Colleges in Houston: A Complete List

If you're hoping to go to college in Houston, you have plenty of options. Discover more about studying, living, and working in Houston.
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Ellery Weil, Ph.D., is a historian and education writer. When she's not writing about education for BestColleges, she specializes in turn-of-the-twentieth-century women's history. Her writing has been published on three continents. She holds degrees ...
Updated on October 18, 2023
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They say everything's bigger in Texas — and that's definitely true in Houston, one of the Lone Star State's largest and most cosmopolitan cities. Whether you're a born-and-raised Texan or from out of state, there are many public and private colleges to choose from.

The Houston area was America's second-fastest-growing population center from 2021-2022 and offers bountiful opportunities for jobs and internships. Continue exploring this page to learn more about colleges in Houston.

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3 Popular Colleges in Houston

Here are a few of the most popular colleges in Houston. When choosing these, we considered factors like number of applicants, academics, and overall prestige.

1. Rice University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $19,902
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,672

If you want a prestigious education from a school with history, consider Rice University. This highly competitive school — founded over a century ago — has an acceptance rate of just 9%. Rice is known for its popular programs in architecture, ethnic and cultural studies, biological sciences, and business administration.

As a private institution, tuition can be high, but this is often offset by large financial aid packages. And while most students study on the school's 300-acre campus, some master's programs are available online.

2. University of Houston

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $14,056
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 46,700

The University of Houston is a large public university located in the middle of Houston. With a total enrollment of roughly 47,000 students, you'll join a diverse group of learners. Popular majors include business, engineering, and history. But with almost 90 different undergraduate degree programs to choose from, you'll have plenty of options.

For those planning to continue on to graduate studies, there are various programs to choose from, including 15 online graduate degrees.

3. Texas Southern University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $11,826
  • Acceptance Rate: 97%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,632

Texas Southern University is another public school based in the heart of Houston. This urban state school boasts affordable in-state tuition and a 97% acceptance rate. You can choose from almost 50 bachelor's degree programs, including popular majors in the sciences, education, and architecture.

While undergraduates are based entirely on campus, graduate-level offerings — including master's degrees and doctorates — are available online.

List of All Colleges in Houston

Below, we've compiled a complete list of all four-year nonprofit universities in Houston and the surrounding area. You can use the table below to compare data on student populations, average net costs, acceptance rates, and number of applicants.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). All data is from 2022. Schools with fewer than 500 undergraduates are not included in this list.

All Colleges in Houston
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Houston Baptist University 4,257 $19,515 84% 10,258
Prairie View A&M University 9,056 $12,875 76% 5,691
Rice University 8,672 $19,902 9% 31,443
Texas Southern University 8,632 $11,826 97% 8,582
University of Houston 46,700 $14,056 66% 29,783
University of Houston - Clear Lake 8,562 $17,871 69% 1,985
University of Houston - Downtown 14,208 $14,911 88% 6,131
University of St. Thomas 3,588 $19,207 97% 1,123
Source: NCES

Highest-Paying Jobs in Houston

As a fast-growing metropolitan area, Houston is home to a variety of high-paying jobs for college graduates. For example, aspiring financial professionals can find plenty of opportunities. Financial managers in the Houston area earned an average annual wage of $176,090 in 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you're hoping to earn a six-figure salary in the Houston area, other high-paying occupations include human resource managers and architectural and engineering managers. Houston also has a large healthcare sector, although many of these jobs require graduate-level education.

What Is the Cost of Living in Houston?

As a major metropolitan area, Houston has a higher cost of living than the more rural parts of Texas. But it's still relatively affordable compared to the United States as a whole.

According to Payscale, the cost of living in Houston is roughly 8% lower than the national average, meaning that you can expect more affordable housing, groceries, and tuition than in many other cities.

Nonetheless, it's important to plan a budget and track your expenses. This can help you avoid overspending, and it's good practice for once you've graduated.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colleges in Houston

How many colleges are in Houston?

Houston has eight nonprofit four-year colleges and universities, including public and private institutions. This number does not include two-year institutions (such as community colleges) or entirely online programs without a Houston-based campus.

How much does it cost to go to college in Houston?

The cost of college in Houston varies significantly from person to person. Whether you're eligible for in-state tuition, whether you'll be living on campus or staying with family and commuting, and what scholarship offers you receive will impact the out-of-pocket cost of your college education in Houston.

According to NCES data from the 2020-2021 school year, the average cost of tuition and fees at public four-year schools in Texas was $8,016 for in-state students and $25,471 for out-of-state students.

What's the cheapest college in Houston?

The cheapest college in Houston is Texas Southern University, with an average annual cost of $11,826. However, which college is the cheapest for you to attend will depend on your scholarships and other financial aid, the availability of in-state tuition, commuting and housing costs, and more.

Is Houston a good place to live and study?

Houston is a fantastic place to live, work, and study for many students and residents. You can choose from dozens of degree and certification programs in the wider metro area.

Although Houston is the largest city in Texas, living costs are lower than those of other major American cities. Additionally, robust industries and a fast-growing job market — particularly in fields like healthcare, energy, transportation, and scientific and technical services — allow you to access various career opportunities. 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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