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North Texas’ allure, everything from big business to the finest in shopping and dining, is
undeniably recognized worldwide. One important asset that can’t be excluded from this list of North Texas area treasures is its higher education opportunities.
The Dallas-Fort Worth area is actually the largest metropolitan area in the nation without a Tier 1 research university, which generally is defined by measures including admission to the Association of American Universities, intensive research, elite faculty, selective admissions, and strong endowments. Areas with Tier 1 universities experience competitive, knowledge-based job growth and significant economic impact. Higher education officials, legislators, and local leaders are pushing for local universities to achieve this Tier 1 status in order for Texas to compete with other states with national research universities. The Dallas-Fort Worth region accounts for one third of Texas’ economic output, which is just one reason it must remain a player in the global competition of ideas. One way to achieve this is to lay claim to a leading research university. Several of the area’s major universities have established ambitious programs that will help them achieve this Tier 1 status. Paul Ludden, SMU provost, says the key to a university’s future is its investment in research today. “Teaching what is known about our world will never fade in importance, but universities should not stop there,” Ludden says. “It’s the creation of new knowledge that sets the best universities apart from the rest. When our students graduate, they remember the opportunities they had to learn from, and participate in, that creative process.”Dallas-Fort Worth is home to five top universities that are revolutionizing higher education and bringing much deserved recognition to the area, thanks in part to their notable research programs. »
Southern Methodist University is focusing its research activity on the big challenges of our time, and the university is designating millions of dollars in investment capital and resources to fuel that process.
Key to the university’s plans is a recently announced fundraising campaign. “SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign” is seeking specific funding to support increases in faculty research grants; expanded opportunities for graduate and undergraduate research; and for programs, technology and facilities that bolster research across the university.
“Our overarching goal is to set SMU squarely on a path that leads to increasing stature as a research university,” says James E. Quick, SMU associate vice president for research and dean of graduate studies. “I envision SMU as a source of influential scholarship that addresses the major problems facing our society, with a prestigious faculty, highly regarded Ph.D. programs, and the research funding essential for a top-tier university.”
SMU has strong research programs already in place in a broad range of areas, including biostatistics; K-12 reading; Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and global seismology; photonics; drugs aimed at penicillin-resistant bacteria; and family violence. Emerging research areas at SMU include applications of smart polymers in medicine and systems engineering.
Just launched is a partnership with defense contractor Lockheed Martin. SMU will cultivate development of innovative engineers at its Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® Lab at the SMU Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. The SMU Skunk Works, the first Lockheed partnership of its kind with any university, will prepare students to challenge conventional engineering wisdom.
Collaborative projects link SMU to premier projects worldwide, including SMU research in high-energy, particle physics with the Large Hadron Collider’s Atlas particle detector near Cern, Switzerland; and geothermal resource mapping, backed by nearly $500,000 in funding from search-engine giant Google.
Also in the works: an international institute at the Lyle School of Engineering that will develop and deploy sustainable, technology-based solutions for the global poor.
At the undergraduate level, Provost Paul Ludden provides up to $5,000 each to 10 student teams that present winning “Big iDeas” proposals that study and address key problems faced here at home. Recent student projects in this annual competition have focused on language barriers, childhood obesity and the need for microenterprise zones in Dallas.
“Research at SMU will contribute directly to solutions of local, national and global problems,” Quick says. “The great universities of the 21st century will be defined, to a large extent, by this ability. We expect SMU to be among those universities.” www.smu.edu
Texas Woman’s University occupies a notable position in higher education as the nation’s largest university primarily for women. Its campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston are joined by an e-learning campus that offers innovative online degree programs in business, education, nursing, and general studies. Six consecutive years of enrollment growth have produced a record enrollment of 12,168. TWU has the eighth-largest enrollment of all 25 colleges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and awards more than $5 million in scholarships each year.
TWU serves the citizens of Texas in a number of important ways, including: producing more new nurses and health care professionals than any other university in Texas, helping ease the teacher shortage by placing highly qualified professionals in the classroom, offering a liberal arts-based curriculum that prepares students for success in an increasingly global world, and conducting research that impacts the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, osteoporosis, stroke and diabetes. The TWU College of Professional Education graduates approximately 475 new teachers and 125 school principals and superintendents each year. TWU students typically achieve an overall pass rate of 98 percent on state teacher certification examinations.
TWU has the largest doctoral nursing program in the country and the 11th-largest College of Nursing in the Country. Modern Healthcare magazine ranks the master of health care administration program at TWU’s Houston Center as the fourth largest in the nation. TWU nursing students consistently perform well above the state average on the National Council Licensure Examination and 99 percent of students pass within one year of graduation.
