The University of Texas-Pan American is the best public university that offers master's degrees in the state, according to the national magazine Washington Monthly.
Of the 34 public and private, nonprofit institutions in Texas ranked by the magazine, UTPA was at the top of all 15 public institutions and behind only five other universities - all private, nonprofit - on the overall list of those assessed.
Nationwide, Washington Monthly assessed 551 master's Universities. Overall, UTPA ranked 146. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin came in at 168 while The University of Texas at San Antonio was at 237 and The University of Texas at Tyler was 415.
The magazine based its rankings on the institutions' contributions to the public good in three equally weighted categories: social mobility, research and service. The highest score is 100 and the lowest is zero. UTPA's overall score was 47 out of 100.
"The state and the country are looking at how we do things at UT Pan Am, and these rankings show that UT Pan Am is not only a leader in providing a high quality education to students, but a leader in serving its community," said UTPA President Robert S. Nelsen.
In determining the social mobility score, the magazine looked at the percentage of students at each institution received Pell Grants, the predicted rate of graduation - based on incoming SAT scores and Pell Grant percentages, versus the actual rate of graduation - and the actual graduation rate.
For the research score, Washington Monthly took into consideration the total amount of research expenditures and the number of bachelor's degree recipients who continue with their education to receive PhDs, relative to school size.
The service scores were determined by looking at how many alumni go on to serve in the Peace Corps, the percentage of students who join ROTC, the percentage of funds in federal work-study money that goes to community service, the number of students and staff who volunteer and how many hours they contribute, and the number of academic courses that incorporate service.
The highest score UTPA received was in research expenditures, followed by graduation rates and ROTC participation.
To learn more about the rankings, visit www.washingtonmonthly.com/college_guide/rankings_2010/masters_universities_state_2nd_page.php.