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Texas serves about 1.6 million students through almost 150 higher education institutions. Additionally, the Texas Economic Development Corporation reports that many students remain in the state after graduation, with Houston (76%) and Dallas-Fort Worth (72%) retaining many of their learners
This highly skilled and educated workforce, as well as low taxes and a stable business climate, appeals to many large corporations. According to the Texas Labor Market Review, top industries adding to their workforce in the state include business and professional services, education and health services, and transportation.
To become part of an educated workforce, candidates benefit from postsecondary training, and earning a college degree can lead to better job prospects and offer increased revenue. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time workers with a bachelor's degree earn an average annual salary that is about $26,000 more than the salary of workers with only a high school diploma.
To help you make an informed decision about where to go to school, we ranked the 10 best online colleges in Texas. Read on to find a college that offers programs suited to your career goals.
Top 10 Online Colleges in Texas
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|1||LeTourneau University||Longview, TX|
|2||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|3||Texas A&M University - College Station||College Station, TX|
|4||University of Houston||Houston, TX|
|5||Dallas Baptist University||Dallas, TX|
|6||Texas A&M University - Commerce||Commerce, TX|
|7||The University of Texas at Arlington||Arlington, TX|
|8||University of North Texas||Denton, TX|
|9||Southwestern Assemblies of God University||Waxahachie, TX|
|10||Texas A&M University - Central Texas||Killeen, 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.
2020 Best Accredited Online Colleges in Texas
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|Longview, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
Located in Longview, LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian institution that was established in 1946. Students can select from more than 140 academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including many online degree offerings.
Undergraduate students at this online college in Texas enjoy access to accelerated online bachelor's degrees in the arts and sciences, business, education, aviation and aeronautical sciences, theology, and psychology. Learners can pursue two-year associate degrees and four-year bachelor's degrees with no on-campus obligations.
LETU offers a variety of specialty areas for students pursuing a bachelor of business administration, including concentrations in general business, finance, human resource management, management, and nonprofit management. Additionally, the school offers bachelor's degrees in areas such as criminal justice, aviation management, psychology, theological studies, and healthcare management.
Distance graduate students can pursue two-year master's degrees in majors including psychology, school counseling, curriculum and instruction, clinical mental health counseling, business administration, and healthcare administration.
Texas Tech University
|Lubbock, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
Texas Tech University — a public school in Lubbock — serves approximately 39,000 students. Texas Tech features more than 150 academic programs, many of which students can complete online or in a hybrid format.
Available bachelor's degrees at this online college in Texas include English, political science, sociology, architecture, biology, and early childcare. The school also offers less common degrees, such as its bachelor of science in wind energy and bachelor of science in restaurant, hotel, and institutional management.
Online students at Texas Tech can also earn master's and doctoral degrees with few or no on-campus obligations, including master of arts degrees in education, communication studies, dance studies, English, and business administration. Popular hybrid doctoral degrees at Texas Tech include a STEM-focused curriculum and instruction program and a doctor of philosophy in systems and engineering management.
Online students at Texas Tech pay in-state tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency.
Texas A&M University - College Station
|College Station, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
Based in College Station, Texas A&M University operates as a public research institution. The school was founded in 1876. Today, the university enrolls approximately 70,000 students at its main campus and an additional 5,000 students at other locations around Texas.
One of the best online colleges in Texas, Texas A&M offers distance-based degrees in many fields, such as medicine, nursing, science, engineering, geosciences, and agriculture. The school also oversees an online RN-to-BSN program.
Texas A&M also offers several graduate certificates online, such as its programs in advanced pedagogy in agriculture, extension education, military land sustainability, geographic information science, education for healthcare professionals, and health coaching for chronic disease prevention and management.
Undergraduate and graduate students can apply for admission through the ApplyTexas or Coalition programs. Requirements for graduate student applications vary between programs; in most cases, prospective learners need to submit a nonrefundable processing fee, official transcripts, and GRE or GMAT scores.
University of Houston
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Established in 1927, the University of Houston is a public research institution located in the largest city in the state. Distance students can choose from four online bachelor's degrees, 25 online graduate degrees, and a variety of hybrid programs.
