Texas’s Best Research Universities of 2021

Interested in attending a STEM school in Texas? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

Texas’s Best Research Universities 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.

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

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.


Texas’s Best Research Universities for Undergraduates

A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. There are 28 research universities in Texas. The list below of the 15 best research universities in the state satisfies the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a fully accredited university.
  2. It must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).
  3. It must report high levels of research activity based upon the number of research and/or practice doctorates awarded each year.
  4. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 40%.

15 Best Research 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. #4

    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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. #7

    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
  7. #8

    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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Tuition + fees

    $32K

    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:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    REQUEST INFO
  13. Tuition + fees

    $32K

    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:

    • Medical
    • Education
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Engineering
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Religious Studies
    REQUEST INFO
  14. #15

    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:

    • Education
    • Business
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • History
    • Medical
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO

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