Colleges and Universities of Texas

Rice University - Lovett Hall, formerly known as the Administration Building, was the first building on campus

The state's two most widely recognized flagship universities are The University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University, ranked as the 52nd and 69th best universities in the nation according to the 2014 edition of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Colleges", respectively. Some observers also include the University of Houston and Texas Tech University as tier one flagships alongside UT Austin and A&M. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) ranks the state's public universities into three distinct tiers

Abilene Christian University • In 1905, A.b. Barret, a teacher at Southwestern Christian College in Denton, struck an agreement with Col. J.W. Childers, a leader in the Abilene church, to buy land from him at a reduced price on the condition that the school would be named in his honor. The Childers Classical Institute, offering 11 primary and secondary grades, opened its doors in Fall 1906 with 25 students enrolled for classes.

Childers' first years were difficult for everyone, with cold classrooms, crowded living conditions and a water shortage. The school was led by four presidents during those early years: Barret, H.C. Darden, R.L. Whiteside and James F. Cox (who served another term as president from 1931-40).

Angelo State University • After an unsuccessful 1923 bid to be selected as the home of Texas Technological College, the residents of San Angelo decided they would create their own college, even if they had to pay for it themselves. Funded by local contributions and a self-imposed county tax, San Angelo Junior College opened its doors in 1928 on North Oakes Street near downtown San Angelo. When classes began, 112 students enrolled with city students paying $75 tuition and out-of-town students $115. In May 1929, six students walked across the stage in the institution’s first commencement exercise.
Austin college was founded in 1849, in Huntsville, Texas, by the Hampden–Sydney and Princeton-educated missionary Dr. Daniel Baker. Signed by Texas Governor George Wood, the charter of Austin College was modeled after those of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.
Austin College • The college was founded in 1849, in Huntsville, Texas, by the Hampden–Sydney and Princeton-educated missionary Dr. Daniel Baker. Signed by Texas Governor George Wood, the charter of Austin College was modeled after those of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Baker named the school for the Texas historical figure Stephen F. Austin after the original land on which it was built was donated by the Austin family
Baylor University • In 1841, 35 delegates to the Union Baptist Association meeting voted to adopt the suggestion of Rev. William Milton Tryon and R.E.B. Baylor to establish a Baptist university in Texas, then an independent republic. Baylor, a Texas district judge and onetime U.S. Congressman and soldier from Alabama, became the school's namesake. Some at first wished to name the new university "San Jacinto" to recognize the victory which enabled the Texans to become an independent nation, then before the final vote of the Congress, the petitioners requested the university be named in honor of Judge R. E. B. Baylor.
Dallas Baptist University • DBU’s forerunner, Decatur Baptist College, was founded in 1898 as the first junior college in Texas. For years, the school called the small town of Decatur home, producing outstanding young men and women who filled churches, classrooms, hospitals, and businesses around the nation. In 1965, the school relocated to the scenic foothills of southwest Dallas, becoming a four-year institution and eventually being renamed Dallas Baptist University when it began offering graduate-level degrees.
East Texas Baptist University • ETBU is located on the site of the former Van Zandt Plantation at the highest altitude in Harrison County. ETBU was founded as the College of Marshall in 1912, after a campaign to create a Southern Baptist college in East Texas. The campus' first building, Marshall Hall, was completed in 1916. It was designed to house a gymnasium, library, chapel/theatre, administrative offices and classrooms.
Hardin-Simmons University • ounded as Abilene Baptist College in 1891 by the Sweetwater Baptist Association and a group of cattlemen and pastors who sought to bring Christian higher education to the Southwest. The purpose of the school would be "to lead students to Christ, teach them of Christ, and train them for Christ." The original land was donated to the university by rancher C.W. Merchant. It was the first school of higher education established west of Fort Worth. It was renamed Hardin–Simmons University in 1934 in honor of Mary and John G. Hardin, who were major contributors
Houston Baptist University • Houston Baptist University (HBU) is a private Baptist university in Sharpstown, Texas. The university was founded in 1960. Its Cultural Arts Center houses three museums: the Dunham Bible Museum, the Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts, and the Museum of Southern History.
