Private Colleges in Texas: Full List of Schools

Considering earning a degree in Texas? Learn more about private colleges in Texas and the highest-paying careers in the Lone Star State.
portrait of Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
Read Full Bio


An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D., has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a writer and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern...
Updated on September 18, 2023
Edited by
portrait of Kelly Thomas
Kelly Thomas
Read Full Bio


Kelly Thomas is an editor with BestColleges and specializes in alternative education. She covers topics like coding bootcamps and the tech industry, as well as skilled trades and certifications. She holds a BA in political science from the University...
Learn more about our editorial process 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.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

  • There are 50 private nonprofit four-year colleges in Texas.
  • Texas private colleges boast a variety of acceptance rates and tuition costs.
  • Thanks to a strong economy, Texas offers many career options for college graduates.
  • Financial aid can help Texas college students lower their total costs.

Texas is home to over 1 million college students. And it's easy to see why so many undergrads choose the Lone Star State. With top-ranked colleges and universities and a booming economy, Texas can be a great place to earn a degree.

If you're considering private colleges in Texas, you've got options. You could attend a research university with a small-town feel or a small liberal arts college in a major city.

Ready to find your perfect fit? We'll look at popular Texas private colleges, the cost of living, and the highest-paying Texas careers.

5 Popular Private Colleges in Texas

1. Rice University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $54,960
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,285

Attend classes next to Houston's Museum District at Rice, which ranks among the best private colleges in Texas and best universities in the country. Rice's scenic 300-acre campus has several quads, Mediterranean Revival-style buildings, and shady canopies created by thousands of trees.

With a low student-to-faculty ratio and over 50 majors, Rice offers focused attention from faculty. Join an illustrious alumni network by graduating from Rice, which counts astronauts, Rhodes Scholars, and Nobel laureates among its alums.

2. Baylor University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $51,738
  • Acceptance Rate: 46%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 20,626

Founded by the Republic of Texas, Baylor is Texas's oldest continuously operating university. Located on the Brazos River in Waco, Baylor sits between Dallas-Fort Worth and Austin. You can choose from over 125 majors, 80 master's programs, and nearly 50 doctoral programs here.

The Baptist university's sprawling, modern campus houses students from all 50 states and 90 countries. Baylor is also known for its Big 12 athletics programs, which include 19 varsity sports.

3. Southern Methodist University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $61,980
  • Acceptance Rate: 52%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 12,385

Home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, SMU lies in the booming Texas city of Dallas. Scenic Dallas Hall gives the campus a historical feeling. And in the summer, you can escape Texas and take classes on the 423-acre satellite campus in Taos, New Mexico.

The private university offers a nonsectarian liberal arts curriculum with over 100 majors. You can also participate in SMU Abroad and take classes in another country.

Featured Online Programs

4. Texas Christian University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $53,980
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 11,938

TCU is a popular choice for those interested in Christian private colleges in Texas. The university offers nearly 120 majors and over 80 graduate programs. With a 92% first-year retention rate, the vast majority of incoming students choose to stay at TCU.

TCU's scenic campus boasts over 3,200 trees, including the oaks lining University Drive. And if you attend TCU, you'll get to cheer for the Superfrog, the university's mascot.

5. Trinity University

  • Avg. Undergraduate Tuition & Fees: $49,264
  • Acceptance Rate: 31%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 2,704

You can choose from nearly 50 majors at Trinity, including business, tech, engineering, and social science. The private liberal arts college dates back to 1869. In 2022, 99% of students here received some sort of financial aid.

Inspired by Italian architecture, the 125-acre campus brings red-bricked buildings to San Antonio. Trinity's campus sits between the Monte Vista Historic District and downtown San Antonio. Nearby Brackenridge Park offers a lush escape from city life for students.

List of All Private Colleges in Texas

We've created a complete list of all four-year nonprofit private colleges in Texas. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

