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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.

The following ranking includes 25 of the best online colleges in Texas.

Top 10 Online Colleges in Texas 2020

#1 Texas A & M University - College Station College Station, TX
#2 University of North Texas Denton, TX
#3 Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX
#4 The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX
#5 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
#6 Dallas Baptist University Dallas, TX
#7 Southwestern Assemblies of God University Waxahachie, TX
#8 The University of Texas at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
#9 Concordia University Texas Austin, TX
#10 LeTourneau University Longview, TX

Table of Contents

Our guide contains everything you need to know about the best colleges in Texas. Click on a topic to learn more.

The Best Online Colleges in Texas

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4

The University of Texas at El Paso 

El Paso, TX

About this school

A top-tier research university, the University of Texas at El Paso holds R1 Carnegie classification and enrolls nearly 25,200 students each year. Students can choose from 77 bachelor's degrees, 72 master's degrees, and 22 doctoral programs. In addition to on-campus programs, UTEP offers several online degrees in areas such as criminal justice, nursing, education, and engineering.

Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Assignments may include discussion board posts, group projects, quizzes, and individual projects.

UTEP suggests that students allot at least 10 hours of study per week to each class. Distance learners have access to technical assistance, a writing center, and a digital library. UTEP also pairs online students with an enrollment counselor and a student success advisor.

Freshman applicants must submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Graduate applicants must submit a statement of purpose, a resume, and letters of recommendation.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
39%
Percent Receiving Loans
39%
Online Enrollment
33%
5

Sam Houston State University 

Huntsville, TX

About this school

Sam Houston State University offers 90 bachelor's degrees, 60 master's degrees, and 10 doctoral programs, including online options. The school offers fully online degrees in areas like communication studies, sociology, curriculum and instruction, and public administration, making it a great choice for students who want to attend a Texas college online.

SHSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to administer distance coursework. Online courses typically follow a flexible, asynchronous format. Assignments may include discussion board posts, recorded lectures, group projects, and essays. Distance learners receive access to an academic advisor and technical support.

Online classes follow a traditional, semester-based schedule, which includes two 16-week sessions per year. Freshman admission requires official transcripts, standardized test scores, and a minimum 2.25 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
52%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
Online Enrollment
40%
6

Dallas Baptist University 

Dallas, TX

About this school

Dallas Baptist University is a private, Christian university that offers coursework through a faith-based lens. Distance learners can choose from a variety of fully online degrees in areas like biblical studies, psychology, healthcare management, and management information systems.

DBU online students access weekly modules through the Blackboard learning management system. The asynchronous learning format allows students to complete assignments on their own time. However, DBU does provide deadlines. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion board posts, email, and group chats.

Distance learners have access to a writing center, digital databases, an online bookstore, and an academic advisor. DBU uses a semester-based academic calendar, which includes two 16-week sessions per year. DBU also offers a 10-week summer session, which can help students expedite graduation.

Freshman admission requires official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores, and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
53%
Percent Receiving Loans
47%
Online Enrollment
32%
7

Southwestern Assemblies of God University 

Waxahachie, TX

About this school

Established in 1927, Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers postsecondary programs taught through a Christian lens. The school's core values include spiritual formation, immersive learning, and community engagement. Students can choose from over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs, including several online degrees.

Online areas of study include biblical studies, child and family studies, human services, and occupational leadership. Distance programs use the Blackboard learning management system to provide weekly modules that contain assignments and additional learning materials. Online courses use an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

Assignments may include projects, case studies, recorded lectures, and exams. Distance learners have access to counseling services, testing services, technical support, and librarian research support.

All applicants must submit a Christian character reference. Incoming freshmen must submit ACT or SAT scores and official transcripts indicating a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduate applicants must submit a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts demonstrating a minimum 2.5 GPA.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
82%
Online Enrollment
23%
8

The University of Texas at San Antonio 

San Antonio, TX

About this school

The largest university in the San Antonio region, the University of Texas at San Antonio enrolls over 32,000 students annually. The school emphasizes public service, innovation, and research and holds Carnegie recognition for its commitment to serving local communities.

UTSA offers fully online bachelor's degrees in areas like cybersecurity and multidisciplinary studies. The Blackboard online learning management system houses weekly modules that include assignments, discussion forums, and students' grades. Courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to set their own schedules and balance their studies with professional obligations.

Assignments may include group projects, supplemental readings, essays, and exams. Distance learners have access to an academic counselor, a writing center, online research support, peer mentoring, and technical support. Admission requires official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
40%
Percent Receiving Loans
54%
Online Enrollment
31%
9

Concordia University Texas 

Austin, TX

About this school

Founded in 1926, Concordia University Texas is a private university affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Concordia prioritizes academic excellence, engaged learning experiences, and affordability. The school hosts around 2,500 students annually and offers a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Students considering online degrees in Texas can choose from nearly 20 career-focused online programs at Concordia. Areas of study include computer science, business, criminal justice, and education.

Online students use the Blackboard learning management system to access assignments, exams, and discussion boards. Concordia University Texas uses asynchronous learning, which provides flexible access to coursework. Online students also have access to tutoring, counseling, and academic advising services.

Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA for undergraduate applicants and at least a 2.5 GPA for graduate applicants.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
35%
Percent Receiving Loans
74%
Online Enrollment
26%
10

LeTourneau University 

Longview, TX

About this school

LeTourneau University offers postsecondary programs through a faith-based lens. LETU enrolls over 3,000 students annually, representing 44 states and 33 countries. Students can choose from over 140 programs, including many fully online options. Online areas of study include aviation and aeronautical science, nursing, psychology, and theology.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system using a mostly asynchronous format. Weekly modules contain supplemental reading materials, assignments, and opportunities for engagement through discussion posts, group chats, and email.

Online students have access to tutoring, counseling, and academic advising services. Freshman admission requires official transcripts, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and standardized test scores.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
61%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%
Online Enrollment
17%
11

Houston Baptist University 

Houston, TX

About this school

Founded in 1960, Houston Baptist University enrolls over 3,000 students annually and offers a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students considering online degrees in Texas can choose from several fully online programs at HBU.

Online undergraduate program options include biblical studies, theology, psychology, and nursing. Students can also earn online graduate degrees in education, counseling, or management. Online students access course materials through the Blackboard learning management system.

Courses use an asynchronous format. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion forums, recorded video presentation posts, live chats, and email. Assignments may include group projects, essays, quizzes, and exams.

Undergraduate admission requires official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. Minimum GPA requirements vary by program. Graduate admission requirements may include proof of work experience and letters of recommendation.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
40%
Percent Receiving Loans
61%
Online Enrollment
21%
12

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin 

Odessa, TX

About this school

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin hosts 5,800 students from 36 states and 45 countries every year, over 50% of whom identify as first-generation college students. Students can choose from 35 undergraduate programs and 18 graduate degrees. The school also offers fully online degrees in areas like business administration, communications, and engineering.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Courses typically span eight weeks and follow an asynchronous format. Assignments may include essays, projects, and quizzes. Students engage with peers through discussion board posts, group projects, and live chats.

Distance learners can access tutoring services through the tutoring center or through Smarthinking. Freshman admission requirements include standardized test scores and official transcripts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
41%
Percent Receiving Loans
40%
Online Enrollment
24%
13

Lamar University 

Beaumont, TX

About this school

A member of the Texas State University System, Lamar University hosts around 15,000 students each year and ranks among the most ethnically diverse universities nationwide. Approximately 53% of the school's learners identify as first-generation college students.

The school offers fully online degrees in areas like business administration, education, and nursing. Distance learners access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to set their own schedules and balance their studies with other obligations.

Assignments may include exams, online chats, and projects. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion boards, email, and live chats. Online students have access to a career center, virtual tutoring, online proctoring, and technical support.

Undergraduate admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED and SAT or ACT scores. Graduate admission requirements include GRE or GMAT scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
27%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
Online Enrollment
34%
14

West Texas A & M University 

Canyon, TX

About this school

Established in 1910, West Texas A&M University offers 60 undergraduate programs, 38 master's degrees, and two doctorates. The school strives to accommodate diverse learning needs through a variety of online degrees in areas like business, computer information technology, and marketing.

WTAMU offers both semester-based, 16-week courses and accelerated, six-week courses. Students access coursework through the Blackboard learning management system. Courses offer both synchronous and asynchronous formats, and assignments may include essays, exams, discussion posts, live video sessions, and group projects.

