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Iowa State University of Science and Technology, known simply as Iowa State University or Iowa State, is a public land-grant and space-grant research university in Ames, Iowa. It is the largest university in the state of Iowa and the third largest university in the Big 12 athletic conference. Iowa State is classified among "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity." It is also a member of the Association of American Universities. Founded in 1858 and coeducational from its start, Iowa State became the nation's first designated land-grant institution when the Iowa Legislature accepted the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act on September 11, 1862, making Iowa the first state in the nation to do so. Iowa State's academic offerings are administered today through eight colleges, including the graduate college, that offer over 100 bachelor's degree programs, 112 master's degree programs, and 83 at the Ph.D. level, plus a professional degree program in Veterinary Medicine.