The state of Texas houses hundreds of colleges and universities that offer a variety of on-campus and online learning options for traditional college students and working professionals alike. From the panhandle to the Gulf Coast, Texas boasts a total of 272 degree-granting postsecondary institutions. According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 153 of these colleges award four-year degrees, while two-year colleges make up the remaining 119 schools.
Many of these institutions offer online or distance learning options, from paper-based correspondence courses sent through the mail to degree tracks that students can complete entirely online. The sections below detail higher education in Texas, including the best online colleges in the state as well as important information for prospective online students, such as tuition breaks for out-of-state residents, college scholarships, and the current employment outlook for graduates.
Before detailing the best online colleges in Texas, this guide provides a general overview of higher education and online education in The Lone Star State.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Texas
During the 2015-2016 school year, the NCES reported that Texas contained 106 public schools, 71 nonprofit schools, and 95 for-profit schools. Although other states, including New York and California, house a larger number of individual institutions, Texas boasts some of the highest enrollment numbers in the nation. NCES data shows that more than 1,600,000 individual students were enrolled at a higher education institution in Texas — including online schools in Texas — in 2016.
- 106 public
- 71 non-profit
- 95 for-profit
Although college costs fluctuate from school to school and year to year, CollegeBoard.org keeps track of trends and calculates averages that prospective students can use for financial planning. For the 2017-2018 school year, tuition and fees at four-year schools in Texas totaled an average of about $9,836, while the cost of attendance at two-year schools totaled only $2,547. As a more concrete example, an in-state student at UT Austin — a flagship Texas university — spent $10,104 on tuition and fees in 2017-2018.
The National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs provides information related to need-based and non-need-based aid in the United States. For the 2015-2016 school year, undergraduate students in Texas received roughly $400,000,000 in grants or work-study funding based only on need and about $358,000,000 in grants based on need and merit.
The State of Online Higher Education in Texas
An online learning survey conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group detailed college enrollment numbers in each state. This data, which corresponds to enrollment in 2015, includes information concerning online schools in Texas. According to this survey, 29% of all students enrolled at a Texas institution participated in at least one distance education course. Additionally, 12% of all students enrolled exclusively online, with state residents making up 90% of the individuals enrolled exclusively in online college courses in Texas. Undergraduates made up the majority of students at online colleges in Texas — only 13% of students studying at the graduate level took at least one distance course.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization, works with 16 Southern states, including Texas, to improve the quality of public education at all levels. SREB provides independent data and recommendations to help policymakers make decisions. Additionally, the board assists in the professional development of educators.
SREB also lends a hand to college students enrolled in online and on-campus programs in Texas. Through SREB’s Academic Common Market program, individuals interested in pursuing a degree currently unavailable in their home state can enroll in an equivalent out-of-state program for the cost of in-state tuition. Students can take advantage of opportunities at on-campus and online colleges in Texas through this initiative. More than 20 higher learning institutions in Texas participate in the Academic Common Market, including Texas A&M, the University of Texas, and the University of Houston.
Student eligibility requires residency in an SREB member state and meeting the prospective institution’s admissions requirements. Eligible states for SREB’s reduced-tuition program include Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Although a member of SREB, North Carolina does not participate in the Academic Common Market.
Best Online Colleges in Texas
Below, you will find a ranking of the best online four-year programs in Texas. These profiles look at how schools approach online education, listing the services available to distance students and a school’s fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Texas, you can go on to read about state-specific resources, including a database of every college and university in Texas and an index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||LeTourneau University||Longview||$$$$$||2100 S Mobberly Ave|
Longview, TX 75607-7001
Located in Longview, LeTourneau is a Christian university that values hands-on, experiential learning. Recognized as one of the top online colleges in Texas, LeTourneau offers 30 web-based undergraduate majors, four minors, and 14 online graduate programs. Undergraduate programs include both bachelor's and associate's degrees in areas like computer information systems, remotely piloted aircraft, political science, and theological studies. Available graduate programs include clinical mental health counseling, strategic leadership, engineering management, and teacher leadership.
Offered year-round, online classes are presented in an accelerated format through the Canvas learning management system. The university's student portal also hosts a suite of online resources and services. Distance learners may access LeTourneau’s education centers in Plano, Houston, and McKinney. Working in partnership with Tutor.com, the university’s student success center offers online learners additional assistance with core subjects. Currently led by LeTourneau's Dean of the College of Health Sciences, a dedicated team of professionals coordinates the school’s online and graduate operations.
Required application materials include official transcripts for all completed college credits. Applicants who hold 12 college credits or less must also provide high school transcripts. Prospective students may apply during any of six application windows during the fall and spring semesters. Transfer students must hold a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and a grade of C or better for each transfer course. Students may also obtain college credit for life and professional experiences by completing evaluations such as advanced placement exams or DANTES subject standardized tests.
|2||Dallas Baptist University||Dallas||$$$$$||3000 Mountain Creek Parkway|
Dallas, TX 75211-9299
DBU offers a wide variety of online undergraduate and graduate degrees, professional certificates, accelerated degree options, and dual master's degree programs. The university’s diverse undergraduate offerings include an associate in teacher preparation, a bachelor of arts and science in criminal justice, and a bachelor of business studies in management information systems. DBU’s flexible online master's programs span six areas: liberal arts, ministry, business, education, professional development, and leadership. Distance learners can pursue an online dual degree program, which allows undergraduate students to earn a master's with as little as one additional year of study.
With an average class size of 12 students and a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, DBU boasts personalized instruction, individual faculty attention, and more opportunities to form relationships with other online learners. Online classes begin four times a year, including the winter semester. Some programs allow students to participate in an optional one-week term on campus, further accelerating their degree completion.
Many students at DBU choose to pursue an accelerated degree in ministry or business. Ministry majors enjoy abundant specialization options, including in family ministry, global leadership, and student ministry. Additionally, graduate students may enroll in one of DBU’s 22 certificate programs, which cover subjects such as children's ministry leadership and international management.
DBU uses a holistic application process, taking into account factors such as student attitude, character, academic history, and career motivation. Transfer students must complete at least 30 credits of their degree through DBU, and students must have earned at least a C for a course to qualify for transfer credit. Other admission materials include a statement of purpose; official transcripts from all previous high schools or colleges; and two letters of recommendation from former teachers, supervisors, or other mentors.
|3||Texas Tech University||Lubbock||$$$$$||Broadway and University Avenue|
Lubbock, TX 79409-5005
Located in the state’s northwestern region, TTU began offering eLearning courses in 1996 after the creation of the online M.Ed. in instructional technology. Today, TTU offers 15 online bachelor's degrees, including majors in architecture, applied leadership, and wind energy; 32 graduate degrees in fields such as healthcare engineering and public administration; and 11 online doctoral degrees in areas such as educational leadership policy and systems and engineering management. The university is known for offering more online doctoral degrees than any other Texas institution.
In keeping with its reputation as one of the best online colleges in Texas, TTU also provides students with 24 online graduate certificate options in fields such as gerontology and software engineering. The university also offers six web-based graduate-level certification programs. While students can complete the majority of TTU's degrees entirely online, some -- including several doctoral programs -- follow a hybrid format that combines online and on-campus classes.
Students can access online lectures and coursework through the Blackboard platform. While learners must purchase some textbooks from the TTU Bookstore, many course materials are available to read online or through interlibrary loans. TTU eLearning students gain access to a library portal and personal librarian. The school also hosts 24/7 online chat support for financial aid questions, IT support, and other student services.
The university maintains a strong commitment to inclusivity. Through TTU’s Online Accessibility Lab, instructors can create closed captions and transcripts and receive training on accessibility software. TTU also provides need-based internal scholarships for both transfer and continuing students, and learners can apply for all financial aid opportunities by submitting one online application. Distance learners pay similar tuition rates as in-state students.
|4||Texas Woman's University||Denton||$$$$$||304 Administration Dr|
Denton, TX 76201
One of the leading accredited online colleges in Texas, TWU is the nation's largest university primarily serving women. TWU offers a variety of online and hybrid degrees, including 12 undergraduate and 29 graduate options. The university holds a reputation for granting more healthcare degrees than any other Texas university.
Available undergraduate fields include business, the sciences, and education. Students can choose from majors such as marketing, sociology, and health studies. TWU's MBA program offers a choice of five concentrations, including business analytics. Students may also pursue master's programs in diverse subjects such as healthcare administration or theater. Additionally, TWU offers six online certificate programs, including a graduate certificate in school librarianship or advanced geriatric physical therapy.
Web-based courses follow the same schedule as on-campus classes. Some online courses may require synchronous virtual meetings, and students can expect to spend nine to 12 hours each week completing coursework for each class.
TWU presents online courses through a combination of the Blackboard and Canvas learning platforms. During weekday business hours, distance learners may contact the university’s Office of Teaching and Learning Technology for online tech support. Online students can also get academic help through TWU’s online writing lab, and may participate in virtual interactive Smarthinking tutoring sessions on subjects like biology, statistics, and Spanish.
As a member of the Women's College Coalition, TWU faculty and students receive many unique research and special interest study opportunities. A designated military friendly school, TWU grants academic credit for military experience by evaluation. Active duty military members also receive benefits such as early course registration.
|5||Texas A&M University - Commerce||Commerce||$$$$$||2600 South Neal|
Commerce, TX 75429-3011
Founded in 1889, A&M-Commerce is the fifth oldest state university in the country and the second largest institution in the Texas A&M system. A designated Hispanic Serving Institution, A&M-Commerce strives to make higher education inclusive and accessible. The university offers a variety of online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degrees to students in every state except Massachusetts.
Distance learners can pursue undergraduate degrees in education, science and engineering, business, or agriculture. A&M-Commerce’s 11 graduate-level offerings include degrees in education, science, business, agriculture, and humanities and the social sciences. A&M-Commerce is also one of the few Texas colleges to grant an online doctoral degree in educational administration.
Online courses follow a semester-based schedule consisting of fall, spring, and summer terms, and require the same time commitment as their on-campus equivalents. Students access courses and learning materials through eCollege, A&M-Commerce's online course management system. eCollege accommodates students with physical disabilities, including individuals with visual impairments and physical mobility challenges.
Distance learners enjoy access to career services, including A&M-Commerce's job and internship database and an online library database. A&M-Commerce provides flexible financing options, including installment-based tuition payment plans, loans, and an emergency book credit program, which allow students to order books on credit through the university bookstore. A&M-Commerce also operates several off-site campuses in Dallas and Mesquite.
Online students pay an additional $50 fee per semester credit hour. Texas residents receive significant tuition discounts based on their chosen program’s length and the number of credits taken per semester. Out-of-state candidates considering an A&M-Commerce program which leads to professional licensure should contact their state's relevant licensing agency before applying.
|6||University of North Texas||Denton||$$$$$||1501 W.Chestnut Ave.|
Denton, TX 76203-1277
Established in Denton in 1890, UNT is a leading online college in Texas and home to one of the country’s largest student populations. Roughly 37,979 individuals enrolled at UNT during the 2016-17 school year, and the university conferred more than 9,000 degrees in the same period. UNT’s robust online learning division offers web-based undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as several professional certification programs in a wide variety of fields.
