Our Mission

The University of Pikeville is the leading higher education institution of Central Appalachia. Founded in 1889, UPIKE remains steadfast in our commitment to preparing students for the future while creating intellectual, cultural and economic opportunities for Appalachia. Maintaining our commitment to Christian principles, UPIKE recognizes the infinite worth of each person, respecting a variety of religious expressions.

UPIKE achieves its mission by:

  • Creating a pathway to higher education for all students who desire to embark upon that journey and attracting and retaining high-caliber students who will be future regional, national and global leaders.
  • Preparing graduates through quality academic programs, grounded in the liberal arts, and through involvement in community service, experiential learning, research, athletics, humanitarian efforts and global outreach.
  • Achieving academic excellence by maintaining academic rigor and relevance in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs.
  • Attracting and retaining distinguished faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and alumni who are dedicated to meeting the individual needs of students, promoting a caring and supportive environment conducive to learning and meeting the needs of an evolving
  • Providing superior infrastructure with state-of-the-art classrooms, clinics, instructional materials, physical facilities, technological infrastructure and campus amenities through sound fiscal policy and efficient and effective administrative services.
students sit together during lunch
a student sits doing class work in building lobby
students sitting in campus restaurant
students enjoying lunch together at food court
student doing class work in building lobby


* College of Dental Medicine pending accreditation.

Our President

“She was raised in Swampton, Kentucky. Six curves down the road from Salyersville, and up a little hollow on the right known as the right fork, but not officially named by anyone who mattered. Her life was simple. School, cleaning, cooking and helping her tired mother wrangle four younger brothers kept her days busy and helped her sleep well at night. All that changed the day her father told the family he had been transferred. Moved up north, away from the mountains and into the snow. She wasn’t sure about the move, but thought it would turn out OK. Things usually did.

Years later, as I sit at a desk in the President’s office at the University of Pikeville, I have come to appreciate this short story in ways I had never anticipated before. This young woman, Lucy Allen, would grow to womanhood, meet a man named Vernon, and together they would start a family. My family. Lucy and Vernon raised five children, all of whom graduated from college. In the Allen and Salyer families, these would be the first children to do so. Just as my path is intertwined with theirs, if you dig deeply enough, chances are that your story shares similar roots. Most roads into America lead through the mountains of Appalachia.

At the University of Pikeville, we seek to understand this thing we call place. For us, place is much deeper than the first definition you might find in an online dictionary. Place is about location, but also about history, connection to the land, connection to people, and understanding of our own unique calling. Together we live, learn and grow as we explore our place in the world. It is an exploration that never ends.

In a world where it seems that everyone is trying to get away from something. We challenge you to know your world and to find your unique place in it.

Welcome to the University of Pikeville – find your place, build your story.”

Burton J. Webb, Ph.D./ President


Pikeville is a great place to study, live and work.

The University of Pikeville is located in Pikeville, a vibrant community in Eastern Kentucky.

Pikeville is a growing town nestled in the mountains of Appalachia, experiencing rebirth thanks to progressive thinking and leaders that believe in what Pikeville can be for the 21st century.

Around Campus

UPIKE’s growing campus is situated in the heart of downtown Pikeville. Popular dining options and most academic buildings and residence halls are located at the top of “The 99,” an iconic series of stairs leading up to campus from the city. UPIKE’s state-of-the-art osteopathic medicine and optometry colleges add a dynamic mix of professional students to campus life.