Our Research

This list features some of the best online schools in Texas. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. We included liberal arts colleges and research universities as well as small, midsize, and large institutions. Next, we compared this comprehensive list to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

All the online colleges on our best-of list are accredited, which means they meet or exceed stringent standards for educational excellence. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits most of the Texas schools on the list based on six core values. Another accreditor you’ll see is the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS), a nonprofit organization that accredits Christian colleges and universities in the United States and overseas.

We evaluated each school on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Texas

Best Online Colleges in Texas Badge
Intelligent Pick
LeTourneau University
Most Accessible
Texas Tech University
Most Accelerated Programs
University of North Texas
Best for Adult Learners
Texas A&M University at Commerce
Best Student Services
University of Houston at Clear Lake
Best For Veterans
Sam Houston State University
Best Alumni Network
Parker University
Best Christian Institution
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Best Customizable Program
Dallas Baptist University
Most Affordable
Texas Woman's University

The University of Texas at Arlington

University of Houston at Victoria

University of Texas Permian Basin

The University of Texas at Tyler

Baylor University

West Texas A&M University

Stephen F. Austin State University

Midwestern State University

University of the Incarnate Word

Texas A&M University at College Station

University of Houston

Tarleton State University

The University of Texas at Austin

Abilene Christian University

The University of Texas at Dallas

Southern Methodist University

Texas Christian University

Lamar University

Wayland Baptist University

St. Edward's University

University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Our Lady of the Lake University

The University of Texas at El Paso

Remington College

Southwestern Adventist University

Lubbock Christian University

Schreiner University

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi

Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Texas

Does Texas have good online colleges and universities?

Yes. The state offers a wealth of online educational opportunities, such as the University of Houston’s Online Bachelor’s in Retailing and Consumer Science and the University of Texas at Arlington’s Online Bachelor’s in Public Health. After you graduate, you may want to consider staying in Texas to complete a master’s degree while you work in one of the state’s many growing fields, such as computing or law. Texas is rich in graduate school options, including Rice University’s Online Master’s in Computer Science and Baylor University’s Online Master’s of Business Administration (MBA).

Do online college credits in Texas cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some schools offer discounted rates for online courses, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Texas became a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) in 2015. This means out-of-state students who live in a SARA-participating state can take online courses from Texas schools without incurring additional fees.

Why should you choose Texas for online higher education?

From affordable community colleges to top public research universities, Texas offers something for every type of online college student. One option that stands out as particularly appealing is Abilene Christian University, which offers a flat rate of $395 per undergraduate credit for all online students regardless of state residency. The university offers 15 undergraduate degree programs, including healthcare administration, organizational leadership, and marketing.

The Cost of Online College in Texas

How much does an online degree in Texas cost?

The cost of an online degree in Texas depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you decide to pursue. For example, undergraduate degrees are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you’ll probably find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save money on indirect expenses such as transportation, parking, and housing by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the lowest and highest rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Texas below:

  • Most affordable online colleges in Texas: Texas A&M University at Commerce, $160 per credit (in-state); Texas Tech University, $268 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Texas: Dallas Baptist University, $1,074 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Texas to get in-state tuition rates?

Typically, you will be eligible for in-state tuition rates after you have lived in Texas for 12 consecutive months. Some groups, such as military veterans, tribal members, and graduate fellows, are entitled to in-state tuition rates without meeting this one-year requirement.

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Texas?

The TEXAS Grant (an acronym for Toward Excellence, Access & Success) was established by the Texas Legislature in 1999 to provide financial support to students who are attending a Texas public university. To receive a TEXAS Grant, you must: be a Texas resident, be registered with (or exempt from) the Selective Service System, have financial need, be enrolled in college full-time, have not previously earned a baccalaureate degree, and have not been convicted of a felony or crime involving a controlled substance.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Texas

If you don’t qualify for a TEXAS Grant, there are many other sources of financial support available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are based on income, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent scholarship options for you below:

Association of Texas Leaders for Education Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors who are also Texas residents are eligible to apply for these scholarships that promote higher education within the Lone Star State. The selection committee looks for students who have demonstrated service to their community and school, as well as financial need.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA, positive school references, and intent to enroll as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, or technical school in Texas during the fall semester following graduation from high school.

