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The 10 Best and Most Prestigious Universities in Texas

Preeti Soni - September 01, 2022

Texas is one of the fastest-growing states in the US , according to the United States Census Bureau. Over the years, it has emerged as an educational hub and hosts more than 200 institutions of higher education. Texas offers a blended learning opportunity where students can choose to study on campus or online. If you are looking for the best universities in Texas, continue reading this article.

In this article, you will learn about the different programs, scholarship opportunities, and financial aid that some of the top 10 universities in Texas offer. Read on to learn more about the most prestigious universities in Texas and how getting admitted to one of them can provide you with an undergraduate experience that will benefit your future career.

How We Defined Texas University Rankings

We curated our best university list on undergraduate enrolment, graduation rate, and national rankings by US News & World Report. We also considered the acceptance rate, tuition fees, scholarship opportunities, classroom sizes, and location. Any of the following accredited universities will provide you with the strong foundation you need to excel in your career.

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The universities listed below offer some of the country’s best programs for college students. Moreover, these universities also provide many current students financial aid through scholarships, grants, waivers, and loans. These resources for students are important to keep in mind during the application process.

Texas Universities Ranked: Top 10 Universities in Texas

  1. Rice University
  2. University of Texas at Austin
  3. Southern Methodist University
  4. Texas A&M University
  5. Baylor University
  6. Texas Christian University
  7. The University of Texas at Dallas
  8. University of Houston
  9. Texas Tech University
  10. Sam Houston State University

The Best Colleges and Universities in Texas, Explained

Members of the student body laughing and holding tablets. Best Universities In Texas
Undergraduate programs at a top university in Texas will provide you with the critical thinking skills you need to start your career path.

Students interested in studying in Texas can explore numerous undergraduate and graduate degree options. Texas is particularly famous for offering space science, engineering, and applied science research programs. However, there are hundreds of degree programs in the state.

Further, many universities in Texas offer a great athletic environment for those interested in sports. According to Statista, Texas has the third-highest number of Fortune 500 companies per state , opening an ocean of internships and practical learning experiences for college students in Texas looking to start an adult career.

1. Rice University

  • US News National Ranking: #17
  • Campus Location: Houston
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 4,150
  • Graduation Rate: 93%

Rice University, founded in 1912, ranks among the best 20 universities in the US. It is a highly competitive university with an acceptance rate of just 11 percent. The university has a six-to-one student-to-faculty ratio. The university also has 11 residential colleges and eight schools of academic study.

The institution is well recognized for offering artificial heart research, space science, and nanotechnology programs. Moreover, according to US News, it also has the best undergraduate degree program in biomedical engineering. Students can also study a range of fields like architecture, business, engineering, humanities, and music.

2. University of Texas at Austin

  • US News National Ranking: #38
  • Campus Location: Austin
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 40,916
  • Graduation Rate: 80%

The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), set up in 1883, is one of the largest public institutions in Texas, with 51,991 students and 3,133 faculty members. It includes 13 schools and colleges. Its core mantra is to offer classroom and community-based learning experiences. Prospective students should consider this Austin college if one of their career goals includes attending a bilingual education program .

This public institution is known for having a very beautiful campus. The main campus of the university is spread across 431 acres. It features 17 libraries and seven museums. Moreover, the university also has over 1,300 student organizations and 15 career centers so it is a great place for career advice and other student resources. Plus, the university even offers a coding bootcamp.

3. Southern Methodist University

  • US News National Ranking: #68
  • Campus Location: Dallas
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,908
  • Graduation Rate: 82%

Southern Methodist University (SMU) has seven schools, which offer 104 undergraduate degrees, 113 graduate degrees, and 27 doctoral degrees. It also provides one doctoral-professional degree and one specialist degree. Its Dedman School of Law and Cox School of Business are well recognized for providing an excellent educational experience for law and business students.

Three out of every four first-year students receive grants or scholarships at the university. The main campus is spread across 237 acres. It consists of seven libraries and the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The university also has two more campuses, called the Taos campus and the Plano campus with additional programs. Top students can enroll in the SMU-in-Taos program to study in New Mexico.

4. Texas A&M University

  • US News National Ranking: #68
  • Campus Locations: College Station, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Kingsville
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 53,876
  • Graduation Rate: 81.7%

At Texas A&M University students can choose from 130 courses from different fields, including business, agriculture, and engineering programs. It is the best value school in Texas public universities in terms of affordable tuition rates. About 72 percent of students get financial aid, scholarships, waivers, and campus-based employment.

It has the second-best graduate school for petroleum engineering and fourth-best graduate school for nuclear engineering, according to U.S. News & World Report. The school of veterinary medicine is among the leading vet schools in the world. Texas A&M University is also a part of United States Senior Military Colleges. As such, it welcomes both civilian students and volunteer corps of cadets every year.

5. Baylor University

  • US News National Ranking: #75
  • Campus Location: Waco
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 15,191
  • Graduation Rate: 75%

Baylor University is the largest Baptist university in the world. It has a vast 1,000-acre campus located near the Brazos River. The university offers 126 undergraduate degree programs as well as 80 graduate and 47 doctoral programs. Some of its graduate programs in law, business, and science are nationally ranked. The university has an acceptance rate of 68 percent.

