UTPA Student Union

University Region

The University of Texas-Pan American is located in the populous southern tip of Texas, 80 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico along the Texas - Mexico border known as the Rio Grande Valley.

Edinburg is located 240 miles south of San Antonio, 350 miles south of Houston, 140 miles from Monterrey, Mexico, 600 miles from Mexico City, Mexico and only 16 miles from Reynosa, Mexico.

Edinburg is part of the fast-growing international metro area of McAllen, Mission, and Edinburg. Edinburg along with the rest of the South Texas area, has a truly unique and rich culture. It is located in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley, where more than a million people live, 87% of whom are of Hispanic origin. Both Spanish and English are commonly used in everyday life, and most of the population is bilingual. If you do not speak Spanish you will have plenty of opportunities to learn and use it during your time at UTPA. The pace of life is relaxed, and the people are friendly and helpful.

The Rio Grande River forms the boundary between Texas and Mexico. The river, which starts in Colorado, enters the western end of the valley near the town of Roma and finishes the last 150 miles of its more than 1600-mile trek passing through the valley before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico at Brownsville.

The semi-tropical climate and irrigation water from the river and the many canals that are found throughout the valley help to make the Rio Grande Valley one of the major citrus and vegetable producing areas of the United States. It has also been listed as one of the top birding areas in the world with birders coming from around the world to see the many varieties of birds that are found here. The climate is semi-tropical with mild winters and hot summers. Day time temperatures that are normally in the upper 90's (Fahrenheit ) during the summer months can reach up to 110 degrees. The winters are mild and rarely go below 32 degrees. Most winter days are often in the 60-70 degree range.

Sixteen miles south of the city of McAllen lies Reynosa, Mexico, with a population of more than 750,000. The maquiladora factories located across the border in Reynosa have added approximately 65,000 jobs to Reynosa since 1988, and that growth has benefited the McAllen metropolitan area, which has become the retail center for a large portion of northern Mexico and South Texas."

All these factors help to make the location of UTPA ideally situated for your educational needs and an enjoyable experience as you partake in the richness of two cultures.


There are two airports that serve the Rio Grande Valley. It is recommended that you use McAllen-Miller International Airport (MFE), a regional air transportation center serving the fourth fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. MFE is the closest airport, located only 20 minutes from campus. MFE has frequent daily flights to major airports in Dallas and Houston.

Harlingen's Valley International Airport is located about one hour from the campus and is the Rio Grande Valley's leading airport in terms of passenger activity. Valley International Airport also has many daily flights to Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

You will find that public transportation is very limited and you will have to take a taxi to reach campus or arrange other transportation. Taxis are available at both airports although a taxi from Valley International Airport will cost much more because of the distance involved.