Best Online Colleges in Texas 2021

Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Find a program that’s right for you.

Best Online Colleges in Texas badge

As one of the country’s largest and most populous states, Texas hosts a large number of higher education options for students of all backgrounds, including a wide variety of online programs. While online learning offers students the ability to attend classes from anywhere, committing to a program in a specific state can offer some notable advantages.

To receive in-state tuition, Texas requires students to reside in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of courses. Students must also fulfill one of four qualifications, including maintaining gainful employment, owning residential property, owning and operating a business, or being married to a Texas resident for one year. However, some schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency.

Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests
with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

This page offers an overview of the best degrees online in Texas, including college rankings, admission requirements, accreditation information, and scholarships for Texas students.

Top 10 Best Online Colleges in Texas

FAQ


  • How long does it take to earn an online degree?

    While completion times vary among programs, most bachelor’s degrees take about four years of full-time study to complete, while master’s programs take between 1-3 years.


  • What kinds of degrees can I earn online?

    Many colleges offer online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level in diverse fields. However, some programs maintain on-campus requirements.


  • Do I need to be a resident of Texas to study at an online school in Texas?

    Many Texas colleges enroll online students from around the country, and some offer in-state tuition discounts to all online learners.


  • How long does it take to become an official resident of Texas for college?

    Texas students must reside in the state for 12 consecutive months to gain resident status for college. Residents must also maintain consistent employment or meet certain additional requirements.


Best Online Colleges in Texas 2021



  1. Texas A&M University-College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    More than 70 full degree programs are available completely online at Texas A&M University-College Station. The vast majority, 47, are graduate programs that culminate in master's degrees. There are also 24 certificates and one undergraduate program. The school offers both web-based on-campus courses and web-based off-campus courses, the former of which do not include on-campus fees in their tuition costs. All distance learners must first apply for admission to the school, and the process is the same as it would be if they were applying for on-campus admission. All applicants are required to pay a non-refundable $65 application fee. Distance learners have off-site access to the school's academic success center, which provides resources and assistance to students from all backgrounds and fields of study. OGAPS, the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, is dedicated specifically to serving the school's graduate students, including online learners. All students also have access to IT assistance, tech support and software assistance. Online students also have full access to the university's libraries and all included services, as well as to its writing center and testing services. The school also provides a list of services that are not directly related to academics, including counseling, multicultural services and ombuds service. Financial aid is available to online learners at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and the school also offers a variety of scholarships to eligible students, both university based and regional. Some scholarships are based on merit, while others are based on leadership, participation or financial need.

  2. Sam Houston State University
    Location

    Huntsville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Every single 100% online student at Sam Houston University is eligible for a $1,000 60x30 scholarship, provided they enroll in an approved degree program. There are 9 undergraduate degree programs available to distance learners, including criminal justice, nursing, psychology, sociology, business, history and liberal studies. Offerings at the graduate level are even more comprehensive, with more than 2 dozen programs culminating in master of arts, master of science, MBA, MEd and EMBA and MAg degrees. There are also 2 doctoral programs for educators pursuing an advanced degree and several certificate programs. In all, more than 40 programs are available 100% online. The third-oldest university in Texas, SHSU maintains an online campus with dedicated sections for students, prospective students and faculty. Most coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, which students will use to receive and submit assignments, communicate with peers and professors, receive grades, view lectures and receive updates and announcements. There are also several apps that the university uses in conjunction with outside corporations, which distance learners can use to enhance their online education. Credits earned at SHSU Online are identical to those that students would get if they took classes on campus, and there is no difference in the diplomas graduates receive. The university also offers a range of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs to help distance learners pay for college, and online learners receive access the same access to student services as on-campus students. Among the offerings are academic advising, careers services, an online bookstore, library services and career services.

  3. Midwestern State University
    Location

    Wichita Falls, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The vast majority of the online programs available at Midwestern State University result in master's degrees, although there are four undergraduate programs that culminate in bachelor's degrees, including an RN to BSN and degrees in respiratory care, applied arts and sciences and radiologic sciences. Graduate programs also include nursing and radiology, as well as master's degrees in education, business, criminal justice and human resources. Although students will use the MSU portal as their home base for online learning, most coursework, lectures and assignments will be delivered through the D2L learning management system. Online students will be assigned an academic adviser depending on their college of choice, just like their peers who attend classes on campus. Distance learners also enjoy the benefits of counseling, both academic and personal, as well as disability support services, and career services, the latter of which includes an entire online Career Management Center. Several scholarships are available, and the school has compiled a list of online resources designed specifically for helping online learners secure financial aid. Out-of-state students might be able to take courses at MSU, but requirements and compliance standards vary by state, so the school has developed an interactive map with a state-by-state breakdown. Students who aren't sure if online learning is right for them are encouraged to take the school's distance education self evaluation, and all new students, including distance learners, are required to participate in the school's online orientation. Online learners are required to participate in only 2 of the 3 orientation modules.

