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The Best Online Colleges in Texas

The Best Online Colleges in Texas
Rank School Location
1 Texas Tech University Lubbock, Texas
2 The University of Texas Permian Basin Odessa, Texas
3 University of North Texas Denton, Texas
4 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, Texas
5 Lamar University Beaumont, Texas
6 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, Texas
7 Texas A & M University-College Station College Station, Texas
8 Baylor University Waco, Texas
9 Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas
10 Rice University Houston, Texas

Imagine earning a degree while maintaining a full-time job or balancing other family responsibilities. Thanks to online colleges in Texas, this is now a possibility in many degree subjects. The Lone Star State has a large variety of accredited colleges, offering students flexibility, affordability, and access to education online. Discover the best online colleges in Texas along with their degree information.

Students need not live in Texas to earn a degree at a Texas college online. Out of state students are welcome to attend these best online colleges in Texas, whether as undergraduate students or graduate students.

The rise of education online has opened doors for Texas students who need flexibility to pursue their degrees while managing work and family commitments. With a wide range of online degree programs, from associate to doctoral level, online Texas schools cater to the diverse needs of distance learners.

But what makes these online colleges stand out, and how does the state support this education? Explore the advantages of online colleges in Texas, such as flexible scheduling, lower cost, and equivalent education quality.

Understand online colleges and online programs to compare affordability, academic quality, accreditation, and online delivery method (synchronous or asynchronous). Many schools in Texas offer online degrees that are flexible (asynchronous), which students may complete at their own pace.

Research programs and concentrations offered by online colleges in Texas while evaluating support services & accreditation status for a successful education.

The Best Online Colleges in Texas


Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech offers over 80 online bachelor's and master's degrees, and many online doctorates, undergraduate and graduate certificates, and industry career certificates.


The University of Texas Permian Basin

Odessa, Texas

University of Texas Permian Basin

UTPB online: offers 16 bachelor's, 20 master's, and 8 certificates in a broad variety of subjects. Also, they are offering free bachelor's degrees for Texas residents through Falcon Free Scholarships.


University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

University of North Texas

UNT offers 7 bachelor's, 38 master's, 1 PhD, as well as certificates and certifications online.

UNT also offers online tutoring.


Stephen F Austin State University

Nacogdoches, Texas

Stephen F Austin University

SFASU offers more than 30 degrees online: 12 bachelor's, 20 master's, and a doctoral degree.


Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University

Lamar University offers many online subjects to earn a degree, including business, political science/criminal justice, education, nursing, health sciences, technology and liberal arts. These subjects vary in offering bachelor's, master's, or certificates.


Texas Christian University

Willian H. Koehler Center for Instruction, Innovation, and Engagement

Fort Worth, Texas

Texas Christian University

TCU offers the following online: 4 bachelor's (all are BSN to DNP programs), master's programs in Nursing, Criminal Justice, and Liberal Arts, two doctorates in Nursing, and post graduate certificates.


Texas A & M University-College Station

College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M offers 1 online bachelor's (a Bachelor of Science in Nursing), and many online master's in fields such as medicine, public health, agriculture, law, business, and and engineering, among other subjects, online doctorates, and online certificates.


Baylor University

Waco, Texas

Baylor University

Baylor University offers 9 online master's and 10 doctorate degrees in many subjects.


Southern Methodist University

Dallas, Texas

Southern Methodist University

Percentage of online enrollment: 7%

SMU offers online master's degrees, certificates, and short courses.


Rice University

Houston, Texas

Rice University

Rice University offers 4 online master's programs:

  • Master of Computer Science Online
  • Master of Data Science
  • Master of Engineering Management and Leadership
  • Master of Business Administration Online Program

Advantages of online Texas Colleges

Embracing an online college in Texas comes with advantages. Students can often study at their own pace and schedule, eliminating the stress of juggling work, family, and education. Moreover, online courses are generally more economical than on-campus classes, thanks to the absence of overhead costs and potential discounts for students who pay their tuition in full.

Quality education is also a mark of Texas online colleges. Online courses are taught by experienced faculty members who bring their expertise to the classroom. Students gain access to a wealth of resources, such as online libraries, discussion boards, and virtual labs, ensuring a well-rounded and engaging learning experience.

