UTEP attains national research top tier ranking


The University of Texas at El Paso has attained a coveted R1 designation in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, the school announced Wednesday morning. 

“This was a big and bodacious goal which a lot of people said couldn’t be done and we said well we’re going to do it anyway,” UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio said.

UTEP is one of only 130 (4.5%) top tier universities among the 2,883 four-year education institutions across the U.S. to earn this prestigious R1 distinction, joining the ranks of such universities as Stanford, M.I.T., Michigan, Arizona and California-Berkeley.

“We’ve been talking about top tier status for a long long time and we’re announcing that we’re there and that’s a really good thing,” Natalicio said.

The R1 top tier level in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education means UTEP has reached a status as a doctoral university with very high research activity.

“This newly earned Carnegie R1 classification in the top tier of national research universities strongly validates UTEP’s success in delivering on our innovative access and excellence mission,” said Natalicio.

Thirty years ago when Dr. Natalicio began her tenure as UTEP’s president, the university boldly set a goal of expanding the scope and quality of research activity and increasing the number of doctoral programs. 

Since then, annual research expenditures have grown from $6 million to $95 million and a doctoral degree offerings have increased from a single program in geology to 22 programs offered by all colleges and schools across the campus.

A key leadership role in this UTEP research success story has been played by Dr. Roberto Osegueda, Vice President for Research.

Under his guidance, the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects has provided strong and creative support to faculty and staff members as they prepare their proposals and once funded, as they conduct the research and manage the myriad accounting and reporting documentation requirements. 

According to the university president, this achievement is something students and alumni should be proud of.

“They can compete with anybody from anywhere at any time and their university’s reputation is going to help them.” 

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