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UNT Achieves Tier One Status

Established in 1890, the University of North Texas started as a teacher's training school, apropos for an institution that has helped teach those in the North Texas region so much as the most comprehensive university in the North Texas area. Today, the university has nearly 41,000 students enrolled and awarded 10,000 degrees in the 2019-2020 school year. UNT helps power the North Texas region’s workforce with well-educated, highly qualified graduates: Of its 448,000 alumni, 304,000 live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

While UNT has helped many achieve excellence in their own education, the university itself matriculated from a decades-long process to attain its own goal, Tier One status as a public research university as ranked by the Carnegie Classification of Institutes of Higher Education®, in 2015.


In the 1980s, UNT invested significantly in building doctoral programs and shifted to focusing on increasing graduate admission standards, becoming the third largest graduate school in Texas. That significant investment in graduate education earned UNT’s designation in 1987 as an R3, a Doctoral Level University.


In 2000, UNT moved from R3 to R2 – a significant step forward and, in 2001, the university acquired Discovery Park, enabling the creation of the College of Engineering and adding engineering programs. By the mid-2000s, the university had undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering and electrical engineering.

And finally, well-earned acknowledgement: In 2015, UNT graduated to the elite designation of a Tier One research university. This ranking bolsters the university's reputation in national rankings, enhances its ability to recruit students and faculty from other Tier One universities, and improves its success rate for grant proposals and prestigious faculty awards.


UNT's Tier One status was reaffirmed in 2020, making the university one of only 131 institutions in the nation in those ranks. Its diversity of doctoral programs and strengths in non-STEM research areas were major factors in UNT earning, and retaining, that designation.

Already one of the nation’s largest universities, UNT also is one of the most diverse. This year, the university was designated a Minority-Serving and Hispanic-Serving Institution, better reflecting the population of Texas and making it one of only 16 Tier One Hispanic-Serving Institutions in the nation.


As a Tier One Research University focused on growing its national prominence, UNT has worked to increase its research productivity by investing in its programs, faculty and infrastructure, while the university’s innovative research and corporate partnerships are transforming how higher education engages the community. UNT offers choice and convenience in providing a high-quality education to serve the North Texas region and consistently delivers a tech-, business- and people-savvy workforce for North Texas, the State of Texas and beyond.


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