Graduate Education at UT Austin

Graduate Education at UT Austin

October 20, 2019 4 By Stanley Isaacs


It began with one building on 40 acres of land known as College Hill in Austin, Texas. The goal was to create “a university of the first class.” In September of 1883, The University of Texas opened with eight professors, six departments and 221 students. Today, The University of Texas at Austin is a 350-acre main campus with nearly 3,000 faculty in 16 colleges and schools and almost 50,000 students. There is strength in numbers. As an enduring symbol of the spirit of Texas – big, ambitious and bold – the university drives economic and social progress and serves our nation as a leading center of knowledge and creativity. What starts here changes the world. Among the university’s greatest strengths are our research and graduate programs. The Graduate School – with almost 12,000 students in over 100 academic programs – is one of the largest in the nation. Nearly 3,000 master’s and 800 doctoral degrees are awarded annually. Pulitzer Prize winners, Nobel laureates and members of prestigious academic and scientific organizations are among the faculty and researchers that drive the research engine. Some of our research highlights are: the Texas Advanced Computing Center, which houses one of the world’s largest supercomputers; The new Dell Pediatric Research Institute, and the fifth largest academic library system in the United States with materials essential for graduate research and exploration. Last year, the university received over 497 million dollars of federal research funding – a record amount. But, the greatest asset to this university is our talent – our faculty, our students and our staff. Graduate students make significant contributions and are highly valued throughout the university. Our faculty believe that each student brings a unique perspective, energy and creativity to the labs and classrooms where they work. The diversity of culture, ideas, and outlook and of ethnicity and gender ensures that each graduate student will find friends and colleagues with similar backgrounds and interests, and others who are distinctly different. We are a top ranked research university because of the individuals who call UT their own. Carolyn Bayer came to graduate school at UT because it offered her the opportunity to design her own research projects while working with outstanding faculty. She is incorporating a molecular recognition mechanism and polymeric materials into a biosensor that could be used to diagnose diseases in a patient’s home or a doctor’s office. She hopes to implement the system in developing nations, where access to laboratory diagnostics is limited. Lucas Cieza looked into the night sky as a young boy in Buenos Aires, Argentina and wondered how the stars were made. The simple questions he asked himself at 10 years of age led him to graduate school to study astronomy. Cieza developed and tested theories related to star and planet formation and he was awarded a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship. Icy Simpson is pursuing a Masters of Music in Opera Performance. Icy discovered her voice by singing 1960’s R&B music with her father. Inspired to pursue her master’s degree by her undergraduate voice teacher, she chose The University of Texas at Austin because of the faculty here and the supportive environment she found in her home department. Icy recently performed a solo from “Carmen” with the Austin Lyric Opera. Aaron Shield believes his graduate degree will allow him to conduct cutting-edge research to add to the world’s knowledge of how certain social behaviors — such as facial expression and eye contact — are related to linguistic meaning in signed languages. He is particularly interested in the use of sign language in deaf and hearing autistic children. Graduate School is not only about academic and professional pursuits. The University of Texas and the city of Austin provide a rich cultural and recreational backdrop when graduate students need to take a break from their studies. They can stay in shape in one of the university’s twelve recreational facilities or by visiting the hike and bike trail surrounding Lady Bird Lake. The university’s Harry Ransom Center is one of the world’s finest cultural archives, with treasures including a rare Gutenberg Bible and Woodward and Bernstein’s original Watergate papers. The Blanton Museum is the largest university art museum in the country with Old Master paintings and modern and contemporary art. Both of these magnificent collections are available to all of our students. Austin is known as the “live music capital of the world” with the famous “Austin City Limits” program taped on campus as well as a 3-day music festival in downtown’s Zilker Park. Numerous other venues host local and international musicians nightly. And for sports fans, we have the famous Longhorns with Bevo as our mascot and the well recognized “Hook em Horns” rallying cry. Whether graduate students plan to study the depths of the ocean at the Marine Science Institute or the core of the planet in the Earth and Energy Resources Program or the very, very small in the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology or the vastly infinite at the McDonald Observatory, The University of Texas at Austin offers individual attention and faculty mentoring to help them define their dreams and the breadth and depth of resources needed to achieve them. We say that The University of Texas at Austin transforms lives. Come to Texas and transform yours.