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Aug. 16, 2018

UA Welcomes High-Achieving Freshman Class

TUCSON, Ariz. – More than 7,900 new freshman undergraduate students from all 50 states will join the Wildcat family when the 2018-19 academic year begins Monday at the University of Arizona. 

This year's entering class is highly academically accomplished, with a 7 percent increase in the number of students entering with an unweighted 4.0 grade point average and a 16 percent jump in students with an unweighted GPA between 3.75 and 3.99.

"The start of the school year brings a unique feeling of excitement to campus," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "We have a very strong class of students coming to the UA this fall, and many of them are first-generation students from diverse backgrounds. Along with many others here at the UA, I can't wait to see what this year's new students will achieve during their academic careers."

This year saw a 20 percent increase in the number of applications to the UA. Nearly half (45 percent) of this year's incoming freshman class are students from diverse backgrounds – equal to the record-setting mark set in 2017 – and 31 percent are first-generation full-time college students.

"We are honored to welcome all of our new and returning Wildcats to campus," said Kasey Urquidez, vice president of enrollment management and student affairs advancement and dean of undergraduate admissions at the UA. "We are thrilled with the increase in applications and the number of students who have selected the UA as their college of choice."

The UA expects to see approximately 2,300 transfer students enrolled this year, many of whom will be enrolled through Arizona Online. More than half of these transfers are first-generation college students (53 percent) and 52 percent are from diverse backgrounds.

"We're meeting our students where they are – offering opportunities to be a Wildcat from all over the world or down the street from the comfort of their home," Urquidez said.

In addition to the new undergraduate student population, which includes freshmen, new transfer students and those returning to the UA after time away, the UA welcomes back tens of thousands of returning students as they continue their academic careers.

The UA expects to exceed 8,000 in total graduate student enrollment this fall, breaking previous records. That includes a 20 percent increase in enrollment in Arizona Online's fully online graduate programs and in other programs that meet local and national workforce needs, said Andrew Carnie, dean of the Graduate College.

International student enrollment also saw an increase. The international student base draws from more than 100 countries.

"The incoming international freshman class is up 36 percent – in stark contrast to national trends – reflecting the UA's commitment to bold new recruiting strategies and growing reputation as a global university," said Brent White, dean of global campuses and interim vice provost for global affairs.

The UA's total enrollment for the 2017-18 year was 44,831, with 35,123 undergraduate students and 9,708 graduate and professional students. This year's final numbers will be released Sept. 10.

Fall 2018 Enrollment highlights and figures 

First-time, full-time academic statistics

  • SAT average: 1,232
  • ACT average: 25
  • Core unweighted GPA: 3.44
  • Incoming freshmen pursuing majors in STEM fields: 2,458 students (31 percent)

Top freshmen majors

  • Pre-Business
  • Pre-Physiology
  • Engineering
  • Biology
  • Pre-Computer Science

Top transfer majors

  • Pre-Business
  • Applied Science
  • Psychology
  • Law
  • Pre-Physiology

Statewide reach (2017 to 2018 increases)

  • Gila County: up 75 percent
  • Mohave County: up 35 percent
  • Santa Cruz County: up 7 percent

Freshman Honors College

  • Core unweighted GPA: 3.83
  • SAT average: 1,376
  • ACT average: 29

New Degree Programs for Fall 2018


  • Applied Humanities
  • Food Studies
  • Statistics and Data Science
  • Food Safety
  • Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Nutrition and Food Systems
  • Personal and Family Financial Planning
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Statistics and Data Science
  • Deaf Studies
  • Mild Moderate Disabilities
  • Rehabilitation Studies and Services

Master's Degree Programs

  • Applied Ethnomusicology and Intercultural Arts Research
  • Healthcare Management
  • Biosystems Engineering
  • Business Analytics
  • Econometrics and Quantitative Economics

Doctoral Degree Programs

  • Biosystems Engineering
  • Applied Ethnomusicology and Intercultural Arts Research

Certificate Programs

  • Computational Social Sciences
  • Real Estate Development Analysis
  • Real Estate Development Finance
  • Real Estate Development Practice

Back-To-School Activities

The UA has planned several back-to-school activities for new and returning students, highlighted by Bash at the Rec! on Sunday from 7-10 p.m. The official Wildcat welcome event of 2018 will help new and returning students and faculty learn UA traditions, meet new friends, get involved on campus and connect with local businesses.

Bash at the Rec! takes place at UA Campus Recreation's Sitton Field near the main entrance off of East Sixth Street just east of North Highland Avenue.

A complete schedule of events can be found at

*Please note all numbers and figures in this document are preliminary until census date on Sept. 10.


Media contacts:

Kasey Urquidez
Enrollment Management

Nick Prevenas
UA Communications

Established in 1885, the University of Arizona, the state's super land-grant university with two medical schools, produces graduates who are real-world ready through its 100% Engagement initiative. Recognized as a global leader and ranked 16th for the employability of its graduates, the UA is also a leader in research, bringing more than $606 million in research investment each year, and ranking 21st among all public universities. The UA is advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships, and is a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $8.3 billion annually.