The University of Wyoming has once again topped a national list, this time for having an amazing college museum.

The University of Wyoming Geological Museum is ranked 12th on a list of the “50 Most Amazing College Museums” released by CollegeRank.net.

The list was compiled after exhaustively looking at public data on every college and university museum in the country. Among factors considered were past, current and planned exhibits, public access, architecture, history, and campus integration and support.

The UW museum is described as “a hotbed of paleontology, individual and family visitors will be struck by the unique dinosaur fossils on display here.”

The article notes that “Wyoming has always been a place of natural wonders, and it’s no surprise that the University of Wyoming has many treasures in store for visitors to its Geological Museum.” It cites the excellent guided tours and a free admission policy that make UW one of the “friendliest museums in the U.S., especially for visitors with children.”

Laura Vietti, UW Geological Museum Manager, notes that the museum is unique to the state in that it displays many fossils from around the Cowboy State.

“The museum is very special because it focuses on Wyoming geology and paleontology, and almost every display and every specimen you see in the museum was either found in Wyoming or would have been found in Wyoming,” says Vietti. “It’s a really beautiful example. Everything that you see in there was either walking or swimming across the Wyoming landscape through earth’s history. Unlike other museums where you do have a very global viewpoint of fossils, ours is very Wyoming focused”

She says the museum’s long standing history at UW, community and university support, and a great reputation helped the museum to come out toward the top of the list.

Sara Moore, the article's author, says the ranked facilities represent a vast array of history, art and culture at some of the nation’s finest universities and colleges.

“The goal of the list is to bring attention to deserving campus museums that are often under-appreciated campus treasures,” Moore writes. “We hope this list draws attention to some great facilities around the country and allows them the opportunity to continue to foster art and history education in their respective locations.”

Open weekdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the UW Geological Museum features a variety of displays to illustrate Wyoming's past environments, highlighted by a 75-foot Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus) skeleton that dominates the museum's exhibit hall. Another highlight is "Big Al," a display of the most complete Allosaurus fossil ever found.

Admission to the museum is free.