Baylor Welcomes Top Academic Freshman Class; Undergraduate Enrollment Holds Steady, Graduate/Professional Education Enrollment Increases

September 13, 2019
Baylor Students on 5th Street

Baylor University students walk along 5th Street, the historic center of the Baylor University campus. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
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WACO, Texas (Sept. 13, 2019) – Baylor University enrolled its most academically qualified freshman class in the institution’s history, while holding undergraduate enrollment steady and growing graduate and professional program enrollment, including in online programs, according to 12th class day statistics from Baylor’s Office of Institutional Research and Testing.

In addition to its top Academic Index*, the 2019 freshman class of 3,307 students is among the University’s most diverse freshman classes, with minority enrollment increasing to 37.3% and out-of-state freshman enrollment moving up to nearly 40%.

“This freshman class really signifies that Baylor is building a national and international reputation as we draw outstanding students from around the country and around the world while we pursue Research 1/Tier 1 recognition as the preeminent Christian research university,” said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “Our students are excited to join the Baylor Family, receive a high-quality education, get involved in campus life and engage with our faculty in meaningful ways – from undergraduate research to study abroad to mission trips – in a supportive, faith-based environment.”

While Baylor officially enrolled 18,033 students this fall, the University’s enrollment continues to evolve. Traditional undergraduate enrollment held steady at 14,108 students – in accordance with strategic enrollment plans – while enrollment in the University’s expanding graduate and professional programs rose to 3,925 students. Included in that total are 1,028 students enrolled in Baylor’s various online graduate professional education programs.

In addition, Baylor’s overall student body is the most diverse ever at the University, with overall minority enrollment rising to 36.9% and out-of-state enrollment at 37.5%.

Other preliminary statistics involved the University’s retention and graduation rates:

  • The retention rate among all Baylor undergraduates from fall 2018 to fall 2019 held steady at 91.6%, which remains the highest ever at the University.
  • The four-year graduation rate among the fall 2015 cohort rose nearly 5 percentage points to a record 68.2%.
  • The six-year graduation rate for the fall 2013 cohort was 78.1%.

The enrollment news comes on the heels of the 2020 U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, where Baylor was tied for No. 79 among National Universities, and for the eighth straight year, is the second highest-ranked university in the Big 12 and among the top five overall in Texas.

Baylor also was ranked among the nation’s top 10 in several U.S. News specialty rankings for Best Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Programs (No. 8) and First-Year Experiences (No. 8); in the top 20 for Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 20); Writing in the Disciplines (No. 22); and Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects (No. 27); and in the top 50 for Most Innovative Schools (No. 42); Best Undergraduate Accounting Programs (No. 47); and Best Colleges for Veterans (No. 48). Baylor also is No. 75 among U.S. News Best Value Schools for both academic quality and cost.

In the 2019 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Ranking that measures student success and learning, Baylor was ranked No. 4 nationally among universities that create a high level of student engagement, both in the classroom and among students. This ranking includes the results of the Times Higher Education U.S. Student Survey, which examined students’ engagement with their studies, interaction with their professors and satisfaction with their experience.

*Academic Index is determined by the combination of high school rank, test scores and GPA of the freshman class.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.