Graduate students enjoy 20 online degree options, including business, education, public service, and merchandising and hospitality programs. The university also offers three accelerated master's degrees: an MS in learning technologies, an M.Ed. in educational leadership, and an MBA. Accelerated MBA candidates may choose an emphasis in either organizational behavior or strategic management. All accelerated programs consist of 12 courses and take 12 months to complete.
Undergraduate students can earn an online BS in either rehabilitation studies, criminal justice, or information science. Alternately, learners may pursue a bachelor of applied arts and sciences. UNT also offers 18 certificate programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate levels. Certification options include advanced study in health informatics, an accelerated Texas principal certification, or school library certification. Students can access online courses through the Blackboard learning platform during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Texas residents and out-of-state students pay similar tuition rates, although nonresident candidates pay an additional teaching fee. The school encourages prospective students to prepare their application materials at least two months in advance of their program’s application deadline. Graduate students undergo a two-step application process, and must submit applications to both the UNT graduate school and their program of choice. In 2018, UNT received the Purple Heart University designation for its strong financial aid programs and support services geared toward active duty service members and veterans.
|7||University of Houston - Victoria||Victoria||$$$$$||3007 N. Ben Wilson|
Victoria, TX 77901
Located on the state’s southeast coast, UH-Victoria began offering web-based undergraduate programs in 2010. Today, the university is known for providing some of the most rigorous and diverse online degrees in Texas. UH-Victoria students can choose from 20 online undergraduate degrees, 16 online graduate degrees, and four web-based certificate programs. Majors and course subjects span the arts and sciences, business administration, education, and human development. Unusual program options include degrees in subsea engineering, foresight, and consumer science.
In addition to UH-Victoria’s distance education programs, the greater University of Houston system offers 133 online degrees and certificates. The student pathways program allows all online and on-campus candidates to take up to six credits through any of the UH system’s three universities. Providing optimal flexibility, this cross-university arrangement lets students choose from a broad variety of online college courses in Texas.
UH-Victoria maintains transfer agreements with several community colleges in southeast Texas and accepts transfer students from regionally accredited institutions. To apply as a transfer student, candidates must hold at least 12 college credit hours and a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Application windows open in the spring, summer, and fall for enrollment in the following semester. Graduate students applying to certain programs may have to submit qualifying GMAT or GRE scores, although applicants who provide evidence of at least two years of relevant professional experience and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA may qualify for a test score waiver.
The university serves close to 4,500 students from 19 U.S. states and 38 countries. Texas residents pay an exceptionally low annual tuition rate, and UH-Victoria ranks number seven for affordability among public universities in Texas. In-state students and U.S. military members and their families receive further tuition discounts.
|8||The University of Texas at Tyler||Tyler||$$$$$||3900 University Blvd|
Tyler, TX 75799-6699
Known for offering exceptional nursing and nurse practitioner programs, UT Tyler graduates consistently outperform other students on state nursing, counseling, and teaching licensure exams. Distance learners can take part in UT Tyler’s tradition of excellence by enrolling in one of two online undergraduate programs or 16 web-based graduate programs. Bachelor's degree options include a completion pathway or a bachelor's in nursing. The bachelor's degree completion track features five concentrations: general studies, business, health care management, health studies, and human behavior.
Master’s candidates may pursue a degree in nursing, education, psychology, the arts and sciences, or business. Available online graduate degrees include an M.Ed. in reading, an MS in criminal justice, and an MBA in business administration. UT Tyler also offers five graduate and postgraduate certification programs online, including a Texas superintendent certification.
In addition to web-based programs, the university’s HyFlex series offers four graduate-level programs that blend on-campus and online learning. HyFlex options include a Ph.D. in human resource development and an executive master's in public relations.
Graduate applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and provide GMAT or GRE scores. Undergraduate online applicants must qualify for transfer status to gain admission to the degree completion track. Additional admission requirements vary according to program.
With a reputation as one of the best online colleges in Texas, UT Tyler hosts students from 45 U.S. states and 58 countries. Learners benefit from small class sizes, and the university boasts a low 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Candidates typically spend about 10 hours per class on assignments and study. Distance learners can access course materials, lectures, and assignments through the Canvas platform, which also features a chat board and video conferencing capabilities. Online students may explore UT Tyler's digital research databases and get help through IT support.
|9||Southwestern Assemblies of God University||Waxahachie||$$$$$||1200 Sycamore|
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Founded in Oklahoma in 1927, SAGU underwent a series of transformations before obtaining its current name and location in Waxahachie. Over the last 18 years, SAGU has expanded its academic offerings from 36 to 60 programs, becoming one of the top accredited online colleges in Texas in the process. SAGU offers 14 associate and 33 bachelor's degree tracks in nine fields, including business, biblical studies, ministry, and education. Unique undergraduate options include an associate degree in addictions counseling, a bachelor's degree in theology, and a bachelor’s degree in occupational leadership.
Online students pay a reduced per-hour tuition rate, and SAGU offers new distance learners a 15% tuition grant, saving candidates up to $750 per semester. SAGU also sponsors exclusive scholarship and grant opportunities for online learners, including need-based and merit-based awards.
