2021 Best Online Colleges in Texas

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September 14, 2021

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Texas is a bastion of higher education. The state is home to 148 postsecondary institutions, and the Texas Economic Development Corporation found that colleges and universities in Texas educate over 1.45 million students. Texas employs the nation's second-largest and fastest-growing workforce across all industries in the U.S.

In this guide, you can learn about the best online colleges in Texas and how they prepare students to enter the workforce. Explore jobs in demand in Texas and the employment outlook in the state. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions about online colleges in Texas.

Top Online Degree Programs in Texas

Texas Employment Outlook

Texas employs over 14 million workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the annual mean wage in Texas for all occupations was $52,400, as of May 2020. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, 714,800 jobs opened in the state between July 2020 and July 2021. Texas represents the second-largest state economy in the U.S., following California.

Five of the fastest-growing jobs in Texas are:

Additionally, family medicine physicians and ophthalmologists are some of the highest-paid professionals in Texas. Texans can also find lucrative work as airline pilots and engineering managers.

5 Texas Jobs in Demand for 2021

Wind Turbine Service Technician

Annual Median Salary: $52,420

Job Outlook: 83% growth from 2018-2028

Wind turbine service technicians install and repair wind turbines used to generate renewable energy. These professionals must inspect turbines for electrical and/or mechanical issues. They also complete on-site repairs. Technicians sometimes need to climb turbines to perform maintenance. They also collect data from turbines for research and analysis.

Statistician

Annual Median Salary: $83,400

Job Outlook: 45% growth from 2018-2028

Statisticians apply mathematical theorems to solve problems in business environments, such as determining what the public thinks of a specific product or brand. Statisticians may create surveys, experiments, and polls to gather data. After analyzing the data, these professionals must synthesize and present their findings in a usable format.

Actuary

Annual Median Salary: $106,410

Job Outlook: 38% growth from 2018-2028

Actuaries assess financial risk using mathematical theories and statistics. These professionals calculate the probability and economic cost of events like sickness, death, and accidents. Actuaries design insurance and pension plans with the data they collect and analyze. These professionals often work as part of a team.

Operations Research Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $85,010

Job Outlook: 38% growth from 2018-2028

An operations research analyst helps companies determine how best to use their resources. Businesses may also bring in operations research analysts to help them solve complex problems. These professionals may use computer databases, sales histories, customer feedback, and employee interviews to determine possible solutions. Most analysts work as part of a team.

Physician Assistant

Annual Median Salary: $113,420

Job Outlook: 37% growth from 2018-2028

Physician assistants work alongside doctors and surgeons, helping with medical procedures and communicating with patients. These professionals review patient medical histories, order diagnostic tests, and give treatments like providing vaccines. Physician assistants also research the latest treatment methods and may participate in outreach programs.

Popular Career Paths in Texas

2021 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Texas

Rankings compiled by the the BestColleges Ranking Team

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How We Rank Schools

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

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.

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

Based in Laredo, TAMIU Online offers several master's degree programs and one undergraduate program: an RN-to-BSN pathway.

Online master's programs are offered in various fields, including business, criminal justice, education, and nursing. Notable programs include an online MBA with several concentration options, including management, international banking and finance, and international business. Other master's degrees include a master of science in criminal justice, a master of science in educational administration, and a master of science in nursing in nursing administration.

Online master's programs typically range from 10-15 months and feature entirely online coursework offered in an asynchronous format. Tuition costs and requirements vary by program.

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

Based in College Station, the distance education division at Texas A&M oversees several graduate programs and one undergraduate program.

Online graduate programs include master of agriculture degrees in agricultural development and poultry science, as well as master's degrees in natural resource development, engineering, epidemiology, and education for healthcare professionals. In the field of legal studies, Texas A&M offers an online master of jurisprudence and a master of laws degree. In addition, the school offers several master of education programs online; students can choose from specialties such as bilingual education and educational psychology.

Online doctoral degree options include a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and a Ph.D. in plant breeding. The school also offers several graduate certificates, such as advanced pedagogy in agriculture, cybersecurity engineering, and nonprofit management.

Admission requirements vary for each program. However, all graduate applicants must submit GRE or GMAT scores to qualify for admission.

LeTourneau University View School Profile Longview, TX

A Christian institution based in Longview, LETU offers several graduate and undergraduate programs in an asynchronous online format. Online bachelor's programs include cybersecurity, aviation studies, psychology, and an RN-to-BSN program. The school also offers theology and vocation degrees online, including a bachelor of arts or science in Christian ministry and a bachelor of arts or science in theological studies.

At the graduate level, the school offers master's programs in healthcare administration, general psychology, and clinical mental health counseling. Learners can also pursue several online master of education degrees in various concentrations, as well as an MBA.

First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 to qualify for most programs, and graduate applicants typically need to possess a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

Texas Tech University View School Profile Lubbock, TX

Texas Tech — a public institution founded in 1923 in Lubbock — offers several bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. Some online programs may require minimal in-person requirements, with the rest of the program available entirely online.

