Higher Education

A vibrant economy depends on a skilled workforce ready to take on 21st-century jobs. New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso are developing tomorrow’s workforce. Together, they account for $220 million in research and development (R&D) expenditures and issue 13,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees a year, most of them in humanities, business, and engineering. Most jobs in El Paso are in the retail sector, while in Southern New Mexico, healthcare and social assistance accounted for the largest share of jobs. The development of the huge manufacturing industry is attributed to the area’s large workforce in Mexico.

The Autonomous University of Juárez has 24,000 students within engineering and technology programs accounting for upward of 5,000 graduates, biosciences more than 6,000 and social sciences around 8,000. Much of the R&D is concentrated on engineering-related fields like aerospace, biomedicine, and electronics.


Now in its second century of service, UTEP continues its commitment to an access and excellence mission and redefined public higher education not only in Texas but across the nation.

Over the past century, the University’s enrollment has grown from 27 mining students to nearly 23,400 undergraduate and graduate students, and that number continues to increase each year.

UTEP offers a broad array of degree programs – 72 bachelor’s, 73 masters, and 21 doctoral degrees.

UTEP is the state's third-largest campus in the University of Texas system. UTEP now ranks fourth among all 35 Texas public universities in federal research funding and is also included on the National Science Foundation's list of Top 200 research universities in the United States. During the 2013 academic year, UTEP faculty researchers secured nearly $77 million in new grant awards. In January 2016, UTEP was awarded a $3.9 million Scholarship for Service grant from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Homeland Security. UTEP is also one of seven public institutions in Texas to be designated by the Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Legislature as an "Emerging Tier One University." Washington Monthly magazine ranked UTEP as one of the top 10 universities in the nation for the third consecutive year in 2015, alongside Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley and the University of Washington, to name a few.

The College of Health Sciences engages in teaching, research, and service related to the applied health sciences.


TTUHSC is an independently accredited, comprehensive, health-sciences university with component schools of Allied Health, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Medicine, and Nursing. TTUHSC provides West Texas with high-quality, accessible healthcare services and access to educational opportunities. In 2017, the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine (WLHSODM) will open and be the first dental school to open in the state of Texas in nearly 50 years.

TTUHSC opened the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) in El Paso in 2009. This four-year, research-focused institute is the only medical school to be accredited in the U.S. in 25 years and the only medical school located on the U.S.-México border. 

The PLFSOM is a leader in educational innovation. Starting in years one and two, the school’s curriculum is highly focused on clinical studies. This structure provides the clinical context and motivation for learning, as well as a natural framework for highly coordinated and synergistic instruction in medical skills, the various domains of public health, introductory diagnostic reasoning, and ethics and professionalism. Also, as part of its curriculum, the PLFSOM requires all students to learn medical Spanish language skills; the PLFSOM is the only medical school in the U.S. with this requirement.  

Five research centers of excellence will focus on Hispanic health in the areas of:

  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative diseases 
  • Infectious diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

El Paso Community College

With six locations throughout the region, El Paso Community College (EPCC) is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation. The College continues to receive national recognition for its educational excellence and is one of the fastest-growing community colleges in Texas. It currently serves more than 27,000+ credit students and 8,000 continuing education students each semester.

The college offers 130 associate-degree and certificate-of-completion programs and offers more than 350 personal-enrichment/continuing-education courses. Coursework at EPCC is transferable to any Texas college or university. 

The El Paso Community College system was ranked number one in the nation for granting associate degrees to Hispanic students by two-year schools by Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.

UT School of Public Health - El Paso Regional Campus (EPRC)

The El Paso Regional Campus (EPRC) of the UT School of Public Health opened in 1992. With the U.S.-Mexico border less than a mile from the campus, the curriculum, research, and community practice focus on the unique health problems facing border populations. The UT School of Public Health EPRC offers certificate programs, a general Master of Public Health degree (Customized, Health Promotion/Behavioral Sciences, and Environmental Health), a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Environmental Health, and a Doctor of Public Health degree in Health Promotion/Behavioral Sciences.

Faculty at the EPRC focus on health disparities in the border region and the results of those disparities are the primary focus of the ongoing research at the campus. Improving prevention techniques and promoting health services among the Mexican-American community are integral parts of the research efforts in El Paso.

Other regional institutions include:

  • Western Technical College
  • Western Governor’s University
  • Academy School Careers
  • Brightwood College-El Paso
  • Park University
  • Southwest Career Institute
  • University of Phoenix
  • Vista Computer Career Center


New Mexico State University sits on a 900-acre campus and enrolls more than 15,000 students from 49 states and 89 foreign countries. NMSU is a NASA Space Grant College and is home to the very first Honors College in New Mexico. A Hispanic-serving institution, NMSU serves a multicultural population of students and community members across the state at five campuses, a satellite learning center in Albuquerque, cooperative extension offices located in each of New Mexico's 33 counties, and 12 agriculture research and science centers. Plus, distance education programs give students maximum flexibility.

NMSU is classified as a Hispanic-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. For a second consecutive year, NMSU received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

NMSU is No. 1 in the state for contributions to the public good in social mobility, research, and service, according to Washington Monthly’s 2014 National Universities rankings.

Other regional institutions include:

Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ)

UACJ is a public institution, autonomous, with the mission to create, preserve and transmit knowledge; promote values that recognize: the identity and cultural diversity of the country; promotes equality, the free dissemination of ideas; the adoption of healthy habits and practices; civic, supportive and informed participation, in order to form internationally competitive professionals through quality educational programs; scientific research relevant to regional environment; consolidated academic bodies; infrastructure to facilitate access to knowledge and self-directed learning; permanent programs of cultural diffusion and socially responsible, inclusive, sustainable and free of violence certified organization.

Other regional institutions include: