New Wildcats Most Academically Prepared Ever

Aug. 22, 2019

New Wildcats Most Academically Prepared Ever

TUCSON, Ariz. — The University of Arizona will welcome the most academically prepared class of Wildcats ever when the 2019-20 academic year begins Monday.

Approximately 7,750 freshmen will join the Wildcat family, including 193 National Merit Finalists and National Hispanic Scholars, which is an 82% increase over last year. The incoming freshmen excelled in academic quality metrics such as the SAT, ACT and core GPA, all of which were higher than last year. Additionally, 41% of new freshmen graduated high school in the top 10% of their class.

Nearly half (43%) of this year's incoming freshman class are students from diverse backgrounds, and 55% are Arizona residents. First-generation college students make up 30% of the freshman cohort and 51% of the transfer class. In addition, the new Wildcats hail from all 50 states and 148 countries.  

"I am very excited for the start of the new year," said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "The University of Arizona is doubling down on our commitment to student success, and we have a lot of really exciting programs in place to help ensure that every student will achieve their academic and future goals. We had more applicants than ever this year, and this incoming class of students is truly incredible. I am thrilled to see what they will achieve during their time here."

Approximately 1,100 freshmen, including around 150 transfer students, will join the UA Honors College, which welcomed students to the recently opened Honors Village, one of the few integrated Honors complexes in the country. It features a dining hall, collaborative learning classrooms, an interior courtyard, a community kitchen, faculty and staff offices, a recreation center and a Campus Health Service Counseling and Psych Services satellite, making it a hub for the Honors community.

The UA received a record number of freshman applications – more than 40,000 from around the globe – and a record number of transfer applications. Graduate student enrollment is also expected to reach an all-time high with a substantial increase in diversity.

Transfer students are still enrolling, and the university expects to welcome close to 2,500 transfer students, many through Arizona Online. More than half of new transfers are students from diverse backgrounds, and 33% are transferring from Pima Community College. The university is also still enrolling international students and anticipates welcoming a greater number of freshmen from around the world.

"The entering class is one of great diversity from around the globe with outstanding academic quality. Our exceptional educational offerings, in all modalities, make Arizona the destination for college success," said Kasey Urquidez, vice president of enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admissions at the UA.

Overall, the university will add more than 10,000 freshmen and transfer students this fall.

The UA's total enrollment for the 2018-19 year was 45,217, with 35,233 undergraduate students and 9,984 graduate and professional students. This year's final numbers will be released on Sept. 17.

Fall 2019 Enrollment Highlights and Figures 

First-time, full-time academic statistics

  • SAT average: 1261
  • ACT average: 26
  • Core unweighted GPA: 3.51
  • Student in the top 10% of their graduating class (of all ranking high schools): 41%
  • First-generation: 30%
  • Students of color/diversity: 43% 
  • Arizona residents: 55%
  • National Scholars: 193 (82% increase over last year)

Transfer students

  • Almost 7,000 applications, which is the most transfer applications ever received
  • Anticipate approximately 2,500 new transfer students
  • First-generation: 51%
  • Students of color/diversity: 50% 
  • Approximately 150 new transfers will be enrolling in the Honors College
  • Transfers from Pima Community College: 33%

Top freshmen and transfer major

  • Pre-Business

Freshman Honors College

  • Core unweighted GPA: 3.89
  • SAT average: 1407
  • ACT average: 31

A few fun facts

  • Youngest student: 12 years old (astronomy transfer student)
  • Most mature student: 93 years old
  • 148 countries represented
  • 44 different languages spoken in the admitted class

New Degree Programs for Fall 2019


  • Cyber Operations with emphases in Defense & Forensics, Cyber Engineering, Cyber Law & Policy. 
  • Organizational Leadership and Regional Commerce with emphases in Organizational Leadership and Regional Commerce
  • Agricultural Systems Management
  • Applied Physics
  • Biosystems Analytics and Technology
  • Emergency Medical Services

Master's degree programs

  • Education Policy
  • Biosystems Analytics and Technology
  • Entrepreneurship (summer 2019)

Doctoral degree programs

  • Biosystems Analytics and Technology

Certificate programs

  • Health Law for Health Professionals (Spring 2019)
  • Nursing Rural Telehealth
  • Regulatory Science (Spring 2019)

Back-To-School Activities

The UA has planned several back-to-school activities for new and returning students, highlighted by the Residence Hall Association Block Party on the UA Mall and the Bash at the Rec!

The RHA Block Party is a fun event on Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. Show your CatCard for free entrance to food, music and a variety of thrilling attractions. Learn about interesting campus organization by visiting their tables, tower over campus on the rock wall, jump above buildings with the bungee trampoline, and meet new people on rides or while playing games.

Bash at the Rec is the official Wildcat welcome event of 2019. Held Sunday night from 7 to 9 p.m., the event helps 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.

Researcher contact:
Kasey Urquidez
Enrollment Management
Stacy Pigott
University Communications
Office: 520-626-4405 | Cell: 520-539-4152
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the UA is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The UA ranked in the top 25 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The UA advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 62 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually.