The Top Universities in Texas for the 2017 Academic Year

Enrolling in university is a crucial step to making your professional dreams become a reality. Whether you’ve attended universities in Texas in the past or are enrolling for the first time, you want to be sure that you are finding the top universities in Texas. After all, your educational future depends on what these top universities in Texas can offer you.

Where can you go for one of the cheapest universities in Texas? Do you know which schools are the largest universities in Texas?

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With information on the best state universities in Texas, you can be better equipped to make the right decision for your future. After all, your education and the quality of your degree can mean the difference between a successful professional career and the need to change paths later on.

AdvisoryHQ wants you to be able to head into the professional world with one of the best degrees possible from these top universities in Texas. With some of the largest universities in Texas and the cheapest universities in Texas included on our ranking, prospective students will have plenty of information to consider. We’ll make sure that you have all the facts and figures to ensure that you can afford the education you desire.

If you’ve been wondering where your prospective schools land on a universities in Texas ranking, you can find more information in the detailed review of our top six schools below.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Universities in Texas

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the schools below to go directly to the detailed review section for that Texas university):

Top 6 Best Universities in Texas | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Universities in Texas



Baylor University



Rice University



Southern Methodist University



Texas A&M University

College Station


Trinity University

San Antonio


University of Texas at Austin



Table: Top 6 Best State Universities in Texas | Above list is sorted alphabetically

How Do You Choose the Top Universities in Texas?

Is there one right answer to find the absolute best universities in Texas? Many consumers are tempted to look at the largest universities in Texas or the cheapest universities in Texas in order to make their decision about which school is top of the list. Unfortunately, questions like these can’t be answered by size or price alone.

While most students just entering their higher education want simple answers to questions like these, they often can’t be found.

Top Universities in Texas

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Your education is highly dependent upon your end goals and where you see yourself for the future. Before you can select which schools are the top universities in Texas, you will first have to consider exactly why you are interested in attending further schooling.

The major consideration for selecting one of the top universities in Texas is to see which schools provide your preferred academic field of study. It isn’t uncommon to find large percentages of graduates employed outside of their field of study. In fact, some surveys indicate that this number could be as high as 47% for first jobs post-graduation.

In light of this, consider which of the top universities in Texas are able to offer degrees in areas that are relevant to your preferred skillset but also have some transferable qualities. If your first choice for a career path doesn’t pan out the way you plan, hopefully the best universities in Texas will offer you a well-rounded education you can still put to use.

The second major consideration for selecting the top universities in Texas is to look at the tuition. While education is difficult to put a price tag on, many of the major universities in Texas and around the world certainly do try. You’ll need to consider how much debt you will be in upon graduation and if you can truly afford that.

If you plan to pursue a career path that pays very little comparatively, you may not be able to afford being in thousands and thousands of dollars of debt.

Overall, the best universities in Texas are going to be highly dependent upon what you hope to achieve. In our ranking, we included some of the largest universities in Texas and the cheapest universities in Texas to give you an excellent selection. They have good academic programs as well, depending on your preferred major or minor.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Universities in Texas

Below, please find the detailed review of each university on our list of top universities in Texas. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these largest universities in Texas to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Baylor University Review

With one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, Baylor University is easily one of the top Texas universities for prospective students. Located in Waco, Texas on the Brazos River, this is one of the top universities in Texas as well as one of the largest universities in Texas.

Fall 2016 boasted a total enrollment of almost 17,000 students (16,959 actual). Of this number, 3,503 were first-time freshmen. Diversity is paramount when it comes to the largest colleges in Texas, and Baylor University represents all fifty states as well as 89 other countries for their degree programs.

Studying at Baylor University gives students access to a number of surprising study programs:

  • 142 undergraduate degree programs
  • 75 master’s programs
  • 42 doctoral programs
  • Education Specialist programs

Within 90 days of graduation, 86.5% of all students either find jobs or enroll in graduate school programs.