U.S. News and World Report ranks TWU second in the state and 15th in the nation among universities with the most diverse student populations and ranks its graduate programs in occupational and physical therapy and health librarianship among the nation’s best. TWU ranks among the top 120 public universities nationwide in doctoral degrees awarded, and The Executive MBA Council ranks its EMBA program as the largest in the state. Knowing this, it’s no surprise that more than 90 percent of TWU graduates are employed in Texas or enrolled in a Texas graduate program within one year, which is higher than the state average of 85 percent. www.twu.edu
UNT is on a mission – to open doors, change lives, and improve society. The choice of nearly 35,000 students, the University of North Texas is the largest public university in Dallas-Fort Worth and the fourth largest in Texas. Offering 99 bachelor’s 104 master’s, and 49 doctoral degree programs, many nationally and internationally recognized, UNT is creating a legacy of excellence as a thriving, student-centered public university. It was named one of the best colleges in the West by the Princeton Review and one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for 13 consecutive years.
UNT is home to many firsts and bests. It has the world’s leading graduate program in environmental ethics and top-ranked programs in health librarianship, counseling, and public administration. UNT also shines as the first in the nation to offer programs in jazz studies, electronic merchandising, business computer information systems, and emergency management. UNT was also one of the first to provide students developmental support with its award-winning UNT Student Money Management Center.
UNT’s dedication to student success is exemplified by its Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, the nation’s first accelerated residential program for gifted math and science high school students, and its Emerald Eagle Scholars, one of only 30 programs in the nation designed to ensure costs do not stop talented students from seeking a higher education. Discover for yourself why UNT is the first and best choice for so many. Discover the power of ideas. Discover UNT. www.unt.edu
With urgency and a commitment to real-world solutions, The University of Texas at Arlington’s researchers explore answers to today’s most complex problems. They devise novel methods, for instance, of generating clean energy and apply nanotechnology to revolutionize the electronics industry. They battle brain tumors using painless imaging techniques and repair damaged blood vessels with targeted drugs. Last year, UT Arlington’s research expenditures surpassed $66.5 million, an astounding 68 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the total of six years ago.
Additionally, UT Arlington embraces an active-learning environment that places students at the center of the learning process. As a result, for example, the School of Urban and Public Affairs is recognized as one of the country’s best, while the School of Architecture is tied for first nationally as the “most innovative architecture program.” In downtown Fort Worth, the UT Arlington Fort Worth Center offers one of the fastest-growing master’s degree and continuing education programs in the Dallas area, and the College of Business has the largest executive MBA program in China.
Opportunities for UT Arlington’s diverse student population of 25,000 to be engaged in campus life include 300 student organizations; year-round community service; the Leadership Academy; Multicultural Mavericks; NCAA athletics; club sports; traditions like MavsMeet, Homecoming and Graduation Celebration; and nationally-acclaimed lecturers and entertainers.
The University of Texas at Arlington is the educational leader in the heart of Dallas-Fort Worth. Founded in 1895 as a private liberal arts institution, UT Arlington achieved senior college status in 1959 and became part of The University of Texas System in 1965. Students here pursue more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in an extensive range of disciplines. Of UT Arlington’s 125,000 alumni, 88,000 live in North Texas. Their presence helps the University create an annual economic impact of $1 billion on the region. The University’s annual research expenditures exceed $60 million. www.uta.edu
A dynamic innovator in education, research, business, health and social services, UT Dallas is developing outstanding leaders and creating a future that is changing lives in Texas, the nation and the world.
Spend a day on the UT Dallas campus and it’s not hard to find what sets it apart from other schools. There’s a top-ranked cheerleading squad—despite the fact that there’s no football team—and a national championship chess team. But if UT Dallas ever did join the Big Ten, Pac 10, or the Big 12, it would significantly raise the academic average of each conference’s freshman class. For the past three years, UT Dallas’ average freshman SAT score was the highest in Texas—and one of the top 20 in the nation— among public universities. Consistently ranked among the top 100 colleges and universities in the United States in number of freshmen National Merit Scholars, UT Dallas was named among the top 100 best values among public universities by Kiplinger’s magazine. And it’s not just the students who are known for their excellence. The faculty includes several members of the National Academies of Sciences and Technology as well as a Nobel laureate.
Research in next-generation technology and biotechnology is at the crux of many collaborative efforts at such UT Dallas centers as the NanoTech Institute, Digital Forensics and Emergency Preparedness Institute, Callier Center for Communications Disorders, Center for BrainHealth, and the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering.
With more than 125 degree programs, UT Dallas boasts an impressive national and international reputation in areas such as audiology, telecommunications, arts and technology, brain health, digital forensics and cyber-crime prevention, nanotechnology, sickle-cell disease research, and space science. Rigorous academics and fast-track programs—as well as strong mentoring and hands-on research opportunities—ensure that UT Dallas graduates are routinely recruited by major corporations, continue their studies or research at top-ranked graduate schools, and are admitted to medical and law schools at rates far higher than the national averages.
An active catalyst in the Dallas business community, the university’s School of Management offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship forms collaborations between students and business mentors seeking to spawn the “next big idea.” For the second year in a row, UT Dallas’ prestigious Executive MBA program has been ranked by the Financial Times as the No. 1 EMBA program in Texas, and the Wall Street
Journal has ranked it sixth in the nation for return on investment. www.utdallas.edu