The annual HispanicBusiness Best Schools for Hispanics lists rank the top 10 graduate schools in four disciplines: business, law, engineering and medical. The schools are ranked using criteria such as enrollment, faculty, reputation, retention rate and the use of progressive programs to recruit, support and mentor Hispanic students.
While schools that have a high percentage of Hispanic students are obviously well-represented, it is not the only category that factors into making the list. Efforts to attract and retain Hispanic students are importan, plus schools must be accredited and have a solid reputation in the educational field.
There are a couple of surprises on the 2013 Best Schools for Hispanics lists. American University, for example, takes over the No. 1 spot on the law school list this year. Americans Washington School of Law in Washington, D.C., had solid numbers in enrollment (15.6 percent Hispanic) and faculty (13.5 percent), and displayed a vast array of methods to attract and retain Hispanic students, including having a Web page specifically for prospective Hispanic students.
The University of California, Irvine is back on the engineering list for the first time since 2007, coming in at No. 9 this year. The Henry Samueli School of Engineering has put together some solid programs to draw and retain Hispanic students.
On the medical school list, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston jumped up to the No. 2 position, continuing a climb that saw it at No. 4 in 2012 and 2011. The school had great numbers across the board, including being ranked in the top 25 in both research and primary care on U.S. News and World Reports Best Medical Schools lists.
Overall, however, many of the schools at the top of the lists stayed the same. The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta remained at No. 1 on the engineering list for the sixth year in a row, for instance. Georgia Tech consistently has higher-than-average numbers in all categories, along with a solid program to recruit and retain Hispanic students, and has a large number of students from Latin America.
The University of Texas at El Paso kept its No. 1 ranking in the business school list, with an overall best ratio of 62.3 percent of its total MBA school enrollment being Hispanic. The school also boasts an impressive 22.6 percent Hispanic faculty and a vast network of recruiting and mentoring programs.
On the medical list, UC San Francisco retains the No. 1 position for the second year in a row, posting a 15.7 percent Hispanic enrollment and awarding 13.5 percent of its M.D. degrees in 2012 to Hispanic students.
Texas and Florida take the top honors on the lists this year, with both states being represented by 10 schools total. California isnt far behind, as seven schools from the Golden State appear among the four categories. Schools in Texas dominate the medical list, taking four of the 10 spots, while Florida leads the way in the law category, also with four schools.
Eight schools are represented in more than one category. A special nod goes out to the University of New Mexico, the only school that made the top 10 in every category. UNM, a staple of the lists since HispanicBusiness started putting them together, always scores high in almost every category, and its programs and efforts to attract and retain Hispanic students are second to none.
The University of Miami and the University of Texas, San Antonio are both represented on three of the four lists.
One of the trends weve been following over the years is the makeup of the faculties of the schools on these lists. This year brought some positive news on this front, as Hispanics made up 9.6 percent of the faculties of the 40 schools represented, up from a disappointing 8.2 percent last year.
Law and business schools led the way, with 12.3 percent and 10.1 percent, respectively. Those figures represent a 2.3 percent increase each over 2012. And although engineering schools still came in at last place in this category, their 7.5 percent figure was up nearly 3 percent from last year.
Combine these faculty numbers with increasing enrollment figures, forward-looking programs that appeal to Hispanic students, and clubs and mentorship programs that encourage Hispanic students to stay once they are there, and you have progress when it comes to Hispanic participation in Americas graduate schools. There is more to be made, of course, but these 40 schools are certainly doing their part.