2021 Best Colleges in Texas by Salary Score™
These are the 25 best colleges in Texas based on our Salary Score. We calculated Salary Score by comparing median alumni earnings in the first year after graduation for each major at a college to alumni earnings for the same major across all colleges. These scores were then combined to create an overall bachelor's degree Salary Score for a school. A higher Salary Score (above 50) indicates that alumni from a college tend to have higher salaries when compared to alumni with the same majors at other schools. All of the top 25 colleges in Texas score better than the median for colleges in the United States, and the top five schools score in the top 25%. Southern Methodist University leads the list with a score of 89.62.
To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Salary Score™|
|#19||One University Way||$9,093||56.91|
2021 Best Colleges in Texas Highlights
Sixteen of Southern Methodist University's (SMU) undergraduate programs have a Salary Score of 90 or higher. Of these programs, two hold a score of 100: health and physical education/fitness; and fine and studio arts. SMU's arts and language programs are generally strong; the design and applied arts program has a Salary Score of 99, and East Asian languages, literatures, and linguistics; English language and literature; and romance languages, literatures, and linguistics all score a 94. Students who earn their degrees in operations research report the highest earnings with a median annual salary of $76,460, followed closely by computer science with median earnings reported at $75,990.
Southern Methodist University is a private, medium-sized university with approximately 6,710 undergraduate students. The campus, located in Dallas, Texas, is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which houses 43,000 artifacts in its presidential archive, 70 million pages of records, and 80 terabytes of digital information. The center also serves as a site for student internships. Internships are also available at the departmental level. Opportunities include the Jack C. and Annette K. Vaughn Foreign Service and International Affairs Internship for SMU sophomores and juniors interested in foreign affairs.
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Rice University's highest scoring bachelor's programs are computer and information sciences; and statistics, which both have a Salary Score of 100. These programs are also the school's highest earning; computer and information science graduates make a median annual salary of $144,240, while students who graduate with a degree in statistics report a median salary of $119,060. Engineering programs, including biomedical/medical engineering; chemical engineering; civil engineering; and electrical, electronics and communications engineering, score between 80 and 89 and are among the highest earning, with median salaries between $66,650 and $79,450.
Located in Houston, Texas, Rice University is a medium-sized, private college that offers more than 50 undergraduate programs. With a flexible distribution requirement model, students have increased flexibility when fulfilling graduation requirements and are able to select courses that interest them. Through financial aid programs like The Rice Investment, which increases support for low and middle-income families, 75% of Rice students graduate without debt. The Rice Investment offers full tuition, room, board, and fees to students whose families earn less than $65,000 and full tuition to families that earn between $65,000 and $130,000.
At the undergraduate level, four programs at the University of Texas at Austin hold a Salary Score of 100: music; drama/theatre arts and stagecraft; business/commerce; and business administration, management and operations. In total, eleven bachelor's programs have scores in the top 10%, with fields ranging from liberal arts and sciences to chemical engineering. With a score of 88, petroleum engineering is the highest-earning field. Graduates from the program report a median annual salary of $88,790.
The University of Texas at Austin is a large, public university with approximately 40,160 undergraduate students. The 431-acre main campus includes the Texas Innovation Center, which provides extensive support and resources for students, including co-working space, commercialization support, and access to investors and capital. Students are also provided tools and guidance for undergraduate research, with financial support for research available through the university, as well as through individual schools.