Online bachelor's options include programs in English, political science, and technical communication. The school also offers more than 40 master's programs online, including agribusiness, dance studies, mass communication, and engineering.

Doctoral programs include several doctor of philosophy degrees in curriculum and instruction with tracks in various subjects. The school also offers several graduate certificates online, including gerontology, crop protection, mathematics, and software engineering.

Admission requirements vary by program. Some bachelor's programs are degree completion programs that require applicants to transfer in an associate degree or a comparable number of credits.

University of North Texas View School Profile Denton, TX

Based in Denton, UNT Online offers more than 80 programs at the graduate and undergraduate levels to distance learners. Undergraduate options include programs in criminal justice, information science, and integrative studies. The school also offers an online bachelor of applied arts and science degree completion program with eight concentrations, such as data analytics and consumer behavior.

Online master's programs include applied anthropology, health services administration, and hospitality management. The school also offers several master's programs in educational psychology, as well as master of education degrees in educational leadership and higher education general administration. UNT offers many of its master's programs through an accelerated format that takes 12-18 months to complete.

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

Based in Arlington, online degree programs at UTA include bachelor's and master's options, primarily in the fields of nursing, education, and business.

The school offers several master of science in nursing programs, including nursing education and family nurse practitioner. UTA also offers an online bachelor of science in nursing, as well as a separate RN-to-BSN pathway program. Students can also pursue a doctor of nursing practice and several post-master's certificates in nursing.

Education programs include a master of education in educational leadership and policy studies and a master of education in curriculum and instruction. UTA also provides a principal certification online. Online MBA options include a general degree, as well as concentrations in finance, healthcare, and management. Faculty deliver most online offerings asynchronously.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin View School Profile Odessa, TX

Based in Odessa, UTPB offers more than 30 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs.

Undergraduate options include programs in accounting, criminal justice, marketing, and sociology. The university offers its bachelor's programs to first-year and transfer students. UTPB also offers a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree in industrial technology, which requires applicants to hold an associate degree or a significant number of transfer credits. Undergraduate programs feature a test-optional policy for 2021.

Online graduate programs at UTPB include master's tracks in criminal justice administration, literacy, and special education. The school also offers several MBA programs in accounting, finance, marketing, and energy business. Certificate programs include digital commerce, GIS and geospatial, and superintendent. Aspiring graduate students may need to submit GRE or GMAT scores.

Sam Houston State University View School Profile Huntsville, TX

Based in Hunstville, SHSU Online oversees more than 40 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. Online undergraduate programs include criminal justice, homeland security studies, nursing, and victim studies. Some programs, such as political science and psychology, may require limited classroom or lab attendance. SHSU also offers several undergraduate minors online, such as Spanish and geography.

Online graduate programs include higher education administration, kinesiology, and school leadership. Additional programs include a master of agriculture in sustainable agriculture and food environment and an executive MBA in banking and financial institutions.

SHSU extends automatic admission to first-year students graduating in the top 10% of their high school class. Other applications undergo holistic review. Graduate programs typically have a minimum GPA requirement — usually 2.5-2.8 or higher over an applicant's last 60 credits.

University of Houston-Clear Lake View School Profile Houston, TX

UHCL Online offers 17 degree programs and nine certificate programs. The school's three undergraduate options include bachelor of science degrees in anthropology, general business, and public service leadership. These degree completion programs require applicants to complete lower-division courses prior to enrolling.

Graduate programs include an MBA, a master of science in environmental science, and a master of science in software engineering. The school also offers online graduate certificates in performance technology, environmental management, and distance education.

Distance learners can pursue entirely online or web-enhanced hybrid formats. Fully online courses follow an asynchronous format.

Stephen F Austin State University View School Profile Nacogdoches, TX

A public institution based in Nacogdoches, SFA Online offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Bachelor's options include programs in sports business, sustainable community development, and interdisciplinary studies. The school also provides an online RN-to-BSN program. Distance learners may also pursue an online bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program that grants credits for nonacademic experiences, such as military training and occupational licensure.

Online master's programs include mass communication, public administration, and music theory and composition. The school also offers several master of education degrees, such as elementary education and special education, as well as a doctor of education in educational leadership.

First-year applicants graduating in the top 25% of their high school class receive automatic admission to SFA. Most graduate-level applicants must possess a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5. However, graduate admission requirements vary, so students should check with individual programs to verify criteria.

Texas A & M University-Commerce View School Profile Commerce, TX

Online degree programs at TAMUC provide a mix of hybrid and fully online courses for undergraduate and graduate students. Fully online bachelor's programs include organizational leadership, agribusiness, and applied arts and sciences. These degree completion programs require students to complete general education requirements prior to enrolling.

