Undergraduate Catalog, Undergraduate, 2009 - Undergraduate Catalog, UTEP, The University of Texas at El Paso 2009 - 2010 Undergraduate Catalog
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General Information

      Welcome to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)! This undergraduate catalog contains information about UTEP’s success in combining academic and research excellence with innovative programs and services, outstanding faculty, and a university-wide commitment to fostering student success.  A nationally recognized university with faculty and staff who are dedicated to your academic success, UTEP offers a broad range of academic programs that encourage you to become involved in the discovery and creation of knowledge. UTEP is a friendly place--relationships are easily formed with fellow students, staff members, and faculty

More than 73 percent of our student population is Mexican-American.  About 50 percent are first generation college students. UTEP is the first-choice institution for most students in our region: 94 percent of freshman students tell us that UTEP was their first or second choice for college. UTEP is also the choice of the region’s top students who enroll in public institutions in Texas:  57 percent of El Paso County’s Top 10 percent high school graduates who are enrolled in public institutions in Texas enroll at UTEP.

UTEP’s achievements extend far beyond the University’s traditional strengths in science and engineering. UTEP has received national acclaim for innovative programs in business, fine arts, education, the humanities, health sciences, and nursing. The Carnegie Foundation ranks UTEP in the Doctoral/Research University-Intensive category, placing UTEP among the top 7 percent of all colleges and universities in the United States.

The following pages of this catalog introduce you to our policies, our degrees, majors and minors, and our curricula. As you review them, we hope you know that our commitment to you is to offer you the highest quality education in a supportive community.



Located on the U.S.-Mexico border in the El Paso/Cd. Juárez binational metropolitan area of more than two million people, UTEP is the largest Mexican-American-majority research university in the United States. In this unique multicultural setting, the University offers a rich variety of academic programs and outstanding support services, providing academic excellence for students.

UTEP, the second oldest academic component of The University of Texas System, was established in 1914 as the Texas State School of Mines and Metallurgy to prepare professionals for the mining industry of the southwestern U.S. and Mexico. From its inception, the campus has featured architecture derived from the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. UTEP’s unique buildings are the only examples of this ancient architecture in the Western Hemisphere. The motif, characterized by thick, sloped outer walls accented with a band of elaborate brickwork, was suggested by Kathleen Worrell, the wife of the college’s first dean, after she saw photographs of Bhutanese monasteries in an issue of National Geographic. Noted El Paso architect Henry Trost designed the first buildings, and architects have continued the theme through more than 90 years of campus expansion.

The college’s curriculum expanded in 1927 with the addition of liberal arts courses. The first Master of Arts degree was established in 1940. The institution was renamed Texas Western College in 1949 and the University of Texas at El Paso in 1967. Since then, enrollment has grown to more than 20,000 students, and the scope of programs has expanded to 81 Bachelor’s, 78 Master’s, 14 Doctoral degrees and 3 combined degrees (Bachelors/Masters or Masters/Masters) all designed to meet the needs of an increasingly industrialized and more diverse West Texas.


The 367-acre UTEP campus includes 87 buildings with more than 4 million square feet of space for facilities that support academic excellence. The 125,000 square foot Undergraduate Learning Center features multimedia computer and distance learning technology. The UTEP Library contains more than 1 million resources, the new Collaborative Learning Center with 224 open-access computers, a lobby café, and an extensive art collection. The 362,000 square foot Engineering Sciences Complex houses many research opportunities for students in facilities like the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation with $4 million of equipment, including 17 rapid prototyping machines and facilities for tissue engineering. Nearby, the Biosciences Research Building provides state-of-the-art equipment to address biomedical and environmental problems. Computer laboratories are located across the campus. The Fox Fine Arts galleries, recital halls, and studios present art, theatre, music, and dance programs. Athletic facilities including the Don Haskins Center, the 52,247-seat Sun Bowl Stadium, and the Larry K. Durham Sports Center provide student athletes a range of world class resources including a strength and conditioning center, a sports medicine center, a student-athlete lounge and computer center, locker rooms, coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, and a “Hall of Champions.”

With its strategic location on the U.S.-Mexico border, UTEP is a nationally recognized leader in creating excellent academic opportunities for the people of the El Paso region and a stimulating context for students from elsewhere to pursue their education. Quality academic programs and a robust research agenda mark UTEP as an innovative force in American higher education for the 21st century.



The University of Texas at El Paso is dedicated to the advancement of the El Paso region through education, creative and artistic production, and the generation, interpretation, application and dissemination of knowledge. UTEP embraces its role as an intellectual, cultural and socio-economic asset to the region, offering programs to meet human resource needs and contribute to the quality of life.

