UTPA maintains top rankings in national report
Contact: Melissa Vasquez, Senior Editor 956/381-3639
Posted: 05/24/2007
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Once again, The University of Texas-Pan American is ranked second and fifth in the nation in the number of bachelor's and master's degrees awarded to Hispanics, respectively.

According to the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education's annual review of the "Top 100 Colleges for Hispanics," UTPA awarded 86 percent of its bachelor's degrees in 2006 to Hispanics to keep its second-place ranking on the list. With a total of 2,198 bachelor's degrees awarded, 1,889 went to Hispanics. Of those degrees, 1,240 were to Hispanic females and 649 to Hispanic males.

Florida International University, which has ranked first for more than 10 years, awarded 2,903 out of 5,080 total bachelor's degrees to Hispanics. The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) ranked third with 1,616 bachelor's degrees awarded to Hispanics out of 3,370.

The report, which was released in the May 7 edition, is based on 2005-2006 data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) produced by the U.S. Department of Education.

Eighty-one percent of UTPA's master's degrees were granted to Hispanics, which enabled the University to maintain its fifth-place ranking. UTPA awarded 420 out of 518 master's degrees to Hispanics with 293 going to Hispanic females and 127 to Hispanic males.

In addition, UTPA's graduate programs were ranked in the publication's "Top 25 Graduate Schools for Hispanic Students" in its April edition. In the Top 25 rankings for Hispanic master's degree recipients, UTPA had the highest percentage of any school on the list with 81 percent.

According to Hispanic Outlook this is an indication of "increasing Hispanic dominance in graduate schools of states with high percentages of Hispanic residents."

UTPA also ranked seventh in the Top 25 for Hispanic enrollment in graduate school. Based on 2005 NCES data, UTPA had 79 percent Hispanic enrollment in master's and doctoral programs. Of the 2,106 students enrolled, 1,669 were Hispanic.

UTPA was one of three schools in The University of Texas System, including The University of Texas at El Paso and UTSA that ranked in the top five of the Top 100 according to the publication.

Of the 28 different academic program areas examined in the rankings, UTPA placed in the top 10 of 12 categories. In degrees awarded to Hispanics by academic programs, UTPA ranked first in biological and biomedical sciences, English literature, foreign language, and multi-interdisciplinary studies.

UTPA also ranked second in health sciences, and third in business and marketing, social services, and visual and performing arts. Other rankings in UTPA academic programs include fourth in protective services, seventh in communications and mathematics, and tenth in engineering/engineering tech.

Dr. Paul Sale, provost/vice president for the Division of Academic Affairs, said the rankings demonstrate how UTPA is committed to creating more opportunities for Hispanic students to help them realize their dream of a higher education.

"Our strategic planning, enrollment management and resource allocation have all contributed to greater access and greater student retention - above the national average in freshman to sophomore retention," Sale said. "It is particularly gratifying to see us moving up in the rankings in health and the biomedical sciences areas. There is such a great need in these areas and we are contributing greatly to the supply in these areas."

Sale said if current and future students and faculty to UTPA look at these rankings and other data on the University, they will discover "an institution that is growing not only in numbers but in quality."

"This is a dynamic and positive academic environment - an institution that embraces our responsibility to developing tomorrow's leaders. Students and faculty thrive in such environments," Sale said.

To view Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education's Top 100 list visit