Small, Private Universities for Students in Texas
Trinity University: Leading the Pack in Academic Excellence
Located in the south of the United States, Texas attracts students from all around the world to its institutions of higher education. In addition to public choices, there are a wide range of small, private institutions. Many reflect specific religious values as certain religious groups founded the universities. In general, they have beautiful campuses with greenery and plenty of quiet spaces for studying. Private schools have also done very well in rankings, and are some of the best in the region.
Nestled in the action of the bustling, diverse city of San Antonio, Trinity University has a long history of excellence since it moved there in 1952, about a century after it was originally founded. Trinity is known for quality undergraduate education, with personalized attention for each of the 2400 individuals making up the undergraduate student body and a faculty-student radio of 1:10. Around a half of students study abroad they major in one of the 39 choices offered in liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, and engineering. Princeton Review and the U.S. News and World Report have both recognized the overall quality of undergraduate programs located in the western United States.
Since it was founded in Fort Worth in 1873, Texas Christian University has educated many leaders in the area and is consistently ranked as a Tier 1 school. Over 7600 students make up the student body, and they select from 117 areas of study during their four years in Fort Worth. The entrepreneurship program for undergraduates has drawn attention and was even considered an ‘Undergrad Model Program’ by the Entrepreneur EDU site. It receives many transfer students who come to complete their degrees. Christian spiritually and global awareness are important pillars to the schools’ mission, which ultimately aims to train leaders to become ethical leaders based on beliefs.
In 1912, The William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Letters, Science and Art opened in Houston, Texas as a coeducational, tuition-free institution. This was made possible by a Houston businessman. Now known by its shorter name, Rice accepts just one student for every twelve applicants and the total student body is just over 3200. Research is encouraged at the undergraduate level in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. While it has quality programs in many areas, the most recognized are applied science programs encompassing the fields of space science, structural chemical analysis, artificial heart research, and nanotechnology. A total of forty undergraduate degree programs are offered through eight schools, and it consistently ranks in the list by the US News and World Report of the top 20 four-year institutions.
The oldest university in Texas, Southwestern was founded in 1840 in Georgetown. It is a private, four-year liberal arts college, with just 1300 students, located just north of Austin. Students enroll in the Brown College of Arts and Sciences of the Sarofim School of Fine Arts, and there is an emphasis on participation with faculty-student research. Class sizes are small, averaging fourteen. It was included in Loren Pope’s 1996 book, ‘Colleges that Change Lives,’ as well as considered a ‘Best Value’ undergraduate institution. Students tend to be very involved in activities and perform very well academically. Southwestern also provides its students some of the best support in terms of career counseling and job placement following graduation.
Now celebrating 125 years since its founding in 1885, St. Edward’s offers a liberal arts education in its campus near downtown Austin. The Congregation of Holy Cross established the school, which emphasizes justice in the social realm, analytical thinking skills, and ethical practices. Class sizes are small so that each of the 4300 undergraduates receives personalized attention from faculty. Five bachelor’s degrees are offered via the schools of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Humanities, Education, Management and Business, and National Sciences. The Theatre Arts program has attracted attention as well, as it is one of a very limited number of undergraduate programs that give graduating students the chance to join the Actors’ Equity Association. It provides challenging academic opportunities, collaborative learning, and a supportive campus environment to students, making St. Edward’s a top college according to a Forbes and CCAP report.
For the 1400 students attending the University of Dallas, the programs provide rigorous academic training based in Catholic beliefs although it is open to students of all faiths. It was given Phi Beta Kappa status, one of eight in Texas, and it is considered to stress character development. Most undergraduates attend the Constantin College of Liberal Arts or the College of Business. One of the most unique programs is that virtually every student spends a semester abroad in Rome, as it has established a small campus there.
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