Texas’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Texas. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Texas’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Texas's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.


We’ve identified a total of 74 colleges and universities in Texas; 46 meet our criteria; and the top 25 are shown below. This list focuses on schools that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, and includes both public and private colleges and universities. In order to be included in this list of best colleges in Texas, a school needs to satisfy the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. 40% graduate rate requirement

25 Best Colleges and Universities in Texas

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    What is University of Texas at Austin known for?

    University of Texas at Austin’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Law
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/31

    What is Southern Methodist University known for?

    Southern Methodist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1245/27

    What is University of Dallas known for?

    University of Dallas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  4. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    72%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    What is Houston Baptist University known for?

    Houston Baptist University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Law
    • History
    • Communications
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #7

    Trinity University

    San Antonio , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    34%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1370/30

    What is Trinity University known for?

    Trinity University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  6. #8

    University of Houston

    Houston , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    37K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1225/24

    What is University of Houston known for?

    University of Houston’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Law
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/29

    What is University of Texas at Dallas known for?

    University of Texas at Dallas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #10

    Baylor University

    Waco , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/29

    What is Baylor University known for?

    Baylor University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #11

    Texas A&M University

    College Station , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    59K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/28

    What is Texas A&M University known for?

    Texas A&M University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/23

    What is University of St. Thomas known for?

    University of St. Thomas ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  11. #13

    Southwestern University

    Georgetown , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $45K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    What is Southwestern University known for?

    Southwestern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1056/20

    What is Hardin–Simmons University known for?

    Hardin–Simmons University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  13. #15

    LeTourneau University

    Longview , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1200/25

    What is LeTourneau University known for?

    LeTourneau University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    REQUEST INFO
  14. #16

    Howard Payne University

    Brownwood , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/21

    What is Howard Payne University known for?

    Howard Payne University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Law
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #17

    Texas Tech University

    Lubbock , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    63%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    What is Texas Tech University known for?

    Texas Tech University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    63%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1122/24

    What is Abilene Christian University known for?

    Abilene Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. #19

    Texas Christian University

    Fort Worth , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $52K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/28

    What is Texas Christian University known for?

    Texas Christian University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • History
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  18. Tuition + fees

    $49K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1152/25

    What is St. Edward's University known for?

    St. Edward's University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #21

    Austin College

    Sherman , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    49%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    What is Austin College known for?

    Austin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  20. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is University of North Texas known for?

    University of North Texas’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Sam Houston State University known for?

    Sam Houston State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  22. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    40K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/23

    What is University of Texas at Arlington known for?

    University of Texas at Arlington’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    REQUEST INFO
  23. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    59%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/18

    What is Texas A&M International University known for?

    Texas A&M International University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Communications
    • Medical
    REQUEST INFO

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