Students pursuing a bachelor's degree may qualify to enroll in an experiential learning portfolio class, which grants up to 45 college credit hours or up to 25% of required credits based on life experience. Individuals who complete a portfolio course can save up to a year's worth of tuition costs.
SAGU uses the Blackboard platform to deliver online courses and virtual academic workshops. In addition, all students enjoy access to live streaming chapel services, prayer groups, meetings, and other events. Learners may also download streams and play them later. Following a Pentecostal tradition, SAGU values ministry and encourages both online and on-campus students to participate in a short-term mission trip during their studies.
|10||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville||$$$$$||1806 Ave J|
Huntsville, TX 77340
Named for a 19th century army general and state leader, this Huntsville institution strives to live out its motto: "The measure of a life is its service." Emphasizing community engagement and accessibility, SHSU takes pride in serving first generation college students and populations commonly underrepresented in higher education. Thanks to the university’s Elite program, which supports first-time minority male students, SHSU grants over 70% of all its bachelor’s degrees to at-risk students.
SHSU is also known as one of the best online colleges in Texas for providing a diverse variety of web-based degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Students can choose from nine undergraduate majors, 16 undergraduate minors, 27 graduate degrees, and two doctoral programs. The school offers programs in the arts and sciences, behavioral studies, education, and business. Unique graduate-level options include an MS in digital forensics and a master's in sustainable agriculture and food environment. SHSU also offers 18 graduate certifications programs and four professional certifications online, including options in academic advising and critical infrastructure protection.
Presented in both synchronous and asynchronous formats, courses incorporate cutting-edge instructional technologies. Each online course lasts eight to 15 weeks long. Some degrees, such as the bachelor's in nursing and the M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, require limited in-person classroom or lab attendance. Distance learners may contact the online support desk 24 hours a day during weekdays or during extended hours on the weekend.
SHSU sponsors several financial aid opportunities exclusively for online students, including the 60x30 scholarship, which awards $1,000 to new distance learners. SHSU's Veterans Resource Center also provides active duty military and veterans with academic and personal services, including tuition assistance and counseling.
|11||The University of Texas in Arlington||Arlington||$$$$$||701 S. Nedderman Dr.|
Arlington, TX 76013
Emphasizing flexibility and real-world application, UTA offers accelerated, career-focused online programs in healthcare, education, business, public affairs, and public health. Each master's degree follows an asynchronous format and requires between one and two years of study. Most students complete the university’s certification programs in less than six months. UTA also offers two bachelor’s degree completion programs in nursing and public health, both of which can be completed in less than two years.
Nursing and healthcare students enjoy 19 graduate and certification program options. Compared to many other online colleges in Texas, UTA offers a diverse pool of graduate-level nursing specializations. Candidates may choose from concentrations in pediatric care, gerontology, family nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing education.
Prospective teachers have their choice of five graduate-level tracks, including a superintendent certification pathway and a curriculum and instruction specialization. UTA also offers a master of public administration and an online MBA with four concentration paths.
Students access lectures and coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Distance learners can also take advantage of resources from the university bookstore, the UTA online library, and an online writing center that offers one-on-one support.
UTA's online programs feature multiple start dates throughout the year and anywhere from six to nine sessions, depending on the degree. Nursing and education students may fulfill any clinical requirements at their current work setting or a location near their home. With the exception of the bachelor of science in nursing, most programs do not culminate in a final comprehensive exam, but some may include a capstone experience.
While admission requirements vary according to program, all applicants must provide official transcripts demonstrating a 2.75 GPA or better. Some graduate and certificate programs, such as the master of nursing in nursing administration, may require applicants to hold at least two years of professional experience.
|12||Northwood University - Texas||Cedar Hill||$$$$$||1114 W FM 1382|
Cedar Hill, TX 75104-1204
Northwood University is a Michigan-based institution that serves Texas students through its Cedar Hill location. One of the top online community colleges in Texas, Northwood offers flexible options for both full-time professionals and active-duty military members. Students may choose from three online graduate programs and 13 adult bachelor's degree paths.
The undergraduate degree completion program allows distance learners to earn a bachelor of science in applied management or a bachelor of business administration (BBA). BBA students may choose from 13 concentrations, including automotive marketing and management, franchising management, or entrepreneurship. Graduate degree options include an MBA, an MS in finance, or an MS in organizational leadership.
Prospective Northwood students may apply to adult undergraduate programs during two separate enrollment windows offered every fall, spring, and summer semester. Classes typically last six to 16 weeks. Graduate-level classes follow a typical semester format.
Northwood maintains transfer agreements with schools in California, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, as well as other Texas institutions. Transfer guidelines vary according to previous school and program. Graduate school application materials include a current resume, official undergraduate transcripts, and a writing sample. Applicants must demonstrate at least a 3.0 GPA and undergo a professional interview with a Northwood admissions representative. Candidates who successfully complete a prior learning assessment may earn up to 30 semester credit hours for past professional experience.
The university offers affordable tuition rates and monthly payment plans. MBA candidates may apply for one of several institutional scholarships, including an exclusive award for early decision applicants. Northwood alumni also receive services and benefits, including access to an international travel program, a business owner directory, and scholarship opportunities for their children.
|13||West Texas A&M University||Canyon||$$$$$||2501 4th Ave|
Canyon, TX 79016-0001
West Texas A&M University is a public institution based in Canyon. Part of the Texas A&M University System, the school offers around 100 areas of study to more than 10,000 students. The university also features many fully online and blended programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Online undergraduate students can choose from 13 bachelor's degrees, including an online bachelor of general studies degree and a bachelor of business administration that features several concentrations, including management, marketing, and economics. Online BBA students can also pursue a specialization in computer information systems that holds recognition from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Undergraduate applicants must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. They must also meet class rank and standardized test score minimums. For example, students in the top 26-50% of their high school class must hold minimum ACT scores of 18 or minimum SAT scores of 960. However, applicants who rank in the top 25% of their class do not need to meet any minimum standardized test score requirements.
