At the University of Hartford we provide a learning environment in which students may transform themselves intellectually, personally, and socially. We provide students with distinctive educational experiences that blend the feel of a small residential college with an array of academic programs and opportunities characteristic of a large university. Through relationships with faculty and staff dedicated to teaching, scholarship, research, the arts, and civic engagement, every student may prepare for a lifetime of learning and for personal and professional success.
The University of Hartford was founded in 1877 and chartered in 1957 when three institutions—the Hartford Art School, Hillyer College, and The Hartt School of Music—were joined together.
The first of these institutions, the Hartford Art School, began in 1877 as the Hartford Society for Decorative Art, founded by a group of Hartford women that included Mrs. Samuel Clemens, the wife of Mark Twain, and Harriet Beecher Stowe. Hillyer College, originally part of the YMCA and know as Hillyer Institute, began in 1893 as a school of automotive technology at a time when Hartford was a center for the infant automobile industry. The Hartt School of Music was founded in 1920 in a house on Hartford's Collins Street. Its major benefactor was Alfred C. Fuller, founder of the Fuller Brush Company, who was long associated with the School and whose support helped it grow into a school with an international reputation for preparing many of the world's finest musical performers, teachers, and creative artists.
Five of the University's other colleges originated at Hillyer. What is now the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions was initiated in 1949 at the request of the state of Connecticut. The Barney School of Business had as its immediate forerunner in Hillyer's School of Commerce and Finance. By 1919, Hillyer included a school of liberal arts and a school of science, which together were the basis for the University's College of Arts and Sciences. The College of Engineering developed through a number of stages. Ward College of Technology was founded just after World War II by Samuel I. Ward, a Hartford industrialist.
Founded in 1966, the College of Basic Studies was located at 44 Niles Street in Hartford for its first five years before moving to the main campus in 1971. In 1993, this college was renamed Hillyer College in honor of the University's proud heritage.
Hartford College for Women, which joined the University of Hartford in 1991, began as "Mount Holyoke in Hartford" in 1933 and opened as an independent, two-year college for women in 1939. In 1968, the college founded The Counseling Center, the first such institution in the state serving the needs of women.
The University continues to strengthen its programs through growth and, in some cases, consolidation. Currently, the University offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees, as well as professional certificates, through the College of Arts and Sciences, the Barney School of Business, the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture, Hillyer College, University Studies, the professional schools of art (Hartford Art School), and the performing arts (The Hartt School).
The University's spacious and scenic 340-acre, wooded main campus in suburban West Hartford features housing for over 4,000 students, a modern sports and recreation complex, and a performing arts center, Lincoln Theater. At the heart of the campus is the Harry Jack Gray Center, housing the University's libraries, conference facilities, art gallery (Joseloff Gallery), and bookstore. The 1990s saw an addition of a picturesque campus in Hartford's historic West End and the more recent addition of a magnet elementary school serving preschool through fifth-graders from Hartford and six suburban towns, a magnet high school concentrating on science and technology, and a new performing arts center for The Hartt School. With these changes, the University of Hartford has extended its reach and renewed its emphasis on helping students, businesses, and the community meet the needs of the 21st century.
The University serves over 4,000 full-time undergraduate students and more than 3,000 students attending part-time undergraduate, graduate and non-credit courses. University of Hartford's students benefit from the personal attention, in small class settings, of a superbly qualified faculty and enjoy a range of academic programs typically offered by much larger universities. Average class size at the University of Hartford is 22 students and our schools and colleges offer over 80 programs of study in virtually every field you can imagine.
The University of Hartford, an independent, non-sectarian, comprehensive institution of higher education, is supported by its fees and by the gifts of alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations. It is governed by a self-perpetuating Board of Regents, of which the president of the University is a member. Faculty, students and alumni are represented on the Board of Regents.
Management of the University's day-to-day functions falls under two broad categories: academic and administrative. The academic functions include those areas that directly impact academic services and classroom instruction. The faculty and deans of each college, along with the academic area directors, associate provost, assistant provost and provost, manage academic matters of the University. These matters include, but are not limited to, program and curriculum design, course selection and rotation, appointment of faculty and instructors, awarding of tenure, student advising, assignment of grades, research and publication, information technology services, financial aid, university libraries, and classroom instruction. The administrative functions include everything else necessary to manage the University, such as collection of tuition and fees, maintenance of student records, upkeep of the facilities, and servicing the students and staff in non-academic areas. The administration of the University is managed by the president, the vice presidents of various key areas, and their staff. The deans of the schools and colleges, as well as the provost, associate provosts, and directors, also serve important administrative functions.