Diversity Policy

SOM students discussion

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine strives to create and sustain a spirit of diversity, inclusion, and enrichment that fosters an environment of cultural competency, sensitivity, and awareness. The UTRGV SOM goals stem from the school’s unique geographic location at the border of U.S. and Mexico, a place with rich bicultural and family traditions, but also one burdened by health disparities. It inspires the SOM’s dedication to research, the generation of new knowledge, public service, culturally aware care, and increasing underrepresented minorities in medicine. This cross-cultural understanding allows students, faculty and staff to embrace and celebrate distinctive perspectives and viewpoints that enrich all members of the UTRGV SOM.  With a critical focus on the benefits of diversity in medicine and biomedical sciences, diversity and inclusion are essential to strengthening the communities that we serve and improving the health of the public.


UTRGV SOM is committed to providing a diverse environment for faculty, students and staff. Diversity at our School of Medicine is defined as a community that appreciates values and seeks the different dimensions that all groups have to offer.  In addition, we believe that education, research and clinical endeavors are enriched and enhanced by a diverse environment. The Associate Dean for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion oversees the development of recruitment and retention programs that encourages and promotes an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity in the faculty, staff, and students.  Additionally, the Diversity Committee composed of faculty, staff, and students who embrace diversity assists the dean in meeting this charge.

UTRGV SOM is committed to recruiting and retaining students, faculty, and staff from a variety of backgrounds. Differences in beliefs, opinions, perspectives, experiences, lifestyle, gender, sexual orientation, culture and race/ethnicity all enrich the academic environment and thus is considered in the selection process.


UTRGV SOM uses holistic approach in its admissions selection process to ensure a diverse student body that encompasses female gender, military veteran status and race/ethnicity of any groups historically underrepresented in medicine, including:

  • Female Gender
  • Hispanic or Latino, particularly of Mexican or Puerto Rican origin, and
  • Black or African American
  • Military Veteran

Faculty and Administrative Staff

UTRGV SOM employs a standardized faculty and administrative staff (staff comprises senior administrative staff) recruitment, employment and retention process designed to enhance diversity in the Rio Grande Valley, in particular, faculty and staff from the following groups:

  • Female Gender
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Black or African-American
  • Military Veteran

UTRGV SOM prioritizes systematic training of search committees, oversight of all faculty recruitments, strategies to increase pools of diverse faculty and staff applicants, retention activities, e.g., pipeline programs and partnerships, to achieve mission-appropriate diversity outcomes in its students and data collection are priorities. These strategies will assist UTRGV SOM in achieving measurable mission-appropriate diversity outcomes. 

By embracing all communities (faculty, administrative staff, students), enhancing the cultural competency of all the physicians it educates, UTRGV SOM provides an educational environment that is welcoming and respectful of diverse ideas, cultures and people, while improving access to care for its underserved populations.


Statement of Non-Discrimination

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) is committed to providing equal opportunity in all programs and activities UTRGV sponsors or conducts, in compliance with and to the extent provided by applicable state and federal laws and regulations