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History and Facilities

The University of Texas at Dallas has fostered a strong tradition of academic excellence since its inception in 1961 as the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. It is host to seven schools with 30 doctoral programs, emphasizes interdisciplinary research, and features a student population as diverse as its areas of study.

UT Dallas has more than 18,900 students and plans to grow to 22,000 by 2019. For several years, incoming freshman have had the highest average SAT score of any public university in Texas and the University ranks in the top 50 universities nationwide for the number of National Merit Scholars (41 in 2009). UT Dallas is academically strong enough to attract Nobel laureates and top researchers to the faculty and flexible enough to offer a range of multidisciplinary coursework that entices top students. The 2010 faculty includes Dr. Russell Hulse, 1993 Nobel Prize awardee in Physics, and four members of the National Academies.

Growth at UT Dallas is concentrated in targeted areas of excellence in science, technology, medicine, business and the arts. Total research expenditures in 2010 were over $85 million and the University has a strategic plan to increase that to $130 million by 2019. UT Dallas has over 1.7 million square feet of space dedicated to academic, classroom, and research purposes with more being built. In 2007, the University opened the $85 million, 192,000 square feet state-of-the-art Natural Science and Engineering Research Building (NSERL) followed in 2009 by a 400-bed dormitory, and expanded student dining hall. The Math, Science, Engineering Teaching and Learning Building for undergraduate programming opened in mid-2010.

Leadership at UT Dallas understands that the most fertile areas for research often lie at the intersections of traditional disciplines, where the insights of people coming at problems from different perspectives can produce surprising and valuable results. NSERL incorporates large open lab spaces with specialty labs to promote interdisciplinary, collaborative research among scientists from such disparate fields as physics, electrical engineering, materials science, chemistry, biology, and neuroscience. NSERL includes a $3 million vacuum system for the Nanoelectronics Materials Laboratory that is capable of thin film deposition using PVD and CVD methods including electron beam evaporation, molecular beam deposition, atomic layer deposition, sputter deposition and thermal evaporation methods. A Class 10,000 microelectronics cleanroom for the fabrication and characterization of nanoscale materials and devices plus several smaller cleanrooms for additional research are also located in the building. Addressing the need for advances in analog technology, UT Dallas opened the Texas Analog Center for Excellence in 2008. TxACE is funded with $16 million from the Semiconductor Research Corp., the State of Texas, Texas Instruments, UT System, and UT Dallas fund TxACE. While it is based at UT Dallas, there are participating researchers at more than a dozen universities dedicated to improving analog technology with a focus on public safety, security, medical care, and energy independence.

The University's ability to attract and retain top students has propelled UT Dallas into national prominence within a few short years. US News and World Report ranks UT Dallas as the third best public university in the state behind UT Austin and Texas A&M. Both Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine and Consumer's Digest have ranked UT Dallas among the best values for public colleges nationally. With an acceptance rate of 53%, UT Dallas is the most selective public university in Texas [Source: US News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2004"].

Updated: October 12, 2011