WTAMU boasts more than a dozen graduate degree options, spanning business, education, healthcare, and STEM fields. Students can choose from several master of education specializations, including school counseling and educational diagnostician. Many graduate and undergraduate programs give students the option to complete programs in a fully online or partially online format.
Faculty deliver coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the WBClass portal. Online learners login to WBClass to access syllabi, lessons, assignments, resources, and grades. Distance students also gain access to 24/7 online tutoring.
WTAMU is approved by the National Council for State Reciprocity Agreements to offer distance programs to out-of-state students.
|14||Midwestern State University||Wichita Falls||$$$$$||3410 Taft Blvd|
Wichita Falls, TX 76308-2099
Founded in 1922, Midwestern State University is a public liberal arts institution located in Wichita Falls. The school offers more than 70 undergraduate and graduate programs of study with many distance learning options.
MSU hosts four online bachelor's degrees, including an RN-to-BSN track, a bachelor of radiologic sciences, and a BS in respiratory care. The radiologic sciences program allows certified technologists to finish their bachelor's degree in a mostly self-paced format. The BS in respiratory care -- also a degree completion program -- lets registered respiratory therapists complete a bachelor's degree by taking 10 upper-level courses.
MSU's RN-to-BSN program comprises 27 credits and takes as few as three semesters to complete. The program uses three start dates and offers courses year round. Students take classes entirely online through courses ranging from 5-16 weeks in length. The program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The school also offers nearly a dozen graduate programs, including an MA in human resource development, an M.Ed. in sport administration, and a master's in health administration.
Distance learners gain access to many of the same resources as on-campus students. The university's career management center helps learners find jobs, build resumes, prepare for interviews, and plan their careers. The school also provides academic advising, counseling, and online library resources. All new online undergraduates must complete an orientation course, which provides important information about academics, online classes, and student services.
Transfer applicants must submit official college transcripts and hold a GPA of 2.0 or higher. They must also have at least 18 transferable college-level credits. Community college students can typically transfer up to 69 credits toward MSU's bachelor's programs. However, some specialized programs -- including the RN-to-BSN track -- use different transfer policies.
|15||University of Houston||Houston||$$$$$||212 E. Cullen Building|
Houston, TX 77204-2018
One of the largest institutions in Texas, the University of Houston serves over 45,000 students through more than 250 undergraduate and graduate programs. The school also boasts 25 research centers and more than 2,600 faculty members. The school introduced distance classes in 1953 and currently offers more than 1,250 online courses along with over 25 web-based programs.
Undergraduates can choose from online bachelor's degree completion programs in nursing, psychology, and consumer sciences. Psychology students can complete either a BA or a BS. The BA track prepares students for work in social services, while the BS stresses skills that students can apply to a medical setting. The retailing and consumer science program -- a unique option among online colleges in Texas -- offers concentrations like technology entrepreneurship. Each bachelor's completion program comprises 36 upper-level credits. Transfer students must complete their final 30 (or more) credits at UH.
The university also offers 24 fully online graduate degrees, including several uncommon engineering programs. The school's MS in subsea engineering -- the first program of its kind -- readies students to design equipment and procedures for offshore oil production. Similarly, the online master's in petroleum engineering prepares students for careers in the energy and petroleum industries. UH also provides many non-STEM master's programs spanning the fields of education, social work, management, and healthcare. Most curricula consist of 30-40 credits, and most programs require applicants to submit GRE scores.
The school also offers online professional development courses through its online and special programs division. Students can earn industry certifications and develop new skills in areas such as healthcare, writing, finance, and information technology. Self-paced career training programs take as few as six months to complete. Skill building programs use a cohort-based format, delivering 12 lessons over a six-week period.
|16||Trinity University||San Antonio||$$$$$||One Trinity Place|
San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Trinity University is a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. The San Antonio-based school offers five graduate degrees and 47 undergraduate majors. Trinity University enrolls around 2,400 students and boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 9-to-1.
In terms of online options, Trinity University offers an executive healthcare administration program that distance students complete on a part-time basis. The executive program, designed for full-time healthcare professionals, delivers courses primarily through email and teleconferencing. Each course includes around five two-hour teleconferencing sessions. In addition, at the beginning of each semester, students must report to campus for three days of intensive study.
The executive healthcare administration program comprises 14 courses totaling 42 credits. Classes cover fundamental management principles from a healthcare perspective. Students explore subjects like health administration ethics, managerial epidemiology, and healthcare organization theory. Online learners progress through the curriculum in a cohort and graduate in 23 months.
Trinity University evaluates applicants to its healthcare administration program on a rolling basis. Candidates must submit official transcripts, a resume, a 1-2-page statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation. They must also demonstrate adequate work experience in a healthcare environment.
|17||University of Texas of the Permian Basin||Odessa||$$$$$||4901 E University|
Odessa, TX 79762-0001
Based in Odessa, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public university founded in 1973. The school boasts more than 50 programs, including many distance learning options. Online students can take courses through UTPB and other Texas institutions thanks to the University of Texas Online Consortium.
Undergraduates at UTPB can pursue 16 online bachelor's programs. Bachelor's students complete 120 credits, including 42 general education credits. To satisfy general education requirements, undergraduates take classes in subjects like government, creative arts, and philosophy.
