Ariel University (Hebrew: אוניברסיטת אריאל), previously known as the Ariel University Center of Samaria, is an Israeli university located in the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the West Bank.
Ariel University was founded in 1982 as a regional branch of Bar-Ilan University. Originally located in the settlement of Kedumim, it moved to Ariel where it built a larger campus and went on to become the largest Israeli public college. In the 2004–05 academic year, the affiliation with Bar Ilan ended and it became an independent college. Ariel University has 26 departments for B.A., B.Sc. and B.Arch. studies, in three faculties and three schools. In addition, Ariel University offers a Master's degree programs for M.A., M.B.A. and M.Sc. In 2014, Ariel University initiated a Ph.D. programs for Doctorate studies also. In 2011, it had a student population of 14,000, with a branch in Tel Aviv. All degrees are recognized by the Council for Higher Education in Israel.
Ariel University cooperates with international organizations and universities all over the world. The university and its staff have been the target of boycotts, both in Israel and overseas, for its location beyond the Green Line, in the Palestinian territories.
On 17 July 2012, the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria voted to grant the institution full university status. This move was praised by the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Education Gideon Saar, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and some Knesset members and Nobel Prize in Economics winning mathematician Robert Aumann. The Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities condemned the move. A survey in 2013 found that 65% of the public in Israel supported the recognition of Ariel University as Israel's eighth university.