All data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

All Private Colleges in Texas
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Abilene Christian University 4,912 $29,734 70% 8,208
Amberton University 1,002 $8,585 N/A N/A
Arlington Baptist University 216 $20,863 N/A N/A
Austin College 1,228 $24,398 43% 4,130
Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary 112 N/A 85% 20
Baptist University of the Americas 156 $6,713 N/A N/A
Baylor University 20,626 $46,039 57% 36,588
Christ Mission College 44 $10,289 N/A N/A
College of Biblical Studies-Houston 418 $14,550 N/A N/A
Concordia University Texas 2,137 $30,280 89% 1,441
Criswell College 181 $13,378 98% 43
Dallas Baptist University 4,340 $27,599 94% 6,916
Dallas Christian University 317 $23,422 17% 1,100
East Texas Baptist University 10,395 $5,617 65% 1,618
Grace School of Theology 669 $12,698 N/A N/A
Hallmark University 923 $9,816 56% 312
Hardin-Simmons University 1,937 $23,337 95% 2,125
Houston Baptist University 4,120 $20,089 85% 9,685
Howard Payne University 931 $23,603 59% 1,333
Huston-Tillotson University 1,001 $12,365 50% 1,875
Jarvis Christian University 721 $11,601 N/A N/A
LeTourneau University 3,209 $25,932 54% 2,290
Lubbock Christian University 1,661 $24,079 95% 893
McMurry University 1,145 $22,098 78% 1,372
Messenger College 31 $14,115 100% 8
North American University 821 $15,991 N/A N/A
Our Lady of the Lake University 2,550 $18,362 66% 3,933
Parker University 1,954 $18,752 N/A N/A
Paul Quinn College 384 $7,306 87% 1,117
Rice University 8,285 $18,521 9% 29,544
Schreiner University 1,103 $23,048 84% 1,443
Southern Methodist University 12,385 $41,986 53% 15,685
Southwestern Adventist University 852 $18,472 58% 1,099
Southwestern Assemblies of God University 1,843 $22,245 85% 658
Southwestern University 1,504 $28,496 51% 4,757
St. Edward's University 3,577 $24,668 92% 4,940
St. Mary's University 3,432 $17,899 88% 4,305
Texas Christian University 11,938 $42,574 54% 19,782
Texas College 731 $17,717 N/A N/A
Texas Lutheran University 1,468 $19,829 63% 2,630
Texas Wesleyan University 2,531 $21,495 58% 3,977
The King's University 650 $20,962 100% 13
The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary 2,071 $10,414 100% 87
Trinity University 2,704 $27,356 34% 9,626
University of Dallas 2,538 $25,620 58% 4,990
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 3,732 $30,191 99% 14,587
University of St. Thomas 3,877 $20,130 98% 1,140
University of the Incarnate Word 7,508 $21,161 94% 8,999
Wayland Baptist University 3,508 $23,378 81% 733
Wiley College 665 $8,796 N/A N/A
Source: NCES

Cost of Living in Texas

Texas is the second-most populous state, with a nearly $2 trillion economy.

In spite of that, the state has a surprisingly affordable cost of living, according to 2023 data from Bankrate. Popular cities like Dallas and Austin report costs of living in line with the national average, whereas Houston and San Antonio are more affordable.

The state's affordable cost of living can help offset the cost of attending Texas private colleges. In 2021, private colleges in Texas reported an average tuition rate of $37,450, according to NCES. That's slightly higher than the national average private college tuition rate of $32,825.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Texas

Nearly 13 million Texans work in the state, which reports an average annual pay of $57,300, according to May 2022 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The highest-paying jobs in Texas include careers in healthcare, management, engineering, and tech.

Some of these career paths require a graduate degree. For example, many of the top-paying healthcare professionals hold a doctorate. Other careers hire candidates with a bachelor's degree.

As a key player in the global oil and gas industry, Texas employs many petroleum engineers, a job that requires a bachelor's degree. Tech careers, like database architects, also report high salaries for professionals with an undergraduate degree.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Texas
Job Annual Mean Wage (May 2022)
Surgeons $338,400
Chief Executives $314,060
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $212,940
Nurse Anesthetists $208,940
Architectural and Engineering Managers $168,180
Lawyers $166,620
Petroleum Engineers $150,860
Database Architects $146,970
Source: BLS

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Colleges in Texas

How many private colleges are there in Texas?

There are around 50 private colleges in Texas. Some of the best-known Texas private colleges include Rice, Baylor, and Southern Methodist University.

Private four-year colleges in Texas enroll over 100,000 students. These colleges offer a variety of majors and graduate programs. You can also find liberal arts, religious, and specially designated colleges like Hispanic-serving institutions and HBCUs in Texas.

What is the most expensive private college in Texas?

Baylor reports the highest net price among Texas private colleges and universities. Undergrads can expect to spend around $46,000 a year to attend Baylor after financial aid.

While private colleges tend to cost more than public colleges, several private four-year colleges in Texas report affordable tuition rates. Wiley College, an HBCU, reports an average net price of under $9,000 per year, according to NCES.

What is the hardest private college to get into in Texas?

The hardest private college to get into in Texas is Rice. The private research university reported an acceptance rate of 9% in fall 2022. That means fewer than 1 in 10 applicants received an acceptance letter.

Many other private colleges in Texas admit a higher percentage of students. For example, Southern Methodist University admits around half of all applicants. 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.

Compare Your School Options

View the most relevant schools for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to finding your college home.