UTPB delivers some of its bachelor's options as degree completion programs. For example, the bachelor of applied arts and science in industrial technology requires applicants to hold an associate degree (or at least 24 college-level credits). Alternatively, bachelor's in criminal justice students must complete at least 54 credits of lower-level coursework before enrolling in the program.
Prospective freshmen must satisfy minimum standardized test score and class rank requirements. For instance, students in the top 11-25% of their class must score at least 980 on the SAT or 19 on the ACT. Undergraduate transfer students must hold a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students may transfer in any number of credits, but they must complete at least 25% of their credit requirements at UTPB.
The university provides 10 online graduate programs, many of which deal with education. Master's students can earn degrees in professional accountancy, English, business, and kinesiology. Aspiring public school principals, superintendents, and teachers can also earn certifications online through UTPB.
Distance students can access an online writing lab to receive feedback on essays and other assignments. Additionally, learners can take advantage of Smarthinking online tutoring for 24/7 assistance in many academic disciplines. The school also boasts a virtual success center, which provides asynchronous tutoring in many math and science subjects.
|18||University of Houston - Clear Lake||Houston||$$$$$||2700 Bay Area Blvd|
Houston, TX 77058-1002
The University of Houston-Clear Lake is one of four universities in the University of Houston System. The school serves approximately 10,000 students through four colleges focused on business, education, humanities, and science. The university offers around 100 undergraduate and graduate programs, 20 of which students can pursue online.
UHCL provides four online bachelor's degrees, including some uncommon options for online colleges in Texas. For instance, distance learners can earn a BS in anthropology, which discusses diversity in Houston, the U.S., and the world. The multidisciplinary public services leadership degree prepares students for senior roles in government, law, and civil service. UHCL administers ts online bachelor's degrees as degree completion programs. Applicants should hold college-level experience, and participants graduate in two years by taking courses during the summer, fall, and spring terms.
The school's online offerings also include 10 master's programs. Notably, UHCL offers an MS in software engineering that covers software architecture, construction, and processes. Students can complete this 36-credit program in 15 months by taking three courses per semester. The university also hosts a 33-credit MS in school library and information science program that students can finish in 18 months. Other online master's programs award MS degrees in environmental science, engineering management, and educational management. Most graduate programs require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, although some require a 3.25 GPA or higher. Undergraduate transfer applicants must hold a minimum 2.75 GPA.
UHCL provides numerous web-based resources to distance students. The school's career center boasts an online career exploration tool and information related to career planning. Students can also sign up for online counseling and download self-help pamphlets through the university's mental health center. In addition, through the writing center, online students can sign up for synchronous virtual tutoring. The school's math center also provides one-on-one tutoring appointments online.
|19||The University of Texas at Dallas||Dallas||$$$$$||800 West Campbell Road|
Dallas, TX 75080-3021
The University of North Texas at Dallas serves more than 3,500 students through 30+ bachelor's and master's programs. A member of the University of North Texas System, UNT Dallas is one of the best Texas colleges offering online degrees.
Online graduate students can pursue an MBA with a concentration in strategic management, accounting, or human resources. Students progress through 30 credits of curriculum in a cohort and graduate in as few as 12 months. Learners without a bachelor's degree in business can complete a series of six foundational leveling courses entirely online before joining this program. Aside from leveling classes, UNT Dallas delivers most MBA coursework in a hybrid format.
The school also offers numerous hybrid and online courses that can be applied to undergraduate programs. Faculty teach online courses in education, computer programming, business, and criminal justice, among other fields.
UNT Dallas offers its online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses through Canvas and Blackboard. The school delivers courses synchronously and asynchronously, and students must meet due dates for readings, projects, and assignments. Online classes start and end on the same dates as on-campus classes. In addition, distance learners at UNT Dallas gain access to online tutoring through Smarthinking.
Prospective freshmen who graduated in the top 10% of their class receive an admission guarantee at UNT Dallas. Otherwise, applicants must satisfy class rank and standardized test score requirements for admission. In addition to minimum university requirements, students must meet program-specific expectations. For example, the school's MBA program requires applicants to hold four or more years of professional or military experience.
Undergraduate transfer students must meet different requirements depending on the amount of credits they have already earned. For example, students with 30-44 transfer credits must hold at a GPA of at least 2.25.
|20||University of the Incarnate Word||San Antonio||$$$$$||4301 Broadway|
San Antonio, TX 78209
The University of the Incarnate Word is a Roman Catholic-affiliated university in San Antonio. The school offers 80 undergraduate and graduate fields of study through several colleges and professional schools. UIW hosts online programming through its school of professional studies.
Distance undergraduate students can pursue four associate degrees and 10 bachelor's degrees. The university offers associate programs in business administration, general studies, information technology, and health sciences. Notable bachelor's options include degrees in psychology, leadership studies, and criminal justice. In addition, online BS in business administration students can concentrate their studies in seven areas, including project management, information systems, and social marketing. Regardless of their major, all bachelor's students must finish a 46-credit core curriculum, which includes coursework in religion, foreign language, and fine arts.
In terms of online graduate options, the school offers master's degrees in administration, business administration, teacher leadership, and organizational development. The university also offers a fully online doctorate in business administration.
