UH Named in Top 20 Universities for Hispanics

Annual Rankings Look at Degrees Conferred on Hispanic Students

The University of Houston is one of the top 20 universities in the country for awarding degrees to Hispanic students. The honor comes from the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine, which annually ranks the top 100 colleges and universities.

The information comes from the U.S. Department of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System program.

The UH main campus ranks 17th for conferring bachelor's degrees to Hispanic students. More than 1,000 bachelor's degrees, or 22 percent of undergraduate degrees, at the main campus are awarded to Hispanics. The University of Houston-Downtown ranks 34th, with almost 700 undergraduate degrees, or 33 percent, of all bachelor degrees, conferred upon Hispanic students.

The UH main campus is ranked 17th for awarding doctoral degrees to Hispanic students-8 percent of all doctoral degrees conferred.

The data represents degrees conferred from July of 2007 to June of 2008.

"Top 100 results are mixed," according to the magazine, which added that state budget cuts had an influence on how universities fared in the rankings."Total bachelor degrees awarded by Top 100 are up 10 percent; master's degrees are down, but by less than 1 percent, and doctorates are down by close to three dozen."

The University of Houston has long-standing programs dedicated to retaining Hispanic students through their academic careers. The Center for Mexican American Studies' (CMAS) successful Academic Achievers Program, for example, identifies and guides Hispanic students through middle and high school, into college and beyond graduation by offering academic mentoring and support (http://www.class.uh.edu/CMAS/aap.asp).

"I expect the University of Houston to graduate significantly higher numbers of Latinos in the next few years in light of the changing demographics in the university's main service area," said Lorenzo Cano, CMAS associate director. "The city of Houston is already 45 percent Latino and growing in the outlying suburbs."

Additionally, the magazine ranked the top 10 professional degrees and academic programs awarding degrees to Hispanic students. The UH College of Pharmacy is ranked third jumping from eighth place last year.

"The University of Houston and the College of Pharmacy have an ongoing commitment toward a student population that reflects the diversity of our communities," said College of Pharmacy Interim Dean Mustafa F. Lokhandwala. "With the growth of the Hispanic population, especially in Texas, the College of Pharmacy is continuously investigating opportunities to attract, recruit and retain the best, brightest and most service-oriented Hispanic students to our programs."

Other rankings include The UH College of Optometry (second), College of Architecture (third), School of Communication (ninth) and business and marketing programs (seventh). The UH-Downtown is ranked seventh among the top 10 multi-disciplinary programs in the country. The UH main campus is ranked tenth.