Bachelor's degree-seekers at this online college in Texas can choose from undergraduate degrees in nursing, psychology, and retailing and consumer sciences. Bachelor's programs typically require 120 credits for graduation. Learners need to maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good standing. Depending on their department, incoming students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their bachelor's degree. Full-time students usually graduate in four years or less depending on their eligible transfer credits.
Online graduate students can pursue master's degrees in education, engineering and trades, health and social care, and business and management. Notable graduate degree offerings at UH include petroleum engineering; business foresight; subsea engineering; gifted and talented education; and learning, design, and technology.
Dallas Baptist University
|Dallas, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Established in 1898, Dallas Baptist University is a Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Remote students can pursue a variety of online degrees at DBU, including programs at the associate and bachelor's degree levels. Faculty deliver fully online courses in an asynchronous format. Depending on their major, some students may enroll in an accelerated bachelor's/master's program that awards two degrees.
Associate degree offerings at this online college in Texas include biblical studies, Christian studies, interdisciplinary studies, and teacher preparation. Associate degrees require 60 credits, and it typically take learners two years or less to graduate. DBU associate degree-seekers must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in good standing.
DBU offers online bachelor's degrees in areas such as criminal justice, interdisciplinary studies, criminal justice, biblical studies, healthcare management, psychology, management, finance, and marketing. Each bachelor's degree requires 120 credits for graduation.
Texas A&M University - Commerce
|Commerce, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
A public research institution located about 60 miles northeast of Dallas, Texas A&M University-Commerce is a public research university with approximately 12,400 students. Established in 1889, TAMUC is one of the oldest universities in the state.
The school features hybrid and fully online degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fully online undergraduate degree offerings at TAMUC include bachelor's degrees in organizational leadership, applied arts and sciences, general studies, business analytics, and agribusiness.
Students interested in pursuing a hybrid bachelor's degree can choose from programs in computer science, technology management, finance, computer information systems, criminal justice, and sociology. Bachelor's degrees require 120 credits for graduation and usually take around four years to complete.
Fully online master's degrees at this online college in Texas include programs in early childhood education, finance, English, applied statistics, sociology, and agricultural sciences. In addition to several hybrid master's programs, graduate students at TAMUC can complete hybrid doctoral degrees in higher education, educational psychology, and English.
The University of Texas at Arlington
|Arlington, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
One of the best online colleges in Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington is a public research institution founded in 1895. UTA offers more than 180 academic programs and serves approximately 43,000 students.
Undergraduate learners at UTA enjoy access to online bachelor's programs in nursing and public health. Students who have already completed 70 prerequisite credits can complete the 51-credit BSN in 15 months. Online students with previous college experience can also graduate with a bachelor of science in public health in approximately 22 months.
Additional online offerings at UTA include master's programs in areas such as nursing, education, business administration, and public administration. Online students can also pursue an accelerated master of social work program as a full- or part-time student. MSW learners complete the program in a cohort learning style and choose from fully online or hybrid course options.
University of North Texas
|Denton, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Established in 1890, the University of North Texas is a public institution located in Denton. This research university serves approximately 40,000 students. Distance learners at the school can take advantage of more than 80 online academic programs and 1,200 online courses per year.
As one of the best online colleges in Texas, UNT offers online bachelor's degrees in applied arts and sciences, criminal justice, information science and applied technology, integrative studies, learning technologies, and rehabilitation studies. Students can also pursue online undergraduate certificates in rehabilitation studies and volunteer/community resource management.
Graduate degree-seekers can choose from online master's programs such as curriculum and instruction, early childhood education, criminal justice, applied behavior analysis, and applied anthropology. Additionally, UNT offers an online Ph.D. in learning technologies.
Undergraduate students need to complete at least 30 credits at UNT and may transfer in up to 84 credits toward a 120-credit bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degree-seekers typically graduate in four years or less.
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
|Waxahachie, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private university located in Waxahachie. Founded in 1927, this Christian school and seminary hosts approximately 2,100 students.
Undergraduate learners enjoy access to online degrees at the associate and bachelor's levels. SAGU offers associate degrees in the Bible, Christian ministries, intercultural studies, religious studies, business administration, and early childhood education. Four-year bachelor's degrees are available in accounting, elementary education, biblical studies, theology, social work, counseling, and criminal justice.
