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Discover the QS rankings for top universities in the USA 2020

Want to study in Texas? The second-largest state in the US by area, Texas is a place of superlatives, renowned for its warmhearted citizens (the state's motto is "Friendship", after all), geographic diversity, and great food. From the famed nightlife and arts scene of Austin, to the NASA Space Station in Houston, and the sporting prowess of teams like the Dallas Cowboys, if you study in Texas, you'll never be bored.

In short, your experience of Texas will vary wildly depending on which of the top universities in Texas you study at. The area is likely to be of particular interest to anyone interested in working in the state’s thriving energy industry after graduation. Largely due to Texas’s petroleum reserves which were discovered in the early 1900s, the energy industry has underpinned the economic growth of the state, helping other industries and the state’s higher education system to develop in turn. Texas also has a strong standing in the technology, biomedical sciences and aerospace sectors.

Keep reading to find out more about the top universities in Texas, and the Texan cities where you could be spending your student years.

Top universities in Texas 

University of Texas at Austin

If you’re interested in studying in Texas you’ll find plenty of choice, including 10 universities in Texas which feature in the QS World University Rankings: USA 2020. The highest-ranked is the University of Texas at Austin, placed 25th in the US, and it’s the flagship institution of the state’s public university system. Boasting 17 libraries and seven museums, the university holds one of the country’s largest research budgets, and is also the home of several renowned sports teams, known as the Texas Longhorns.

Top universities in Texas, based on the QS World University Rankings: USA 2020:

Top student cities in Texas 



Once a global symbol of the entire US, thanks to the hit TV series with the city’s name, Dallas is mostly known as the city of cowboys and cheerleaders. It can’t be summed up just by its stereotypes, however; Dallas also boasts the largest arts district in the US and some brilliant museums, as well as tourist-attracting memorials for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Home to the University of Texas at Dallas, as well as the Southern Methodist University, Dallas has a sizeable student population and has plenty to offer.


Home to another two of the top universities in Texas (Rice University and the University of Houston), Houston is the state’s largest city and the fourth largest in the US. Simultaneously laid-back and high-powered, Houston offers a cultured city scene combined with popular celebrations such as week-long rodeos and barbeque cook-offs. Among our top Texan cities for students, Houston is the closest to the coast, and the famous Bay Area Houston is just a half-hour drive outside of the center. Houston was a new entry in the QS Best Student Cities in 2017 at 92nd.


State capital Austin is renowned for its eclectic community, with tattooed creatives and suited millionaires living in close proximity to each other. The locals revel in Austin’s so called weirdness – you’ll even see bumper stickers, t-shirts and other merchandise bearing the slogan “Keep Austin Weird”.

Local watering holes have a long-held performance culture, famous for launching the careers of the likes of Janis Joplin and Willie Nelson. Today, Austin’s lively music scene means that almost any night of the week you can go to a gig featuring music of almost any genre. The University of Texas at Austin, established just 44 years after the city itself was founded in 1839, continues to play a central role in the city’s life and development.

Facts about Texas


  • Texas was the fifth most affordable US state for international students according to a 2017 report published by Finder.com. The average spend by Texas’ 82,184 international students was US$23,119 a year.
  • Population of 28.3 million, only beaten by California as the most populous state
  • Almost a third of Texas’s population is Spanish-speaking
  • The state has no official language, due to the variety of different tongues found here
  • The name Texas derives from a Caddo Indian word meaning allies, which is why the state motto is “friendship” 
  • The term "six flags over Texas" refers to the several nations that have ruled over the region
  • Texas has the second greatest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the US, after California
  • The list of famous Texans is very impressive – a few examples are former president George W. Bush, singers from Janice Joplin to Beyoncé, actors Woody Harrelson and Renée Zellweger, and comedian Steve Martin.
  • The state’s Waggoner Ranch is the largest ranch in the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and, at 520,000 acres, is bigger than the entire country of Mauritius
  • There are nearly 250 cities in Texas with a population over 10,000, and 28 with populations over 100,000
  • Texan cattle, although in decline in the last few years, still number around 11 million

This article was originally published in December 2010. It was most recently updated in July 2020.

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Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a former staff writer for TopUniversities.com, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

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hi,plz help me to know how can I persue my further studies in austin texas, as I am getting married there.I have done M.Sc biotechnology CGPA 9.4 but I dnt have any research paper published nor GRE qualified.

Hi, I recently applied for masters in engineering management at new jersey institute of technology, university of texas arlington and university of houston clearlake. I would like to know which is best to attend as an international student in relation to employability, standard of living and more. Thank you.

Hi. My profile : B.tech - CS- Sastra University- CGPA - 7.12, Work experience : 2 years(Web developer in an MNC). 10th - 97%, 12th 96.2%. I haven't given my GRE yet.
What are your suggestions to pursue MS in Texas. I would like to prefer public universities to keep a check on my finances. Kindly provide your suggestions. Thanks.

Please can I get any university in Texas for masters round 5000$ persemester for an international student.

I am pursuing MS in Computer Science in US. I specifically was looking at 2 universiteis. I have 321 in GRE (Q:167 AND V:154) AWA 4.0.
I have 2+ years work ex and have an undergrad percentage of 84%.
What are my chances of getting into University of Texas Austin And Texas A and M Universities.
Thank You.

I am pursuing my B.Tech in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and i want to do MS in Robotics in texas. I am going to complete my graduation next year please guide me what to do.

Hi Vivek. You'll need to identify which courses you'd like to apply to, and then follow the application process here. To get some ideas about the top universities in Texas, take a look at this article. And for information about applying to study in the US, visit our country guide. You may also be interested in our rankings of the world's top universities in relevant subjects (such as electrical engineering and computer science), which you can find here. If you're able to attend one of our QS World Grad School Tour events, you'll also have the chance to get more personal advice on applying for master's degrees in the US and elsewhere - you can find your nearest event here.

i am pursuing chemical engineering from india and i want to get into some good college for ms in petroleum in texas.. please help me in framing my profile, like how should I start from now so that i can get into a good university.

Hi Purnima, my advice would be to get started right away to find a university you're interested in studying at. To do this you should research the top universities in Texas by taking a look at this article and scrolling to 'T'. You can then use our Chemical Engineering subject rankings to find a reputed Texan university in your field.

Not all these universities will offer an MS in Petroleum so be sure to take a look at each school's website to find out about the programs they offer (via Google or by clicking on their rankings profile). From there, if you have any questions about a particular program/school you should contact the school directly.



i am having 33 years of teaching experience in the field of printing technology, pr and journalism. i would like to do a suitable course in any university in the united states. kindly guide me in the matter.