Howard Payne College was founded by the Pecan Valley Baptist Association at Indian Creek, Texas, on June 20, 1889. The two men considered the founders of the college are John D. Robnett, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Brownwood, and Noah T. Byars, in whose blacksmith shop Texas declared her independence on March 2, 1836
Howard Payne University • Howard Payne College was founded by the Pecan Valley Baptist Association at Indian Creek, Texas, on June 20, 1889. The two men considered the founders of the college are John D. Robnett, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Brownwood, and Noah T. Byars, in whose blacksmith shop Texas declared her independence on March 2, 1836. They were memorialized when Texas State Historical Markers were placed in Old Main Park in 1998.
Huston-Tillotson College • Established in 1875, Huston–Tillotson University is the first institution of higher learning in Austin, Texas. HTU is a private historically black university in Austin, Texas. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund. Huston–Tillotson University awards four-year degrees in business, education, the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, science and technology
Lamar University • Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas was founded in 1923 a few blocks from the current location as South Park Junior College and enrolled 125 students in its first fall semester. The name changed to Lamar College in 1932 in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas and the “Father of Education” in Texas. In the early 1940s, Lamar separated from the South Park school district, which had created the college, and moved to its current location.
LeTourneau University • LeTourneau University is named for its founder, R.G. LeTourneau, one of the world’s greatest inventors of earthmoving equipment. A businessman and devout Christian, LeTourneau toured Longview, Texas, with his wife, Evelyn in 1946 to consider a manufacturing site for his next earthmoving equipment factory. While flying over a sprawling complex of a vacated Army hospital consisting of over 200 frame buildings. The site became LeTourneau Technical Institute, founded in 1946 with only male students. In 1961 the school became LeTourneau College, a co-educational four-year school. In 1989 LeTourneau College became LeTourneau University, a SACSCOC and ABET accredited, nondenominational Christian university
Lubbock Christian University • Lubbock Christian University was founded in 1957 by members of the Churches of Christ who came together to establish a Christian university on the South Plains of Texas for the purpose of preparing and equipping students for lives of Christian service. The university is committed to continuing to walk with, to serve, and to be sustained by that fellowship.
McMurry University • McMurry University, founded in 1923, is a private co-educational university in Abilene, Texas, United States. It is a liberal arts school offering forty-five majors in the fields of fine arts, humanities, social and natural sciences, education, business, and religion, and nine pre-professional programs, including nursing, dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary, and law. McMurry is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Midwestern State University • Founded in 1922 as Wichita Falls Junior College, it was renamed Hardin Junior College in 1937, when it moved to its present location. In 1946, a senior division was added and it was renamed Hardin College. In January 1950, the name changed to Midwestern University, with the junior college division remaining Hardin Junior College'. In these years, wider recognition came to the school. In March 1948, the university became a member of the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. In January 1959, the university added a graduate school which received full approval from the State Board of Education. A further change in the school's status came September 1, 1961, when by action of the 56th session of the Texas State Legislature, Midwestern University became part of the Texas Colleges and Universities System and the junior college division was dissolved. In 1975, the Texas Legislature changed the name to Midwestern State University
Our Lady of the Lake University • Our Lady of the Lake University was founded in 1895 by the Sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence, a religious order begun in 18th century Lorraine, France, by Blessed John Martin Moye. The order continues as the sponsoring organization of the University. Members of the Congregation arrived in Texas in 1866, where they initially established themselves in Austin, and then in Castroville in 1868.
Prairie View A&M University • Prairie View A&M University, the first state supported College in Texas for African Americans, was established during the Reconstruction Period after the Civil War. This was an historical period in which political and economic special interest groups were able to aggressively use the Federal Government to establish public policy, in an attempt to “alter or reshape the cultural milieu of the vanquished southern states”.
Rice University • On May 18, 1891, Massachusetts-born businessman William Marsh Rice chartered the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art as a gift to the city of Houston, where he made his fortune. The terms of the charter required that work on the new institute would begin only after Rice's death.
Saint Edward's University • In 1841, equipped with an enduring vision (and courage), Father Edward Sorin set sail from France to the new world to establish Notre Dame and St. Edward’s universities. For more than 130 years, they’ve carried his passion for educating all who seek to realize their full potential, regardless of social standing, spiritual path or ability to pay. And along the way, they’ve changed a lot, too
Sam Houston State University • Sam Houston State University (known as SHSU or Sam) was founded in 1879 and is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in the State of Texas. It is located approximately 70 minutes (72.1 miles) north of downtown Houston, in Huntsville, Texas. It is one of the oldest purpose-built institutions for the instruction of teachers west of the Mississippi River and the first such institution of its type in Texas. The school is named for Sam Houston, who made his home in the city and is buried there.