This online college in Texas offers most of its academic programs entirely online with no on-campus obligations. Some online degrees — such as the bachelor's degree in social work — require students to be at least 22 years of age to enroll. Incoming students can obtain credit for eligible life and military experience. Online students can also earn up to 45 credits based on experiential learning. SAGU expects incoming undergraduate students to possess a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants must also submit their ACT or SAT scores for consideration.
Texas A&M University - Central Texas
|Killeen, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
Established in 2009 in Killeen, Texas A&M University-Central Texas boasts a student body of about 3,500 learners. The school offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees entirely online with no on-campus obligations.
Distance learners can pursue bachelor's degrees in areas such as management, nursing, business management, and aviation science. These degrees typically take four years to complete and require 120 credits. Incoming undergraduate students must possess a 2.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
Graduate students can pursue master's degrees in areas such as accounting, business administration, educational psychology, and higher education leadership entirely online. Learners typically need to complete 30 credits to earn their master's degree.
Students interested in studying at A&M-Central Texas should review financial aid information and available scholarships before applying. Using the scholarship portal, undergraduate and graduate students can evaluate institutional scholarships, which are awarded based on criteria such as academic performance, leadership ability, and financial need.
Sam Houston State University
|Huntsville, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
Sam Houston State University, located in Huntsville, is a public university with over 130 academic programs, many of which students can complete entirely online.
In addition to a variety of certificates, students can pursue online bachelor's programs in areas like history, nursing, liberal studies, political science, victim studies, sociology, and healthcare administration. Graduate students at this online college in Texas enjoy access to dozens of online master's programs, including degrees in sociology, special education, criminal justice, digital forensics, family and consumer services, communication studies, and business administration. Remote learners can also pursue doctor of education programs in developmental education administration and instructional systems design and technology.
Undergraduate applications must come through the ApplyTexas.org program. Prospective students need to submit official high school transcripts and their ACT or SAT scores for consideration. Depending on the program, incoming online learners may receive a $1,000 scholarship to help offset educational expenses.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
|Edinburg, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 45%||
One of the best online colleges in Texas, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is a public institution located in Brownsville. The school educates approximately 28,000 students annually.
Students at UTRGV follow either a 16-week traditional semester or a seven-week accelerated format. Programs that follow the traditional semester schedule include partially online bachelor's degrees in addiction studies, health services technology, and multidisciplinary studies. Students can also pursue fully online degrees in areas such as bioethics, kinesiology, mathematics, and Spanish translation and interpretation. Accelerated online options are available for graduate students in a variety of areas, as well as for the school's RN-to-BSN track.
In most cases, learners complete their bachelor's degrees in four years or less. Competitive undergraduate applicants must submit their ACT or SAT scores and rank in the top 25% of their high school graduating class. Eligible transfer students should possess at least 24 college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA.
The University of Texas at Tyler
|Tyler, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 42%||
The University of Texas at Tyler is a public institution with more than 10,500 students. Online learners can choose from numerous programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Bachelor's degree-seekers at UT Tyler can pursue an online bachelor of arts and applied sciences, with available concentrations in business, health studies, healthcare management, human behavior, and general studies. This program best serves working professionals with experience in the workforce or credits from technical or vocational community colleges and trade schools.
Graduate students at this online college in Texas can pursue master's degrees in fields such as criminal justice, education, English, health sciences, industrial management, kinesiology, business administration, and school counseling. Additionally, the university offers a Ph.D. program in nursing.
Prospective undergraduate students must admit their ACT or SAT scores. Applications should also include a student's official transcripts demonstrating high school courses in history, English, science, a foreign language, mathematics, and social studies.
The King's University
|Southlake, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 15%||
Established in 1997, The King's University is an Evangelical university located in Southlake. The school offers Christian and theology-focused degrees that prepare undergraduate and graduate learners for careers in schools, churches, nonprofit organizations, and missionary groups.
Students at TKU can choose from several online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels. For instance, available bachelor's degrees include general Christian studies, biblical and theological studies, and biblical counseling. Undergraduates can also pursue online associate degrees in Christian ministry and worship leadership.
This online college in Texas also allows learners to earn a master's degree in practical theology or divinity entirely online. Students may add a concentration in Messianic Jewish studies to any undergraduate or graduate program.
Prospective students must submit their official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Competitive students possess a 2.5 or higher GPA. Applicants need to score at least 20 on the ACT or 1050 on the SAT.