Undergraduate admission requirements include a minimum 2.0 GPA and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate admission requirements include GMAT or GRE scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
44%
Percent Receiving Loans
51%
Online Enrollment
30%
15

Wayland Baptist University 

Plainview, TX

About this school

Founded in 1908, Wayland Baptist University is a Christian university that serves over 5,100 students annually. The school encourages immersive learning through research, internships, and community service opportunities. Distance learners can choose from 20 online degrees in areas like Christian ministry, English, business, and nursing.

Online students use the Blackboard learning management system to access assignments, grades, and supplemental materials. Online courses typically follow an asynchronous format, giving students the flexibility to manage educational and personal responsibilities. Assignments may include papers, readings, discussion posts, and projects.

Online students gain access to digital databases, career development resources, technical support services, and a writing center. Admission requires official transcripts and standardized test scores.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
24%
Percent Receiving Loans
75%
Online Enrollment
26%
16

University of Houston - Clear Lake 

Houston, TX

About this school

University of Houston - Clear Lake offers over 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including nearly 20 online options. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in anthropology, business, and public service leadership.

Graduate distance learners can choose from online degrees in areas like early childhood education, finance, software engineering, and educational management. Fully online programs feature mostly asynchronous coursework and students can log in at any time of the day. However, students must adhere to course deadlines.

Undergraduate admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate admission requirements vary by program, but all applicants must hold a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
54%
Percent Receiving Loans
23%
Online Enrollment
30%
17

The University of Texas at Tyler 

Tyler, TX

About this school

The University of Texas at Tyler hosts over 10,000 students annually and offers 48 undergraduate degrees and 37 graduate degrees, including many online options. The school offers fully online degrees in areas like kinesiology, accounting, and history.

Distance learners access coursework through the Canvas learning management system. Courses use a mostly asynchronous format. Online learners engage with professors and peers through discussion boards, group chats, email, and video chats. UT Tyler suggests that students allocate at least 10 hours of study per week to each course.

Online students have access to digital databases, academic advising services, supplemental instruction, and technical support. Freshman admission requires official transcripts and standardized test scores. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
45%
Percent Receiving Loans
44%
Online Enrollment
51%
18

Midwestern State University 

Wichita Falls, TX

About this school

Midwestern State University hosts nearly 6,000 students from 44 states and 54 countries every year. Emphasizing intellectual curiosity, social justice and service, and academic excellence, MSU prepares students to make a positive impact on society.

Nontraditional students considering an online degree in Texas can choose from multiple online programs at MSU. Online areas of study include education, radiologic sciences, counseling, and nursing. MSU uses the D2L Brightspace learning management system to house online coursework, grades, and discussion forums. Courses use a mostly asynchronous format.

Assignments may include group projects, quizzes, and essays. Online students have access to counseling, tutoring, and technical support services. General admission requirements include official transcripts and standardized test scores.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
42%
Percent Receiving Loans
56%
Online Enrollment
31%
19

Angelo State University 

San Angelo, TX

About this school

The second-largest school in the Texas Tech University System, Angelo State University hosts nearly 10,500 students each year. The school offers 43 undergraduate degrees, 24 master's degrees, and one doctorate across six colleges.

Nontraditional learners considering online colleges in Texas can choose from online degrees in areas like intelligence and analysis, counseling, education, and social work. ASU uses the Blackboard learning management system to administer online courses and most courses use an asynchronous format.

Online learners engage with instructors and peers through threaded discussions, chat rooms, and email. Online students have access to 24/7 online tutoring, supplemental instruction, technical support, and digital databases through the Porter Henderson library.

Undergraduate admission requirements include standardized test scores and official transcripts. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
34%
Percent Receiving Loans
52%
Online Enrollment
27%
20

Tarleton State University 

Stephenville, TX

About this school

Part of the Texas A&M University System, Tarleton State University hosts approximately 13,200 students each year. Students can choose from over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs across seven colleges, including multiple online options.

Distance learners can pursue degrees in areas like computer information systems, English, criminal justice, and engineering. Students access coursework through the Canvas learning management system, and courses typically use an asynchronous format. Assignments may include projects, quizzes, and exams.

