Best Online Colleges in Texas 2021

Best Online Colleges in Texas 2021

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Online colleges in Texas allow students in the second most populated state to pursue the college experience that best suits their needs.

Working students in search of programs that do not interfere with personal or professional responsibilities should consider earning an online degree in Texas. The state's 60x30TX strategic plan aims to increase the number of degree holders aged 25-34 by at least 60% before 2030.

The Texas Affordable Baccalaureate program specifically focuses on online, hybrid, and competency-based courses that offer innovative pathways for students to earn their degrees sooner and on their own terms. Online programs in Texas may also offer cohort-style models, which allow students to build a strong network with other online learners.

Texan higher education initiatives strive to remove financial barriers restricting students from obtaining degrees, lowering the amount of statewide student debt. Public universities in Texas provide over $15.3 billion in financial aid every year, and the average Texas graduate possesses about $26,900 in student debt.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Texas 2021

#1 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, TX
#2 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#3 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
#4 University of North Texas Denton, TX
#5 LeTourneau University Longview, TX
#6 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
#7 The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX
#8 Texas A & M University-Commerce Commerce, TX
#9 West Texas A & M University Canyon, TX
#10 Stephen F Austin State University Nacogdoches, TX

The Best Online Colleges in Texas

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University of North Texas 

Denton, TX Apply Now

About this school

UNT has been a guiding light in students' careers since 1890. This Tier One research university handles an enrollment of nearly 41,000 students.

UNT Online has accelerated online degree programs with completion periods as short as 12 to 18 months. Even Tier One quality research-based degrees have eight-week formats, and students can take more than one class at a time. Some of the online degree programs are in the fields of learning technologies, information sciences, and rehabilitation studies.

Potential UNT students must supply official high school transcripts showing GPA score and class rank, as well as SAT/ACT scores.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

LeTourneau University 

Longview, TX Apply Now

About this school

In 1946, R.G. LeTourneau and his wife converted an abandoned Army hospital into a World War II veteran school. Today, LETU has over 3,000 students enrolled.

LETU's online degree programs are integral to its entire academic system. Along with easy access to the library and other educational resources, students may choose from a large selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees such as marketing cybersecurity, and a master's in clinical mental health counseling.

Applicants must submit official transcripts from high school or any higher learning institute attended.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

Sam Houston State University 

Huntsville, TX Apply Now

About this school

Founded in 1879, SHSU bears the namesake of the famous Texas war hero and politician Sam Houston. The total student enrollment is over 21,700.

Including 20 certificate programs, SHSU Online offers 18 undergraduate and 30 graduate degrees. SHSU is one of Texas's best online colleges because it provides a faculty of on-campus professors teaching courses that carry the same credit value as face-to-face courses. This program uses the Blackboard online learning platform with an asynchronous class structure.

Admissions requirements consist of a completed online application and official high school transcripts. ACT/SAT scores are optional.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

The University of Texas at El Paso 

El Paso, TX Apply Now

About this school

UTEP opened its doors in 1914 as the State School of Mines and Metallurgy. Nearly 25,000 students attend on-campus and online.

UTEP Connect has an extensive offering of bachelor's, master's, and certificate programs. Some of the bachelor's degrees are in media advertising, criminal justice, and nursing RN to BSN. First-time online students get personalized help through every phase of onboarding with the program.

Prospective students must complete an online application on, request a transfer of official transcripts to UTEP, and arrange to take the Texas Success Initiative Assessment Test (TSI) if needed.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

Texas A & M University-Commerce 

Commerce, TX Apply Now

About this school

Established in 1889, TAMUC is the second-largest university in the Texas A&M University System. It has a student body of about 10,000.

TAMUC's online degree program offers close to 40 undergraduate and graduate degrees 100% online. It also has 15 hybrids (50% or more online) degree plans. The program's ability to include students just starting or wanting to finish a degree online makes TAMUC one of the best online colleges in Texas.

After completing an application on, applicants must submit transcripts from all schools attended. ACT/SAT scores are optional requirements.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

West Texas A & M University 

Canyon, TX Apply Now

About this school

In 1909, the Texas State Legislature established WTAMU as a secondary school for teachers' education in the area. Today, this university has more than 10,000 students.

