Enrollment Growth Stays on Pace to Exceed Strategic Plan Goals
Nov. 18, 2015
Student enrollment at The University of Texas at Dallas has grown more than 6 percent since fall 2014, with new students making up nearly a third of the student body, according to Census Day figures.
The preliminary enrollment total of 24,532 includes 7,346 new students, of which 2,729 are freshmen — the largest first-year class in UT Dallas’ history. Also counted among the new students are 2,019 new transfer students and 2,598 new graduate students.
Each fall, the University takes stock of its growth and also tracks progress on other key measures toward goals outlined in the University’s strategic plan. These goals include increasing research expenditures, expanding faculty ranks, raising four- and six-year graduation rates, increasing the number of doctoral degrees conferred and building the endowment. In 2007, the strategic plan set the University on a path toward becoming a national research university through improvement on those measures as well as a general scaling up of the size of the University.
Student enrollment has grown 6 percent since fall 2014, with new students making up nearly a third of the student body. This year's freshman class of 2,729 students is the largest in University history.
“Our enrollment growth shows that we are well on track to fulfilling a key goal of the University’s strategic plan,” said Dr. Hobson Wildenthal, president ad interim. “We are confident that students new to UT Dallas will experience a rigorous academic environment as well as outstanding faculty who will support them in their chosen majors.”
The freshman class, which has posted an average SAT score of 1258 — among the highest for Texas public universities — also brings the largest number of new National Merit Scholars (102) from a single class in the University’s history. These new scholars join continuing National Merit winners on campus for a total of 332, up from 285 last year.
The enrollment increases have outpaced the University’s strategic plan, which calls for the student body to grow to between 25,000 and 30,000. Projections indicate UT Dallas may reach that goal soon.
Census figures show that the student population has grown 69 percent since 2005. Dr. Lawrence Redlinger, executive director of the Office of Strategic Planning and Analysis, credited the growth to larger freshman classes and the University’s degree programs in high-demand fields.
“This year’s freshman class grew by 8.2 percent over last year, and 66 percent of the entering freshmen are majoring in STEM fields,” Redlinger said, referring to programs in science, technology, engineering, math and management.
State of the University
Freshmen concentrated their majors in such STEM disciplines as biology, computer science, arts and technology, accounting, business administration, mechanical engineering, finance, neuroscience, psychology and electrical engineering. Master’s students continue to be concentrated heavily in two schools: the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Naveen Jindal School of Management.