The school also offers graduate degrees online in the fields of business, engineering, agriculture, social sciences, and education. Completely online master's programs include educational administration, applied criminology, and accounting. In addition, the school offers a doctor of education in educational administration online. Students can also pursue additional programs in a hybrid format, with 50-85% of coursework taking place online.

The University of Texas at San Antonio View School Profile San Antonio, TX

Based in San Antonio, UTSA Online offers six entirely online programs for students seeking a flexible and self-paced educational experience.

Undergraduate options include programs in communication, cybersecurity, and multidisciplinary studies. First-year students in the top 25% of their high school class receive guaranteed admission, with no SAT or ACT minimums required.

At the graduate level, the 30-credit facilities management program typically takes two years to complete. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or master's degree in engineering, science, business, or a similar field. Those with two years experience as a facility manager and a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field may also apply. The school also offers an online certificate in facilities management, as well as a certificate in data science.

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

UT Tyler Online oversees several degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate programs include an RN-to-BSN program, a bachelor of social work, and a degree completion program that awards a bachelor of applied arts and sciences (BAAS). The BAAS program allows applicants to count workforce, technical, and vocational experience towards their degree, and students may choose from one of several concentrations in the fields of business, healthcare, entrepreneurship, human behavior, or general studies.

Online graduate programs include criminal justice, educational leadership, English, and public administration. UT Tyler also offers an accelerated online MBA, as well as a dual nursing MSN and MBA program.

Midwestern State University View School Profile Wichita Falls, TX

Based in Wichita Falls, MSU offers more than a dozen undergraduate and graduate programs to distance learners. Online bachelor's programs include an RN-to-BSN program, as well as a registered respiratory therapist to bachelor of science in respiratory care program. In addition, the school offers a bachelor of science in radiologic sciences. Students may also pursue a customizable bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program.

Online graduate offerings include master's degrees in nursing, human resource development, and sport administration. The school also offers a post-master's certificate program for nurse practitioners and nurse educators.

Admission requirements vary by program. Students should check with individual programs to verify requirements.

West Texas A & M University View School Profile Canyon, TX

Based in Canyon, WTAMU oversees several fully online and hybrid programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate options include programs in management, finance, and economics. The school also offers an online bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program, as well as an RN-to-BSN bridge program.

Online master's degrees include English, finance and economics, and engineering. The school also offers an MBA program online, as well several master of education degrees, such as educational leadership and counseling. Students can also pursue an online doctor of education in educational leadership.

First-year applicants must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA to qualify for admission. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Texas

How many online colleges are in Texas? true

Students can find 148 postsecondary institutions in Texas, many of which offer at least some online programs. However, every college in Texas that provides online options features different programs, specialties, and strengths. Prospective students should research different schools to determine their online offerings and make sure the program they want is available.

Students should compare online programs from different schools to see which one matches most closely with their interests and needs. Applicants should assess variables like course offerings, accreditation, and tuition costs. Find this information on a school's official website or by contacting a representative in the admissions department with questions.

Does Texas have good online colleges? true

Yes, Texas features many good online colleges for students seeking degrees and/or certificates. The state boasts some of the best colleges in the nation for in-person and online classes.

Prospective students should begin their search for the best online colleges in Texas by determining what kind of subject they wish to study. Once they know the type of degree they want, they can directly compare schools' individual programs and find the best fit.

Prospective students should always look for accredited universities and programs when researching schools. Potential learners should also look into individual program requirements before applying.

How much does it cost to go to college online in Texas? true

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average total cost of attending a public four-year college in Texas was $18,779 for in-state students and $25,031 for out-of-state students during the 2018-2019 academic year. Students should keep in mind that some schools allow out-of-state online students to pay in-state tuition rates. Furthermore, students living off campus may be able to reduce costs. Prospective students can learn more about a school's tuition policies by checking the school's website or by contacting the admissions department.

Calculating college costs can be difficult — especially for online programs. Students should always research the true cost of an online program before applying to a school. However, many colleges offer affordable tuition rates for online programs.

What is the cheapest online college in Texas?

Some of the cheapest online colleges in Texas — especially for out-of-state students — are Texas Tech University and Texas State University. These universities offer low tuition rates for both online undergraduate and graduate students. In fact, these colleges offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the country.

Students should always check the tuition rates of the specific program they plan to apply to — especially graduate students. Some programs cost more than others due to factors like the intensity of the requirements and the length of the program.

Who qualifies for free college in Texas?

Most free college programs in Texas only benefit Texas residents. Students must meet a low-income standard set by the school. Many schools also require undergraduate students to be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant to receive free tuition from the school.

Individuals who do not meet these qualifications can research additional financial aid options, such as scholarships, grants, and loans.

Learn how to maximize financial aid for online students with our scholarship guide. Find the best scholarships and grants to pay for your online degree. This guide breaks down the research methods students should use when choosing an online degree program. This landing page acts as an introduction and overview of online college planning resources for students.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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