The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a four-year state university, and is a component institution of the University of Texas System
University of Texas at El Paso was founded in 1914 as The Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy, and a mineshaft survives on the mountainous desert campus. It became Texas Western College in 1949, and The University of Texas at El Paso in 1967.
In fall 2014, enrollment was 23,079 (19,817 undergraduate and 3,262 graduate students). UTEP is the largest university in the U.S. with a majority Mexican-American student population (about 70%).
The El Paso, Texas, campus features a one-of-a-kind collection of buildings in the Bhutanese architectural style. The UTEP campus is located on hillsides overlooking theRio Grande, with Juarez, Mexico, within easy view across the border.
Another notable feature of UTEP is its athletic history. UTEP was the first college in any Southern state in the United States to integrate its intercollegiate sports programs. To this date it is the only school in Texas to bring home an NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, which it achieved in 1966. The movie Glory Road recounts this story.
The University of Texas at El Paso is subdivided into seven colleges, each of which offers a variety of degree programs including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate.
UTEP offers 71 undergraduate degrees, 76 master’s-level degrees, and 20 doctoral degrees. The university ranked, in 2006, second in federal research spending among UT System academic institutions, and in fiscal year 2006 reported $45.7 million in total research spending. From 2011-12, UTEP spent nearly $70 million in research, while it anticipates an expenditure of $76 million for the 2012-13 academic year.
Leading research is currently being conducted on campus. In November 2012, it was announced that Igor C. Almeida, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences at UTEP, had developed a fully protective vaccine against Chagas disease. UTEP also holds the rights to a patent (# 5,798,392) for the use of methanesulfonyl fluoride (MSF) as a central nervous system selective cholinesterase inhibitor for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease developed by Donald E. Moss Ph.D., in the department of psychology. A Phase I human clinical trial of MSF as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease was recently successfully completed in Germany.
Hispanic Business magazine has twice ranked UTEP as the number one graduate engineering school for hispanics. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering has called UTEP “a model for other engineering institutions who say that today’s minority young people from low-income families can’t succeed in a rigorous math- or science-based discipline.”
The National Science Foundation has designated UTEP as a Model Institution for Excellence, one of only six in the country. UTEP is one of only 11 universities nationwide to receive a $5 million Teachers for a New Era (TNE) research grant from the Carnegie Corporation.
UTEP follows a semester system with a spring, summer, and fall semester annually, along with a shorter wintermester in the month of January.