Tuition is another consideration for why Baylor University is considered one of the best universities in Texas. When you consider the fact that this is a private university, Baylor is one of the cheapest universities in Texas for its category.

Undergraduate degree programs for the 2017-2018 year (consisting of both the fall and spring semesters) comes to $56,628. Prospective students should bear in mind that this includes room and board. Commuters could potentially save $12,558 per year by opting not to room on campus.

You may still qualify for one of their academic scholarships, available for freshmen and transfer students, as well as needs-based scholarships and financial aid.

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Rice University Review

Rice University is located right in the heart of one of the largest cities in Texas (Houston), which gives students access to great city life as well as top universities in Texas. Known for their research university and their diverse student population, this largest university in Texas certainly has a lot to boast about.

As of the Fall 2016 semester, this is definitely still considered to be one of the largest universities in Texas. Attendance has been growing steadily over the past few semesters for a total enrollment of 6,740 students.

The vast majority of these students are enrolled in either an engineering program or a natural sciences program. A close third is social sciences when it comes to this largest university in Texas. Within each of these areas of study are several different degree programs as well.

The class size remains small even though they are one of the largest universities in Texas. Students who are interested in attending one of these good universities in Texas can expect an undergraduate student-faculty ratio of six to one. There is a median class size of fifteen students for undergraduate programs.

Tuition is another component that must be considered on any universities in Texas ranking. This may not be one of the absolute cheapest universities in Texas, but it is certainly affordable compared to many of its competitors.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, there is a total tuition and fees amount that comes to $63,188 for both fall and spring semesters. Room and board costs $13,850 of that total amount. By subtracting out this total for commuters or students who live off campus, you may find that Rice University offers competitive pricing that puts it close to one of the cheapest universities in Texas.

Southern Methodist University Review

Found right in the major city of Dallas, Southern Methodist University represents students from all over the globe who attend this top Texas university. With all fifty states represented, diversity is high in this good university in Texas with students from more than ninety different countries as well. This is one of the largest universities in Texas that maintain great programs and an excellent student experience.

Programs at this good university in Texas include many popular choices. There are seven different schools available at this university in TX, including:

  • Arts
  • Business
  • Education and human development
  • Engineering
  • Humanities and sciences
  • Law
  • Theology

For the fall 2016 semester, Southern Methodist quickly established itself as one of the largest universities in Texas. The number of total undergraduate students enrolled at this university in Texas reached 11,739 students across all seven schools. It shows an overall increase of approximately 1% from the previous fall semester.

Southern Methodist University is another of the cheap universities in Texas that catches attention with tuition rates. Again, this isn’t the least expensive of the cheapest universities in Texas, but it does offer great competition.

Rates for the 2017-2018 academic year (including the fall and spring semester) are $70,008. Prospective students should remember that this number includes a housing and meal plan valued at $16,510.

When it comes to financial aid available at this best Texas university, there is plenty waiting to be awarded. Available undergraduate scholarships and grants were valued at $124,958,733. If you qualify for some of these funds, this may be one of the cheapest universities in Texas for applicants.

Southern Methodist University - cheapest universities in texas

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Texas A&M University Review

Texas A&M is perhaps one of the most well-known options among universities in TX. Certainly, it could be one of the largest universities in Texas with its incredibly high enrollment rates. Nestled in College Station, Texas, this pick among best Texas universities is just 90 short minutes away from Houston and less than three hours from other major cities such as Austin and Dallas.

Prospective students who dream of going to cheap universities in Texas with an incredibly high head count will want to mark this school down near the top of their list. Their fall 2016 semester had a total of 66,425 students enrolled across all classes.

Since the fall of 2012, they have seen an enrollment increase of more than 13,000 students. This rapid growth gained them a coveted spot as one of the largest universities in Texas.

These best universities in Texas also have a vast selection of academic programs for students to consider:

  • 130 undergraduate programs
  • 170 master’s degree programs
  • 93 doctoral degree programs
  • 5 professional degrees

What many students don’t realize is that Texas A&M is also one of the cheapest universities in Texas and in the nation. According the U.S. News and World Report survey, they came in second in the nation for Best Value Schools among public universities.

