Best Public Colleges in Texas 2022

Public colleges and universities account for almost 75 percent of all undergraduate students in the U.S. The best public colleges in Texas provide broad access to reputable degree programs, affordable tuition, and sprawling educational communities.

Best Public 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.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

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.

Texas's Best Public Colleges Badge
Download Badge

This list is composed entirely of public colleges and universities that offer bachelor’s degrees. We’ve identified 37 public universities in Texas. To be included in our list of the best public colleges in Texas, shcools must receive direct funding from the state, be fully accredited, and offer a broad range of bachelor’s degress.

How do we determine Texas's best public 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.

Back to Top

Best Public Colleges in Texas 2022

  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:

    • Law
    • Communications
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    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:

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    University of Houston

    Houston , TX
    Other Rankings

    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:

    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Education
    • Nursing
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    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
    • Earth Sciences
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Chemistry
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    University of Texas at Dallas

    Richardson , TX

    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
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    University of North Texas

    Denton , TX

    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:

    • Communications
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Criminal Justice
    • Physics
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. 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
    • Computer Science
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Criminal Justice
    • Sociology
    • Earth Sciences

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    What is University of Texas at San Antonio known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Medical
    • History
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    20K

    What is University of Texas at El Paso known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Sciences
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Texas Southern University

    Houston , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    920/16

    What is Texas Southern University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Law
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #11

    Texas State University

    San Marcos , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    32K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1095/22

    What is Texas State University known for?

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

    • Anthropology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Sam Houston State University

    Huntsville , TX

    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:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #13

    Lamar University

    Beaumont , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    37%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1050/20

    What is Lamar University known for?

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

    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/19

    What is University of Texas Rio Grande Valley known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    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

  16. #16

    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
  17. #17

    Stephen F. Austin State University

    Nacogdoches , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    11K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    What is Stephen F. Austin State University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Texas Woman's University

    Denton , TX

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/19

    What is Texas Woman's University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. 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

  20. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1155/24

    What is University of Texas at Tyler known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • History
    • Medical
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. 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

  22. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1040/19

    What is University of Texas–Pan American known for?

    University of Texas–Pan American’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Physics
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #23

    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

  24. #24

    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

  25. #25

    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

Back to Top

Texas’s Best Public College in Your Area of Interest

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 Texas at Austin
  2. University of Houston
  3. University of Texas at Dallas
  4. Texas A&M University
  5. Texas Tech University
  6. University of North Texas
  7. Sam Houston State University
  8. University of Texas at Arlington
  9. Texas A&M International University
  10. Midwestern State University
  11. West Texas A&M University
  12. Texas State University
  13. Stephen F. Austin State University
  14. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  15. Tarleton State University

Resources for College-Bound Students