Radford University

Radford Highlanders Big South Conference Georgia College & State University
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Radford University
Radford University seal.svg
TypePublic university
Endowment$47.2 million[1]
PresidentBrian Hemphill
ProvostJoseph Scartelli (interim)
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
Campus204 acres (0.83 km2)
ColorsRed, White, and Gray[2]
AthleticsNCAA Division IBig South Conference
MascotThe Highlander
Radford University wordmark.svg
Radford University is located in Shenandoah Valley
Radford University
Location in Shenandoah Valley
Radford University is located in Virginia
Radford University
Radford University (Virginia)
Radford University is located in the United States
Radford University
Radford University (the United States)

Radford University is a public university in Radford, Virginia. It is one of the state's eight doctorate-granting public universities. Founded in 1910, Radford offers curricula for undergraduates in more than 100 fields, graduate programs including the M.F.A., M.B.A., M.A., M.S., Ed.S., Psy.D., M.S.W., and specialized doctoral programs in health-related professions.[3]


The State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford was founded in Radford as a women's college in 1910.[4] In 1924, the school was renamed the State Teachers College at Radford, with the primary intent of training teachers in the Appalachian region. In 1943, as part of the state's consolidation movement, the college merged with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in nearby Blacksburg, serving as the larger university's women's campus.[4] The merger dissolved in 1964, and following a period of sustained and significant growth, Radford College was granted university status in 1979.[4] In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly authorized three doctoral programs at Radford University, and the first doctoral degrees were awarded in 2011.[5]


Radford University's current president is Brian Hemphill, who has served in that role since July 2016. The university's administration is overseen by a 15-member board, whose members are appointed by the Governor of the Commonwealth and serve four-year terms. Each year, the Board also selects a student and a faculty member to serve as advisory representatives on the Board.

Past presidents:


A view of Radford's campus

Radford University's undergraduate programs emphasize the liberal arts, business, sciences, and teacher education. The graduate and undergraduate programs in business administration offered by the College of Business and Economics at Radford University are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

The university has a student/faculty ratio of 18:1 with an average class size of 31.[6]

More than 80 percent of faculty members hold doctorates or other terminal degrees (M.F.A., M.B.A., Ph.D., J.D., etc.) in their fields.[6] Special programs include Study Abroad, Honors Academy, RU Connections freshmen living/learning communities, internships, co-ops, practical and service learning, Army ROTC, leading to commissions in the U.S. Army, and undergraduate research opportunities.

In the fall of 2017, the university is delivering Innovative Mobile Personalized Accelerated Competency Training (IMPACT): a competency-based education workforce development program focused on cybersecurity.[7]

Radford University and Northern Virginia Community College signed a Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement on August 28, 2017.[8]

Undergraduate and graduate colleges

The university is organized into six undergraduate colleges and a graduate college, the College of Graduate Studies and Research . The undergraduate colleges are:

Within the colleges, some fields are designated as "schools", such as the School of Nursing and School of Social Work (in the College of Health and Human Services) and the School of Communication (in the College of Humanities & Behavioral Sciences). The latter brings together former departments of media studies (journalism, broadcasting, web design, and advertising) and communication (speech-language pathology and public relations).

The College of Graduate Studies and Research offers 18 degree programs in fields such as art, business, communication, counseling, criminal justice, education, English, music, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, and social work.[9] The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia has authorized three doctoral programs at Radford in counseling psychology, physical therapy and nursing practice. The Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program in Counseling Psychology admitted its first students in the fall of 2008. The doctorate in physical therapy program began in the summer of 2009. The first Doctor of Nursing Practice students began studies in an online program in the fall of 2010.[10]

Campus and community

Radford University is an 204-acre (0.83 km2) campus located in a residential area of Radford, Virginia. The town is located in the Virginia Highlands, between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains at a double bend in the New River. Nearly all of the 31 administrative, academic, student services, and residence halls, many built in a red-brick Georgian style, are located on three quadrangles and a pedestrian thoroughfare in a 76-acre (310,000 m2) area, while a large adjoining area along the New River holds the university's athletic facilities, student parking lots, and student apartments. The university opened a new COBE building (College of Business and Economics) in 2012.[11] In 2014 a New Student Fitness Center opened. A new Center for Sciences opened during the spring semester of 2016. The following fall semester, the new CHBS (College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences) Building opened its doors. As of 2016, nearly all dorms at Radford have been renovated. Renovations are currently ongoing for several buildings on campus. Radford is located on exits 105 and 109 of Interstate 81, with accessibility to nearby I-77.

