Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Texas offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas 2022

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.

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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.


What are Texas’s Colleges & Universities?

Texas’s Best Overall

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! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 46 liberal arts colleges in Texas. To be ranked among the 30 best liberal arts colleges in Texas, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Texas 2022

  1. #1

    Trinity University

    San Antonio , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    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
    • Economics
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $39K

    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
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • History
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    St. Mary's University, Texas

    San Antonio , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    59%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

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

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

    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Engineering
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    University of Dallas

    Irving , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    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
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Literature
    • History
    • Physics
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  5. #5

    Prairie View A&M University

    Prairie View , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    955/18

    What is Prairie View A&M University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Austin College

    Sherman , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Houston Baptist University

    Houston , TX
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #8

    Southwestern University

    Georgetown , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #9

    Angelo State University

    San Angelo , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/20

    What is Angelo State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • History
    • Business
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #10

    Texas College

    Tyler , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    14%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Texas College known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. 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:

    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    St. Edward's University

    Austin , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    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
    • Chemistry
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Literature
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Concordia University Texas

    Austin , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is Concordia University Texas known for?

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

    • Psychology
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/21

    What is University of Houston–Clear Lake known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    University of St. Thomas

    Houston , TX

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #16

    Wiley College

    Marshall , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Wiley College known for?

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

    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #17

    Midwestern State University

    Wichita Falls , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/19

    What is Midwestern State University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Nursing
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Tarleton State University

    Stephenville , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/20

    What is Tarleton State University known for?

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

    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #19

    West Texas A&M University

    Canyon , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/20

    What is West Texas A&M University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Schreiner University

    Kerrville , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/20

    What is Schreiner University known for?

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

    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #21

    Sul Ross State University

    Alpine , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Sul Ross State University known for?

    Sul Ross State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #22

    Paul Quinn College

    Dallas , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    62%

    Graduation

    21%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    855/17

    What is Paul Quinn College known for?

    Paul Quinn College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Religious Studies
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #23

    Wayland Baptist University

    Plainview , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $22K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    970/19

    What is Wayland Baptist University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Earth Sciences
    • Nursing
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Brazosport College

    Lake Jackson , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Brazosport College known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
  25. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/18

    What is University of Houston–Downtown known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Nursing
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. #26

    Hardin–Simmons University

    Abilene , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $32K

    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
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Business
    • History
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #27

    LeTourneau University

    Longview , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    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
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  28. #28

    Lubbock Christian University

    Lubbock , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Lubbock Christian University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Medical
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  29. #29

    Tyler Junior College

    Tyler , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    7K

    What is Tyler Junior College known for?

    Tyler Junior College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Communications
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Medical
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  30. #30

    McMurry University

    Abilene , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    47%

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1020/20

    What is McMurry University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
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Texas’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. University of Dallas
  2. Houston Baptist University
  3. St. Mary's University, Texas
  4. Trinity University
  5. University of St. Thomas
  6. Southwestern University
  7. Hardin–Simmons University
  8. LeTourneau University
  9. Howard Payne University
  10. Abilene Christian University
  11. St. Edward's University
  12. Austin College
  13. Texas A&M International University
  14. Midwestern State University
  15. Southwestern Adventist University
  16. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
  17. West Texas A&M University
  18. Tarleton State University
  19. Texas Lutheran University
  20. Schreiner University