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Alaska, University of

system of public land-, sea-, and space-grant universities in Alaska, U.S., with campuses (regional university centres) in Fairbanks (main campus), Anchorage, and Juneau (known as the University of Alaska Southeast). The university traces its origins to 1917, two years after the U.S. Congress set aside land for the creation of a college in Alaska. Instruction at what was then the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines began in 1922, and the university, situated in Fairbanks, was renamed the University of Alaska in 1935. In 1959 the Fairbanks campus was the site of Alaska's constitutional convention and signing. The University of Alaska system was created in 1975 when the Anchorage and Juneau campuses were consolidated. Each regional university centre includes several community-based (mostly two-year) branch colleges. All campuses are coeducational and offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in several areas. The Fairbanks campus has doctorate programs in subjects uniquely suited to Alaska, including atmospheric sciences, fisheries, geology, geophysics, marine biology, oceanography, and space physics, as well as more standard subjects such as anthropology and mathematics. Total enrollment in the statewide system exceeds 30,000.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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