Contact information: [email protected] | 806-762-8061

Learn more

Society of Professional Women in Petroleum Scholarship

Since 1981, this nonprofit organization that supports women in the sciences has awarded over $1 million in scholarships. Funds are awarded to eligible young women only and can be used toward any business or STEM field at a college or university in Texas.

Who’s eligible? In addition to the requirements above, applicants must be seniors at high schools within a 55-mile radius of downtown Houston and have demonstrated financial need.

Contact information: [email protected]

Learn more

Horatio Alger State Scholarship

This national scholarship program, funded by numerous foundations in Texas, is named after American author Horatio Alger. It’s offered to students who exhibit integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Recipients may begin their studies at a two-year institution and later transfer to a four-year institution.

Who’s eligible? High school seniors who have at least a 2.0 GPA, financial need, and Texas residency.

Contact information: [email protected] | 844-422-4200

Learn more

Celebrate the West

Students from Texas are eligible to enter this annual art scholarship competition hosted by the Western Governors’ Foundation and sponsored by Americans for the Arts. The annual competition, currently in its seventh year, asks high school students to create original works inspired by their state.

Who’s eligible? In addition to being Texas residents, entrants must be enrolled in grades 9-12 and submit a digital copy of their artwork that expresses a western theme. Eligible formats include painting, drawing, lithography, silkscreen, mixed media, computer graphics, and collage.

Contact information: [email protected] | 303-623-9378

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Industries in Texas

If you still don’t know where you will attend college, you may also be undecided on your major. In that case, one of the most important factors you should consider is which industries are growing the fastest in Texas — this will make it easier to find a job, and more demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By examining the state’s official Long-Term Industry Projections: 2018-2028, we’ve determined that the following five industries will have the highest growth rates in Texas in the immediate years to come:

Personal Care and Service

The personal care and service industry is a broad sector that mostly focuses on consumer quality-of-life services throughout the lifespan. In Texas, the most common occupations in this sector are child care workers, hairdressers, animal caretakers, exercise trainers, and recreation workers. Other jobs include funeral attendants, makeup artists, skincare specialists, and gambling service workers. All jobs in this industry have an average statewide salary of $29,030.

  • Growth: 24.4%
  • Degree options: Associate in Cosmetology, Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education, Bachelor’s in Recreation and Leisure, Bachelor’s in Funeral Service Management, Bachelor’s in Animal Behavior, Master’s in Leadership, Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology

Healthcare Support

The population of Texas has grown over 16% since 2010, and this growth is expected to continue. This has caused an increased need for healthcare support workers. Within this sector, the most common occupations are home health and personal care aides, nursing assistants, and medical assistants. Other occupations in this domain include psychiatric aides, physical therapy assistants, veterinary assistants, massage therapists, and pharmacy aides. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $27,370.

  • Growth: 20.5%
  • Degree options: Associate in Veterinary Technology, Associate in Nursing, Associate in Dental Assisting, Associate in Clinical Laboratory Technician, Bachelor’s in Health Administration, Bachelor’s in Health and Human Services, Bachelor’s in Pre-Occupational Therapy

Computers and Mathematics

Texas is the home of top tech companies like Dell and Electronic Data Systems, so it’s no surprise to see this industry is one of the strongest in the state. Within this sector, the most common occupations are software developers, computer systems analysts, and computer user support specialists. Other occupations include information research scientists, actuaries, and web developers. The average statewide salary for all jobs in this industry is $93,690.

Legal Occupations

The legal industry is booming in Texas, due in part to many large businesses relocating to the state in the past few years, as well as the state’s growing population. The most common occupations in this sector in Texas are lawyers and paralegals. Other legal occupations include mediators, arbitrators, judges, title examiners, and legal support workers. Jobs in the legal industry in Texas pay an average salary of $104,160.

Food Preparation and Serving

Texas’ restaurant industry generates $66 billion a year, and that number is expected to grow as the state’s population continues to rise. The most common occupations in this sector in Texas are fast-food workers and servers. Other jobs include chefs, private household cooks, bartenders, school cafeteria attendants, and restaurant managers. Jobs in food preparation and serving in Texas pay an average salary of $23,980.

  • Growth: 18.5%
  • Degree options: Associate in Food and Beverage Studies, Bachelor’s in Food Industry Compliance, Bachelor’s in Baking and Pastry Arts, Bachelor’s in Culinary Arts, Bachelor’s in Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship, Master’s in Business Administration (MBA)