Arizona State University (commonly referred to as ASU or Arizona State) is a national space-grant institution and public metropolitan research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the U.S. state of Arizona. ASU is the largest public university in the United States by enrollment.b[›] Founded in 1885 as the Tempe Normal School for the Arizona Territory, the school came under control of the Arizona Board of Regents in 1945 and was renamed Arizona State College. A 1958 statewide ballot measure gave the university its present name; thus, making Arizona State one of the nation's newest public research universities. A goal of the university is to meet Association of American Universities (AAU) criteria and to become a member. The mission of the university is to create a model of the “New American University” that recognizes “inclusion, rather than exclusion” as a measure of success.
ASU awards bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, and is broadly organized into 16 colleges and schools spread across four campuses: the original Tempe campus, the West campus in northwest Phoenix, the Polytechnic campus in eastern Mesa, and the Downtown Phoenix campus. All four campuses are accredited as a single institution by the Higher Learning Commission. The University is categorized as a Research University with very high research activity (RU/VH) as reported by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, with a research expenditure of $385 million in 2012 (a tripling of research expenditure since fiscal year 2002). More than 1.5 million sq. ft. of new research space has been added to the university's research facilities since 2002.
ASU's athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Arizona State Sun Devils. They are members of the Pacific-12 Conference and have won 23 national championships. Along with multiple athletic clubs and recreational facilities, ASU is also home to over 1,000 registered student organizations across its campuses, reflecting the diversity of the student body. With the continued growth of the student population, ASU has recently undergone numerous renovations across each of its campuses, including expansion of student recreational facilities and dormitories. The demand for more student housing on campus is being addressed with public/private investment. Currently, ASU campus housing accommodates one of the largest residential populations in the nation with over 13,000 residents, a figure that will increase each year as the university continues to build more on-campus housing.