  4. Texas Tech University
    Location

    Lubbock, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Texas Tech University eLearning and Academic Partnerships program exposes distance learners to a wide menu of course and degree options that are beyond the scope of most individual schools. Once accepted, students can choose between 6 fully online undergraduate degrees, including general studies, plant and soil sciences, early child care and applied leadership. There are also more than 2 dozen master's degrees available across a range of disciplines, 7 doctoral degrees and a variety of certificates and certifications, all of which can be completed 100% online. There's also a master of education and 2 doctor of philosophy degree programs that are delivered in a hybrid format, which requires both online and face-to-face instruction. The program also opens students to study at 6 regional sites across the state, but any of those programs will require instruction at those physical locations. Worldwide eLearning courses at Texas Tech are taught by the same faculty who instruct traditional students on campus and distance learners enjoy wide scheduling flexibility, with the option to take anything from a single course in a semester all the way up to full-time enrollment. The Military and Veterans program is especially robust at the university, and that program includes distance learners. The school also offers transfer scholarships to incoming community college students, and out-of-state distance learners are offered the same tuition rate as online students who reside in the state. Coursework is mostly delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, although students will use a variety of technology and media throughout their programs. Distance learners receive help with Blackboard specifically and IT assistance in general, as well the full menu of services enjoyed by their on-campus peers.

  5. Tarleton State University
    Location

    Stephenville, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    More than 500 students are enrolled in the Tarleton State University Global Campus, which is the school's platform for online education. More than 15 degree programs are available at the graduate and undergraduate level. Bachelor's degrees include criminal justice, veterinary technology, manufacturing and industrial management, health professions, IT, business, applied science and psychology. Master's degrees are available in many of the same fields of study, as well as English, human resources, education, music, public administration, agriculture and engineering. Students who prefer some face-to-face instruction can pursue their degrees through a blended format by taking some classes in the day, in the evening or on the weekends on campus or at locations in Waco, Fort Worth, Midlothian or Stephenville. That option, however, is only available for degree-completion programs and is available only to TSI-complete students who have earned at least 30 credits with a GPA of 2.0 or better. No matter the path, the average online learner can expect to be in a class with a 19:1 student-to-teacher ratio. Global campus students enjoy the same advantages as their peers on campus, with services including research and study, academic advising, computer labs, library services, job fairs and other career services, as well as disability services. Some courses do require some on-campus instruction, but no program comes with a required on-campus residency. Most coursework is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, which students will use to receive and submit assignments, check grades, communicate with professors and peers, and to receive updates and announcements. Students are invited to take a sample course to become familiar with the format before they commit.

  6. The University of Texas at Dallas
    Location

    Richardson, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Texas at Dallas offers distance learners several unique programs, including a series of "chess in education" courses. There's also several graduate options through the Jindal School of Management, including an MBA, a global leadership executive MBA and several master of science degrees. Finally, distance learners can pursue an online master's degree in criminology or they can simply take a few individual online courses. As part of the Electronic Campus, online learners have access to a variety of courses offered by other schools throughout the state of Texas. The school's e-learning community maintains a wide social media presence and also publishes blogs and newsletters. Students are reminded that online courses demand the same academic rigor as those taught on campus, and tests may be administered by proctor, by email or they may be embedded in the courses. With the exception of proctored exams, virtually all courses can be completed 100% online and require no on-campus instruction. A variety of technologies are utilized in distance learning, and students will communicate with instructors through text conferences, threaded discussions, email, real-time chat and audio lectures. Once accepted into their program of choice, students are provided with a variety of electronic resources, including a suite of software and plugins. Online students enjoy most of the same student resources as their peers who opt for traditional, on-campus study, including academic advising, career and library resources, accessibility services and a variety of financial aid offerings. Online learners also benefit from the eLearning helpdesk and several other dedicated support mechanisms designed just for them.