Schreiner College • Captain Charles Schreiner, Sr., founded Schreiner Institute (sometimes called Schreiner Military Institute) in 1917 and worked toward its establishment until 1923. The military institute, a residential school, was created for young boys and included both secondary school and junior college curricula to prepare students for further education. The year 1971 marked the end of military training at the institute. In 1973, it began focusing on a college curriculum and changed its name to Schreiner College. The college experience changed once more in 1981 when it became a four-year college. The college became Schreiner University in 2001 and began offering master's degrees.
Southern Methodist University • SMU was founded by what is now The United Methodist Church, in partnership with civic leaders. The University is nonsectarian in its teaching and committed to academic freedom and open inquiry. A nationally ranked private university located near the heart of Dallas, SMU is a distinguished center for global research with a liberal arts tradition.
Southwest Texas State University • Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1899, Southwest Texas State Normal School opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name, in succession, to Southwest Texas State Normal College, Southwest Texas State Teachers College, Southwest Texas State College, Southwest Texas State University, and in 2003 to Texas State University. Each name reflects the university's growth from a small teacher preparation institution to a major, multipurpose university.
Southwestern Adventist University • In 1892, Seventh-day Adventists living near Dallas chose a committee to locate property for a school in Johnson County. The committee members personally financed the purchase of 800 acres, five miles east of Cleburne, for $8,000. At a time in our nation when railroads were broke, banks closed, and businesses failed, hearty Adventist families converged on the land in November and December, 1893. They brought all their earthly possessions in covered wagons and began to clear the land and build houses. Most lived in tents during those first winter months. By January 6, 1894, a school building was completed. It doubled as the church, which was organized with 67 members.
Southwestern University • Southwestern University (also referred to as Southwestern or SU) is a private, four-year, not-for-profit undergraduate, liberal arts college located in Georgetown, Texas, United States. Formed in 1873 from a revival of collegiate charters granted in 1840, Southwestern is the first university in Texas. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church with a nonsectarian curriculum. Southwestern offers 40 bachelor's degrees in the arts, sciences, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Association of Schools of Music.
St. Mary's University • Brothers of the Society of Mary (Marianists) brought Catholic education to San Antonio when, in 1852, they opened St. Mary’s Institute. St. Mary’s University, an outgrowth of the brothers’ first educational undertaking, committed itself to the Marianist ideals of academic excellence, ethical commitment and service to the community.
Stephen F. Austin State University • Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) is a public university located in Nacogdoches, Texas, United States. Founded as a teachers' college in 1923, the university was renamed after one of Texas's founding fathers, Stephen F. Austin. Its campus resides on part of the homestead of Thomas Jefferson Rusk. Stephen F. Austin is one of four independent public universities in Texas (i.e., those not affiliated with one of Texas's six university systems).
Sul Ross State University • Sul Ross State University (SRSU) is a public university in Alpine, Texas, United States. Named for former Texas governor and Civil War Confederate general Lawrence Sullivan Ross, it was founded in 1917 as Sul Ross Normal College and was made a university in 1969. Sul Ross State University offers certificate programs and associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. The main campus is situated in the unique environment of the Big Bend region and is the primary institution of higher education serving a 19-county area in far West Texas. SRSU has Rio Grande College branch campuses in Uvalde, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Castroville
Tarleton State University • John Tarleton Agricultural College was founded in 1899 with an endowment from settler John Tarleton. The college became a member of the Texas A&M University system in 1917. In 1949 it was renamed Tarleton State College then became a four-year degree-granting institution in 1959 and gained status as a university in 1973. In 2003 it began offering doctoral programs. Located one hour from Fort Worth in Stephenville, Texas, Tarleton serves as the educational and cultural flagship of the Cross Timbers Region. With a population of around 17,000, is included in Norman Crampton's The 100 Best Small Towns in America published by Prentice Hal
Texas A&M International University • In September 1977, the University became Laredo State University, and its "center" status was officially removed in 1987. As the University grew, its scope widened and an expanded faculty was recruited to deliver new programs. The University became a Member of The Texas A&M University System on September 1, 1989 and was named Texas A&M International University in 1993. Texas Aggies Collectables
Texas A&M University - Commerce • The university first opened its doors as East Texas Normal College in Cooper, Texas, but when the site was destroyed by fire in 1894, the university moved to its present day location. When the state of Texas purchased the campus in 1917, the name changed to East Texas State Normal College. Then in 1923, the school was renamed East Texas State Teachers College. Graduate education entered the curriculum in 1935, so in 1957 the state legislature, recognizing that the university had broadened from teacher education alone, changed the name again to East Texas State College
Texas A&M University - College Station • The U.S. Congress laid the groundwork for the establishment of A.M.C. in 1862 with the adoption of the Morrill Act. The act auctioned land grants of public lands to establish endowments for colleges where the "leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanical arts... to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life". In 1871, the Texas Legislature used these funds to establish the state's first public institution of higher education, the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, then known as Texas A.M.C. Brazos County donated 2,416 acres near Bryan, Texas, for the school's campus
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi • Texas A&M-Corpus Christi traces its beginning to 1947 as the area’s premier institution of higher education. Today, we’re part of The Texas A&M University System, a network of nine universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center.
