“We have high expectations for our student-athletes in the classroom and we are proud they continue to meet the challenge,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “Their continued success in the classroom is a testament to their hard work and commitment to academics as an essential part of their experience at UK. That hard work will serve them well in their time at Kentucky and for the rest of their lives.”

The high marks come in the heels of a 3.201 GPA in the spring semester, the second highest in school history.

Sixteen teams had GPAs of higher than 3.0, led by women’s swimming and diving (3.723) and men’s golf (3.711). Women’s golf (3.593), gymnastics (3.506), volleyball (3.494), men’s swimming and diving (3.458), softball (3.452), women’s basketball (3.447), and women’s tennis (3.440) all had team GPAs over 3.4.

“The way our coaches and staff embrace the importance of academics is second to none,” Barnhart said. “They are single-mindedly dedicated to empowering our student-athletes for success in all facets. I would also like to give a special thanks to our CATS (Center for Academic and Tutorial Services) counselors and tutors for all they do to support our student-athletes.”

UK’s high marks in the fall semester serve as a fitting end to the year, with the following academics milestones reached in 2019:

  • Twenty-two Wildcats graduated last weekend, giving UK Athletics 93 total graduates in 2019.
  • In October, UK student-athletes broke one school record and tied another in the NCAA’s Graduation Success Rate and Federal Graduation Rate.
  • In May, the NCAA released its Academic Progress Rate report, showing that all UK teams surpassed the NCAA cut score. Six teams had perfect scores of 1,000 and were recognized with national awards for being in the top 10% of their respective sports. UK remains one of two Southeastern Conference schools to never have one of its teams incur a penalty during the 15-year history of the APR.

UK Athletics supports the academic success of its student-athletes through CATS – the first academic center of its kind dedicated solely to serving student-athletes. CATS is an important component of UK’s Student-Athlete Experience division, launched as a renewal of the department’s commitment to prepare student-athletes to enter life after UK.

“We never want to take for granted the academic success of our students,” Executive Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Experience Jason Cummins said. “These results highlight the collaborative approach foundational to The Kentucky Road – a team made up of responsible students, world-class professors, committed academic support professionals and invested coaches.”

UK has set a goal of a 3.0 department-wide GPA through the Elite 1-3-5 initiative and has reached the mark in every semester since Elite 1-3-5 was unveiled in 2015. UK is also positioned to make strides toward its goal of a top-five Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup finish by the year 2022, as UK was 14th in 2018-19 standings.