Established in 1899 to train up the state’s public school teachers, the Southwest Texas State Normal School eventually became Texas State University (TSU) in 2003. It is now the largest institution in the Texas State University System and is one of the top universities for producing Fulbright scholars in the US.
Located between Austin and San Antonio, the 2km² main campus is next to the headwaters of the spring-fed San Marcos River and its traditional architecture, rolling hills and giant oak and cypress trees make for an impressive setting.
There is also a satellite campus, Texas State University Round Rock (RRC) that offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the wider north Austin area. Any student studying at the RRC will graduate with a degree from Texas State University.
The most popular majors at TSU are psychology, management, marketing, elementary education, electrical engineering, journalism and mass communications, nursing, communication design, biology and criminal justice.
TSU boasts the largest forensics research facility in the world and has one of the four body farms still existing in the US, allowing researchers to study decomposition in a range of different conditions. It is also is one of the best places to study aquatic species and ecosystems, on account of the spring that feeds the nearby San Marcos River. It is home to eight endangered species (including the Texas blind salamander).
US President Lyndon B. Johnson is TSU’s most notable alumnus (1926-30), who attended what was then known as the Southwest Texas State Teachers College. TSU remains the only Texas university to have graduated a US President.
Texas State became a tobacco-free campus in 2011.
There is a strong fraternity and sorority culture at TSU, and students can pick from over 300 student clubs and organisations. More Hispanic students are awarded bachelor’s degrees at TSU than 97 per cent of American colleges and universities.