The University of Texas at El Paso has been ranked No. 1 in percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). UTEP’s College of Engineering earned this distinction by awarding 40.5 percent of its doctoral degrees in 2013 to women, which is almost twice the national average of 22.4 percent.
ASEE is a nonprofit organization of individuals and institutions committed to furthering education in engineering and engineering technology. ASEE develops policies and programs that enhance professional opportunities for engineering faculty members, and promotes activities that support increased student enrollments in engineering and engineering technology.
“Women are sorely underrepresented in the engineering profession. They make up only 15 to 20 percent of the workforce,” said Richard Schoephoerster, Ph.D., dean of the College of Engineering. “Unfortunately those numbers apply to the faculty ranks in engineering schools as well. We are on a major drive to increase the number of female students and faculty in the College of Engineering. We are very proud that our highly competitive programs are attracting women. In addition to the large percentage of women in our doctoral programs, of the 20 faculty hired in the last three years, half of them have been women.”
This was the first time UTEP has made the list because the University reached the threshold number of degrees (a minimum of 25) to be considered for the statistic.
As part of its goal of becoming an emerging research university, UTEP plans to award at least 100 doctoral degrees per year. During the 2012-13 academic year ending in August, UTEP students earned 128 doctorates across all disciplines.
In the same ASEE report, UTEP was ranked No. 2 in awarding engineering bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics in the U.S. (excluding Puerto Rico) and No. 4 for the number of Hispanic tenured and tenure-track faculty in engineering.
UTEP’s reputation as a strong engineering school also was affirmed with its ranking as No. 28 in number of electrical engineering degrees awarded (for a total of 84 degrees) and No. 37 in degrees awarded in industrial, manufacturing and systems engineering (for a total of 38 degrees awarded).
ASEE’s report reflects UTEP’s commitment to access and excellence for students and faculty. With more than 110,000 degrees awarded to date, UTEP has evolved from a mining school to a national research university with a student body that is ready to take on the 21st century.