Peer Models of Excellence

In 2018, UTSA identified ten institutions to serve as peer models of excellence. In launching our strategic plan, we looked to emulate their strategies and best practices. Their examples and inspiration were foundational to UTSA’s transformative growth and becoming a Tier One, R1 Institution.   

As institutions change, it is natural that their peers and aspirants will change as well. In 2022-23, the Strategic Plan Refresh Steering Committee will work closely with UTSA’s Office of Institutional Research and Analysis to identify a new group of comparison institutions to inspire us as we look to complete our strategic plan in 2028.

Learn More about UTSA's Peer Models


  • Location: Tempe, Arizona
  • Total Enrollment: 97,849
  • Established: 1886
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  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Total Enrollment: 55,003
  • Established: 1965

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  • Location: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Total Enrollment: 34,909
  • Established: 1949

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  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
  • Total Enrollment: 32,146
  • Established: 1913

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  • Location: Portland, Oregon
  • Total Enrollment: 26,627
  • Established: 1946

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  • Location: Irvine, California
  • Total Enrollment: 32,911
  • Established: 1965

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  • Location: Riverside, California
  • Total Enrollment: 22,577
  • Established: 1954

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  • Location: Santa Cruz, California
  • Total Enrollment: 18,599
  • Established: 1965

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  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland
  • Total Enrollment: 13,640
  • Established: 1966

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UCF
  • Location: Orlando, Florida
  • Total Enrollment: 66,183
  • Established: 1963

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Origination

The University of Texas System Strategic Planning and Peer Selection Task Force convened in October 2017 to assist all UT institutions with identifying campus specific aspirational peers and strategic growth goals for 2030. The overarching goal of the task force was to align UT institutions with the 60x30TX State Higher Education plan.

Using the approach laid out by U.T. System, UTSA’s peer institutions were selected for their aspirational qualities that can be used to gauge UTSA’s progress.

Why these 10 institutions?

Each of the ten institutions have rapidly ascended to new levels of excellence within a specific period – typically the last ten years—proving that systemic change is possible over a relatively short time frame. Their specific areas of excellence are included within each peer profile,

In addition to representing a blend aspirational qualities, other relevant factors were considered including the institution’s age, membership in Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, urban location and size. In addition, demographic information was considered, including the institution's status as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and/or Minority Serving Institution (MSI), and whether it has earned the Seal of Excelencia.

Because these peer institutions were not selected based solely on how closely they mirror UTSA’s profile, data comparisons will have certain limitations. This is especially true in areas such as fundraising (due to UTSA’s youth and relatively small alumni base) and athletics (due to differing athletic conferences).

Comparison Data: UTSA and Peer Models of Excellence

See how UTSA compares to our 10 institutional peer models of excellence in key areas over the last decade.