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Texas Colleges and Universities

Texas is the birthplace of the alternative affirmative action plan, a controversial House Bill, commonly referred to as the “Top 10% Rule”, that guarantees Texas students who graduate in the top ten percent of their high school class admittance to all state-funded universities. The bill is designed to encourage demographic diversity while avoiding many of the issues raised by the Hopwood v. Texas (1996) case which challenged affirmative action policy in student admissions at public universities.

Texas is home to thirty-six (36) individual public universities, of which the majority (32) belong to one of six state university systems. The University of Texas System and Texas A&M System, two of Texas’s largest university systems, have experienced phenomenal growth in recent years, which has been funded, in large part, by the discovery of valuable minerals, particularly oil, on Permanent University Fund land. The other four university systems: the University of North Texas System, the University of Houston System, the Texas Tech System and the Texas State System do not receive any funding from Permanent University Fund.

According to the Carnegie Foundation, Texas has three universities classified as Tier One research institutions. These include the University of Houston, Texas A&M University and The University of Texas Austin. Both the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University were established by the Texas Constitution of 1876 and are considered Texas’s two flagship universities. There is an ongoing effort to increase the number of flagship universities in Texas by elevating several of its institutions currently designated as “emerging research universities”. Many expect that the University of Houston and Texas Tech University are next in line to receive this designation.

In addition to public universities, Texas is home to several private higher education institutions-ranging from smaller liberal arts colleges to world renowned universities. Rice University a small research university in Houston is known as one of the leading teaching, research and applied science universities in the United States and has been ranked 17th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Other colleges and universities in Texas, most noteably Trinity University, a private liberal arts university in San Antonio, have consistently been ranked among the best universities in the nation for 20 consecutive years. A few private universities, including Baylor University, Southwestern University, and University of Mary Hardin´┐ŻBaylor were charted by the former republic.

Universities in Texas are home to some of the largest and most prestigious libraries and literary collections in the nation. Currently, Texas universities host two presidential libraries, including the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at The University of Texas Austin and the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University in College Station. Recently, a decision was reached to develop a third presidential library, the George W. Bush Presidential Library, at Southern Methodist University.

Colleges and universities in Texas can be accredited by several organizations but the main regional accrediting agency is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Before enrolling with any college or university you should thoroughly research their accreditation status.

Texas truly offers aspiring students one of the largest selections of top colleges and universities in the nation. Below you’ll find a comprehensive directory of all the regionally and nationally accredited 4-year colleges and universities located in Texas. To search for colleges or universities in a specific area please make your selection from the list of cities below. Search accredited 4-year Texas colleges and universities by cities.

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