Marquette University (pron.: /mɑrˈkɛt/) is a private, coeducational, Jesuit, Roman Catholic university located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Established as Marquette College on August 28, 1881 by the Society of Jesus, it was founded by John Martin Henni, the first Catholic bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The university was named after 17th century missionary and explorer Father Jacques Marquette, with the intention to provide an affordable Catholic education to the area's emerging German immigrant population. Initially an all-male institution, Marquette became the first coed Catholic university in the world in 1909, when it began admitting its first female students.
Marquette is one of 28 member institutions of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and currently has a student body of about 12,000. Marquette is one of the largest Jesuit universities in the United States, and the largest private university in Wisconsin.
Marquette is organized into 11 schools and colleges at its main Milwaukee campus, offering programs in the liberal arts, business, communications, education, engineering, law and various health sciences disciplines. The university also administers classes in suburbs around the Milwaukee area and in Washington, DC. While most students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, the university has over 50 doctoral and master's degree programs and 37 graduate certificate programs. The university's varsity athletic teams, known as the Golden Eagles, are members of the Big East Conference and compete in the NCAA's Division I in all sports. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked Marquette 83rd among national universities, while Washington Monthly ranked it at 97th. Forbes ranked Marquette 72nd among American research universities in 2013.
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