Texas A&M University - Galveston • Celebrating over fifty years, the Texas A&M University at Galveston serves as the “ocean oriented campus” of Texas A&M University. The campus offers a unique blend of marine and maritime programs, including majors in science, business, engineering, and transportation.
Texas A&M University - Kingsville • Texas A&M University-Kingsville grew out of the teacher college or "normal school" movement that swept Texas and the nation in the early 1900s. Chartered in 1917 but not opened until 1925 because of America's entry into World War I, the University is the oldest continuously operating public institution of higher learning in South Texas.
Texas Christian University • Texas Christian University was founded by East Texas brothers Addison and Randolph Clark, together with the support of their father Joseph A. Clark. The Clarks were scholar-preacher/teachers associated with the Restoration Movement. These early leaders of the Restoration Movement were the spiritual ancestors of the modern Disciples of Christ, as well as major proponents of education. Following their return from service in the Civil War, brothers Addison and Randolph established a children's preparatory school in Fort Worth.
Texas Southern University • On September 14, 1927, the Houston Public School Board agreed to fund the development of two junior colleges: one for whites and one for African-Americans. And so, with a loan from the Houston Public School Board of $2,800, the Colored Junior College was born in the summer of 1927 under the supervision of the Houston School District. The main provision of the authorization was that the college meet all instructional expenses from tuition fees collected from the students enrolling in the college. The initial enrollment for the first summer was 300
Texas Tech University • Texas Tech University was created by legislative action in 1923 and has the distinction of being the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the state of Texas. Texas Tech Collectables. The university is the major institution of higher education in a region larger than 46 of the nation's 50 states and is the only campus in Texas that is home to a major university, law school and medical school
Texas Woman's University • An act of the 27th Legislature in 1901 founded the Girls Industrial College as a public institution that would become Texas Woman's University in 1957. The school had then and has now a dual mission: to provide a liberal education and to prepare young women "for the practical industries of the age" with a specialized education. Men have been admitted to TWU since 1972.
Trinity University • Founded in 1869, Trinity University has resided on four campuses in three different locations. For nearly 150 years, Trinity has turned challenges into opportunities to promote quality education. The history of Trinity University is rooted in the vision of a few hardy Texas pioneers who believed in the transforming power of higher education
University of Dallas • The charter of the University of Dallas dates from 1910 when the Vincentian Fathers took that name for the Holy Trinity College they had founded five years earlier. Holy Trinity College closed in 1928, and the charter was placed with the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. In 1955, the Western Province of the Sisters of Saint Mary of Namur obtained it for the purpose of operating a new institution in Dallas that would absorb their junior college in Fort Worth, Our Lady of Victory. The Sisters, together with laymen Eugene Constantin Jr. and Edward R. Maher Sr., induced Bishop Thomas K. Gorman to have the diocese assume sponsorship of the new institution with ownership by its Board of Trustees.
University of Houston • Established in 1927, the University of Houston empowers students in their pursuit of learning, discovery, leadership and engagement. Located in a sprawling metropolis, The premier Tier One campus provides students with cutting edge programs including undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, distance and continuing education. Ranked among the best colleges in America, UH is home to award-winning faculty, innovative research centers, has one of the most diverse student populations in the nation, and alumni who have become international leaders.
University of Houston - Downtown • From the day our doors opened more than 40 years ago, UHD has expanded to serve the educational needs of America’s fourth-largest city. Now, UHD offers bachelor’s degrees in 43 areas of study and eight master’s degrees.
