Texas’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Texas offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Texas’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Texas

Texas offers more than 30 colleges and universities that serve communities of 10,000 students or more. The largest school in the bunch (and in the nation), Texas A&M University in College Station serves more than 65,000 students. The University of Texas at Austin is the next largest, serving about 45,000 students — but it too has a big claim to fame, as the wealthiest public university in the United States. Texas’s private colleges and universities, including Baylor University and Southern Methodist University, are also impressive in size and scope. The majority of these schools have religious affiliations and offer degrees in a variety fields, such as nursing, religious studies, criminal justice, business, and education.

For students who prefer a more intimate educational environment, Texas offers a long list of smaller public and private colleges and universities, such as Abilene Christian University and University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Additionally, Texas has generous loan forgiveness programs for qualifying nurses, physicians, teachers, legal aid attorneys, and lawyers who work in the Texas Attorney General’s office.

Texas is known for doing things big. Big cities, big open spaces and, of course, big fun. Whether you’re hitting up the live music scene in Austin, catching a Cowboys game in Dallas, or strolling down the River Walk in San Antonio, you’re sure to have a good time. And, with more than 150 higher education institutes, it’s safe to say The Lone Star State is big on education too.

If you’re looking to earn your degree in the state of Texas, you’ll have plenty of higher learning institutes to choose from.

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We have identified 43 doctorate-granting universities in Texas; 29 of which meet the criteria below:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 40%.

How do we determine Texas's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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25 Best Grad Schools in Texas

  1. University of Texas at Austin
    #1

    University of Texas at Austin

    #43 institution's overall influence
    #43 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    Austin, TX

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    What is University of Texas at Austin known for?

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

    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Rice University
    #2

    Rice University

    #90 institution's overall influence
    #15 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Houston, TX

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    What is Rice University known for?

    Rice University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Texas A&M University
    #3

    Texas A&M University

    #183 institution's overall influence
    #91 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    80%

    Student body

    58K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1275/28

    College Station, TX

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    What is Texas A&M University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Criminal Justice
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. University of Houston
    #4

    University of Houston

    #253 institution's overall influence
    #1064 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    37K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1220/25

    Houston, TX

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    What is University of Houston known for?

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

    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. Southern Methodist University
    #5

    Southern Methodist University

    #303 institution's overall influence
    #1324 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    51%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1370/31

    Dallas, TX

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    What is Southern Methodist University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Earth Sciences
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • History
    • Education
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. University of Texas at Dallas
    #6

    University of Texas at Dallas

    #520 institution's overall influence
    #222 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    69%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    24K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1330/28

    Richardson, TX

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    What is University of Texas at Dallas known for?

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

    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. Texas Tech University
    #7

    Texas Tech University

    #385 institution's overall influence
    #1458 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    34K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    Lubbock, TX

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    What is Texas Tech University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Economics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Baylor University
    #8

    Baylor University

    #397 institution's overall influence
    #96 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1280/28

    Waco, TX

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    What is Baylor University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Education
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. University of North Texas
    #9

    University of North Texas

    #455 institution's overall influence
    #1391 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    Denton, TX

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    What is University of North Texas known for?

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

    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. University of Texas at Arlington
    #10

    University of Texas at Arlington

    #607 institution's overall influence
    #1113 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    39K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/23

    Arlington, TX

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    What is University of Texas at Arlington known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. Sam Houston State University
    #11

    Sam Houston State University

    #782 institution's overall influence
    #1048 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    18K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Huntsville, TX

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    What is Sam Houston State University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Business
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. Texas Christian University
    #12

    Texas Christian University

    #764 institution's overall influence
    #208 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    41%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1246/28

    Fort Worth, TX

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    What is Texas Christian University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. Houston Baptist University
    #13

    Houston Baptist University

    #1383 institution's overall influence
    #270 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/22

    Houston, TX

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    What is Houston Baptist University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Medical
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. St. Mary's University, Texas
    #14

    St. Mary's University, Texas

    #1468 institution's overall influence
    #282 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1150/24

    San Antonio, TX

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    What is St. Mary's University, Texas known for?

    St. Mary's University, Texas's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Law
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. Texas State University
    #15

    Texas State University

    #1438 institution's overall influence
    #1318 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    46%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    33K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/23

    San Marcos, TX

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    What is Texas State University known for?

    Texas State University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Nursing
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. University of Dallas
    #16

    University of Dallas

    #1301 institution's overall influence
    #1419 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    39%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Irving, TX

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    What is University of Dallas known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. Abilene Christian University
    #17

    Abilene Christian University

    #1463 institution's overall influence
    #771 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/24

    Abilene, TX

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    What is Abilene Christian University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. Texas A&M International University
    #18

    Texas A&M International University

    #2160 institution's overall influence
    #896 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/18

    Laredo, TX

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    What is Texas A&M International University known for?

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

    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    #19

    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    #2446 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/19

    Edinburg, TX

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    What is University of Texas Rio Grande Valley known for?

    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. University of St. Thomas
    #20

    University of St. Thomas

    #2153 institution's overall influence

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/23

    Houston, TX

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    What is University of St. Thomas known for?

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

    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • Business
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. Hardin–Simmons University
    #21

    Hardin–Simmons University

    #1216 institution's overall influence
    #1182 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Abilene, TX

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    What is Hardin–Simmons University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. Stephen F. Austin State University
    #22

    Stephen F. Austin State University

    #2182 institution's overall influence
    #1254 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Nacogdoches, TX

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    What is Stephen F. Austin State University known for?

    Stephen F. Austin State University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Communications
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. West Texas A&M University
    #23

    West Texas A&M University

    #2236 institution's overall influence
    #1327 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    65%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1070/21

    Canyon, TX

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    What is West Texas A&M University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. University of the Incarnate Word
    #24

    University of the Incarnate Word

    #2961 institution's overall influence
    #507 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/19

    San Antonio, TX

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    What is University of the Incarnate Word known for?

    University of the Incarnate Word's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Business
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. Dallas Baptist University
    #25

    Dallas Baptist University

    #3319 institution's overall influence
    #1101 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    60%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/22

    Dallas, TX

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    What is Dallas Baptist University known for?

    Dallas Baptist University's faculty and alumni have been influential in:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

Texas’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Anthropology

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