Top-Rated Texas Universities: What You Need to Know

Choosing the right university in Texas can be tough with so many options. Did you know this big state is home to some of the country’s highest-ranked colleges? This blog will guide you through the top ten universities in Texas, showcasing what makes each one special and perfect for your future plans.

Let’s discover where your next adventure begins!


How Many Colleges are in Texas?

Texas is home to a diverse range of higher education institutions, with over 200 colleges and universities across the state. These include public and private universities, as well as community colleges and technical schools.

Popular college majors in Texas include business, engineering, healthcare, and social sciences.


Breakdown of colleges by type

When exploring higher education options in Texas, students will find an array of institutions catering to diverse interests and goals. The state is home to a variety of public universities, private colleges, community colleges, and specialized schools. Here’s a breakdown of the types of colleges found in Texas:

Type of College Description Examples
Public Universities State-funded institutions offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, University of Houston
Private Colleges Independent schools that rely on tuition, donations, and endowments. They often have smaller class sizes. Rice University, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University
Community Colleges Two-year institutions providing associate degrees and certificates, often with the option to transfer to four-year universities. Dallas County Community College District, San Antonio College, Austin Community College
Specialized Schools Institutions focused on specific fields such as technology, health sciences, or the arts. University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, The Art Institute of Houston

Students are sure to find a suitable learning environment among these varied options, whether their focus is on research, liberal arts, or vocational training. With the support of the new $3.9 billion endowment aimed at public universities, the state’s commitment to enhancing education and research is evident.


Popular college majors

  • Many majors are popular in Texas colleges and universities, catering to diverse interests and career paths.
  1. Business Administration: A highly sought-after major, offering courses in management, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
  2. Computer Science: With the rise of technology, this major equips students with programming skills, cybersecurity knowledge, and software development expertise.
  3. Nursing: In high demand due to an aging population, nursing programs focus on patient care, medical procedures, and healthcare management.
  4. Engineering: Offering specializations in mechanical, electrical, civil, and aerospace engineering, preparing students for innovative projects and problem-solving.
  5. Biology: Often chosen by students aspiring for medical or research careers, providing a solid foundation in life sciences and laboratory techniques.


Top 10 Best Colleges in Texas

Rice University, University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Southern Methodist University, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Houston, Texas Tech University and Abilene Christian University are some of the top colleges in the state.

Each institution offers unique programs and opportunities for students to excel in their academic pursuits.


Rice University

Rice University, located in Houston, ranks among the top universities in Texas. It is renowned for its strong programs in engineering, natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

With an undergraduate enrollment of around 4,000 students and a graduate student population of approximately 3,000 students, Rice University offers a close-knit academic community.

The university boasts an impressive endowment that supports cutting-edge research and innovation across various disciplines. Notably, Rice University is ranked 89th globally and has been a key contributor to Texas’ reputation as a hub for higher education excellence.


University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin is a top-ranked institution, known for its academic excellence and diverse student body. With 42,444 undergraduate students and 9,469 graduate students, it offers a vibrant campus life while also providing exceptional learning opportunities in various fields.

The university’s emphasis on research and innovation is further supported by a new $3.9 billion endowment aiming to attract top talent and enhance its ranking as a leading institution for education and research in Texas.


Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University, a top Texas institution, boasts an enrollment of over 69,000 students, making it one of the largest universities in the nation. It prides itself on its strong research programs and is known for its engineering and business schools.

With a commitment to innovation, Texas A&M University has been focusing on attracting top talent through various initiatives and is expected to further enhance its reputation as a leading educational and research institution with its dedication to excellence.


Southern Methodist University

Located in Dallas, Southern Methodist University (SMU) offers a vibrant campus with over 6,000 undergraduate students. It is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and the arts.

SMU has an impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an endowment of $1.7 billion, which supports research opportunities and academic initiatives. The university’s commitment to providing a well-rounded education is evident through its diverse range of majors and numerous extracurricular activities available to students.

Additionally, SMU’s impact extends beyond Texas as it attracts students from all around the world.

Southern Methodist University stands out among other universities in Texas due to its emphasis on experiential learning and close-knit community that fosters academic excellence and personal growth.


Baylor University

Baylor University, located in Waco, Texas, is a leading educational institution with an enrollment of over 16,000 students. It offers a wide range of majors and programs to cater to diverse academic interests.

With a strong emphasis on research and innovation, Baylor University has firmly established itself as an outstanding center for higher education in Texas. The university’s commitment to academic excellence and its dedicated faculty make it an excellent choice for those seeking quality education in Texas.

Moving on to the next top-ranked institution – Southern Methodist University.


Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University, located in Fort Worth, is a leading private institution in Texas. It has an undergraduate enrollment of around 9,445 students and offers over 118 undergraduate areas of study.

TCU also provides excellent graduate programs with an emphasis on personal attention and small class sizes, fostering a close-knit academic community for its students.

The university boasts a strong focus on innovation and research while emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded education. TCU aims to provide a holistic learning environment that nurtures critical thinking and practical skills needed for success in today’s competitive job market.


University of Texas at Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas is a top educational institution in Texas, known for its strong academic programs and research opportunities. With an enrollment size of over 28,000 students, it offers a diverse and vibrant campus environment.