Undergraduate applicants to the school of professional studies must have graduated from high school at least five years prior to applying, demonstrate three or more years of work experience, and hold a 2.5 GPA or higher. Prospective graduate students must submit official college transcripts earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Some programs, such as the MBA, require a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Undergraduate transfer students from regionally accredited institutions can transfer in any bachelor's courses in which they received at least a "D." Transfer courses that students earned a "C" or better in can be used for major, minor, or concentration requirements. Graduate students must take at least 24 credits at UIW, and learners transferring from regionally accredited institutions may apply up to 12 credits toward a degree.
|21||Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||$$$$$||1900 W 7th St.|
Plainview, TX 79072
Wayland Baptist University, founded in 1908, educates students through more than 65 programs of study across 14 campus locations. In 2001, the university launched WBU Online to manage and administer its online offerings. The school awarded its first online graduate degrees in 2006 and currently hosts around 20 online programs at the associate, bachelor's, and doctoral levels.
Undergraduates can choose from bachelor's degrees in applied science, business, psychology, and Christian ministry. The bachelor's in business administration program boasts several specializations, including cybersecurity, economics, and management information systems. Bachelor of applied science students can major in 10 areas, such as banking, computer science, environmental studies, and justice administration. Psychology students can earn a BS or a BA.
Online graduate students can pursue a master's degree in 11 fields. The Baptist-affiliated school offers both a master of divinity and a master of Christian ministry online. Other notable graduate options include master's degrees in history, English, humanities, nursing, and criminal justice. The school also offers an online doctor of management and two graduate certificate programs.
WBU delivers courses through four 11-week terms each year in the fall, spring, summer, and winter. Full-time students taking nine or more credits per term should expect to spend at least 27 hours on coursework each week (i.e., about three hours per credit).
The school accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited schools and many nationally accredited institutions. Applicants who completed formal training for civilian or military work can earn up to 12 credits based on their professional experiences. WBU also grants transfer credit for certain licenses and certifications.
One of the best online colleges in Texas in terms of affordability, WBU charges online learners considerably less than on-campus students. In addition, the school extends a special discounted rate to active-duty military members.
|22||Our Lady of the Lake University||San Antonio||$$$$$||411 SW 24th St|
San Antonio, TX 78207-4689
Our Lady of the Lake University is a Catholic institution affiliated with the Congregation of Divine Providence. The school is based in San Antonio and offers several undergraduate and graduate degrees online.
OLLU hosts an online MBA that takes less than two years to complete. Students can also choose an accelerated MS in nonprofit management, which comprises 12 courses and takes learners four semesters to finish. Other online graduate programs include an M.Ed. in school counseling and a Ph.D. in social work.
The school also offers one online undergraduate degree. Its BS in criminal justice covers topics like criminal justice theory, history, and law. The program stresses experiential learning, and students complete a practicum by working at an organization or community agency.
Distance students take courses asynchronously but must meet deadlines established by faculty. All courses feature discussion forums where students can ask questions, collaborate with classmates, and discuss course material. Before they begin a program, students participate in an orientation that teaches them how to use the school's virtual learning platform.
LIke many of the best accredited online colleges in Texas, OLLU offers distance learners the same resources available to on-campus students. In addition to career services and academic tutoring resources, online students can access 24/7 technical support.
Undergraduate applicants with no college experience must submit official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Admissions requirements vary depending on the program. For example, the MBA track requires a minimum 2.5 GPA, while the M.Ed. program asks for a 3.0 GPA. Some graduate programs also require students to submit letters of reference, a personal statement, and/or a current resume.
|23||Stephen F Austin State University||Nacogdoches||$$$$$||2008 Alumin Drive, Rusk 206|
Nacogdoches, TX 75961
Founded in 1923, Stephen F. Austin State University is an independent public institution based in Nacogdoches. The university offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs through six colleges and a graduate school. Students can earn more than 20 degrees entirely online.
Online undergraduate options include degrees focusing on education, nursing, business, and human development. The school also offers degree completion options in special education, early childhood education, and middle-level grades education. In addition, undergraduates can earn a bachelor's in business administration with a concentration in general business or corporate education.
The school offers 14 master's options for distance learners. Notably, students can pursue a master of music in either music education or theory and composition. Through a partnership with the National Park Service, SFA also provides an online MS in resource communications. This program trains students to manage and understand resources at national parks. Some other web-based graduate options include a master of public administration, an MA in mass communication, and an MSN.
Prospective freshmen must submit an application through ApplyTexas.org, send in official high school transcripts, and report their standardized test scores. Similar to other online colleges in Texas, SFA requires applicants to meet class rank and standardized test score minimums. On average, accepted students earned a 1006 on the SAT and a 21.9 on the ACT. Transfer students must hold at least 15 transferable credits, earned with a 2.0 GPA or higher. SFA uses rolling admissions for applications.
Graduate admissions requirements vary by program, although applicants typically need to hold a minimum 2.5 GPA with a GPA of at least 2.8 over their last 60 undergraduate credits. Some programs also require applicants to submit GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, and/or essays.
|24||Remington College-Fort Worth||Fort Worth||$$$$$||300 E. Loop 820|
Fort Worth, TX 76112-1225
Remington College -- established in 1987 -- boasts 14 campus locations, including Texas-based sites in Fort Worth, Greenspoint, Dallas, and Webster. The school also offers several undergraduate and graduate programs through a flexible distance format.
Online undergraduate students can select from associate and bachelor's programs. The school offers an online associate program in health information technology that qualifies students to sit for the registered health information technician exam. In addition, students can earn a 90-credit associate degree in paralegal studies in as few as 18 months.