Texas Woman's University
|Denton, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 36%||
Texas Woman's University is a public institution located in Denton. Founded in 1901, the school has been coeducational since 1994.
TWU offers fully online and hybrid programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Learners can pursue bachelor's degrees in areas such as health studies, accounting, management, criminal justice, sociology, and general studies. Graduate students can earn master's and doctoral credentials online or in a hybrid format, including degrees in popular programs such as child development, library science, nursing education, speech-language pathology, business analytics, accounting, teaching, and occupational therapy.
Interested undergraduate students must submit their ACT or SAT scores for consideration. Successful applicants typically graduated in the top 25% of their high school class. Prospective transfer students need a 2.0 or higher GPA in all transferable coursework. Incoming undergraduates with transfer credits need to complete at least 25% of the academic credits required for a bachelor's degree through TWU.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 21%||
Founded in 1971, the University of Houston-Clear Lake is a public institution with approximately 9,000 students. The school also oversees additional branch campuses at Houston's Texas Medical Center and in Pearland.
UHCL offers fully online and hybrid degrees for distance learners. For instance, individuals can pursue bachelor's degrees in fields such as anthropology, general business, and public service leadership entirely online. Graduate students enjoy access to master's programs in areas including business administration, early childhood education, engineering management, finance, human resource management, occupational safety, and software engineering.
To qualify for graduation, undergraduates at this online college in Texas must complete 120 credits, with at least 57 credits earned from courses at UHCL. Prospective students must submit their SAT or ACT scores, official high school transcripts, and an application fee through the ApplyTexas.org site.
Texas Christian University
|Fort Worth, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
Texas Christian University is a private institution with more than 10,000 students. Online learners at the school can pursue a variety of master's degrees related to liberal arts, nursing, and health sciences. While the school does not offer fully online associate or bachelor's degrees, undergraduate learners may take online courses during the summer.
Popular master's degrees for distance students at this online college in Texas include a master of science in criminal justice and technology and master's programs in liberal arts, nurse education, and clinical nurse leadership. TCU also offers post-master's programs, such as its doctor of nursing practice and several post-master's certificates.
Online students may need to complete in-person clinicals and practica at approved locations. Remote learners enjoy 24/7 access to TCU's online library, student support services, and technology support.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
|Odessa, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public university in Odessa. Established in 1973, the school offers almost 100 online bachelor's and master's degrees for remote learners. The school serves more than 7,500 students.
As one of the best online colleges in Texas, the university offers distance-based bachelor's programs in areas such as communication, humanities, industrial tech, marketing, psychology, management, sociology, child and family studies, criminal justice, and political science. Graduate students enjoy remote access to master's degrees, including a master of public administration, master of business administration in finance, master of arts in educational leadership, and master of arts in bilingual/ESL education.
Bachelor's degrees at UTPB require 120 credits and usually take four years to complete. Learners follow asynchronous, eight-week course schedules and choose from six start dates throughout the year. Prospective undergraduate students must submit their official transcripts and possess a 2.0 or higher GPA for consideration.
Texas A&M - International University
|Laredo, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Located in Laredo, Texas A&M International University educates more than 7,400 students and operates as part of the Texas A&M University System. The school offers more than 70 academic programs on campus and online.
Bachelor's students at TAMIU can pursue a 32-credit, 12-month RN-to-BSN program entirely online. For graduate learners, the university offers master's programs in business administration, bilingual education, criminal justice, curriculum and instruction, educational administration, nursing administration, and public administration. Additionally, graduate certificates available to remote learners include professional certificates in reading and superintendent training, as well as an alternative teacher certification program.
In most cases, online master's students do not need to complete a traditional thesis for graduation. Prospective graduate students with a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA do not need to submit their GRE scores for consideration.
Stephen F Austin State University
|Nacogdoches, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Established in 1921, Stephen F. Austin State University is a public university in Nacogdoches. The school offers more than 120 academic areas of study, including 80 undergraduate programs and approximately 60 graduate programs.
Online undergraduate students can use the Brightspace platform to pursue bachelor of science degrees in human sciences, nursing, and interdisciplinary studies. Interdisciplinary studies students choose from specialized tracks in special education teacher certification, EC-6 teacher certification, and middle-level grades 4-8 teacher certification.
