Webster’s Graduate Programs Ranked as Most Diverse Among Private Non-Profit and Public Institutions in the U.S.

Oct. 20, 2014

Webster’s Graduate Programs Ranked as Most Diverse Among Private Non-Profit and Public Institutions in the U.S.

ST. LOUIS (OCT. 20, 2014) – Webster University's graduate degree-seeking student population represents the largest number of individuals of diverse backgrounds among all traditional, private non-profit U.S. higher education institutions and public universities, according to recently released survey published in the Oct. 8, 2014 Diverse Issues in Higher Education (DIHE). The “Top 100 Degree Producers” survey for 2014 is the only national report of graduate degrees earned by African American, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American students by U.S. colleges and universities.

Webster has consistently achieved top rankings since DIHE began publishing the annual survey in 1991.

“Webster University was founded on the principles of inclusion and almost 100 years later, we remain committed to this core value,” said Nicole Roach, associate vice president of Diversity and Inclusion. “As we enter our second century, we look forward to enhancing academic opportunities for all students and expanding our reach.”

This year, Webster's national rankings include:

  • First among traditional private non-profit and public universities in total minority graduate degrees conferred
  • Second in African American master's degrees
  • Thirteenth in Hispanic American master's degrees
  • Thirteenth in Native American master’s degrees
  • Fifty-fourth in Asian American master’s degrees

“While we are proud of this recognition, we are keenly aware that numbers alone do not achieve a truly globally diverse and inclusive environment,” said Webster’s president, Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “The imperative is to reach beyond statistics - on the graduate and undergraduate levels - to welcome a diverse community of learners and employees and to assure their success.” 

“Webster’s vision of inclusive excellence is based on the premise that excellence is not truly possible without inclusion,” added Julian Schuster, Webster’s provost, senior vice president and chief operating officer.

The survey was completed using data provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics collected for the 2012-2013 year. The survey only looked at degrees awarded and only counted students who are U.S. citizens.

According to the survey, 36 percent of all master’s degrees conferred by Webster University last year were awarded to African-Americans, 3 percent to Asians, 6 percent to Hispanics and 1 percent to Native Americans. Overall, the report says, 47 percent of Webster’s graduate students self-reported as a minority, a 17 percent increase from 2011-2012.

Webster University has been recognized by other organizations for its diversity. Earlier this year, Chess Coach Susan Polgar and Webster alumna Joan Lipkin, producing artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company, were honored during the annual St. Louis Business Journal’s Diverse Business Leaders Awards. Last year, Schuster, Thao Dang-Williams, dean of extended education, and Webster alumna Vanessa Davis, senior quality engineer at bioMerieux, Inc., were named recipients of that same award. The awards promote diversity around race, sexual orientation and disability in the St. Louis regional business community.

Webster University was honored in 2013 by Paraquad, a non-profit organization that has offered services to the disabled for more than 40 years. Webster was recognized for work on its home campus and its website to make classes, offices and information more accessible to those with disabilities.

Last year, Webster established the Donald M. Suggs scholarship. The Suggs Scholarship is designed to increase the recruitment and retention of undergraduate students who typically are underrepresented at institutions of higher education. To be considered for the award, applicants must have an ACT score of 27 or higher, which is equivalent to an SAT score of 1200 or higher. Students who receive the scholarship must take at least 13 credit hours each semester, successfully complete 26 units per year, and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. The scholarship, which can cover up to $100,000 in education costs over a four-year-period, was awarded to incoming freshmen in 2013 and 2014.

For the past two years, U.S. News & World Report ranked Webster University among the most economically diverse universities in the country. This ranking cites the high percentage of students who are receiving Pell Grants, indicating they come from households that make less than $20,000 in income per year. According to the most current U.S. News rankings, 49 percent of the undergraduate students at Webster receive Pell grants.

The complete DIHE “Top 100” survey can be found online at http://diverseeducation.com/top100/.

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University (www.webster.edu) is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University’s campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.