The school offers distance bachelor's programs in criminal justice, organizational management, and health information management. Each degree requires approximately 180 quarter credits, including 90 credits of associate-level coursework along with 90 credits of upper-level courses. Students who hold a qualifying associate degree can complete any of the school's bachelor's programs in as few as 18 months. Students take courses through four three-month quarters each year.
Bachelor's degree holders can earn a 45-credit master's in health information management entirely online in 36 weeks. Alternatively, students not interested in earning a full degree can earn an online medical office administration diploma.
Remington College offers a fast track option for some degrees. Students in these accelerated programs take two courses at a time to graduate faster. In addition, all online programs boast at least three start dates per year. For example, the medical office administration program features nine start dates, and students studying paralegal studies, criminal justice, organizational management, or business administration can choose from six start dates each year.
To help students complete coursework on the go, Remington College gifts all new online learners a Kindle Fire.
|25||Tarleton State University - Global Campus||Stephenville||$$$$$||Box T-0011|
Stephenville, TX 76402
Based in Stephenville, Tarleton State University offers around 100 undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 13,000 students. A member of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton is one of the bet institutions offering online college courses in Texas. The school hosts more than 20 web-based programs leading to certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees.
Bachelor's students can choose from nine options, including degrees in business, psychology, and information technology. In addition, students can opt for less common distance programs, including a BAS in veterinary technology. Undergraduates can also earn a bachelor's in manufacturing and industrial management, which accepts up to 84 transfer credits.
Graduate students can pursue 10 web-based degrees. Notable options include an MS in agricultural and consumer resources. Other online graduate degrees include an MS in quality and engineering management, an M.Ed., and an MBA.
None of Tarleton's online programs require extended on-campus residencies, but some do ask students to make occasional visits to campus. In addition, learners can opt to supplement online coursework by attending in-person classes at campuses in Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian, or Stephenville.
Undergraduates looking to study at one of Tarleton's remote campuses or online must complete at least 30 transferable credits before applying. Applicants must also hold a minimum 2.0 GPA and take the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) assessment. Tarleton grants TSI exemptions to students with high standardized test scores, a previous undergraduate degree, or military service.
Tarleton hosts a career services center that helps students construct resumes, find jobs, and prepare for interviews. Distance learners can also schedule one-on-one advising sessions with academic counselors. The university's library offers virtual access to books, databases, and other research resources.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Texas
Below, you’ll find all of the online schools in Texas sorted by their tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||University of Texas of the Permian Basin||Odessa||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||University of Houston - Downtown||Houston||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Texas A&M University - Central Texas||Killeen||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||University of Texas at El Paso||El Paso||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Amberton University||Garland||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||University of Texas at San Antonio||San Antonio||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Lamar University||Beaumont||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||University of Texas at Brownsville||Brownsville||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||University of Houston - Victoria||Victoria||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||University of Houston - Clear Lake||Houston||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Tarleton State University - Global Campus||Stephenville||School profile||$$$$$|
|12||West Texas A&M University||Canyon||School profile||$$$$$|
|13||Angelo State University||San Angelo||School profile||$$$$$|
|14||Texas A&M University - Commerce||Commerce||School profile||$$$$$|
|15||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville||School profile||$$$$$|
|16||Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi||Corpus Christi||School profile||$$$$$|
|17||Texas Woman's University||Denton||School profile||$$$$$|
|18||Texas Tech University||Lubbock||School profile||$$$$$|
|19||Midwestern State University||Wichita Falls||School profile||$$$$$|
|20||University of Houston||Houston||School profile||$$$$$|
|21||Wayland Baptist University||Plainview||School profile||$$$$$|
|22||Dallas Christian College||Dallas||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Texas
Graduates of online colleges in Texas enter a fairly strong economy. Following the large national and global downturn caused by the Great Recession — the unemployment rate in Texas rose to 8.3% for several months in 2009 — unemployment in the state has steadily improved. In September 2018, the unemployment rate in Texas sat at 3.8%, near the national unemployment rate. Lower unemployment rates generally make it easier to secure a job after college.
Wages, on the other hand, experienced little growth over the last decade; this can create challenges for new college grads depending on their field or industry. The mean annual wage for all occupations in Texas in May 2017 was $48,700.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Texas
Ted Pohrte Scholarship for Online Students
Applicant must attend an online program in the Dallas County Community College District, hold no outstanding debt with their school, and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA.
TADC Urban Scholarship Fund
Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, Texas resident, demonstrate financial need, and have graduated from a high school in one of 29 select cities across the state.
Women’s Independence Scholarship Program
Applicant must be a survivor of intimate partner abuse and separated from said abuser for 1-7 years.
Association of Texas Leaders for Education Scholarship
Applicant must be a graduating high school senior with a minimum 3.0 GPA who has a record of serving their community or school.
Don’t Mess With Texas Scholarship
Applicant must be a Texas high school senior who holds a leadership role in litter prevention and plans to attend an accredited two-year or four-year college.
St. David’s Neal Kocurek Scholarship
Applicant must be a high school senior in Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, or Caldwell counties who is accepted to an accredited school to pursue a healthcare degree.
Stars Scholarship Fund
Applicant must hold permanent residency in a county in South or West Texas and hold at least 12 undergraduate credits earned with a minimum GPA of 2.7.
Pickard Scholarship Fund
Applicant must be an African-American male student graduating from a Dallas County high school with a GPA of at least 2.5.
LNESC Emergency Scholarship Fund
Applicant must be enrolled full-time in college; hold a minimum 3.0 GPA; and demonstrate immediate, emergency financial need due to disaster, job loss, family death, etc.
Find Schools in Texas
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