The University of Hartford (UHart) is a private university in West Hartford, Connecticut. Its 350-acre (1.4 km2) main campus extends into neighboring Hartford and Bloomfield. The university attracts students from 48 states and 43 countries. The university and its degree programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (EAC/ABET), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), and the New England Commission of Higher Education.
The University of Hartford was chartered through the joining of the Hartford Art School, Hillyer College, and The Hartt School in 1957. Prior to the charter, the University of Hartford did not exist as an independent entity.
The Hartford Art School, which commenced operation in 1877, was founded by a group of women in Hartford, including Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain's wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, as the Hartford Society for Decorative Art. Its original location was at the Wadsworth Atheneum, the first public art museum in the United States. It is still associated with the museum today.
Hillyer College, which was named for the U.S. Civil War General Charles Hillyer, was created as a part of the Hartford YMCA in 1879. In the early 20th century, it provided instruction in automotive technology at a time when Hartford was a center for the budding automobile industry. In 1947, it was formally separated from the YMCA and saw an influx of World War II veterans seeking a college education under the G.I. Bill. In the three school merger, Hillyer brought its College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions; the Barney School of Business; the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the contemporary Hillyer College, formerly known as the College of Basic Studies.