Best Private Colleges in Texas 2022

Private colleges, unlike large public institutions, can be a great option for students wanting a more intimate campus experience, more personal attention from excellent professors, and more immediate access to support services. Here is our list of the best private colleges in Texas.

Best Private 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

What is the difference between public and private colleges?

Public and private colleges and universities operate under different business models. Public colleges and universities are owned by the state and receive both state and federal funding to operate. Private colleges and universities are private companies with private funding. If you’re looking at the pros and cons of private vs. public colleges, consider that many public colleges provide diverse course offerings, influential professors, and an excellent return on your investment.

Public colleges are schools that receive most of their funding from tax revenues. As a result, the cost of a bachelor’s degree at a public university is often lower than the equivalent cost at a private college — especially for students attending a public school in their home state. Attending a college in-state is usually the cheapest option. Private universities and colleges can be very competitive with their funding opportunities, so do not simply believe that private colleges are always going to be more expensive. According to National Center for Educational Statistics, the average annual cost (tuition, fees, room and board for full-time students) at a public university was slightly over $20,000. In contrast, private universities cost, on average, nearly $43,000 annually. But in the end, the cost of college comes down to each student’s academic and financial situation.

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How do we determine Texas's best private 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.

This list is composed entirely of private colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 38 private universities in Texas. To be included in the list below of the 30 best private universities in Texas, schools must be fully accredited, private, non-profit institution, and must offer a broad range of bachelor’s degrees.

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Best Private Colleges in Texas 2022

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    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:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Law
    • Anthropology
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  2. #4

    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:

    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Economics
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #5

    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

  4. 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
  5. #7

    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

  6. #8

    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
  7. #9

    University of the Incarnate Word

    San Antonio , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/20

    What is University of the Incarnate Word known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • History
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #10

    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

  9. #11

    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
  10. #12

    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
  11. #13

    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

  12. #14

    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. #15

    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. #16

    Dallas Baptist University

    Dallas , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1140/23

    What is Dallas Baptist University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  15. #17

    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. #18

    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. #19

    Our Lady of the Lake University

    San Antonio , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $30K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    985/18

    What is Our Lady of the Lake University known for?

    Our Lady of the Lake University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #20

    Texas Wesleyan University

    Fort Worth , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    47%

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/21

    What is Texas Wesleyan University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Law
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Communications
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  19. #21

    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
  20. #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

  21. #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

  22. #24

    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

  23. #25

    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

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Texas’s Best Private Colleges in Your Area Interest

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. Rice University
  2. Southern Methodist University
  3. University of Dallas
  4. Houston Baptist University
  5. St. Mary's University, Texas
  6. Trinity University
  7. Baylor University
  8. University of St. Thomas
  9. Southwestern University
  10. Hardin–Simmons University
  11. LeTourneau University
  12. Howard Payne University
  13. Abilene Christian University
  14. Texas Christian University
  15. St. Edward's University
  16. Austin College
  17. Dallas Baptist University
  18. Southwestern Assemblies of God University
  19. University of the Incarnate Word
  20. Texas Lutheran University