One of the leading comprehensive universities in Texas, the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio strives to educate men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens with values developed in a Judeo-Christian tradition. In 1881 the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word founded Incarnate Word College as a center of higher education for young women. The college was admitted to membership in the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1919, and joined the Texas Association of Colleges as a senior college in 1920. The Graduate Studies division was established in 1950. Male students were first admitted into the college's undergraduate programs in 1970. Incarnate Word College became the University of the Incarnate Word in 1996. Today, UIW is a Hispanic-Serving Institution under federal guidelines.
UIW is the largest Catholic university in Texas and the fourth-largest private university in the state. The enrollment reflects the diversity of South Texas, as more than 60 percent of the students are from racial or ethnic minority groups. UIW is ranked No. 1 nationally among faith-based universities in the conferring of bachelor’s degrees to Hispanics by the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine, and No. 6 nationally among all private, not-for-profit universities. International students comprise 14% of the student body, and they represent over 70 countries. Seventy-five percent of the students depend upon financial aid. A majority of the students are first-generation college attendees.
UIW offers 80 undergraduate and graduate fields of study, including the Ph.D. in Education and doctoral degrees in pharmacy (Pharm.D.), optometry (OD), nursing practice (DNP), physical therapy (DPT) and business administration (DBA). UIW is one of twenty universities in the U.S. with an optometry program, while the pharmacy school is the only one in Texas at a private university. In fall, 2017, the School of Osteopathic Medicine will welcome its first class of students to a new facility at Brooks City Base.
In athletics, UIW is a member of the Division 1 Southland Conference. UIW fielded its first football team in 2009, which plays in Benson Stadium, named after New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson.
With a student-to-faculty classroom ratio of 14:1, UIW is a wireless campus that provides students with an environment that encourages excellence in academics. As part of its international efforts, UIW has agreements for reciprocal education with 123 universities in 40 countries. It also operates academic sites in Mexico City and Irapuato, Mexico, and Heidelberg, Germany.
In 2015, UIW was chosen as one of the “Great Colleges to Work For” in a national survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, the seventh year in a row it has received this prestigious distinction. UIW also made the national Top 10 Honor Roll in the medium-sized classification for universities with enrollments between 3,000 and 9,999 students. The graduate nursing program has been recognized as one of the top 65 graduate programs nationally by U.S. News Media Group.
The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited to award baccalaureate and graduate degrees by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It also is accredited by the Texas Education Agency, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs of the National League for Nursing, the Board of Nurse Examiners for the State of Texas, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs, the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology, the American Music Therapy Association, the Council of Education of the Deaf, the American Dietetic Association, and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.