other community colleges across the country, Nevada has a very unique set up. The community colleges in this state have the ability to grant bachelor's degrees, unlike most community colleges which typically only offer two-year programs. The reason for this is because government officials recognized that Nevada has limited resources available when it comes to higher education options. There are a handful of community colleges in the state, including Nevada State College.