  7. The University of Texas at Tyler
    Location

    Tyler, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The soon-to-be Division II University of Texas at Tyler offers online degrees at a variety of levels and in a variety of formats. For example, a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program is available to undergraduate students and for graduate students, there's an MBA with an online option delivered through an accelerated, 7-week format. There are also graduate degree options in fields of study like education, English, human resources, industrial management, kinesiology, nursing, and counseling. There are also 7 certification programs in the fields of accounting, nursing and education. Finally, there are several executive and HyFlex format degrees, including a PhD option. HyFlex is the university's terminology for hybrid programs, which are conducted mostly online, but that are supplemented with some face-to-face instruction. Not only are there 4 full HyFlex programs, but students interested in the format can take individual HyFlex classes in fields like education, psychology, business, arts and sciences, nursing and health sciences, and engineering. Distance learners will receive a Patriot email account, but most coursework will be delivered through the Canvas learning management system, although some communication will take place through message boards and video chat. Prospective students who aren't familiar with the format or who are not sure if distance learning is right for them are invited to take a video tour of an online course and complete an online preparedness questionnaire. The UT Tyler IT department is on staff for technical support, and distance learners enjoy the same academic and personal support as their on-campus counterparts, including academic advising, career services, library services and counseling.

  8. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
    Location

    Odessa, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Most of the 16 fully online undergraduate programs offered through the University of Texas of the Permian Basin are available in an accelerated format. Most of the bachelor's degree programs require 120 credits to complete, but since the accelerated format condenses learning, many courses last only 7 weeks and offer 6 different start dates. There are also 10 graduate programs offered across fields of study like education, English, public administration, accountancy and kinesiology. Here, too, most courses are delivered through the accelerated format with multiple start dates offered throughout the year. Many accelerated graduate degrees can be earned in as little as 12 months. Students can also pursue a range of completely online certificates designed for educators and education administrators, as well as many individual web-based courses. Transfer students with at least 24 credits earned from a qualifying institution are welcome to apply, and, where applicable, the school recognizes credit by examination, including IB credit CLEP credit and AP credit. Course evaluations are available, and most work, lectures, updates, assignments and communication will be delivered through the Canvas learning management system. Distance learners enjoy tech support both for Canvas and other critical online learning components, as well as a range of other student services like academic and career counseling. Online learners will find their home base at the REACH Center, where primary access is provided for most course content. Since UTPB is part of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement and Texas Distance Education, distance learners can enroll in some online courses delivered by other schools throughout the state. The REACH center is where they'll go to learn more about these classes.

  9. Stephen F Austin State University
    Location

    Nacogdoches, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Stephen F. Austin State University offers 14 full graduate degree programs to online students across various fields such as education, communications, human sciences and music. Undergraduate distance learners can pursue 2 different BBAs or several different bachelor's degrees in the fields of nursing, education and human sciences. There are also several certificate programs and a range of individual courses available to online learners. Motivated homeschoolers and high school students can pursue the school's concurrent and dual-credit enrollment program, which offers them college credit while they're still in high school. Prospective online students are encouraged to take advantage of the school's readiness tutorial, which exposes applicants to the feel and format of distance learning before they apply, and gives them a chance to get familiar with D2L, which is the learning management platform they'll use most frequently throughout their course of study. There are also individual D2L tutorials and how-tos, along with full tech support. Distance learners can visit a dedicated page designed specifically to link them to the R.W. Steen Library, where they can conduct research, read e-books, explore journals and search databases. Library professionals are available and distance learners can take advantage of interlibrary and document-delivery services. Just like their campus-based counterparts, distance learners will have access to disability services, career services and counseling services, the latter of which is delivered by licensed, certified professionals. Academic advisement and tutoring services are also available, and online students of any discipline can submit papers to "virtual tutors" via the online writing lab or OWL.

  10. University of Houston
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Houston offers 2 dozen fully online graduate degree programs in the fields of technology, engineering and education, including the first web-based graduate subsea engineering degree in the country. There are also 4 fully online undergraduate programs, including a BA or a BS in psychology, a BS in retailing and consumer science and an RN-to-BSN program. Those exact same undergraduate programs can also be taken in a hybrid format, which requires distance learners to engage in some face-to-face instruction. The level of required on-campus work varies by program and is determined by the instructor. Seven of the graduate programs can also be completed in the hybrid format. In all, the university offers more than 1,250 online courses and many Saturday classes to further accommodate distance and hybrid learners. Session 2-6 courses are short-session courses, which are condensed courses that students can take in the face-to-face, online or hybrid formats. All 4 of the online/hybrid undergraduate degrees are offered as degree-completion programs, which means incoming students need to have completed at least 2 years of college. Advisors will help prospective transfer students determine which credits are eligible for transfer, and students can also transfer credits they earn at the University of Houston to programs at other schools. Online learning is delivered through the Blackboard learning management system, and students are expected to log in often to keep up with coursework, receive announcements and to communicate with instructors and classmates. Although scheduling is designed to be flexible, many classes and assignments do include hard deadlines that students are expected to meet.

