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Duquesne’s 2015 Freshman Class Most Diverse in University History

The most diverse freshman class on record at Duquesne University is beginning classes this week. According to preliminary data from Duquesne's Enrollment Management Group, the more than 1,400 freshmen comprise one of the University's five largest classes in history, with a mean SAT score of 1130, one of the highest in Duquesne history, and an acceptance rate of 76 percent.

Minorities-primarily Asian, African-American and Hispanic-Latino populations-account for 17 percent of the freshmen. "Increasing diversity on campus and sustaining an environment where diversity is valued have been part of President (Charles) Dougherty's vision and one of the core goals of the University's strategic plan," said Paul-James Cukanna, associate provost for enrollment management. "It's very gratifying to meet internal enrollment expectations and to break a record with the most diverse and one of the most academically talented freshman classes in Duquesne history.

"There's a changing demography in higher education and this increase in diversity will help to shape the Duquesne of the future," said Cukanna.

In a survey of incoming freshmen, 96 percent indicated Duquesne was a top choice, and 78 percent said it was the No. 1 choice. The top reason for coming to Duquesne was for a specific program of study.

Other reasons students chose Duquesne included:

  • Urban location
  • Size
  • Academic reputation.

Beyond record-breaking diversity, this year marks some additional firsts:

  • The first class that could opt for dual degrees in biomedical engineering and nursing. Nine students indicated an interest in the BME/BSN program, which is the first undergraduate program of its kind in the nation.
  • The first class that could choose test optional admission within the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts. More than 100 academically talented students took advantage of this admission option.

Other interesting facts about this freshman class:

  • Twenty-nine percent of students represent 31 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as 11 countries including China, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Costa Rica and Russia
  • The schools with the largest numbers of students are business, liberal arts and health sciences
  • About one-fourth of the class have relatives who are Duquesne alumni.

"The entire University community plays a part in recruiting an academically talented, freshman class," said Cukanna. "We appreciate the collaboration of our partners throughout campus as well as the support of senior administration."

Final enrollment figures will be confirmed when the University census is conducted in late September.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.