State Initiatives Supporting Online Education

The state of Texas recognizes the importance of education, and has taken several initiatives to support it. These include tailoring support services for distance learners, allowing schools to receive state funding for online classes, and outlining best practices for developing and implementing distance learning programs.

In addition, Texas supports its residents by providing free tuition for low-income students who meet the eligibility criteria, grants for adult learners, and scholarships for veterans. These initiatives help make online education in Texas more accessible and affordable.

Ranking Methodology for the Best Online Colleges in Texas

With so many online colleges in Texas, how can prospective students identify the best options for them? Ranking methodologies provide a good way to research and compare different online programs based on various factors, such as affordability, academic influence, and online enrollment.

Let's examine the data sources and key ranking factors that shape these methodologies.

Data Sources

To rank online colleges in Texas, various data sources are employed, including the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and the U.S. Department of Education is home to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

This center provides educational statistics on American schools. These federal data sources provide information on affordability, accreditation, and program offerings, for a reliable assessment of online colleges in Texas.

Ranking Factors

The primary ranking factors for Texas colleges online include preference to colleges offering undergraduate and graduate programs and variety of programs offered, academic influence, graduation rates and affordability. This method helps provide objectivity in the rankings, helping online students to be informed about their education options.

For a more thorough explanation, visit our ranking methodology.

Understanding Accreditation of online colleges in Texas

When choosing between the best online colleges in Texas, it's essential to consider accreditation. Accreditation is a process that verifies the quality of education provided by an institution and guarantees that credits earned are transferable to other accredited institutions. By attending an accredited college in Texas, you not only get a recognized degree, but also enhance your career prospects and potential eligibility to receive federal financial aid. Regionally accredited schools online have the highest prestige.

In Texas, the Higher Education Coordinating Board recognizes accreditation agencies such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Make sure to verify the accreditation status of online colleges in Texas.

Types of Online Degrees Offered in Texas

The world of online school in Texas is large and diverse, offering many undergraduate and graduate online programs to suit the goals of online learners.

From online associate degree options to doctoral degrees, certificates, hybrids, synchronous and asynchronous programs, and even accelerated programs with 7-8 week courses, colleges in Texas have something for almost everyone.

No matter your career aspirations or the stage of your educational journey, there's Texas online degree programs for almost all subjects.

Texas has some of the most prestigious and best accredited online colleges. Baylor University, Texas Tech University, Rice University, University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, and Stephen F Austin State University are some of the top universities. Any of these offers supported online degrees for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Programs in Texas can appeal to a wide range of interests and career paths. Some popular online degrees include business administration, humanities, political science, engineering, and healthcare (such as clinical mental health counseling). Business administration is the most popular online bachelor's degree in the nation.

Whether you're looking to advance in your current field or embark on a new career, these popular online undergraduate programs and graduate degrees offer the flexibility and convenience needed to help achieve college education goals.

Comparing Online vs. On-Campus Degrees

Online and on-campus degrees might appear different on the surface, but they offer the same quality of education. The main differences are in cost, flexibility, and the degree of interaction with professors and peers. The degree validity and viability in seeking jobs is the same.

Online programs are generally more cost-effective and offer greater flexibility in terms of scheduling, allowing students to complete their degrees at their own pace. However, on campus degrees might provide more opportunities for networking and face-to-face interaction with professors and fellow students. Many online schools offer degree completion programs for transfer students, whether transfer students are coming from community colleges or a private or public institution of higher learning.

See our article The Best Colleges for Transferring to Universities in Texas.

Costs and Financial Aid for Online Students

The tuition and fees for online universities in Texas vary depending on the institution and any prior coursework completed. For instance, in-state tuition averages $18,711, while out-of-state students pay an average of $24,889 at public four-year colleges in Texas.

However, online programs often offer more cost-effective options thanks to the absence of additional fees associated with on-campus programs.

Scholarships, Grants, and Loans

Financial aid can help make your online education in Texas more affordable. The state offers various grants and scholarships, such as the Texas Educational Opportunity Grant Program (TEOG), Toward Excellence, Access, and Success Grant Program (TEXAS Grant), and Tuition Equalization Grant Program (TEG).

Additionally, students may explore scholarship options through online scholarship databases like Scholarships.com and Bold.org. Don't let finances stand in the way of your educational dreams – explore your financial aid options today.

