WT Graduate School Sees Significant Growth for Spring Semester

Chip Chandler Jan 28, 2021
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WT Graduate School Sees Significant Growth for Spring Semester


Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Graduate School showed impressive growth in several areas, according to new enrollment figures released today.

The numbers show that Graduate School enrollment rose nearly 5 percent from Spring 2020, with 6 percent more students pursing their first master’s degree and 32 percent pursuing their first doctoral degree. Overall, enrollment grew 14 percent among full-time graduate students.

“These significant increases in both master’s and doctoral student enrollment demonstrate how people are striving to enhance their credentials and work-related skills in the midst of economic uncertainty,” said Dr. Angela Spaulding, vice president for research and compliance and dean of the Graduate School.

WT also showed gains in several different demographic groups — up 11 percent among Asian American students, up 14 percent among Native American students and up 3 percent among Hispanic students. The population of Black students remained essentially the same.

“This shows that we are making strides to reach out to all different communities in our region in our efforts to increase the number of people of color in our student population,” said Angela Allen, chief diversity and inclusion officer.

The University also saw a 25 percent increase in students ages 23 to 30 and a 16 percent increase in students ages 31 to 40, as well as an 8 percent increase in students transferring from junior colleges.

“Our increase in students transferring in from community colleges shows how important our partnership is with these institutions,” said Dr. Brad Johnson, vice president for strategic relations. “Because of work at both WT and our partner colleges, more students who chose to begin at home are finding realistic and rewarding success in transferring here.”

The 12th class day is when Texas’ public universities traditionally report enrollment in the spring and fall semesters. For Spring 2021, WT has 6,423 undergraduate students and 2,486 graduate students.

“Universities have had to change how students are recruited because of COVID-19, and I am pleased to see how our team is stepping up to the challenge,” said University President Dr. Walter Wendler. “The WT admissions office staff, college-based recruiters, faculty, deans and administrators have done an incredible job keeping students and families first in our recruiting and retention efforts.

“We will continue to find new ways to recruit and retain students long after the pandemic, and we believe that future students will see that WT is an excellent, affordable educational institution,” Wendler said.

Overall, WT’s enrollment dipped only slightly — down 112 students, or 1 percent, from Spring 2020. Undergraduate enrollment increased in three of WT’s colleges — up 2 percent in the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, up 5 percent in the College of Engineering, and up 3.5 percent in the College of Education and Social Sciences.

“These numbers show that we are on the right track, especially as we continue our return to normal campus life as we look ahead to Fall 2021,” said Mike Knox, vice president for student enrollment, engagement and success. “Students see that WT was ranked the safest campus in Texas and in the Top 10 in the nation, and that Amarillo is leading the nation in COVID-19 vaccinations.”

WT offers 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees in its esteemed Graduate School, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

WT’s Graduate School ranked highly in recently released rankings from U.S. News & World Report:

  • No. 1 in Texas, No. 15 in U.S.– Best Online Graduate Information Technology
  • No. 5 in Texas, No. 52 in U.S. – Best Online Graduate Education Programs
  • No. 4 in Texas, No. 17 in U.S. – Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans
  • No. 5 in Texas, No. 67 in U.S. – Best Online M.B.A. Program
  • No. 3 in Texas, No. 49 in U.S. – Best Online M.B.A. Program for Veterans
  • No. 3 in Texas, No. 34 in U.S. – Best Online Specialized Graduate Business Program
  • No. 1 in Texas, No. 18 in U.S. – Best Online Specialized Graduate Business Program for Veterans

WT’s undergraduate programs also fared well in the report:

  • No. 1 in Texas, No. 21 in U.S. – Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
  • No. 1 in Texas, No. 13 in U.S. – Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans
  • No. 3 in Texas, No. 39 in U.S. – Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in Business

Beyond the spring, application fees are waived through July 31 and undergraduate students who plan to begin their studies in Fall 2021 can apply for the WT Merit Scholarship Program. The newly overhauled program will increase the number of qualifying students and raise the amount given to up to $8,000 per qualified student per year. Qualified students are guaranteed that, as long as they meet credit-hour and GPA requirements, they will receive the merit scholarship for four years or until they complete a bachelor’s degree, whichever comes first. That means qualifying students could have approximately $32,000 of their four-year degree paid for even before other University, departmental or external scholarships are applied, said Jeffrey Baylor, executive director of admissions.

Other scholarship opportunities are available, as well, including The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents’ Scholarship Fund, a $100 million scholarship program designed to attract diverse students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students or from underrepresented geographic areas. Contact Financial Aid at 806-651-2055 or for information.

WT is committed to serving both the campus and the community, as detailed in the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 40 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.