Even compared to private universities, they ranked in the 21st spot for the same category.

What does tuition look like for Texas A&M to be considered one of the cheap universities in Texas? Tuition will vary, depending on which area of study you happen to be pursuing. For the purposes of our ranking of this as one of the cheapest universities in Texas, we will consider general studies tuition and fees for comparison.

The tuition rates for this best university in Texas are, of course, based on semester hours. Students enrolled in twelve or more hours can expect to pay approximately $5,109.75 for tuition and fees combined.

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Trinity University Review

San Antonio is home to another contender for one of the cheapest universities in Texas, Trinity University. It offers reasonable admissions criteria, relatively high enrollment, and low student-faculty ratios to give students the opportunity for a premier education.

While Trinity University certainly isn’t one of the absolute largest universities in Texas, it does have quite a high rate of enrollment. For the 2016 academic year, they saw a total of 2,338 students. Of these students, this best university in Texas had an average GPA of 3.56 for admission.

One of the top features of this best Texas university is the incredibly low student to faculty ratio. At just nine students to each one faculty member, they have one of the lowest ratios on our ranking of the best universities in Texas.

They also have a rather extensive list of academic programs to give students flexibility with their majors and minors. They maintain twenty-five different academic departments ranging from art or anthropology to religion or astronomy. Overall, there are 47 majors, 59 minors, and advising programs for pre-law and pre-med students as well.

This is definitely one of the cheapest universities in Texas for an entire academic year. Including the tuition and fees, living allowance, books and supplies allowance, and personal transportation allowance, the total cost of attendance is broken into three sections:

  • Living on-campus: $54,714
  • Living off-campus: $51,824
  • Living with parent: $47,094

They also note that tuition is generally 36% less than the true cost due to endowments and donations from alumni and friends. A staggering 50% of all students graduate from this best university in Texas with no debt.

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University of Texas at Austin Review

Acclaimed as one of the best universities in Texas, in the United States, and around the globe, the University of Texas at Austin has earned its fair share of recognition over the years. According to Kiplinger, it holds the 13th spot on their best value public colleges and the 30th spot internationally from U.S. News and World Report.

The University of Texas at Austin has an impressive enrollment of 39,619 undergraduate students and 11,331 graduate students (50,950 total). With numbers like these, it’s no wonder that many refer to this school as one of the largest universities in Texas.  

When it comes to academics, these best Texas universities have more than 12,000 courses to offer prospective students. See below for the breakdown of potential academic pursuits for prospective students:

  • 119 undergraduate degree programs
  • More than 170 fields of study for undergraduate students
  • 223 graduate degree programs
  • 450 study abroad programs in 78 countries

When it comes to tuition, this is also one of the cheapest universities in Texas. According to Forbes, it is one of the best value schools on their 2016 ranking (number 17).

The cost of attendance will vary among the different areas of study, but students in their school of undergraduate studies can expect to pay $5,055 per semester (for twelve or more credit hours). Out-of-state students will face significantly higher tuition fees of $17,953 per semester.

Students may still be eligible for tuition rebates upon graduation from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Universities in Texas

There are plenty of state universities in Texas that students may want to consider for their higher education. With all of the good universities in Texas, it can sometimes be overwhelming to decide among all of the primary contenders for your enrollment and your tuition money.

You’ll first need to decide whether you’re looking for one of the cheapest universities in Texas, the largest universities in Texas, or something entirely different. If your goal is just to find some of all-around best universities in Texas, you’ll find excellent candidates on our universities in Texas ranking above.

For a great selection of affordable universities in TX that are also considered some of the top Texas universities, you’ll find an excellent starting point with these six best universities in Texas. Decide which one of these best Texas universities would be the best fit for your personality, budget, and your academic needs before the fall semester.

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