Baylor also features online graduate programs for prospective students who prefer to study remotely. Online degree programs can be a great way of furthering your education with a more flexible schedule.

6. Texas Christian University

  • US News National Ranking: #83
  • Campus Location: Fort Worth
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 10,222
  • Graduation Rate: 78%

Texas Christian University (TCU) is a private university and a reasonably competitive university with an acceptance rate of 48 percent. Students need an SAT score of more than 1110 or an ACT score between 25 and 31 to be admitted. It is an excellent institution for those interested in classical liberal arts. It is also the largest Christian school associated with the Disciples of Christ.

Texas Christian University welcomes over 11,000 students per year. The university offers many scholarship opportunities and also facilitates financial aid to keep tuition costs down. As many as 77 percent of the students at Texas Christian University receive financial aid. According to U.S. News & World Report, it offers the best graduate degree online program in criminal justice.

7. University of Texas at Dallas

  • US News National Ranking: #136
  • Campus Location: Richardson
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 21,376
  • Graduation Rate: 73%

University of Texas is the largest university in Dallas. Students can choose from more than 140 academic programs across eight schools. It also has 50 research centers and institutes. Popular programs include an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering, visual and performing arts, and healthcare management.

University of Texas at Dallas has several scholarship programs and credit courses for all students, including transfer students, international students, graduate students, and continuing students. The university considers all admitted first-year students for Academic Excellence Scholarship (AES) Award.

8. University of Houston

  • US News National Ranking: #179
  • Campus Location: Houston
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 39,165
  • Graduation Rate: 56%

The University of Houston is the third-largest university in Texas that enrolls more than 47,000 students a year. Located in the heart of Houston, it is the flagship institution under the University of Houston System. It is also amongst the most affordable universities in Texas. The tuition rate for undergraduate students at the University of Houston is $5,465 per term.

Undergraduate students can choose from 358 major and minor programs. The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston offers the best undergraduate entrepreneurship program in the US. The institution also has 36 research centers that study fields like space exploration, artificial intelligence, and biomedical engineering.

9. Texas Tech University

  • US News National Ranking: #213
  • Campus Location: Lubbock
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 33,269
  • Graduation Rate: 62%

Texas Tech University is a public research university in the South Plains of West Texas in Lubbock. It was set up in 1923 and is currently one of the five institutions under the Texas Tech University System. It presents a holistic learning opportunity through a mix of offline and online courses, making it a strong choice for online students. It offers more than 150 undergraduate degrees, 100 graduate degrees, and 50 doctoral degrees.

US News & World Report listed the university in its 2022 Best Online Programs ranking. Additionally, Texas Tech received full status as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in 2019. Hispanic students and other underrepresented communities can explore many educational opportunities, online degree programs, and access important student resources at an affordable cost.

10. Sam Houston State University

  • US News National Ranking: #249
  • Campus Location: Huntsville
  • Undergraduate Enrollment: 18,790
  • Graduation Rate: 64%

Sam Houston State University is a public university located in Huntsville. It has an acceptance rate of 83 percent. It has eight colleges that offer programs in more than 170 fields of study. The main campus is spread across 316 acres and has a teaching and research farm. In terms of university recreation, this campus features a rodeo arena, a planetarium, an observatory, and an 18-hole golf course so there are many activities for students.

The university has 90 undergraduate, 55 graduate, and 10 PhD programs. Some of the other popular fields at the university include criminal justice, psychology, theater, dance, and business. Sam Houston State University is the first university in the US to offer a PhD in Forensic Science with hands-on experience.

Is a University in Texas Right for You?

Yes, a university in Texas is right for you. You can explore a range of subjects like mechanical engineering, nursing, applied sciences, healthcare management, business, or renewable energy. Most universities in Texas offer a blended experience of offline and online learning and, as such, a well-rounded approach to student success. Beyond degrees, many universities also have excellent athletics and liberal arts centers.

If you know the career you want and are able to dedicate at least four years to studying, then attending a university in Texas is a great opportunity. Alternatively, you can enroll in a coding bootcamp if you want to develop career-focused skills for the tech industry without dedicating four years of your life.

Best Universities in Texas FAQ

What is the #1 college in Texas?

Rice University is the number one university in Texas. In addition, it is ranked 17th in the nation. Rice University has an acceptance rate of 11 percent and students need a 3.96 GPA in order to be accepted. Moreover, applicants also need to have an SAT score between 1460 and 1570.

Is Texas a good state to study?

Yes, Texas is an excellent state to study in because it has over 200 education institutions offering a range of courses. Students can explore subjects like arts, history, engineering, and management. It is a strong state to consider during your school search.

Is there an Ivy League school in Texas?

No, Texas doesn’t have an Ivy League school. That said, Texas is home to many excellent institutions like Rice University, Texas A&M University, and Southern Methodist University. All of these institutions prepare students for careers in a range of industries.

Is University of Texas in Austin a top university?

Yes, UT Austin is the second-best university in Texas after Rice University. It is a competitive university and has an acceptance rate of 38.5 percent. In addition, it is known for having a great social work program.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Preeti Soni

About the author: Preeti is a content writer who has written for publications like Business Insider and Doordarshan. Her experience working with career coaches and edtech founders as well as teaching underprivileged children in New Delhi helped her build her passion for helping others. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Banasthali University.

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