Best universities in Texas 2018

Explore the top universities in Texas using data from the Wall Street Journal / Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2018

November 6 2017
University of Texas at Austin

Texas is the second largest state in the USA. Known as the ‘Lone Star State’, Texas covers a huge area in the deep south of the United States.

The state has a wide range of landscapes and environments, from the seaside towns on the gulf coast to the plains of the panhandle in the North, including swamps, rolling prairies, forests. The western mountains and the deserts form the backdrop to the cowboy films that give Texas its ‘Wild West’ image.

The state struck oil in the early 1900s and never looked back. The huge reserves found beneath Texas have fuelled the state’s economy ever since and lead to growth in many other sectors. Texas has the second highest GDP in the USA after California.

Houston is the city with the highest population and home to many of the most prestigious universities in Texas.


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Texas has its own unique culture, food and music with a long history of cultural exchange across the border with Mexico.

Austin is the state capital and cultural heartland, famous for its music and arts scene.

The state’s higher education sector is booming, helped in no small part by the discovery of oil on land owned by the Permanent University Fund. There are around 36 separate public higher education institutions in Texas, several of which rank highly as research institutions.

If you want to study in Texas you need to find out which university is right for you. Here are the best universities in Texas based on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings 2018

1. Rice University

Rice University is a private research university in Houston, Texas.

Rice has a reputation for pioneering academics and a small student body – with a focus on quality over quantity.

Rice was named after businessman and founder William Marsh Rice. The university was originally called the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature and the first classes were taught in 1912 with only 77 students.

The university has a strong focus on undergraduates and, unusually, couples this with a strong research focus. More than half of Rice undergraduates are involved in research projects.

Rice’s prestige comes from the quality of its applied science research into fields such as space science, artificial heart research and nanotechnology. The university consistently ranks extremely highly in the global rankings for its material science research.

Rice’s admissions process is notoriously selective, part of the reason for its small student body. But the community is diverse; 12 per cent of the undergraduate population are international students.

2. University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin (known as UT Austin) is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. This public research university was opened in 1883 in the state capital.

UT Austin ranks highly among American public universities and has a global reputation for the quality of its teaching and research.

The academic and alumni community includes Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners and recipients of the Turing Award.

The student population is over 50,000, putting it in the top 10 largest single campus enrolments in the US.

Students study a huge range of subjects at both an undergraduate and a postgraduate level, and the university is home to many prestigious research institutes.

UT Austin is one of the top recipients of research grants in the country, research that has gone on to produce hundreds of patents and dozens of start-up companies. 


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The best universities in Texas

WSJ/THE US College Rank 2018 Texas Rank 2018 University City
14 1 Rice University Houston
=56 2 University of Texas at Austin Austin
79 3 Trinity University San Antonio
81 4 Southern Methodist University Dallas
=93 5 Texas A&M University-College Station College Station
=179 6 Texas Christian University Fort Worth
=188 7 Baylor University Waco
238 8 Austin College Sherman
=274 9 Southwestern University Georgetown
=390 10 University of Houston Houston
=396 11 University of Dallas Irving
=417 12 St Edward's University Austin
=460 13 University of Texas at Dallas Richardson
=495 14 St Mary's University San Antonio
=495 15 Texas Tech University Lubbock
501-600 =16 Abilene Christian University Abilene
501-600 =16 Dallas Baptist University Dallas
501-600 =16 University of North Texas Denton
501-600 =16 University of Texas at Arlington Arlington
501-600 =16 Texas Lutheran University Seguin
601-800 =21 Hardin-Simmons University Abilene
601-800 =21 Houston Baptist University Houston
601-800 =21 University of the Incarnate Word San Antonio
601-800 =21 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Belton
601-800 =21 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls
601-800 =21 Sam Houston State University Huntsville
601-800 =21 Schreiner University Kerrville
601-800 =21 University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio
601-800 =21 Texas Southern University Houston
601-800 =21 Texas State University San Marcos
601-800 =21 University of Texas at Tyler Tyler
601-800 =21 Texas Woman's University Denton
> 800 =33 Angelo State University San Angelo
> 800 =33 Concordia University Texas Austin
> 800 =33 University of Houston-Downtown Houston
> 800 =33 Lubbock Christian University Lubbock
> 800 =33 Our Lady of the Lake University San Antonio
> 800 =33 Prairie View A&M University Prairie View
> 800 =33 Stephen F. Austin State University Nacogdoches
> 800 =33 Tarleton State University Stephenville
> 800 =33 Texas A&M University-Commerce Commerce
> 800 =33 Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi
> 800 =33 Texas A&M International University Laredo
> 800 =33 Texas A&M University-Kingsville Kingsville
> 800 =33 University of Texas at El Paso El Paso
> 800 =33 University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Edinburg
> 800 =33 West Texas A&M University Canyon

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