University of Mary Hardin - Baylor • The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor traces its distinguished history to the days when Texas had yet to gain statehood and when Baptist missionary work was just beginning in the frontier Republic. As early as 1839, representatives of churches in Washington County issued an appeal to the Home Mission Board of New York to inaugurate a missionary movement in Texas
University of North Texas • On Sept. 16, 1890, in a boomtown on the North Texas prairie, Joshua C. Chilton established the Texas Normal College and Teacher Training Institute with 70 students. For 125 years and counting, the University of North Texas has fulfilled its mission to create leaders and visionaries. the students and alumni embody creativity, curiosity and something else that distinguishes them and makes them successful — grit.
University of St. Thomas • The University of St. Thomas (UST) is Houston's Catholic University, committed to the religious, ethical and intellectual traditions of Catholic higher education for more than 70 years
University of Texas - Arlington • Arlington College was established at the urging of Edward Emmett Rankin, an Arlington civic leader, to improve the availability of quality education in the recently founded rural town. Lee M. Hammond and William M. Trimble were the founding co-principals of the institution. The original two-and-a-half story wood-frame schoolhouse was built on property near the present University Center donated by J.W. Ditto and A.W. Collins. A private institution, Arlington College’s first class of roughly 75 students received schooling from the elementary to about today’s high school. The institution received its current name by act of the state legislature making each of the UT System campuses “The University of Texas at.
University of Texas - Austin • In 1839, the Congress of the Republic of Texas ordered that a site be set aside to meet the state's higher education needs. After a series of delays over the next several decades, the state legislature reinvigorated the project in 1876, calling for the establishment of a "university of the first class." Austin was selected as the site for the new university in 1881, and construction began on the original Main Building in November 1882. University of Texas Coillectables
University of Texas - Brownsville • The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.
University of Texas - Dallas • UT Dallas owes its existence to three visionaries, Eugene McDermott, J. Erik Jonsson and Cecil Green. They deeply valued education and entrepreneurial activity. These men, who also founded Texas Instruments, found themselves importing talent from outside the state while the region's brightest young people pursued education elsewhere. Having identified the need, the founders took action to serve both their enterprise and Texas by establishing the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest in 1961. It was renamed the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies (SCAS) in 1967, and, in 1969, the founders transferred the assets of SCAS to the State of Texas, and then-Governor Preston Smith signed the bill establishing UT Dallas.
University of Texas - El Paso • UTEP officially opened in the fall of 1914 and is the second oldest institution in The University of Texas System ( It is a Carnegie high- research-activity, urban university that enrolls more than 25,000 students. It serves its primary constituency — residents of far west Texas, southern New Mexico, and northern Mexico — with 74 undergraduate programs,
University of Texas - Permian Basin • In 1969, the Texas Legislature authorized an upper-level university accepting only junior, senior and master's degree graduate students as part of an experiment in upper-level education in Odessa, Texas. Construction plans began soon after; however, a series of delays - including a lawsuit challenging the validity of the University's property deeds - halted all work. Finally, after a Supreme Court ruling in the University's favor, construction of the campus began in April 1972.
University of Texas - San Antonio • Founded by the Texas Legislature in 1969, UTSA was commissioned as a university of the first class. Administrative offices for the first UTSA president, Arleigh B. Templeton, were set up in 1970 in Hemisfair Park, and architects Ford, Powell and Carson Inc. began developing a conceptual master plan for the campus.
University of the Incarnate Word • The mission of the University is derived from the history of its founders, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, who came to San Antonio in 1869, shortly after the close of the Civil War. The first sisters, who were from France, came at the request of the Catholic bishop, Claude M. Dubuis, to care for the victims of an epidemic of cholera and to establish the city's first hospital, the Santa Rosa Infirmary.
Wayland Baptist University • Founded in 1908 by a pioneer physician committed to the value of education, Wayland continues to pioneer new standards in higher learning, serving as a leader among the nation’s Christian colleges and universities.
West Texas A&M University • In its first school year, West Texas State Normal College had 152 students and 16 faculty members. Its first president was Robert B. Cousins. A year after the Texas State House of Representatives approved the bill to establish West Texas State Normal College, construction began on the school's Administration Building. It consisted of the school's only classrooms, laboratory, library, and offices. On March 25, 1914, the school burned down; however, classes continued in local churches, courthouses, and vacant buildings. Later, in 1916, a new Administration Building opened.

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