Online learners have access to tutoring services, academic advising, career services, and technical support. Admission requires official transcripts.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
46%
Percent Receiving Loans
62%
Online Enrollment
6%
21

Southwestern Adventist University 

Keene, TX

About this school

Southwestern Adventist University is a Christian university with 125 years of experience offering accessible and academically challenging degrees. In addition to on-campus programs, the school offers online degrees in areas like education, business, Christian studies, and nursing.

Online courses at Southern use the Canvas online learning management system to manage students' assignments, deadlines, grades, and supplemental course materials. Courses may use an asynchronous or synchronous format. Students engage with their peers and professors through discussion posts, group chats, video conferencing, and email. Online students can access spiritual guidance, online tutoring services, a writing center, and library research assistance. Students can also access digital databases and technical support.

Undergraduate admission requires a high school diploma or GED with a minimum 2.75 GPA and official transcripts. Transfer applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
49%
Percent Receiving Loans
59%
Online Enrollment
4%
22

South Texas College 

McAllen, TX

About this school

South Texas College offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate degrees across six locations, including a virtual campus. Distance learners can pursue online degrees in areas like anthropology, science, social work, philosophy, and technology management. Online courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with outside obligations.

Assignments may include discussion posts, group projects, individual projects, and exams. Online students gain access to digital peer tutoring sessions, online tutoring through Smarthinking, and an online writing center that edits student work within 24-48 hours.

Distance learners also receive access to academic counseling, technical support, and library services. Undergraduate admission requires official transcripts and a high school diploma or GED. Transfer students need a minimum 2.0 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
22%
Percent Receiving Loans
4%
Online Enrollment
16%
23

McMurry University 

Abilene, TX

About this school

McMurry University is a private liberal arts university that emphasizes immersive learning experiences. The school hosts around 10,500 students each year, representing 50 states and 11 countries. McMurry students can access some of the top online degrees in Texas, choosing from areas of study like nursing, criminal justice, and business.

Distance learners use the Blackboard learning management system to access all course materials. Courses use an asynchronous format, allowing students to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations. Students engage with professors and peers through discussion board posts, email, and live chats.

Undergraduate admission requirements include high school transcripts and SAT or ACT scores. McMurry participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, allowing out-of-state learners from participating states to apply.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
33%
Percent Receiving Loans
78%
Online Enrollment
29%
24

Texas A & M University - Commerce 

Commerce, TX

About this school

Texas A&M University - Commerce is a public university that hosts over 6,000 undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students annually. Students considering online degrees in Texas can choose from multiple areas of study at TAMUC, including agriculture, engineering, sociology, and computer science.

TAMUC offers two online course formats: 100% online and a hybrid model that requires 15-50% in-person attendance. Distance learners access coursework through the D2L Brightspace learning management system.

Online courses typically use an asynchronous format, allowing students to learn on their own time. Distance learners engage with professors and peers through discussion posts, group chats, and email.

Admission requirements include official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. The strongest undergraduate candidates rank in the top 30% of their graduating high school classes. Graduate applicants must hold a minimum 3.25 GPA.

School Type
Public Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
40%
Percent Receiving Loans
64%
Online Enrollment
35%
25

The King's University 

Southlake, TX

About this school

Established in 1971, Texas A&M University - Texarkana is a public university that joined the Texas A&M University system in 1996. The university values academic excellence, practical learning, research, and service. A&M-Texarkana also prioritizes affordability; over 85% of students receive financial support.

A&M-Texarkana offers 20 bachelor's degrees, 12 master's degrees, and one doctorate. It also strives to accommodate nontraditional learners through fully online programs in areas like business, instructional technology, and nursing. Distance learners use the Blackboard online learning management system to access online coursework.

Online courses may use a synchronous learning format, taught through videoconferencing software, but they more often follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments when their schedules permit. Weekly modules contain deadline dates, assignments, and additional reading materials.

Online students engage with professors and peers through written communication, including discussion board posts, emails, and group chats. Assignments include discussion board posts, readings, and essays. Courses may require in-person proctored exams at an approved facility.

Undergraduate admission requires official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate applicants must submit a resume, letter of intent, letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from an accredited institution.

School Type
Private Nonprofit
Graduation Rate
33%
Percent Receiving Loans
60%
Online Enrollment
46%
👏

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.

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.

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
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
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

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.

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