The online degree program at WTAMU provides online and hybrid/blended degree programs from undergraduate to doctorate levels. Degree plans include a bachelor's in finance, a master's in business, and a doctorate in educational leadership. WTAMU prepares students to meet Texas certification and licensure requirements.

First-year applicants must provide a completed WTAMU application, official high school transcripts, and SAT/ACT scores. Transfer students must submit college transcripts.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

Stephen F Austin State University 

Nacogdoches, TX Apply Now

About this school

When the state legislature chartered SFA in 1923, it named the school after Stephen F. Austin, one of Texas's most prominent people. Close to 13,000 students now attend SFA.

SFA Online is one of the best online colleges in Texas because of its accessibility and flexibility. Plus, students can choose a minor in specific fields of interest such as business communication, health science, and public administration.

Aspiring students must fill out the application and supply an official transcript from an accredited high school along with ACT/SAT scores.

Graduation Rate
Percent Receiving Loans
Online Enrollment

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Colleges

Online Colleges in Texas Ranking Guidelines

We selected the online schools in Texas based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, and faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.

Employment in Texas

While out-of-state learners may choose online colleges in Texas, many online students also to live in the state or plan to after graduation. Texas is the 10th largest economy in the world, providing excellent opportunities for professionals holding degrees. Texas is also home to nearly 50 Fortune 500 organizations.

Students seeking steady careers should examine the leading industries in Texas, which include advanced manufacturing, aerospace, aviation and defense, biotechnology and life sciences, energy, and information technology. Each industry offers opportunities for varying levels of education, and students can advance as they earn advanced degrees.

Quality of life is another factor. On a 100 point scale, Texas offers a 93.9 cost of living index. Students may want to examine the average earning potential in their desired roles to determine what sort of lifestyle they could afford after earning their degrees.

Highest Paying Careers Texas
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Chief Executives $231,310 -3.9%
Surgeons $237,240 14.4%
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $177,970 15.2%
Dentists $183,510 19.4%
Family Medicine Physicians $222,900 14.3%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral
Fastest Growing Careers Texas
Career Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)
Wind Turbine Service Technicians $53,180 94.8%
Forest Fire Inspectors and Prevention Specialists $65,640 29.4%
Genetic Counselors $86,070 29.0%
Physician Assistants $109,270 37.4%
Nurse Practitioners $115,440 36.1%
Source: BLS, ProjectionsCentral Jobs in El Paso Jobs in Houston

Associate and Graduate Degrees

Students considering an online degree in Texas have access to multiple programs that prepare graduates to excel in competitive markets. Distance learners with no prior college experience may want to begin by earning an associate degree, which are typically offered by community colleges or technical schools.

Both online associate degrees and master's degrees may differ from traditional, on-campus programs.

An associate degree typically requires 60 credits and two years of study, though schools may also offer accelerated options. Online associate degrees may qualify graduates for degree-completion programs, which lead to a bachelor's degree. Common majors reflect thriving industries in the state, including mechanical drafting or mechanical engineering technology.

Online colleges in Texas also offer opportunities for working professionals who wish to advance their careers or transition to another field. Graduate programs require 30-60 credits and students can typically earn their degrees in 12-24 months, depending on the program.

Both online associate degrees and master's degrees may differ from traditional, on-campus programs. Online courses often utilize an asynchronous learning format, which relies on students managing their own schedules and doing independent work outside of group projects and forum discussions. Additionally, students may need to acquire their own field placements for practicum requirements, though schools often assist in this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online College Cheaper in Texas?

While some schools offer lower rates for distance programs, the cost of online degrees in Texas varies by institution and can be different depending on prior completed coursework. Attending a Texas college online can mean savings on commuting costs or on-campus living expenses.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online Degree in Texas?

Distance learners can access traditional semester-based programs, which often require four years for a bachelor's program. However, accelerated options allow students to graduate sooner.

What Is the Most Popular Degree in Texas?

The most popular majors at public institutions in Texas include business, health professions, interdisciplinary studies, engineering, and biological or biomedical sciences.

Does an Online Degree Have the Same Value as an On-Campus Degree?

Online programs offer the same educational quality as in-person courses. In fact, many online courses are taught by the same professors as in-person classes, and colleges and universities don't typically mark whether a degree was earned online on the final diploma.

Is Texas a Good State For Higher Education?

Online schools in Texas offer quality programs that allow students to acquire pertinent knowledge and skills needed to excel in their respective fields.

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