The College of Engineering Master’s Programs Set Historical Enrollment Record for Fall 2020
Anahy Diaz | September 11, 2020
The College of Engineering master’s programs at The University of Texas of El Paso have seen a historical enrollment record, after UTEP’s Fall census indicates the Fall 2020 headcount for the master’s programs is 542 students, a 24% increase from last year’s count of 437 students.
“This is a tremendous growth for a one-year period,” said Heidi Taboada, Ph.D., associate dean for research & graduate studies. “The college experienced a similar growth but over a five-year period between Fall 2015 and Fall 2019. Enrolling 542 students this Fall 2020 is a collective effort achieved from all master’s programs. In particular, two departments have contributed greatly to this increase: industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering (IMSE), and civil engineering (CE) which accounted for 54% of the total student enrollment at the master’s level.”
“We have made our industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering master’s programs more flexible and have aligned them to respond to current industry needs”, Jose Espiritu, Ph.D., graduate program director in the industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering department, said.
“The rapid growth of our IMSE graduate student population indicates that we are proficient to offer competitive curriculum to our perspective students”, said Tzu-Liang (Bill) Tseng, Ph.D., professor and department chair for industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering.
Similar to this, Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D., graduate advisor and professor for civil engineering, said the civil engineering master’s program is designed to provide experience and opportunity to professionals in the community.
“The increase in the enrollment in our graduate program can be attributed to the desire of the CE department to design our master’s program in a way that we can provide ample opportunity to those professionals in the community that strive to earn a graduate degree,” Nazarian said.
The College of Engineering master’s programs aim to advance students’ scholarship and practice in multiple fields of engineering. The college continues striving for this mission despite the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting the programs fully online.
“Our online construction management master’s program facilitates career advancement for industry professionals who work at remote project locations,” said Austin Marshall, Ph.D., graduate program director in the construction management program.
“The Civil and Environmental Engineering master’s programs and the Construction Management master’s program are designed to address the needs of industry and academia. Enrollment growth in our programs is a reflection of the high quality and value of the education that the Department of Civil Engineering provides”, said Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D., professor and department chair of civil engineering. “Civil engineers, construction managers and architects find in our programs the opportunity to continue their education and successfully advance their careers by learning state of the art ways of planning, designing, building and maintaining the infrastructure that creates a better quality of life for people around the world.”
The college’s enrollment record number joins the list of accomplishments achieved by the college this year. The college set another record in Spring 2020, by awarding degrees to 428 students in the undergraduate and graduate levels, its greatest number of graduates to date.
"This semester marks some record-breaking achievements to be proud of, such as the College of Engineering enrolling a record number of Master’s degree-seeking students,” said Patricia Nava, Ph.D., interim dean of UTEP’s College of Engineering. “Additionally, UTEP has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in awarding master’s degrees to Hispanics in engineering, according to the 2019 American Society for Engineering Education Profile Survey, released August 2020. We are proud of our program directors and faculty in promoting these advanced programs of study, which have shown results in the two milestones of enrollment, and graduation.”
The College of Engineering’s significant enrollment record during unprecedented times, is a testament to the quality of education that is prioritized at the college, as it continues to foster student participation and success by offering access to innovative research and academic opportunities to traditionally underrepresented groups.
To learn more about the college’s graduate programs, visit https://www.utep.edu/engineering/.