View Colleges in Cities in Texas



Why Study Online?



Online programs boast several advantages over their on-campus counterparts, including the ability to complete courses without visiting a college campus. Online programs may also offer more control over the pace of courses, enabling students to complete assignments on a more flexible schedule.

The added flexibility of online learning can also create financial benefits for students. Distance education often reduces or eliminates many of the secondary expenses associated with attending college, such as moving, transportation, and childcare. The geographic flexibility of distance learning may enable students to remain in an area with a lower cost of living while attending classes virtually in a more expensive city. Many students also work full time while taking online courses, eliminating the income loss often associated with returning to school.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Online programs typically maintain the same admission requirements as their on-campus counterparts, but these requirements vary among colleges.

In general, bachelor’s programs require applicants to hold either a high school or GED diploma, and some maintain minimum GPA requirements. Many schools also require applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores, though schools may waive this requirement for applicants who are several years out of high school.

Graduate programs typically require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree. Many graduate programs also require standardized test scores from exams such as the GRE.

Accreditation for Online Schools in Texas



When searching for the best degrees online in Texas, students should always make sure a college holds proper accreditation. Accreditation indicates that colleges and universities meet high academic and administrative standards. Learn more about accreditation and why it matters from our accreditation guide.

Regional accreditation serves as the gold standard for four-year colleges that offer degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation oversees six accrediting agencies that accredit colleges in different parts of the country. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits colleges in Texas.

Professional Organizations for Students in Texas



Students of all disciplines in Texas can benefit from joining professional organizations. These organizations typically serve professionals in a certain industry, offering networking opportunities, professional development resources, and employment connections.


  • Association of Texas Professional Educators Serving both established and aspiring teachers, ATPE offers many professional resources for educators in Texas. The organization provides legal support, advocacy, mentorships, and professional development services. Students receive a membership discount.

  • Writers' League of Texas Dedicated to craft, business, and community, the WLT supports the literary arts in Texas. The WLT maintains a forum for writers to share information, develop their craft, and market themselves professionally. The organization also offers classes, workshops, conferences, networking, and connections to writing jobs and freelance work.

  • Texas Counseling Association Serving professional counselors of all types throughout Texas, TCA offers legal consultations, industry news, continuing education, and career connections. The organization also publishes The Journal of Professional Counseling, a counseling trade journal.

  • Texas Classroom Teachers Association Another of Texas' major professional organizations for educators, TCTA supports classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, and students. Members can access professional preparation and certification resources, curriculum assistance, job search tools, and legal resources.

Scholarships for Online Students in Texas

Even students pursuing the most affordable online degrees in Texas can benefit from scholarships as a source of educational funding. Unlike loans, scholarships do not require repayment, making them an ideal form of financial aid. This list highlights three popular scholarships for students enrolled in online college Texas programs.

Darlene Hajduk Friendship Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The American Business Women’s Association offers the scholarship to female students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at a Texas college. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Amount: $5,000

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners offers the scholarship to Texas undergraduate and graduate students pursuing programs in accounting, finance, business administration, or criminal justice.
Amount: $1,000-$10,000

British American Foundation of Texas Undergraduate Scholarship

Who Can Apply: BAFTX offers this award for Texas undergraduates pursuing degrees in business, science, engineering, technology, or math. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and possess a minimum 3.25 GPA.
Amount: Varies

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


See All Posts
Colleges That Don’t Require the SAT or ACT

Colleges That Don’t Require the SAT or ACT

December 17, 2020   |   Staff Writers

A list of test-optional schools that don't use standardized test scores for admission into their bachelor's degree programs.

How to Find a College That Doesn’t Require the GED or High School Diploma

How to Find a College That Doesn’t Require the GED or High School Diploma

December 11, 2020   |   Staff Writers

Even if you don’t have a diploma or your GED, there are still alternatives available if you’re interested in pursuing a college education.

Advertisement AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.