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Overview: 2014 Best Schools for Hispanics

Michael Caplinger

Aug 20, 2014


The 40 schools that appear in the 2014 HispanicBusiness Best Schools represent the cream of the crop when it comes to institutions of higher learning with Hispanic postgraduate enrollments. These schools, in the fields of business, engineering, law and medicine, consistently score highest in most if not all five categories that we use in our rankings — a necessity, considering the tight competition to make the prestigious lists each year.

Each year we are asked: Why do some of these schools have relatively lower Hispanic enrollment rates than some schools that did not make the list? The answer: Enrollment is just one piece of the rankings pie. Schools must also rank high in other categories, including faculty numbers and programs to attract and retain Hispanic students. The schools on our lists are well-rounded and have made notable efforts to engage the Hispanic community.

University of New Mexico Leads the Way

The University of New Mexico retains its status as king of the graduate schools, appearing once again on all four lists. The school placed fourth in business, sixth in engineering, and 10th in both law and medicine. UNM, which among the four disciplines averaged a 31.6 percent Hispanic enrollment rate, also has one of the highest Hispanic faculty rates in the country and stellar programs to attract and retain Hispanic students.

Two other schools nearly joined UNM in the every-list group, as the University of Miami and the University of Texas, Austin both are represented on three of the four lists this year. The University of Miami placed eighth in business, third in law and second in medicine, while UT-Austin came in third in business, second in engineering and sixth in law.

The University of New MexicoThe University of New Mexico retains its status as king of the graduate schools. As for the No. 1 schools in each discipline, we had two new leaders this year and two returning No. 1's. In law, Florida International University took over the top spot, moving up one place from 2013. Meanwhile, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio moved into the top position in the medical field.

Georgia Tech held onto the top spot on the engineering list for the seventh year in a row, while the University of Texas, El Paso returned as No. 1 in business for the fifth straight year.

Several universities that did not appear last year have made the lists in 2014. In business, Yale University secured the No. 9 position after just missing the top 10 in 2013. Engineering had two new schools, Cal Poly Pomona, coming in at No. 9, and the University of Texas, Austin, arriving with a bang in the second spot.

The University of Southern California made a triumphant return to the law school listing, ranking seventh this year. Two schools also joined the medical listing, led by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston at No. 4, and Florida International University at No. 9.

Where the Schools Are

As tends to be the case with many institutions in our lists, three states stand out in terms of being represented on our school lists. Texas, represented by 12 schools, leads the way in 2014, including an impressive 50 percent of the top 10 medical schools. Not far behind is Florida, represented by 10 schools, including four of the top five in the law category.

The University of Texas, AustinThe University of Texas, Austin appears on three of our lists this year. California is also well represented, placing six schools fairly evenly throughout the lists. While these schools are obviously assisted by being in states with a large Hispanic population, they also have top-notch programs that ensure these students stay at home to go to graduate school. Many of them placed very high in the student-services part of our scoring.

Although the big three represent a full 70 percent of our schools, you can still find universities all around the country that have made the grade. From New Mexico to Indiana, New York to Virginia, you won’t have trouble locating an excellent choice for your postgraduate education.

Hispanic Faculty Trending Upward

Another important aspect of the Best School lists that we’ve been tracking over the years is the makeup of the full-time faculty at the universities that participate. What we have found is that the numbers are moving in a positive direction, and that the ratio of Hispanic staff to Hispanic students has been decreasing proportionately, especially recently.

Hispanics make up 9.8 percent of the faculties of the top 40 schools represented here, a minor increase from the 9.6 percent last year, but well up from just 8.2 percent two years ago. Obviously there is still some improvement to be made to catch up to the overall Hispanic population, but the figures are trending in the right direction.

Hispanics facultyAlthough the percentage of Hispanic faculty remains low, the trend is moving in the right direction. Medical schools lead the way this year, with 11.4 percent of the faculties at these 10 schools being Hispanic. Law schools are next, at 10.6 percent, followed by business schools at 9.1 percent and engineering schools at 8.3 percent. While law and business schools are both down a bit from last year, medical schools have made an impressive jump to the top, and engineering schools continue to show impressive advances, from just 4.5 percent two years ago to their 8.3 percent this year.

U.S. colleges and universities still have some work to do before the number of Hispanics at the graduate level corresponds to the size of the Hispanic population in this country. The 40 schools that you see on the accompanying lists are certainly doing their part to assist with this work.

Best Schools for Hispanics
2014 Best Business Schools
2014 Best Engineering Schools
2014 Best Law Schools
2014 Best Medical Schools

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