As a public university, UTEP is committed to providing access and educational opportunity to the people of the El Paso region and the State of Texas. UTEP’s mission of ensuring access is coupled with a commitment to excellence, reflected in rigorous programs which prepare students to make significant contributions to their professions, their communities and the world. 

As a research/doctoral institution, UTEP fosters a climate of scholarly inquiry, with a special focus on applying innovative interdisciplinary approaches to explore and address major issues that confront the multicultural, U.S.-Mexico border region. 



The University of Texas at El Paso will be internationally recognized as a preeminent model for urban, public research universities in the 21st century.


UTEP will serve as a gateway to an improved quality of life for people of the Paso del Norte region, which includes far west Texas, northern Mexico and southern New Mexico. UTEP will offer a broad range of undergraduate, professional and doctoral programs that support the workforce needs of the region and the state, and will provide lifelong educational opportunities for area residents.


UTEP will be recognized nationally as the preeminent institution in fostering student participation and success, especially young people, working adults, returning students and lifelong learners from socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally under-represented in U.S. higher education.


UTEP graduates will be known for the high quality of their academic preparation and eagerly recruited by employers and the most selective graduate and professional schools in the country.


UTEP will be nationally and internationally recognized for its exemplary accomplishments in generating and applying knowledge about emergent global issues, with a special focus on those having a direct regional impact.


UTEP will continue to be the leading research university in the nation with a majority Mexican-American student body and through its excellent academic programs will help meet the demands of American enterprise for a diverse and highly educated workforce.


UTEP will be known for its commitment to diversity in its recruitment of faculty, staff and administrators who serve as role models and mentors for its largely first-generation, Mexican-American student population.

UTEP will build on the strength of its core disciplines, the promise of new and emerging areas of academic excellence, and the resources of its U.S.-Mexico border context to develop innovative and multidisciplinary strategies to address major issues that confront the Paso del Norte region.


UTEP’s centers of excellence will be at the forefront of addressing emergent national challenges in such areas as Hispanic health disparities, the education of U.S. Hispanics, homeland security, and national defense.


UTEP will be acknowledged as the principal human and economic development engine for the Paso del Norte region and as a catalyst for technology transfer, commercialization, regional innovation and entrepreneurship.


UTEP’s role in the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence will be recognized as the preeminent national model for successfully raising aspirations and academic achievement of K-16 students through its development of a partnership among K-12 school districts, the community college, civic and philanthropic organizations, business leaders and researchers.


UTEP will be recognized for incorporating into both graduate and undergraduate curricula research that engages students, cultivates intellectual curiosity, and promotes innovation and creative thinking.


UTEP will be internationally recognized for its artistic and creative productions that are shaped by the confluence of cultures, values and aesthetics of the U.S.-Mexico border region.


UTEP will be known for its commitment to play a role in creating educational opportunities for residents of northern Mexico and fostering the cross-border economic development essential to the long-term resolution of border issues.


UTEP will be known for its success in integrating public service and civic engagement into its teaching, learning, research and creative activities, and its graduates will be prepared to engage in civic affairs and make meaningful contributions to society.


UTEP will be recognized as an engaged partner in sponsoring and enhancing cultural, artistic, athletic and entertainment activities and events in the Paso del Norte region.


UTEP’s intercollegiate athletics program will build on the legacy of its transformative NCAA men’s basketball championship to be recognized for its achievement of high performance standards in both men’s and women’s athletic competitions and in the classroom.


UTEP will be known for its effectiveness in containing costs and generating additional resources to ensure a high quality educational experience for its students and for its efficient and prudent stewardship of the resources entrusted to it by students, the State of Texas, granting agencies and donors.



Students who attend UTEP come from a varied mix of social, cultural, and economic backgrounds that closely mirror the population of the El Paso/Ciudad Juárez region. Approximately 73 per cent of UTEP’s students are Hispanic, two-thirds work while in college, and over half are first-generation college students. UTEP students typically represent more than 47 states and 74 countries, with about 9 percent coming from Mexico.



The University of Texas at El Paso is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097/ telephone number: 404-679-4500) to award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Information on accreditation by separate accrediting bodies for specific programs is presented in the specific college sections of this catalog.


To the extent provided by applicable law, no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under, any program or activity sponsored or conducted by The University of Texas System, or any of its institutions on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, status as a disabled veteran or veteran of the Vietnam era, sexual orientation, or disability.



This catalog is a general information publication only. It is not intended to nor does it contain all regulations that relate to students. The provisions of this catalog do not constitute a contract, express or implied, between any applicant, student or faculty member and The University of Texas at El Paso or The University of Texas System. The University of Texas at El Paso reserves the right to withdraw courses at any time, to change fees or tuition, calendar, curriculum, degree requirements, graduation procedures, and any other requirements affecting students. Changes will become effective whenever the proper authorities so determine and will apply to both prospective students and those already enrolled.