Best Colleges and Universities in Texas

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Are you ready to find your fit?

If you’re a resident of The Lone Star State and interested in college, you have some substantial choices to make in the near future.

Universities in Texas are growing in size, diversity, and civility. When choosing a Texas college, you are making a decision to pursue education that shapes both your profession and your personhood.

Home to 36 public universities and a variety of private higher education institutions—both small liberal arts colleges and large research schools—Texas is a state where education matters. In fact, the top colleges in Texas are known for their financial accessibility. We have also ranked the Top Online Universities in Texas if you’re interested.

Top 5 Best Colleges and Universities in Texas

Rank School Location
1 Rice University Houston, TX
2 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
3 University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
4 St. Mary’s University San Antonio, TX
5 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
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How much can I make with a degree from a College or University in Texas?

Here’s some good news. Many students attending school at the best universities in Texas are doing so free of charge due to the infamous affirmative action policy the “Top 10% Rule,” which assures Texas scholars in the top ten percent of their class access to all state-funded institutes of higher ed. With three Tier One research institutions, policies like these are helpful to students looking to conduct innovative research and explore new intellectual and academic terrain.

According to Payscale.com, Texas residents who secure a bachelor’s degree end up making anywhere from $57k to $68k annually. That figure increases to the $77k range for folks who go on to pursue a master’s degree and a $91k salary for individuals with a doctorate degree. Education pays off in Texas! 

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What kind of College or University in Texas should you attend?

Texas universities are leading the way in demonstrating the necessity of multiethnic education. According to U.S. News and World Report’s “Diversity Index,” –which identifies colleges where students are most likely to encounter other students with different ethnic or racial ties than their own—several Texas colleges make the grade including University of Houston, Texas Women’s University, University of Texas-Arlington, University of Texas-Dallas, and Rice University.

Without accounting for international student populations, these colleges have a substantial mix of ethnic groups including black/African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Indigenous/Native, Pacific Islander, white, and multiracial students. At the top universities in Texas, students can encounter cultures unlike the ones with which they’re familiar.

As well, schools in Texas are on the cutting edge of equal rights, civil liberties, and sexual conduct training for their student populations. According to Chron, with the hope of preventing sexual violence, promoting tolerance, and erasing the stigmas attached with speaking up and speaking out, colleges in Texas are setting an innovative trend for other schools around the country to imitate. With an engaging mix of role-playing exercises and peer interactives, the best colleges in Texas are teaching their student populations serious opening-week orientation activities that are reshaping the ways students treat one another.

Alongside this, we at College Choice would like to offer up our very own guide in a similar vein. Our Best LGTB Friendly Colleges and Universities will help you understand all you’d like to know about selecting a school where safety and open-mindedness are paramount. Take a look at our list for some Texas schools that might fit the bill.

What are the Best Colleges and Universities in Texas?

College Choice is dedicated to providing you with helpful tools that provide insight into the complicated exercise of selecting the right college. Whether you’re searching through our Texas list for a school, large or small, that matches your field of study interests, your budget, or simply your locale, College Choice is here to make your search a bit simpler with easy to understand data pages that compare costs, strengths and weaknesses, and special offerings of all of the finest schools in The Lone Star State.

The 5 Top Schools in Texas

  1. Rice University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Overview

    William Marsh Rice University, which is known as Rice to students and faculty, is one of the top universities in Texas. It is a private, not-for-profit, research university that is located in Houston, Texas. It is the most competitive university in the state and it is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    Although Rice isn’t the largest of all the universities in Texas, it is one of the most rigorous and selective universities in the state. It confers over 100 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. It is best known for its engineering and liberal arts programs. Here’s a quick peek at a few of the most popular programs:

    • Bachelor of Arts in Women, Gender and Sexuality
    • Master of Architecture
    • Doctor of Musical Arts

    Notables

    The school is one of the best examples of European collegiate campus life coming to roost in Texas. Rice has 11 residential colleges situated all around Houston, with the main campus adjacent to Hermann Park. This park holds a museum, the Houston Zoo, the Astrodome, and an outdoor theatre. This has led to student life being one of the highest-rated factors for student satisfaction at this university.

  2. Trinity University
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Overview

    Trinity University is one of the premier colleges in Texas. This is a private, independent liberal arts research university that are located in San Antonio, Texas. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    This is a small university that enrolls less than 2,500 students annually. However, that does not mean that the school lacks program variety; in fact, this school confers six degrees in over 50 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school is known for its liberal arts curriculum and focus on business, health care, and psychology programs. Some of the top programs include:

    • Bachelor of Arts in International Business
    • Master of Science in Health Care Administration
    • Master of Arts in School Psychology

    Notables

    This university is nestled in San Antonio, making it a great school for students who want diversity in terms of entertainment and student life when they are not in class. Students also have access to fraternities, sororities, and student organizations, making Trinity a great school for any student who is interested in an interesting life while attending university.

  3. University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    Overview

    Students who attend the University of Texas at Austin fondly call the school UT Austin. This is a public, space-grant research university that is the flagship of the University of Texas System. It is located in Austin, Texas and is the seventh-largest school in the nation. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    As one of the largest colleges in Texas, UT Austin confers over 250 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and professional levels. The school has 18 colleges and schools, including six professional schools. The most well-known are the School of Law, which is continuously ranked in the top 25 best law schools in the country. Here are the most popular programs:

    • Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Master of Science in Marine Sciences
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

    Notables

    UT Austin is home to more than 40,000 students annually. Students come from all over the country and from 120 countries. This has led to a diverse campus, which is further recognized by the over 1,000 registered student organizations. Every type of religion, political affiliation, humanitarian interest, and sports team is represented on this campus, allowing students to create their own unique UT Austin experience.

  4. St. Mary’s University
    Location

    San Antonio, TX

    Overview

    St. Mary’s University is a private, Roman Catholic, Marianist, liberal arts institution that is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. It is one of the best colleges in Texas and is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report. This university is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    Although this university is small and enrolls less than 3,000 students annually, it is one of the top universities in Texas. The school confers nearly 100 degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate degrees. The school also houses a School of Law, which can be found at the school’s downtown campus. Other popular programs include:

    • Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Master of International Relations
    • Master of Engineering Systems Management

    Notables

    Being located in such a diverse location as San Antonio, it will come as no surprise that St. Mary’s University is just as diverse through its campus life. Soccer is a popular sport on campus, and there are over 60 registered organizations on campus alone, many of which are minority and international groups for the student population. Add in the flourishing art and entertainment aspect that the city brings, and this becomes one of the best schools in the state to attend.

  5. Southern Methodist University
    Location

    Dallas, TX

    Overview

    Southern Methodist University is known for being one of the best universities in Texas, and for good reason. This private research university has an endowment surpassing $1 billion and is one of just 95 universities in the country to have met this goal. It is located in Dallas, Texas, with satellite campus all across the Southwest. It is regionally accredited by the SACS COC.

    Features

    This one of the few Methodist colleges in Texas that confers a lot of degrees. The university offers more than 60 degrees in 100 fields of study at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and professional levels. It is best known for its focus on STEM and business degrees. Other stand-out degrees include:

    • Bachelor of Business Administration
    • Master of Laws in Taxation
    • Doctor of Engineering

    Notables

    Southern Methodist is known for being a conservative campus that focuses on Greek organizations and political groups as part of its student life. Football is also an important part of the university’s identity, and all the games are popular events with both students and faculty.

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