Bordering the Little River, and about five miles from campus, is the Selu Conservancy, a 376-acre (1.52 km2) reserve, observatory, retreat, and conference center owned by the University Foundation.[12]

Clocktower of the residence hall Muse Hall

Radford University is also home to the Radford University planetarium – a permanent planetarium with a 10-meter dome, running the Digistar 5 planetarium software. The planetarium is primarily operated by workstudy students, and is maintained by the physics department. All shows are free for all attendees.

Student life

Around 3,800 of Radford's students live on campus in 15 residence halls.[13]

Radford University has more than 270 student clubs and organizations. Some of them are the Student Government Association, different academic fraternities, clubs, and societies in several academic fields, Radford Pitches A'capella, Yes & Improv Club, RU Outdoors, sports intramural clubs, Model United Nations Club, and more.

Radford University has a variety of student media organizations, such as The Tartan (student-run newspaper),[14] Radio Free Radford,[15] The Beehive (yearbook/magazine), Exit 109 (literary magazine),[16] ROC-TV, a.k.a. "Radford On Camera" (student-TV-station), Whim (online magazine) and SMADS (student media advertising).

Radford has a variety of Greek life fraternities and sororities. More than 17 religious and organizations are part of the Radford University Campus Ministers' Association (RUCMA). They hold religious events, masses, and ceremonies throughout the academic year.


The university's teams are known as the Highlanders (in honor of the region's Scots-Irish heritage) and compete in the Big South Conference. Radford offers 16 NCAA varsity sports for men and women. The Radford men's basketball team won the Big South Conference tournament in 1998, 2009, and 2018. Radford also won the Big South Conference Men's Tennis Championship in 2007, 2008, and 2009 as well as the Big South Softball Championship in 2009.

The Radford Baseball Team has won the Big South Conference Championship in 2015, and 2017. In 2015, they defeated the Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina with a walk-off single by Hunter Higgerson. The team finished with a final record of 45–16. The team was selected to compete in the Nashville Regional where they went 2–2, with wins against Lipscomb University and Indiana University, before losing to the 2015 National Runner-up Vanderbilt University, in the Regional Finals.

The Radford men's Rugby club team won the Division II National Championship in 2003 and 2008.

Student athletes have exclusive use of the Dedmon Center, a recreational and convocation complex that opened in 1981. The Dedmon Center features a 1/6-mile indoor jogging track, a weight-training room, locker rooms, and several team rooms. The main arena features a basketball floor and a secondary volleyball arena for intercollegiate competition with four recreational courts for basketball or volleyball. Adjoining facilities include intramural soccer, football, softball fields, and intercollegiate fields and courts for baseball, softball, field hockey, and tennis. The Patrick D. Cupp Stadium adds an intercollegiate soccer, lacrosse, and track and field complex.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Sortable Table: College and University Endowments, 2013–14". The Chronicle of Higher Education. January 29, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Radford University Brand Guide (PDF). October 26, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Doctor of Psychology". Radford University. Archived from the original on 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2008-04-13.
  4. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 5, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Our History | Radford University". www.radford.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  6. ^ a b "Radford Facts and Figures". Radford University. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  7. ^ "IMPACT | Radford University". www.radford.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  8. ^ "Radford, NOVA sign landmark agreement | Radford University". www.radford.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  9. ^ "Graduate Programs and Degrees | College of Graduate Studies and Research | Radford University". www.radford.edu. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  10. ^ "Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree". Radford University. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
  11. ^ College of Business and Economics. "History of COBE | College of Business & Economics | Radford University". Radford.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  12. ^ Selu Conservancy. "Home | Selu Conservancy | Radford University". Radford.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
  13. ^ "Radford University dorms rank among the best". Radford University. July 7, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Tartan". Radford University. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  15. ^ "Radio Free Radford". Radford University. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  16. ^ "Exit 109". Radford University. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  17. ^ "Radford University's Randal J. Kirk Receives Prestigious State Award". Radford University Office of University Relations. February 2, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-15.
  18. ^ "North Carolina Official Athletic Site". Retrieved 2009-03-20.
  19. ^ "Get ready to experience Marty Smith's America – ESPN Video". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-09-05.