Arkansas State University in Jonesboro is a Carnegie Foundation R2 national doctoral-granting institution serving the upper Mississippi Delta region. It is the only comprehensive public university located in this area. Dedicated to teaching, research and service, the university provides students with the broad educational foundations that help develop critical thinking and analytical skills, decision-making capabilities, and communication skills.
This institution was founded in Jonesboro in 1909 by the Arkansas General Assembly as a regional agricultural training school. It began offering a two-year college program in 1918, then became "First District Agricultural and Mechanical College" in 1925. A four-year degree program was begun in 1930, then A & M College became "Arkansas State College" in 1933. The Arkansas Legislature elevated the college to university status and changed the name to Arkansas State University in 1967. Today, the institution has more than 100,000 alumni. A-State has received notable rankings in recent years, moving into the “National Universities” category in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “Best Colleges” rankings in 2019, and being named Best in South by Princeton Review, military-friendly by Military Times, and a top online value by a wide range of internet rating groups.
A-State has extended its global reach with the only U.S.-style campus in Queretaro, Mexico, and graduates its first students from Campus Queretaro in summer 2021. A-State is also host to the first osteopathic medical school in Arkansas, the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine. More information about A-State is available online at AState.edu.
Master degree graduate programs were initiated in 1955, and Arkansas State began offering its first doctoral degree, in educational leadership, in the fall of 1992. Doctoral programs are now offered in environmental science, heritage studies, molecular biosciences, nursing practice, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Programs at the specialist, master, bachelor and associate degree levels are available through the various colleges: Agriculture; Griffin Business; Education and Behavioral Science; Engineering and Computer Science; Liberal Arts and Communication; Nursing and Health Professions; Sciences and Mathematics; and University College.
Arkansas State University has grown significantly over the past three decades. A-State’s total enrollment during the 2019-2020 academic year was 18,762, plus 737 students at Campus Queretaro. Home to the largest online program in the State of Arkansas, A-State also has the largest graduate enrollment, largely through several 100 percent online programs.
Arkansas State University's commitment to excellence in higher education is demonstrated through its accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission, based in Chicago, as well as 28 discipline-specific accrediting organizations. In addition, the university holds membership in numerous national organizations that support the highest educational standards.
The Arkansas State University System
The Arkansas State University System includes Arkansas State University, in Jonesboro; five two-year institutions: ASU-Beebe, ASU-Newport, ASU-Mountain Home, ASU Mid-South, in West Memphis, and ASU Three Rivers, in Malvern; Arkansas State University Campus Queretaro in the State of Queretaro, Mexico; and the newest addition, HendersonState University, a four-year institution in Arkadelphia. ASU-Beebe also has campuses in Heber Springs and Searcy and an instructional site at Little Rock Air Force Base. ASU-Newport also has campuses in Jonesboro and Marked Tree. Dr. Charles L. Welch is president of the ASU System, which was formally established by Board of Trustees resolution effective July 1, 2006, although it had operated as a system much longer.
Junior Agricultural College of Central Arkansas joined the system in 1955 as ASC-Beebe, later becoming ASU-Beebe. White River Vo-Tech at Newport became associated with ASU-Beebe in 1992; that institution is now ASU-Newport. The Mountain Home campus officially became ASU-Mountain Home on July 1, 1995. Delta Technical Institute at Marked Tree, which came into the system in 2001, is now an ASU-Newport campus. ASU-Beebe opened a sister campus at Heber Springs in 1999. Foothills Technical Institute was merged with ASU-Beebe on July 1, 2003, and is now the Searcy campus of ASU-Beebe. Mid-South Community College in West Memphis became a system member in 2015 as ASU Mid-South. College of the Ouachitas in Malvern joined the system in 2020 as ASU Three Rivers. Henderson State University joined the system in February 2021. A-State offers bachelor degree programs, master degree programs and upper level courses through degree centers at ASU-Beebe, ASU-Mountain Home, and ASU Mid-South. ASU-Beebe also operates an instructional site at Little Rock Air Force Base.