A Jump in Graduate Students Bolsters 2014 International Enrollment

International enrollment at the University of St. Thomas continues to rise with the help of graduate students, according to the fall 2014 international enrollment report by International Student Services. New, incoming, degree-seeking undergraduate international students total 36, a 5.2 percent decrease from fall 2013; but their new graduate, professional and law counterparts increased 48.4 percent with 95 students.

The total international population at the university this fall is 489, which is an increase of 11.7 percent from last year’s total, 436, and at 56 percent increase since fall 2009.

International students account for 4.7 percent of all students enrolled St. Thomas.

March Through the Arches 008Undergraduates this fall accounted for 205, or 42 percent, of the total international population, while graduate, professional and law students accounted for 284, or 58 percent.

"The increase in graduate enrollment is due in large part to the growing engineering program as well as a new LL.M. degree through the law school that started this fall," said Lori Friedman, director of International Student Services at St. Thomas.

There are an additional 55 students on Optional Practical Training apart from the 487 students enrolled at St. Thomas. These students have been granted permission to work anywhere in the U.S. in their field of study after they’ve completed their degrees at St. Thomas, according to Friedman.

Students from Saudi Arabia remained the most-represented group at 120 students, down one student from last year’s total of 121. China remained the second most-represented with 81 students, and India third with 60. The other top countries included Uganda (27), as well as Norway and Nepal (both with 13), which replaced Canada in the top five.

Saudi Arabia is the fourth country of origin nationwide as the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education continues to offer scholarships to Saudi students who wish to study in the United States and abroad.

Report highlights

  • International students represent 65 countries.
  • They represent six of the seven continents (Antarctica, of course, the exception).
  • Most international students are in the School of Engineering (198; 40.4 percent), followed by:
    • Opus College of Business (124; 25.3 percent)
    • College of Education, Leadership and Counseling (64; 13.5 percent)
    • College of Arts and Sciences (58; 11.8 percent)
    • Non-degree (11; 2.2 percent)
    • School of Divinity (11; 2.0 percent)
    • School of Social Work (1; .02 percent).

St. Thomas has been ranked fifth in international student enrollment in Minnesota and the highest among Minnesota private colleges and universities, according to the Institute of International Education’s annual Open Doors report, which will be released Nov. 17. Open Doors reports on the previous school year’s findings. Other top Minnesota schools for international enrollment have been the University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, Minnesota State University Mankato and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Read the entire ISS fall 2014 report on the ISS website.