2021 Best Colleges in Texas

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July 30, 2021

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"Bigger is better" applies to everything in Texas, including higher education. Texas houses five of the top 20 largest colleges and universities in the United States.

Colleges in Texas enroll students from major cities and remote, rural areas. Popular majors include business, agriculture, and healthcare. The best colleges in Texas offer a variety of programs both on campus and online, including convenient, affordable programs open to out-of-state distance learners.

With so many options in the Lone Star state to choose from, we want to help you find the best program for your needs. Read on to explore our rankings of the best colleges in Texas.

What Are the 2021 Best Colleges in Texas? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 Rice University Houston, TX
#2 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
#3 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, TX
#4 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
#5 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
#6 Texas A & M International University Laredo, TX
#7 Texas State University San Marcos, TX
#8 Trinity University San Antonio, TX
#9 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
#10 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Colleges in Texas

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Rice University View School Profile Houston, TX

A private university located in Houston, Rice University boasts an impressive 6-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. One of the best colleges in Texas, Rice offers over 50 undergraduate majors and dozens of graduate degree programs. Rice also offers three fully online master's degree programs.

The University oversees six distinct schools, including the School of Architecture, the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, the Shepherd School of Music, and the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts, an essay, and letters of recommendation. Graduate admission requirements vary by program, but applicants should expect to submit transcripts, a resume, an essay, and letters of recommendation.

The University of Texas at Austin View School Profile Austin, TX

A public university founded in 1883, UT Austin teaches more than 50,000 students annually. The university offers over 170 undergraduate degree programs and 100 graduate degree programs. Notable schools within UT Austin include the College of Pharmacy, Dell Medical School, Jackson School of Geosciences, and LBJ School of Public Affairs, among others.

Tuition costs vary based on residency, degree program, and degree level. Undergraduate tuition ranges from about $5,300-$6,600 per semester for in-state, full-time students and $19,000-$23,000 for out-of-state, full-time students. Graduate tuition ranges from roughly $4,300-$5,400 per semester for in-state, full-time students and from $8,600-$10,000 for out-of-state, full-time students.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts, an essay, and short answers. Graduate applicants may need to submit transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, and recommendations.

Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile College Station, TX

Located in College Station, Texas A&M University currently teaches more than 70,000 students per year. Seventeen schools make up Texas A&M, including the School of Law, School of Innovation, College of Liberal Arts, and College of Medicine. Texas A&M also offers students the opportunity to learn via two branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar.

Tuition varies based on residency status and degree program. In-state undergraduate students can expect to pay at least $668 per credit, whereas out-of-state undergraduate students can expect to pay at least $1,598 per credit.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts and an essay. Depending on their program, graduate students may need to submit transcripts and GRE/GMAT scores, as well as other supplemental documentation.

Texas Christian University View School Profile Fort Worth, TX

Located in Fort Worth, Texas Christian University was formed in 1869 as the first co-ed institution west of the Mississippi.

TCU consists of 10 schools and colleges, including the Neeley School of Business, Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences, College of Fine Arts, and College of Education. Notable areas of study at TCU include aerospace studies, comparative race and ethnic studies, conducting, and dietetics.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts, an essay, and two letters of recommendation. Graduate admission requirements vary by program, but all graduate programs require applicants to submit their transcripts. TCU operates as a private school, and in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rates.

The University of Texas at Dallas View School Profile Richardson, TX

A public institution, UT Dallas currently teaches over 28,000 students annually. The university encompasses eight schools, including the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, and the Naveen Jindal School of Management. Notable degree programs include a bachelor of science in child learning and development, a doctor of philosophy in cognition and neuroscience, and a master of science in energy management.

First-year students must submit transcripts and a resume, essay, and/or letters of recommendation. In-state applicants who graduated in the top 10% of their high school class receive automatic admission. Graduate admission requirements vary by program but applicants typically need to submit transcripts, a resume, an essay, and letters of recommendation.

Texas A & M International University View School Profile Laredo, TX

Located in Laredo, Texas A&M International University traces its roots back to 1970. The "international" in its name refers to its cooperation with institutions in Mexico and Canada to develop joint degree programs.

TAMIU consists of five colleges, including the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business; College of Education; and College of Arts and Sciences. Notable degree offerings include a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering, a bachelor of arts in sociology, and a bachelor of science in nursing.

First-year students must submit their high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate admission requirements vary by program, although most do not require GRE scores. The school also hosts 10 online graduate degree programs, including MBA and master of science in curriculum and instruction options.

Texas State University View School Profile San Marcos, TX

Located in San Marcos and founded in 1899, Texas State University currently teaches more than 38,000 students each year. The university offers more than 200 degree options across 10 colleges. Notable degrees include a bachelor of science in anthropology, a bachelor of science in aquatic biology, and a bachelor of science in construction science and management.

Undergraduate tuition costs $11,540 per semester for in-state, full-time students and $23,820 per semester for out-of-state, full-time students. Graduate tuition costs $347 per credit for in-state students and $756 per credit for out-of-state students.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.

Trinity University View School Profile San Antonio, TX

Located in San Antonio and founded in 1869, Trinity University currently teaches about 2,500 students per year. Trinity offers about 50 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs across 27 academic departments. Notable areas of study include physics and astronomy, human communication and theatre, geosciences, and healthcare administration.

Tuition costs approximately $1,910 per credit for undergraduate students. Total tuition for graduate programs ranges from about $8,000-$22,500.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts, an essay, and a teacher evaluation form. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.

LeTourneau University View School Profile Longview, TX

A private institution located in Longview, LeTourneau University delivers all of its curriculum from a Christian perspective. Notable areas of study at LETU include aviation and aeronautical science, psychology and counseling, theology and vocation, and education.

Students can choose from dozens of undergraduate majors and minors, as well as 14 master's tracks. LETU also offers many of its degree programs online, including an associate of science in cybersecurity and a master of science in healthcare administration. Online tuition costs $380-$410 per credit for undergraduates and $625-$800 per credit for graduate students.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts showing a GPA of at least 3.0. The school does not charge an application fee.

Southern Methodist University View School Profile Dallas, TX

A private institution located in Dallas, Southern Methodist University currently teaches around 12,000 students annually. Although founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church, the university is nonsectarian in its teaching.

SMU's colleges and schools include the Meadows School of the Arts, Lyle School of Engineering, Perkins School of Theology, and Dedman School of Law. Notable areas of study include African and Mexican-American studies, applied physiology and health management, business energy management, and human rights.

First-year applicants must submit transcripts, a counselor recommendation, and a resume. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.

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