Academic Excellence

Dr. Jennifer A. Meka working with residents in the Medical School Building in December 2019.

With a strategic focus on academic excellence, the University at Buffalo is continuing to transform students' education into a vibrant experience that prepares them to live and lead in a globalized world.

Academic Excellence: Initiatives

UB has followed a deliberate path to bring the research enterprise close to students and provide them with relevant first-hand experiences in their chosen fields and disciplines.

This includes the following academic initiatives:

The UB Curriculum

  • UB's innovative, student-centered general education program
  • Consists of four core components that emphasize skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Culminates in a capstone project—a reflective and integrative portfolio based on coursework and lived experience

Finish in 4

  • Provides undergraduate students the resources they need to graduate in four years
  • Creates a clear and individualized curricular plan for timely completion of graduation requirements

An Enhanced Honors College

  • Ensures students experience all the benefits of a small, superb college environment within a large research university setting

Expanded Opportunities for Study Abroad, Entrepreneurship and Experiential Opportunities

  • Optional international track built into the UB Curriculum incorporates study abroad and other international opportunities to raise students' global awareness
  • Experiential Learning Network launched to support student engagement, connect students to mentored projects and further their academic and professional goals
  • Blackstone LaunchPad program developed to introduce entrepreneurship as a viable career path and develop entrepreneurial skills through individualized coaching and venture support

New Degree and Dual-Degree Programs

A sampling of the innovative degree programs that UB has launched in recent years:

  • Art & Design for Social Impact MA
  • Biomedical Engineering BA/MS
  • Business Analytics MS
  • Clinical and Translational Therapeutics MS
  • Computational Linguistics BS
  • Criminology MS
  • Economics BS
  • Engineering Management ME
  • Genetic Counseling MS
  • Global Affairs BA/MA
  • Health and Human Services BA
  • History BA/Law JD
  • International Development and Global Health MS
  • Information Science PhD
  • Jewish Thought MA
  • Law BA
  • Learning and Teaching in Social Contexts EdD
  • MD-MBA 
  • Nutrition Science BS
  • Pharmacometrics and Personalized Pharmacotherapy MS
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics BA

New Interdisciplinary Departments

UB's interdisciplinary departments allow faculty to combine their expertise and students to combine their educational interests in order to answer some of the world's most pressing questions.

These departments include:


Interprofessional Education in the Health Sciences

UB's interprofessional education in the health sciences:
  • provides health sciences students the opportunity to train with those pursuing professional degrees in social work, law and management.
  • is among the first in the nation to deliver its program as a series of digital badges, allowing students to demonstrate their competencies in collaborative practice
  • has received a Program of Merit Award for Institutional Excellence and Innovation in Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Health Care from the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions

Academic Excellence: Outcomes

As a result of deliberate planning and an intentional focus on academic excellence, UB has achieved the following:

Improved Graduation Rates

  • 4-year graduation rates have risen from less than 40 percent to 60 percent--nearly double the national average

Increased Student Recognition

More of our students are successfully competing for national awards including:

Increased Applications, Diversity and Selectivity in Admissions

  • Nearly 35 percent increase in applications since 2013
  • Enrollment of underrepresented minority students has increased by nearly 48 percent since 2013, making UB's class of 2025 its most diverse
  • Fall 2021's application rates nearly matched 2018's all-time high of almost 31,000 freshman applications
  • Number of students enrolling on Merit Scholarships increased from 2 percent to 32 percent
  • 86 percent retention rate for first-year, full-time baccalaureate-seeking students; national average is 62 percent
  • Top 30 university for international enrollment for 20 straight years

See what UB students have to say about excellence