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At the top of their class

In fall 2008, more than 37,000 University of Cincinnati students, the most in 18 years, called themselves Bearcats. Meanwhile, others were calling them something else, namely some of the brightest, most talented, most diverse and most satisfied college students in the nation. Here's data to describe who these students are and how they got to UC.

Who are these students, anyway?
Student body at a glance

  • Total enrollment -- 37,072 (9.3% gain in 5 years)
  • Out-of-state enrollment -- 6,187 (up 3.3% for 2008 / 17% of total student population)
  • International students -- 2,038 (up 5.6% from 2007)
  • Gender -- 54% female
  • First-year retention rate -- 84% (up 7% since 2003)
  • Six-year graduation rate -- 55% (a 7% increase since 2003)
  • International graduates with advanced degrees -- 479 (up 10% from 2007)

Enrollment climbs -- Fall 2007 welcomed the highest number of students in 16 years, and 2008 brought in an 18-year record with more than 37,000 students. The number of transfer students also increased by 23 percent in the last year.


Gaining admission into UC's College-Conservatory of Music can be difficult. These musical theater students were chosen from the top 3 percent of those who applied.

Brightest bunch yet -- The most academically prepared freshman class ever stepped foot on the Uptown Campus in fall 2008, with average ACT scores rising to 24.8, up from 24.1 last year, and average SAT scores of 1125 up from 1109 last fall. The 2008-09 class also holds a record number of National Merit Scholars at 44, giving UC 146 in all.

Ranked with the best -- UC was recognized among the best universities in the nation and the world by The Princeton Review and the International Student Barometer, based on diversity, academics and student praise. (See rankings story in this issue.)

Being choosy -- Academic major programs in UC's world-renowned colleges are highly competitive when it comes to admitting new students. In the College-Conservatory of Music, for example, "selective" programs with a 13 percent or less acceptance rate as of fall 2008 include:

Musical theater (731 applications, 17 attending)
Voice (205 applications, 14 attending)
Dance (122 applications, 7 attending)
Drama (128 applications, 16 attending)

Voice (313 applications, 27 attending)
Piano (157 applications, 14 attending)

Medical students pass the tests
Combining real-world experience with textbook knowledge, University of Cincinnati medical students have to prove on paper that they're ready before they can help patients on their own. From these pass rates for the National Credentialing and Licensing Exams, it seems they're comfortable in the classroom and prepared for the O.R., lab or office.

Allied Health
Genetic Counseling: 97%
Physical Therapy: 100%
Speech Language Pathology: 100%

U.S. Medical Licensing Exam (Step 1, 2007 preliminary results): 98%

Registered Nurse: 85.2% (2007 data)

Pharmacist: 98.7% (2008 data)