See our Financial Aid Guide for Online Colleges Students.

Employment Opportunities for Graduates of Online Colleges in Texas

Graduating from an online college in Texas may help open the door to a wealth of career opportunities. With a recognized degree in hand, graduates are able to apply for the same jobs as those who earned their degrees through traditional, on-campus programs.

The fast-growing industries of hospitality, healthcare, technology, and green energy offer many in-demand jobs, ensuring a bright future for online college graduates in Texas.

Fastest-Growing Jobs in Texas

Some of the fastest-growing jobs in Texas include wind turbine service technicians, statisticians, actuaries, operations research analysts, and physician assistants. These professions span various industries and require different skill sets, showcasing the diverse opportunities available to graduates of online colleges in Texas.

By pursuing an online degree in a high-growth field, you can set yourself up for a successful and rewarding career.

Highest Paying Jobs in Texas

High paying jobs in Texas often require a minimum of a college degree. Business leaders typically need at least a bachelor's degree, whereas healthcare administration or paralegals may only require an associate degree. Business administration is the #1 online subject with the highest earning potential in our list of the 20 Best Online Degrees for Careers with a bachelor's degree.

Most of the highest earning positions are in business in management and finance. The next highest earning potential is in computer science and technical management positions. Third is commercial airline pilot. Marketing managers also do well. Austin is also an epicenter for game design, which is a popular subject for online learners.

See our article The Best Bachelor's Degrees in Marketing in Texas.

Tips for Choosing a College in Texas

Selecting the right college in Texas is an important step in an online student's education. To be informed, it's important to research online schools, degree options and concentrations, online delivery method, evaluate support services, and understand accreditation. By taking these factors into account, students will be better prepared to determine the college education that aligns with their degree of choice, learning style, and career goals.

See our Online College Success: 10 Best Tips.

Researching Programs and Specialties

When researching colleges in Texas that offer online program options, find the programs and specialties offered by each institution. Consider factors like tuition and fees, admission requirements, and student support services. By comparing different programs and specialties, you can find the college that best fits your educational needs and career goals.

Evaluating Support Services

It's also essential to evaluate the support services offered by colleges in Texas. Look for academic advising, technical support, and career services to find the colleges which provide the resources needed for students to do well. The quality of support services can greatly impact an educational experience and possibly affect future career prospects.

Colleges in Texas can offer a flexible and affordable pathway to higher education online, making it possible for students to balance education and personal commitments. With state initiatives supporting education online and a wealth of degree programs from which to choose, there has never been a better time to pursue an online degree in Texas.

As students embark on their education, remember to research programs and concentrations, evaluate support services, and understand accreditation. By taking these factors and others into account, prospective students can find the college that best aligns with their education goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What colleges in Texas are online?

Texas has six state university systems, and many colleges within these offer online degrees. There are also 38 private universities in Texas, which also have their colleges that offer degrees online.

Then there are private colleges that aren't part of a university system that also offer degrees online throughout the state. Given that new degree program options arise online often, it's hard to keep track of all colleges which offer degrees online.

For those looking for education in Texas that is taken online, there are a number of excellent options available. With these educational opportunities, students can better find many college options that best suits their needs.

What is the #1 online university in the U.S.?

Penn State University - World Campus is the top online learning institution of higher learning in the U.S. This recognition is a testament to the quality of education that they provide.

The university offers a wide range of degrees online, from associate's to doctoral degrees, and is committed to providing students with the best possible education. Penn State University - World Campus uses a flexible learning model, allowing students to learn at their own pace.

Can you get a bachelor's degree online in Texas?

Yes, students can get a bachelor's degree online in Texas. Texas colleges offer online associate, bachelor's, master's and doctorate degree programs, as well as online undergraduate and graduate certificates. University of North Texas, one of the largest providers of online credit courses among Texas public universities, offers over 80 online program options.

Are online colleges trustworthy?

Overall, colleges that offer online degrees can be trusted as long as they are accredited by a recognized accrediting body. Regional accreditation is the highest accreditation. Adequate research into the school and its accreditation should signify that the education is legitimate. Online degrees are just as trustworthy as their on-campus counterparts with schools that have the same accreditation.