Number of UA Minority Grad Students Increased 41% in Last 10 Years

Adriana Rodriguez Cruz, a Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico student, participated in the UA's Latin America Summer Research Program in 2013.
Adriana Rodriguez Cruz, a Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico student, participated in the UA's Latin America Summer Research Program in 2013.

With underrepresented minority students comprising 17 percent of all graduate students, the University of Arizona's graduate student body is now the most ethnically diverse among all peer Association of American Universities institutions.

As of this past fall, 17 percent of the UA's graduate enrollment of more than 7,400 students were underrepresented minority students.

In 2002, underrepresented minority students comprised 12 percent of overall graduate student enrollment. By 2013, that number grew 41 percent. Since 2002, the percentage increase in enrollment for African Americans at the UA was 70 percent. For American Indian students it was 52 percent and for Hispanic students it was 28 percent.

"The UA Graduate College is among the best in the nation at producing the diverse talent pool that our state and nation so desperately need to meet critical workforce shortages, and close the innovation gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," said Stephanie Adamson, recruitment director for the UA Graduate College.

The enrollment increases are representative of important priorities under the UA's academic and business plan, Never Settle, which establishes that the UA will, among other priorities, recruit and retain a more diverse student body while also reducing the time to degree for graduate students.

"An educated population will continue to be instrumental to the social and economic development of our state, supporting the well-being of Arizonans," said Maria Teresa Velez, associate dean for the UA Graduate College and principal investigator on a number of federally sponsored programs designed to recruit and retain underrepresented students.

Echoing priorities advanced under Never Settle, Velez noted, "We want to help provide opportunities for people to surpass the level of education of their parents to promote a cycle of wellness and economic power."
 
Thanks in part to federally sponsored programs and administrative initiatives, the UA is ranked first nationally in doctoral degrees earned by American Indian students and eighth in doctoral degrees earned by Hispanic students, according to the National Science Foundation's 2013 Survey of Earned Doctorates.

Read the rest of this May 14 UANews article at the link below. Jose Miguel Rodas, a doctoral student in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences was interviewed about his choice of UA for graduate studies.

Date released: 
May 17 2014