More students than ever before are attending classes at Texas A&M University at Galveston this year.
The university reported record enrollment of 2,483 undergraduate and graduate students attending class on the Pelican Island campus.
The number is only a slight increase from the 2,464 students that were reported at the same time a year ago. It’s the eighth time since 2008 Texas A&M has reported an enrollment increase at its Galveston campus.
Enrollment at the campus has increased by 54 percent since 2008, according to public records.
“I believe this university’s continued growth is due to the increased awareness our graduates are in high demand for the rewarding careers we offer,” said Michael Fossum, the chief operating officer at the Galveston campus. “This institution is well known for its world class marine and maritime programs, faculty and research, which impacts our state, nation and world.”
The Galveston campus, which was established in 1962, is mainly focused on A&M’s ocean-oriented programs, including marine biology and maritime administration. It also is the home of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, a maritime academy that trains U.S. Merchant Marine officers.
The university has expanded as its enrollment has increased. In 2015, the school broke ground on a $46 million educational building. That came after the completion of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy Hall, a $45 million facility that expanded the campus to the north side of Seawolf Parkway.
The school also has begun adding new Galveston-based majors, focused on tourism and coastal development, which offered their first classes this fall.
Donna Lang, a vice president of academic operations at Texas A&M University at Galveston, said the school plans ultimately to grow enrollment to about 3,000 students.
“It’s a long-term goal,” Lang said. “We’re looking at incrementally, how do we maximize the things that we offer in ways that make sense.”
The growth also corresponded with growth at Texas A&M University overall. The university last week reported a record total enrollment of 68,625 students for the fall semester. That count includes the main campus in College Station, and branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar.