With over two million people living there, Houston is the largest city in Texas. The metropolis is packed with things to do and sights to see, not to mention big businesses making their home there. In addition to the Space Center, the Astrodome USA, and a myriad of parks and gardens, there is a wealth of knowledge to be found in and around Houston. This ranking looks at some of the schools located within 225 miles of Houston, making it a fairly easy trip to make within a day.
Using sources such as CollegeData and Niche, as well as the schools’ websites, each school was evaluated to find out if online classes were offered. Then, the schools were organized by adding together the percentage numbers for freshman satisfaction and graduation rates. Added to these numbers were a numerical equivalent of the academic and overall grades provided by niche, with A+ being 100, A being 90 and so on in this manner. In order to boost the score of lower cost schools, the (residential) cost of attendance in thousands was rounded and subtracted from the total of the other numbers to give a final score. It should be noted that some schools having incomplete information received either a lower ranking or were unable to be ranked.
Example: 80 (percent freshman satisfaction) + 42 (graduation percent) + 60 (B Academic Grade) + 90 (A Overall Grade) = 272
272 (total from above) – 27 ($26,692 cost of attendance) = 245(final score for ranking)
During our research, we also consulted our own ranking of the top 100 best online colleges when ranking these schools.
20. Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi
Just over 200 miles from Houston is Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, which is located on Ward Island in Oso Bay in Corpus Christi, Texas. The school team name is the Islanders which makes perfect sense given the location of the school. Over the years it has been known by three other names prior to joining the Texas A&M University system in 1989. The school had been sold to the State in 1973 and become a public university. Former school names include Corpus Christi State University, Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi, and the University of Corpus Christi, which was a Baptist university founded in 1947.
Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi is divided into five colleges in order to serve it’s more than 12,000 students. The colleges are Business; Liberal Arts; Education and Human Development; Science and Engineering; and Nursing and Health Sciences. Currently online at TAMUCC there are several online degree programs including those for Business Administration, MBA; Alternative Certification of Educators (ACE); Instructional Design and Educational Technology, MS; Kinesiology, MS; Reading, MS; eLine; eLine Military; Family Nurse Practitioner Program, MSN; Leadership in Nursing Systems, MSN; Nurse Educator, MSN; and Geospatial Surveying Engineering, MS. The doctoral degrees offered online are Nursing Cooperative Degree, Ph.D. and Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree, DNP. There is also a Writing for Nonprofits Certificate available online through TAMUCC.
San Antonio, Texas is just under 200 miles away from Houston, and that’s where you can find the University of Texas at San Antonio, also known as UTSA. The university was founded in June of 1969 and was celebrated in a grand ceremony in front of the Alamo. In fact, Democrat Frank Lombardino is often referred to as the “father of UTSA” as he was so passionate about San Antonio gaining their own university. By 1975, when the construction of the main campus was completed, enrollment for UTSA was already well over 4,000 students. At the time there were only five colleges to serve students which were Business, Fine and Applied Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Multidisciplinary Studies, and Science and Mathematics. The school has continued growth and is now a top-tier research institution which specializes in cybersecurity, energy, sustainability, health, as well as human and social development. Enrollment at UTSA today is around 29,000 students.
While UTSA welcomes students from across the nation and the world, a majority of students come from Bexar County, the greater Houston region, and the Rio Grande Valley. Students from Houston are often attracted to UTSA not just due to it’s proximity to Houston, which is “far enough away from home but still close enough to visit”, but also its reputation for academic excellence. Over 60 percent of students at UTSA are from underrepresented groups and about 45 percent will be the first to earn a bachelor’s degree within their families. Over one-third of the student population of UTSA are transfer students. Approximately ten percent of the student population are military students, which include veterans, active duty military members and their spouses and dependents. UTSA also has a thriving alumni network with more than 115,000 members.
UTSA offers more than 160 degree programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. The top five majors for students from Houston and the surrounding area of Harris County are Biology, Psychology, Kinesiology, Mechanical Engineering, and Undeclared for undergraduates. Master’s students top five are Geology, Social Work, Civil Engineering, Health and Kinesiology, and School Psychology. The top five majors chosen by doctoral students are English, Biomedical Engineering, Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching, Business Administration – Accounting, and Business Administration – Management and Organization Studies. There are also a large number of courses made available online through UTSA. Students interested in online courses should check the course schedule, as it may vary, change, or grow semester to semester.
The cybersecurity program at UTSA has been ranked number 1 in the nation by the Ponemon Institute. The College of Business was ranked within the top 5 schools in Texas and the number 1 Hispanic Serving Institution in the nation by Bloomberg Businessweek in its 2016 ranking of Best Undergraduate Business Schools. Times Higher Education ranks UTSA in the top 4 young universities and is in the top 400 in the world.
About 185 miles away from Houston in Belton, Texas is where you can find the campus of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The original charter for the school was granted by the Republic of Texas, prior to it becoming a state, in 1845 and the school served as the female department of Baylor University. However, classes did not begin until the next year and the first class was only 24 students. Although it was a coeducational school at the start, males and females were in separate classes and soon were separated into departments. Eventually, the two split when the women’s department moved to Belton as Baylor Female College, and the male division moved to Waco becoming Baylor University. Later, after changing names once again to Mary Hardin-Baylor College, the school would become coeducational once again in 1971. By 1978 the school had gained university status and became known as the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. The school has continued to grow, and the fall semester of 2016 marked the school’s eighth consecutive year for record freshman enrollment. Despite the consistent growth, the school officials remain committed to ensuring personal attention to each student which has been part of the UMHB experience for over 170 years.
One of the new additions to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is a performing arts center which began construction in February of 2016, set to open in fall of 2017. The building will be 40,725 square feet and will have multifunctional rooms which will be easily utilized for learning as well as performance purposes. The facility will feature a theater which will seat 546, also a proscenium stage, fly space, and an orchestra pit. There will also be a 2,000-square-foot chamber hall which can be used for social gatherings, small recitals or concerts, and as a classroom. There will also be another new construction on the north side of campus, and the 46,000-square-foot building will be a new residence hall. It will be a 3-story dormitory-style housing for up to 214 students. The building will be constructed in a way that wings can be closed off from one another in order to house both males and females in the same structure, yet separately. The flexible design allows the building to change from year to year based on student demographics. The construction is set to begin this spring and be completed and ready to use by the fall semester of 2018.
The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor is dedicated to ensuring that its students are prepared for lives of leadership, service, and faith-informed discernment in a global society. The school offers students 47 programs for bachelor’s degrees through its Undergraduate Colleges: the College of Business, College of Christian Studies, College of Humanities and Sciences, College of Education, College of Nursing, and the College of Visual & Performing Arts. There are also a 7 master’s degree programs available at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor which include, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts in Counseling, Master of Exercise Physiology, Master of Science in Education in Sport Administration, and Master of Science in Information Systems. Doctoral degrees which may be earned are Doctor of Physical Therapy; Doctor of Nursing Practice, which was added in 2016; and Doctor of Education which is available in P-12, Higher Education, and Leadership in Nursing Education. There are select courses or programs available online and hybrid for students who desire the flexibility of a primarily online education.
Students at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor take active roles in spreading the word of Jesus Christ across the world. Last year alone, more than 130 Crusaders spend their time during spring break, Christmas vacations, and summers in order to participate in mission activities in 27 different countries. This spring marked the 78th Annual Easter Pageant at UMHB, which has become a tradition to the community as well as the school. It’s a student-led production which depicts the life and death of Jesus Christ and, of course, his resurrection.
The 2016 year marked the greatest season in history for the CRU football team. The team closed out the year with an undefeated 15-0 record and won the Stagg Bowl XLIV with a 10-7 victory over Wisconsin-Oshkosh. While the CRU won it’s first National Championship in program history, it also set new school and American Southwest Conference records for single-season victories.
The University of the Incarnate Word is in San Antonio, Texas, almost 200 miles away from Houston, but available in a day’s travel. The institution was chartered in 1881 and was intended as a college for women and was named Academy of the Incarnate Word. In the early 1900s the college both changed locations within San Antonio and, as courses were added to the curriculum, changed named to the College and Academy of the Incarnate Word. In 1995 the school chose to focus more on adult education and began the Adult Degree Completion Program in order to allow adult learners to attain their educational goals at an accelerated pace as well as in the evenings.
The University of the Incarnate Word offers students online program options through the School of Applied Sciences. Currently, there is one associate degree available which is an Associate of Science in Health with a choice of three concentrations, either Administration, Nutrition, or General (Military training). There is also a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with concentrations in either General Studies (Military Training), Nutrition, or Administration. This also provides students with the option to sit for the following certifications: Cardiac Rhythm Analysis Technician, Certified Billing & Coding Specialist, Certified Electronic Health Record Specialist, & Certified Medical Administrative Assistant. There’s also a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) and an option for online or classroom Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Graduate students are able to learn a Master of Arts in Teacher Leadership online if they choose.
Just under 200 miles away from Houston, Texas you can find the University of Texas at Tyler. The school was originally founded in 1971 under the name of Tyler State College. Four years later, the school was renamed Texas Eastern University. In 1975, the university joined the University of Texas system and initially was considered a “senior” level institution which only taught junior and senior undergraduate courses alongside their graduate level courses granting only bachelor and master’s degrees. As a result, all students up until it changed in 1998 were transfer students from other junior colleges or universities. However, after 1998, UT Tyler became a 4-year graduate institution providing classes for all degree levels. Today there are more than 40 undergraduate degree programs available at UT Tyler.
University College offers undergraduates online degree completion program for a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a Nursing RN-BSN Track program for undergraduates. Graduate Degree Programs offered online are through the College of Education and Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the College of Business and Technology. There are 14 graduate programs available which include but are not limited to a School Counseling MA Degree, English MA Degree, Nursing Education MSN, Nursing PhD, Kinesiology MS Degree, Business Administration MBA Degree, or a Human Resource Development MS Degree.
The University of Houston – Clear Lake, often referred to as UHCL is in the Clear Lake area of Houston, Texas. The school was founded in 1971 as The Clear Lake Graduate Center, but in 1977, as the current name denotes, it became one of the four institutions which are a part of the University of Houston system.
The current campus is 524 acres where it serves more than 8,500 students. The university is divided into four academic colleges through which it offers more than 90 degree programs for students. There are around 40 each bachelor’s and master’s programs and 2 doctoral programs. Each year the school proudly awards more than 2,100 degrees.
Undergraduates are able to earn Bachelor of Science degrees online in Anthropology, Finance, Public Service Leadership, and General Business. There is an online MBA available through UHCL and a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management. Master of Science degrees are available online in Instructional Design and Technology, School Library and Information Science, Software Engineering, Educational Management, Engineering Management, Environmental Science, and Finance. There are also graduate certificate programs available online.
Lake Charles, Louisiana is where you can find McNeese State University, only around 140 miles from Houston, Texas. The school was founded as the 2-year Lake Charles Junior College in 1939 and was at that time a division of Louisiana State University. When the school opened, there were only two buildings completed on the 86-acre tract of land and a third was finished by the next year. These three initial buildings are still in use today. In 1940 the name of the school changed to John McNeese Junior College in honor of Imperial Calcasieu Parish’s first superintendent of schools. The college became a four-year institution in 1950 and became known as McNeese State College. It was at this time that the school separated from Louisiana State University. By 1970, the school had added master’s degree programs to its curriculum and once again the name changed to the familiar McNeese State University.
Today the school serves over 7,500 students and is divided into 7 different colleges and schools and numerous departments in order to offer students a vast array of degrees for both undergraduates and graduate students. Online programs for undergraduates at McNeese can start as early as an associate’s degree, they offer both an Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies and Associate of General Studies. There is also a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Management, Psychology, or Nursing; a Bachelor of Arts in Family & Child Studies or Sociology; and a Bachelor of General Studies. Graduate students can choose from a Master of Arts in Psychology, ABA; a Master of Business Administration (MBA); a Master of Science in Criminal Justice; Nursing; or H&HP, Health Promotion. There are also several certificates and a specialist program available online through McNeese.
Located in Nacogdoches, Texas about 140 miles from Houston lies the Stephen F. Austin State University. While it is a public university it is also one of only four in Texas that are independent of the six university systems in the state. The school was founded in 1923 and is named after one of the founding fathers of Texas, Stephen F. Austin. The main campus is located on 430 acres of land, some of which is part of the homestead of the military and political leader of the Republic of Texas, Thomas Jefferson Rusk. In addition, the university has a 642-acre agricultural research center as well as a 2,649-acre experimental forest.
Stephen F. Austin State University offers its students over 120 areas of study. This includes more than 80 majors for undergraduates to choose from, almost 60 graduate degrees, as well as three doctoral programs. Courses at Stephen F. Austin are taken through six separate colleges. The university is home to one of only two schools of forestry in Texas. The Forestry and the Agriculture school is nationally recognized for its excellence. Students of Stephen F. Austin are also offered online program options. There are six programs available for undergraduates as well as 13 graduate programs. There are also certificate programs available online.
Stephen F. Austin is currently serving as the headquarters of the Association for Business Communication. The school is also home to the National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops. In 2011 a potential cancer-fighting agent was discovered from the extract of one of the world’s most notorious invasive species, a floating fern by the name of giant salvinia.
Around 70 miles from the city of Houston you can find Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. The university was founded in 1979 which makes it third oldest institution of higher learning in all of Texas. Sam Houston had made his home in Huntsville and is buried there and it was decided to name the school after him in his honor. The school is a member of the Texas State University System and was first in the system to be classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.
Currently, Sam Houston State University has more than 20,000 students. The school offers more than 80 undergraduate programs, 59 master’s degree programs, as well as 8 doctoral degree programs. Programs offered by SHSU in banking, performing arts, mathematics, and criminal justice have been recognized for their superior quality. SHSU’s online program offers students a choice of more than 20 bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Several of the online programs have been recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report.
The University of St. Thomas is Houston’s Catholic University, recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the region’s best universities for over 20 consecutive years. It hosts thousands of undergraduate and graduate students of all races and religions in a diverse and vibrant urban environment with professional opportunities. The campus is located just minutes from downtown and the famed Texas Medical Center where many students perform prestigious internships. A private university, the University has an average class size of 16 and an average yearly tuition cost for undergraduates of less than $13,000 (after financial aid). Students average an annual salary exceeding $50,000 in their first year after graduating according to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
There are over 35 majors for undergraduate students including biology, psychology, communications, political science, music, business and one of the premier BSN nursing programs in Houston. More than half of undergraduates major in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) field. Combined with the social sciences taught in the University’s core curriculum, students learn how to think critically, logically and analytically. This is designed to help them navigate the ethical concerns and decision-making that will face them in their lives and careers.
The University of St. Thomas also hosts one of the most comprehensive graduate programs in Houston, Texas. The Cameron School of Business is an AACSB accredited school offering MBA programs along with degrees including a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Finance, a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Accounting and many other degree plans. The School of Education and Human Services offers an online Masters in Education program along with degrees in teaching, clinical mental health counseling, ethical leadership and Catholic education.
St. Edward’s University is in Austin, Texas, just over 160 miles from the metropolis of Houston. The private Catholic institution was founded by the Reverend Edward Sorin, CSC, Superior General of the Congregation of the Holy Cross in 1877. Father Sorin also known for the establishment of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. St. Edward’s is named in honor of his patron saint, Edward the Confessor and King. Originally named St. Edward’s Academy, it was changed on an official charter obtained in 1885 to St. Edward’s College. Later in 1925, the school received its university charter.
More than 4,500 students currently attend St. Edward’s University. The university offers a 13:1 student to faculty ratio and many of the students are able to participate in an internship prior to graduating. There are more than 50 majors for undergraduate students to choose from at St. Edward’s. Graduates are offered 7 programs. There are also select online courses offered at St. Edward’s University. Also, for adult learners, there are programs designed for degree completion online which provide the flexibility that most working adults need while still getting a high-quality degree.
Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas is around 165 miles away from the city of Houston. This public research university was established in 1899 as the Southwest Texas State Normal School, although it did not open until 1903. At the time, the school only had 303 students. The school has changed names several times as it has grown, the first change was 1923 when it became Southwest Texas State Teachers College. Later, in 1959 it became Southwest Texas State College, and ten years later in 1959, it changed again to Southwest Texas State University. In 2003, the school became Texas State University – San Marcos in order to differentiate the school from others in the Texas State University system who were anticipated to change names as well. When that did not occur, the school once again changed in order to drop the location leaving it simply, Texas State University.
There are over 38,000 students attending Texas State University, making it the fifth largest in the state. It also rests on a 492-acre campus and has around 245 major buildings. There are about 60 colleges, schools, and departments in order to serve its large student body with a wide array of areas of study. The school has been recognized in particular for its programs in Criminal Justice, Geography, and Music. The Office of Distance and Extended Learning offers a large number of programs that are partially online, classified as either 25-49% online or 50% or more online. Students who wish to take online courses must be accepted to Texas State in order to enroll.
Located Just over 200 miles from Houston in Longview, Texas is the private Christian university, LeTourneau University, which is often referred to as LETU. The school was founded in 1946 under the name LeTourneau Technical Institute by R. G. LeTourneau and his wife, Evelyn. In 1961, because the school had expanded to include a wider variety of academics, it became LeTourneau College. As growth continued, in 1989 the school once again changed names, this time to LeTourneau University to reflect the diverse areas of study as well as the ability to grant degrees of the master’s level.
Today, the annual enrollment at LeTourneau University is around 3000 students. There are more than 90 academic programs available for students across the many schools and colleges that make up LeTourneau. Students can choose areas of study such as Arts & Sciences, Aviation & Aeronautical Science, Business, Education, Engineering & Engineering Technology, Nursing, Psychology & Counseling, and Theology & Vocation. Working students who may not have the time to attend traditional classes are able to choose from a number of online programs for both undergraduates and graduate students. There are programs available in the following areas of study, Aviation & Aeronautical Science, Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Education, and Psychology.
Nearly 200 miles away from Houston lies San Antonio, Texas, home of St. Mary’s University, a private Catholic liberal arts institution. The university was established in 1852 by the Society of Mary, which makes it not only the oldest Catholic university in Texas but the entire American Southwest. The school campus is located on 135 acres to the northwest of downtown San Antonio. St. Mary’s has been ranked among the top colleges in the west for both best value and academic reputation by U.S. News and World Report.
St. Mary’s University serves a diverse group of around 4,000 students. The university is organized into the following four schools: the Bill Greehey School of Business; the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; the School of Science, Engineering and Technology; and the St. Mary’s University School of Law. There are over 40 bachelor’s degree programs, and around 20 master’s degree programs. There is also a doctoral program and three possible Juris doctor programs. Online learning at St. Mary’s University offers several graduate programs for both master’s degrees or certificates.
Houston, Texas is proudly the home of The University of Houston’s flagship institution and the first in the University of Houston system. The public research university, also known as UH, was founded in 1927 and is the third largest university in Texas. The campus is 667 acres in the southeastern part of the city. The school generates around 24,000 jobs and overall the economic impact of UH contributes over $3 billion per year to the state’s economy. Currently, the school serves nearly 43,000 students.
The University of Houston has over 280 degree programs to offer its students and it’s organized into 14 different academic colleges. Students have options that include professional degrees in law, pharmacy, optometry, and architecture. There are over 40 research centers and institutes on campus, so students have many opportunities for hands-on study or student research. The University of Houston online has a great deal to offer students with more than 300 courses and over 50 programs, including 3 online bachelor’s degree programs and 16 graduate programs. There are also graduate and undergraduate certificate programs available as well as MOOCs.
One of the oldest institutions of higher learning west of the Mississippi is Baylor University and it is about 185 miles away from Houston in Waco, Texas. The school was chartered in 1845 and it is the oldest continuously operating university in the entire state. The private Baptist university was originally built in Independence, Texas, but moved to Waco in 1885 as it had access to a railroad line. The school later acquired Baylor College of Medicine in 1943, although today the two operate independently of each other. Baylor University and its programs rank highly with U.S. News & World Report and is considered a “Best Western College” by Princeton Review Today the school serves around 17,000 students and is the largest Baptist university in the world.
Students at Baylor University are able to choose from a vast array of studies. Altogether there are an impressive 39 different schools, colleges, centers and institutes at Baylor. Whether the student is an undergraduate or graduate student, there is virtually something for every student. Baylor offers select online courses during courses during the summer, fall, and spring semesters. There are also online masters programs such as an MBA, MSN, MSW, and other programs available for graduate students.
Located just under 200 miles away from Houston is Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Trinity University was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians in 1869. The school first started in Tehuacana, Texas and was the remnants of three other small colleges who had lost many of their students due to the Civil War. John Boyd, former congressman for the Republic of Texas who later served as Senator of Texas donated 1,100 acres and financial assistance in order to help establish Trinity University. In 1902, seeking the support of a larger community, the school moved to Waxahachie, Texas. In 1906 the school became affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church. As with many smaller universities, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the great depression which followed took its toll on the school, its funds, and its enrollment. In 1936 the school was placed on probation from the Southern Association of Colleges and began to consider relocating to an even larger community in order to prosper. Community leaders of San Antonio approached Trinity University with a relocation offer in 1942, resulting in the school taking over the campus and alumni of the failing University of San Antonio. The school made Woodlawn campus home for the next ten years, although it was not large enough. By 1945, Trinity University had purchased a former limestone quarry as a location for their new campus. The new campus opened in 1952, still largely unfinished, however, it grew quickly. Trinity University affirmed historical connections with the Presbyterian Church in 1969, and at the same time became an independent, private university.
Today Trinity University continues to thrive and has a student body of around 2,500. Students have the choice of 47 majors, 59 minors as well as interdisciplinary and advising programs at Trinity. In addition to Bachelor of Arts, Science, or Music degrees, students are able to take advising programs in Pre-Law and Health Professions which include Pre-Medical. Master’s level programs are available for graduate students in several subjects. The university offers students terrific learning opportunities on and off campus. Trinity University uses the Moodle platform for course delivery via TLearn. Currently, the online options are select and may vary semester to semester.
Trinity’s STEM education has a long history of undergraduate research, which can start as early as the first year. It is not uncommon for students to present papers or research at regional and national conferences. Trinity is a founding member of the Council on Undergraduate Research. In addition to undergraduate research, trinity offers opportunities for internships and even study abroad programs. Engineering science offers a unique design sequence which begins a student’s first year. Trinity’s intense coursework paired with their liberal arts curriculum results in a passing rate of 95 to 100% on the Fundamentals of Engineering exam each year. This is among the highest in the state of Texas as well as the entire nation.
In February at the Tobin Center, the Trinity University Choirs sang Mozart’s rarely performed “Great” Mass in C minor with members of the San Antonio Symphony with two faculty soloists, Dr. Jacquelyn Matava and Dr. Chia-wei Lee. Later, a summer course was offered when Trinity partnered with High Lonesome Institute for students to get an incomparable environmental understanding of the Western Rocky Mountains. On campus or off campus, Trinity University is ready to help students learn and succeed in their chosen field.
College Station is around 90 miles from Houston and is the location of Texas A&M University, also referred to as A&M or TAMU. The school can trace its roots back to 1866 when the State of Texas agreed to erect a school under the terms of the Morrill Act, however, the actual building process did not start until the year 1871 when Texas legislature approved the establishment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. In 1963 the school officially changed its name to Texas A&M University keeping the A&M as a link to its past but no longer standing for Agricultural and Mechanical. In 1971, the school was designated as a sea-grant institution, then in 1989 designated as a space-grant institution. With its prior standing as a land-grant institution, A&M is among the first four universities to hold all three designations. In 1997, west campus of the university became home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, one of the few universities to host a presidential library. Today, the campus in College Station is around 5,200 acres and serves more than 64,000 students making it among one of the largest universities in the United States.
Texas A&M University has 17 different schools and colleges offering a wide variety of subjects for students to choose from for their majors. From architecture, medicine, poultry science, to aerospace engineering or accounting, there is something for everyone in the array of undergraduate studies. Graduate students have more than 200 master’s level and doctoral programs to choose from when studying at A&M. Since more than ever, working adults have been working toward either getting a degree or obtaining a higher degree or certificate in order to excel in the workforce, distance learning has become an important part of college. Distance education at Texas A&M University is available through ten of the schools and colleges, including School of Law, College of Medicine, College of Engineering, and more. Most degree programs offered online are master’s degrees.
Located in Houston, the William Marsh Rice University is one of the top private research institutions of higher education in the state. The school opened in 1912 and is named for the Massachusetts businessman, William Marsh Rice. Unfortunately, Mr. Rice was murdered in a scheme to steal his fortune, part of which was intended to found a school in Texas. Due to a spelling error, the crime was found out and the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science, and Art became reality. The school began coeducational, which was unusual at that time, and had 77 students with free tuition. In 1959 the Rice Institute Computer, also known as the R1, went online. It was a highly innovative and successful research project in computer technology. The following year the school changed names to William Marsh Rice University, often shortened to Rice University. It was in 1962 that President John F. Kennedy issued a speech at Rice University reiterating the intention for the United States to reach the moon and “to become the world’s leading space-faring nation”. Today the school serves men and women of any ethnic background and has excelled in many areas of research and study, including nanotechnology, space science, and applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research.
Rice University serves more than 6,000 students of both graduate and undergraduate status. Currently the university offers courses through 8 different schools which are The Shepherd School of Music, School of Humanities, School of Social Sciences, School of Architecture, George R. Brown School of Engineering, Wiess School of Natural Sciences, Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, and the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice University also is home to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, one of the few campuses to have a presidential library. There are more than 50 majors made available to undergraduates. There is also an array of master’s level programs available for graduate students, as well as some doctoral programs. Online courses at Rice University can start as early as high school in order to earn credits toward a degree before you graduate and enter college. Courses are also intended for working adults who require the flexibility of online courses and students who may want to get ahead during summer months may opt for taking courses online as well. As a result, there are several online course options available through Rice University in subjects such as Biology, Business, Finance, Accounting, and more. It should be noted that while Rice University does offer excellent online courses for college credit, there are currently no full degree programs offered online.
The University of Texas at Austin is just over 160 miles from Houston, Texas. Although it was decided as far back as 1839 by the Congress of the Republic of Texas that a site would need to be set aside for higher education needs, it was not until 1881 that Austin was selected and construction for a “university of the first class” began the next year. The school opened in September of 1883 with one building, 8 professors, 1 proctor, and a student body of 221 students. Today, the University of Texas at Austin is the flagship institution of the University of Texas system and is a world-renowned public research institution for higher learning serving more than 51,000 students each year. This means the school has the seventh largest single-campus enrollment in the nation.
The University of Texas at Austin is arranged into 18 colleges and schools in order to serve its high volume of students. Undergraduates have more than 170 fields of study to choose from and graduates can choose from more than 100 areas of study. Students are also able to study from schools of Law or Medicine at UT Austin. Students are able to push their academic limits and reach for excellence whether they choose to be a teacher, scholar, researcher, artist or wherever their ambition takes them. While the on-site academics offer a wide variety, so do the online offerings at UT Austin University Extension as well as the University of Texas Online Consortium through the UT system. There are a number of self-paced online courses available for students through the University Extension at UT Austin. These programs are designed for students who are self-motivated and desire the flexibility of studying on their own schedule. The University of Texas System’s Online Consortium offers students options of degree completion programs as well as graduate degree and certificate programs online.