Notable programs include computer science, engineering, business, and healthcare management. As part of the University of Texas System, UT Dallas benefits from the state’s commitment to enhancing education and research through initiatives like the $3.9 billion endowment aimed at boosting innovation across public universities in Texas.


University of Houston

The University of Houston is one of the top educational institutions in Texas, known for its diverse student population and strong academic programs. With over 46,000 students from all 50 states and 130 countries, it offers a vibrant campus environment.

The university is recognized for its notable research initiatives and has an impact on the local community through extensive outreach efforts. At UH, students can explore a wide range of majors including business, engineering, and healthcare-related fields.

The university’s commitment to innovation and excellence makes it a premier choice for those seeking high-quality education in Texas.


Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University, located in Lubbock, Texas, has over 38,000 students and offers more than 150 undergraduate majors. Known for its strong research programs, the university is recognized for its excellence in fields such as agriculture, engineering, and business.

With a focus on innovation and hands-on learning opportunities, Texas Tech University provides a dynamic academic environment that prepares students for successful careers in their chosen fields.

Moreover, the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion ensures a welcoming and supportive community for all students.


Abilene Christian University

Continuing with the discussion of top universities in Texas, Abilene Christian University is another prominent institution. Located in Abilene, it offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

The university’s enrollment size stands at around 5,204 students. Its notable programs include those within the fields of business, education, psychology, and communication sciences and disorders.

Abilene Christian University focuses on providing an environment that combines academic excellence with a strong sense of community and faith.


Quick Facts About each Top 10 School

Each of the top 10 schools in Texas offers unique programs and achievements that set them apart, making it worth exploring their individual strengths and opportunities for prospective students.

Read on to learn more about these leading institutions!



Rice University is located in Houston, Texas, the fourth-largest city in the U.S. It offers a suburban campus setting and is situated near the Texas Medical Center, providing ample opportunities for research and collaboration.

The University of Texas at Austin benefits from its vibrant location in the capital city of Texas, offering both urban energy and outdoor activities with access to nearby hiking trails and waterways.

Meanwhile, Texas A&M University is located in College Station, a small town providing a close-knit community with strong school spirit.

Southern Methodist University (SMU) is nestled in Dallas, known for its dynamic business environment and cultural attractions such as museums and performing arts theaters. Baylor University resides in Waco along the banks of the Brazos River where students can engage with nature while pursuing their studies.


Enrollment size

Rice University has an undergraduate student population of approximately 4,000 and a graduate student population of about 3,000. The University of Texas at Austin boasts a large enrollment size, with over 42,000 undergraduate students and nearly 9,500 graduate students.

Similarly, Texas A&M University has a total student enrollment of around 69,465 individuals. These universities attract diverse student bodies from all across the United States.

The student cohorts are substantial in size at leading Texas universities such as Southern Methodist University and Baylor University as well. For example, Southern Methodist University enrolls around 6,700 undergraduates and over 5,500 graduate students while Baylor University’s total enrollment is approximately 19,300 students.


Average cost of attendance

Rice University’s average cost of attendance is $63,252 for the 2021-2022 academic year. This includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation.

The University of Texas at Austin’s in-state students can expect an average cost of around $27,638 while out-of-state students will find a higher cost of about $53,498. At Texas A&M University, in-state students are looking at an average cost of attendance of approximately $29,506 whereas out-of-state students will encounter a price closer to $52,036.

The schools aim to provide financial aid as necessary to assist with covering these costs and ensuring that all admitted students have access to opportunities for higher education regardless of their background or financial situation.


Notable programs and achievements

Rice University offers notable programs and achievements, including its prestigious top-ranked schools such as the School of Engineering and the Shepherd School of Music. The university is also known for its research and innovation in areas like nanotechnology, space science, and computational engineering.

Rice University’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its 42% minority student population.

The University of Texas at Austin boasts a highly regarded McCombs School of Business along with strong programs in engineering, education, and communication. Additionally, the university has achieved significant research milestones in fields such as energy and sustainability.

With over 1,300 student organizations on campus, UT Austin provides ample opportunities for student engagement beyond academics.



In conclusion, Texas is home to numerous prestigious universities, including Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin. These institutions offer a wide range of programs and attract students from all 50 states.

With a new $3.9 billion endowment aimed at boosting research and innovation, the future looks bright for higher education in Texas. The commitment to attracting top talent and enhancing educational opportunities solidifies Texas’ position as a leader in academic excellence.


Frequently Asked Questions


1. What are the top-rated universities in Texas?

The top-rated universities in Texas are well-known academic institutions that excel in college rankings and offer outstanding higher education.


2. How do I find the highest-ranked colleges in Texas?

To find the highest-ranked colleges, look at university rankings for Texas higher education or check out lists of best universities in Texas.


3. Are there private universities among the best schools in Texas?

Yes, some of the premier universities in excellent educational institutions located within private sectors of higher education institutions in Texas.


4. Why should I consider attending a top-tier school in Texas?

Attending one of the top-tier schools in Texas can provide you with a high-quality education from one of the state’s most respected academic institutions.


5. Can I trust college rankings when choosing a university?

College rankings can be helpful as they assess many factors to determine which higher education institutions stand out as some of the best colleges and outstanding universities.

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