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UCR ranks No. 3 in graduating Hispanic students in STEM majors

February 21, 2020
Author: Imran Ghori
February 21, 2020

A National Science Foundation report found that UC Riverside ranks third in the nation when it comes to graduating the most Hispanic or Latino students in science and engineering fields.

The data is included in a 2019 report called “Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering,” which looks at the progress of underrepresented groups in science and engineering education and employment.

The report includes a data table showing UCR conferred 4,656 bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering to Hispanic students between 2012-16. Only Florida International University in Miami and University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, had more Hispanic graduates in the STEM fields.

“Given our students’ commitment to learning, and the dedication of UCR faculty and academic staff to their success, I’m not surprised that UCR ranks high for Hispanic and Latino/a STEM graduates,” said Kathryn Uhrich, dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. “At CNAS, our classes, laboratories, research experiences, and student success programs are designed to help students thrive.”

The college offers a number of programs providing underrepresented students with support and resources, including CNAS Learning Communities, First Year Success Series, Science Ambassador Program, and STEM Pathway Program.

In 2018, UCR received the Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine for the Riverside Bridges to the Baccalaureate Program. A partnership with Riverside City College, the program identifies students committed to pursuing a career in science and facilitates their transfer and successful completion of a UCR degree in STEM fields. 

The report states Hispanics or Latinos have gradually attained STEM degrees over the last 20 years, but they still remain underrepresented in degree completion and in the workplace.

Hispanic Serving Institutions — a federal designation for colleges and universities with a Hispanic student population of more than 25% — have played a large role in increasing their representation, the report found.

In 2016, 46% of Hispanic students who earned bachelor’s degrees in STEM majors graduated from Hispanic Serving Institutions, and 37% who earned doctorates between 2013 and 2017 attended one, according to the report.

UCR was designated a Hispanic Serving Institution in 2008.