The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is forging dramatic new directions in higher education. UTEP has become a national model for creating and successfully executing highly competitive academic and research programs while maintaining a deep commitment to serving a 21st century student demographic. It is this dedication to providing access and excellence to students in the region that has resulted in UTEP becoming the only public research university in the United States with a Mexican-American majority student population.
UTEP officially opened in the fall of 1914 and is the second oldest institution in The University of Texas System (www.utsystem.edu). It is a Carnegie high-research-activity, urban university that enrolls more than 25,000 students. It serves its primary constituency — residents of far west Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern Mexico — with 74 undergraduate programs, 76 master’s programs and 22 doctoral degree programs, including a growing portfolio of online degrees. With an 80% Hispanic student population, UTEP proudly reflects the demographic composition of the bi-national region from which it draws the vast majority of its students. Eighty-four percent of students are from El Paso County and 4 percent are Mexican nationals.
Academic and Research Programs
The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., ranked UTEP No.1 among all U.S. public universities that perform well both in research productivity and student social mobility. The University ranks among the top 10 colleges and universities nationally for the number of Hispanic graduates in public relations and communications, education, engineering, mathematics and statistics, homeland security and law enforcement, and business management and marketing.
The Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts has become an internationally renowned venue for contemporary art, with a special focus on work relevant to the U.S.-Mexico border region. UTEP’s Creative Writing faculty of award-winning novelists and poets offers the nation’s first bilingual (English-Spanish) MFA program. The UTEP Dinner Theatre is the only full-time dinner theatre on a university campus, and one of El Paso’s most popular entertainment venues, showcasing the talents of UTEP theatre arts students and faculty who have won national recognition for acting, choreography, and set design.
UTEP led the establishment 25 years ago of the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, a pre-K-16 partnership that has earned national recognition for its work to transform and vertically integrate the education of young people in the surrounding region. The collaborative, which includes UTEP, El Paso Community College, local school districts and business leaders, has become one of the most successful community partnerships for student success in the U.S. and the model for PK-16 initiatives across the state and nation. It has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and other foundations and governmental entities to support its programs to transform teaching and learning in science, technology, mathematics and literacy. Outcomes data strongly validate the success of the collaborative’s work and enable continuous improvement.
With about $95 million in total annual research expenditures, UTEP receives funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities and other agencies. Faculty and staff members were actively engaged in research and sponsored projects in 2016-17, and 184 new grants resulted in more than $62.3 million in new funding commitments.
UTEP’s research achievements draw on such traditional areas of strength as science and engineering, as well as a broad range of programs and interdisciplinary research centers that have evolved with UTEP’s growth and development, including:
- Border Biomedical Research Center
- Center for the Advancement of Space Safety and Mission Assurance Research
- Center for Environmental Resource Management
- Center for Inland Desalination Systems
- Center for Inter-American and Border Studies
- Center for Interdisciplinary Health Research and Evaluation
- Center for Law and Human Behavior
- Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research
- Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems
- Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness
- Latino Alcohol and Health Disparities Research Center
- Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce
- Research Institute for Manufacturing and Engineering Systems
- W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation
For a complete list of research programs, visit: utep.edu/research
UTEP is an urban university located in El Paso, Texas, a growing community of more than 830,000 which, together with Juárez, Mexico, forms one of the world’s largest bi-national metropolitan areas, totaling more than 2 million residents. El Paso’s attractive and affordable living conditions and broad range of unique cultural and intellectual options, and the surrounding region’s beautiful mountain desert terrain, abundant sunshine and outdoor recreational opportunities, combine to offer a highly satisfying quality of life.
UTEP – with its annual budget of more than $500 million, a University-related local economic impact of $1.4 billion, and its cultural, arts, continuing education and athletic programs – is a major contributor to the region’s prosperity and quality of life. Unique in campus architectural styles, UTEP’s facilities were inspired by buildings in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The 420-acre campus is bustling with growth, including the recent completion of a number of such significant construction and renovation projects as new state-of-the-art facilities in chemistry, computer science, engineering, health sciences, and nursing, and a major pedestrian-friendly transformation of the campus core.
Recent construction also enhanced quality of life by adding student housing, parking garages, and an expanded recreation center. Construction of a new $85 million interdisciplinary research building began in early 2017. The UTEP Library offers a rich array of learning spaces and support services, and it houses more than 800,000 volumes, 260,000 government documents, 71,000 electronic journals, and 1.6 million microforms.
UTEP’s campus also offers rich cultural resources including museums and galleries, a Chihuahuan Desert garden, a cinema and numerous music and theater performance spaces, as well as outstanding sports and recreational facilities. Its 12,200-seat Don Haskins Center and 52,000-seat Sun Bowl serve as venues for both UTEP women’s and men’s intercollegiate athletics teams and major regional entertainment programming, ranging from traveling shows such as Cirque de Soleil to performing artists such as Elton John and the Rolling Stones.
UTEP Miner athletics are an important part of campus culture and community pride. UTEP competes in NCAA Division I-A as a member of Conference USA. UTEP has won 20 national championships in track and field and remains the only university in Texas to win the NCAA men’s basketball championship. In that 1966 championship game, an all African-American Miner starting lineup faced the renowned Kentucky Wildcats, and their victory forever changed the face of intercollegiate athletics. The story of this major milestone in NCAA history was captured in a popular Hollywood film, “Glory Road.”