Honoring alumni contributions to achieving Carnegie R1 designation, UTSA celebrates 30 years of doctoral programs

April 5, 2023
UTSA Graduate School


The 2022-2023 academic year marks the 30th anniversary of the first doctoral student cohort admission at UTSA. The Graduate School, in collaboration with academic colleges, recently hosted multiple events on campus to celebrate this milestone and recognize doctoral students' contributions culminating in UTSA achieving Carnegie R1 designation. The celebration kicked off with a keynote and networking lunch, research poster showcase, awards ceremony and reception.

Guests in attendance at the day’s events included more than 230 current graduate students, faculty and doctoral alumni representative of each admitted cohort from all programs. One hundred fifteen doctoral alumni traveled to San Antonio from all over the country to attend the celebration with sponsorship from The Graduate School. The Graduate School also collaborated with academic colleges that planned college-specific 30 to R1 events for doctoral alumni the following day. Keynote speaker, Suzanne Ortega Ph.D., president of the Council of Graduate Schools, spoke about the transformative power of doctoral education, citing notable alumni in Texas who have made international impacts with their innovative work. As emcee of the awards ceremony, Ernie Zuniga, anchor and co-host of Fox San Antonio’s Fox News First, recalled milestones in UTSA’s history and graduate education.  He also presented the annual Graduate School awards for excellence in research, teaching, program development and collaborative programming to graduate students and faculty.

For the past 30 years, UTSA doctoral alumni have achieved success in various fields with alumni from business, education and engineering comprising the three largest groups. Since 1992, when the UT System Regents approved UTSA’s first Ph.D. program in Neuroscience, graduate and doctoral education has grown significantly. UTSA currently offers 28 doctoral programs and more than 100 master’s programs with graduate enrollment exceeding 4,300 students. In February 2022, UTSA was designated as a Carnegie R1 Institution. UTSA is one of only 22 universities that are designated as both a Hispanic Serving Institution and Carnegie R1.


“Over the years, our doctoral students have contributed significantly to UTSA achieving the prestigious Carnegie R1 designation. I envisioned the 30 to R1 events as a special way to recognize and celebrate the amazing contributions of our doctoral alumni and faculty,” said Ambika Mathur, vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “Having our administration, alumni, students, staff and faculty show up in large numbers to celebrate is a testament that doctoral training at UTSA is highly valued by the institution.”

Efforts are being made in graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral mentorship to support faculty mentoring skill development. This commitment will allow UTSA to recruit and support the best graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral trainees and prepare them to be leaders in their fields to impact our world.

“To further advance UTSA’s strategic plan destination in becoming a great public research university, initiatives to promote graduate training excellence are ongoing through the Graduate School’s Bold Doctoral Journey program, which involves training milestones, professional development and the use of individual development plans (IDPs) to systematize faculty mentor-student-scholar trainee supervision,” Mathur added.

For more information about these initiatives and to learn more about doctoral education at UTSA, click here.


-- Giselle Villalpando