Remote students at SFA can also take advantage of online bachelor's degrees in business administration, choosing a concentration in general business or business communication and corporate education. Undergraduates may transfer up to 66 credits toward bachelor's degrees.
Online graduate-level offerings at SFA include master's degrees in public administration, mass communication, human sciences, teaching and learning, music education, music theory and composition, and early childhood education. These online master's degrees commonly take two years to complete.
University of Dallas
|Irving, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
The University of Dallas is a Catholic institution located in Irving. Established in 1956, this private school enrolls approximately 2,400 students each year. UD offers several fully online master's programs and one hybrid master's degree.
This online college in Texas oversees distance-based master's programs in theological studies, pastoral ministry, catechetical ministry, business administration, and cybersecurity. The business program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Remote students can also pursue a master's in Catholic school leadership through a hybrid format. This degree best serves students interested in pursuing positions like assistant principal, head principal, president of a Catholic educational institution, and school superintendent. Master's degrees typically require about 37 credits. Online learners usually finish these programs in two years or less, although part-time students may take up to six years to graduate.
Tarleton State University
|Stephenville, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 46%||
Founded in 1899 in Stephenville, Tarleton State University offers a variety of academic programs in nursing, music, medical technology, teacher education, mathematics, and science.
Remote students can enroll in online bachelor's programs at Tarleton, such as psychology, general business, applied science, information technology, and industrial management. Bachelor's degrees require 120 credits and normally take four years to complete.
Tarleton's graduate students can pursue master's degrees online in majors including human resources management, business administration, English, and agricultural consumer resources. Additionally, Tarleton's online offerings include certificates in alternative dispute resolution and strategic studies in criminal justice.
Undergraduate students must possess at least 30 transferable credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA to enroll in a fully online bachelor's program at Tarleton.
West Texas A&M University
|Canyon, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Located in Canyon, West Texas A&M University is a public institution. The school offers a variety of hybrid and fully online programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
Undergraduate students at this online college in Texas can pursue distance programs in areas including applied arts and sciences, communication studies, criminal justice, computer information systems, finance, emergency management administration, and general business. Most undergraduate programs also give learners the option to take on-campus classes. Bachelor's degree-seekers must complete 120 credits to graduate.
Distance graduate learners can access online master's programs related to counseling, curriculum and instruction, educational diagnostician, engineering, nursing, finance and economics, and business administration. WTAMU also features a fully online doctor of education in educational leadership program.
Prospective undergraduate students must submit their official high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores, although learners who graduated in the top 25% of their high school class do not need to submit standardized test scores for consideration.
Houston Baptist University
|Houston, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 48%||
Houston Baptist University is a Christian university with approximately 3,800 students. The school offers several online undergraduate and graduate programs for remote learners.
Students at this online college in Texas enjoy remote access to bachelor's programs such as theological studies, psychology, managerial studies, management, interdisciplinary studies, criminal justice, and biblical studies. Psychology majors can choose from concentrations in general psychology, Christian counseling, and marriage and family studies.
Available master's programs for remote students include degrees in apologetics, Christian leadership, clinical mental health counseling, theological studies, business administration, divinity, and human resource management. Graduate students can also pursue a master of science in nursing with optional certifications in family nurse practitioner and pediatric nurse practitioner in primary care.
Remote learners at HBU pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their location in the U.S. Applicants must submit an online application and their high school transcripts for consideration.
Texas State University
|San Marcos, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 54%||
Established in 1899, Texas State University is a public research institution with approximately 40,000 students. Located in San Marcos, the school offers dozens of online and hybrid degrees in diverse fields, such as international studies, history, biology, physics, and engineering.
The majority of programs at this online college in Texas feature 25-49% of their curricula online, which allows students to benefit from in-person communication with professors and the flexibility of online coursework. Popular hybrid bachelor's programs at Texas State include music studies, theater, dance, health information management, nursing, history, German, philosophy, and sociology.
The majority of graduate programs available online at Texas State feature at least a 50% online curricula. Available master's programs at the school include family and child studies, advanced practice leadership, developmental education, health information management, public administration, and computer science.
Online and hybrid learners can take advantage of the school's self-paced learning format. Depending on the course, this format allows students to complete coursework at their own pace within six- and nine-month windows.