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.
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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 5 Best Online Colleges in Texas
|#1||Texas A&M University-Commerce Commerce, TX|
|#2||LeTourneau University Longview, TX|
|#3||University of North Texas Denton, TX|
|#4||Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX|
|#5||Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX|
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.
Many colleges offer online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level in diverse fields. However, some programs maintain on-campus requirements.
Many Texas colleges enroll online students from around the country, and some offer in-state tuition discounts to all online learners.
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
Located in the city of Commerce, TAMUC Online offers 100% online programs as well as hybrid options with 50%-85% of the coursework offered online. Students can choose from several undergraduate and graduate programs.
Students taking undergraduate courses can choose from 100% online bachelor's programs, such as business administration, organizational leadership, and agribusiness. Local students can take advantage of even more options with hybrid bachelor's programs.
Graduate students can choose from master's programs in education fields, applied linguistics, and biological sciences, as well as additional hybrid options. The school also offers one fully online doctoral program: a doctor of education in education administration.
Undergraduate admission requires one of the following: a student must graduate in the top 30% of their high school class, possess a minimum ACT score of 21, or possess a minimum combined SAT score of 1060. Graduate admission does not require one specific set of criteria, but many do require the GRE. Students must check with their chosen department for specifics.
TAMUC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Longview, LETU Online offers several associate, bachelor's, and master's programs.
Students can complete bachelor's degrees in computer information systems, several business administration choices, and several aviation options. The school also offers an online interdisciplinary bachelor's degree designed to provide students with a flexible pathway. Master's choices include several options in the education field and several in the business administration field. Students complete all programs through the lens of Christian faith.
Undergraduate applicants do not need to submit SAT or ACT scores, but students can submit them to strengthen an application. Transfer students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 on all transferrable credits to apply. Graduate applicants must follow the individual admissions criteria for each graduate department.
LETU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Denton, UNT Online offers several undergraduate and graduate programs, including several accelerated master's programs, which take place in eight-week formats. Students can complete these programs in as few as 12 months.
Students can choose from several bachelor's options, including programs in information science, integrative studies, and rehabilitation studies. The school also offers a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program for students with some college, military experience, and work experience.
Master's students can choose from several fields, including library science, analytics, and special education. The school also offers one doctoral program in learning technologies. The school also offers several undergraduate and graduate certificate options for those interested in certificate programs, including applied behavior analysis, educational diagnostician, and rehabilitation counseling.
UNT offers guaranteed undergraduate admission for students graduating in the top 10% of their graduating class that submit SAT or ACT scores. Students graduating outside of the top 10% must meet certain standardized test score minimums based on their class rank. Graduate students must possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 for master's admission and a minimum GPA of 3.5 for doctoral admission (on either undergraduate or graduate work).
UNT is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Stephenville, Tarleton Online offers bachelor's programs, professional bachelor's programs, and some graduate programs.
The school offers opportunities for both traditional and non-traditional first-year students with bachelor's and professional bachelor's opportunities. Traditional students may take core and major-focused courses online, while professional students can transfer previous credits and work experience to finish a degree. Program choices include criminal justice, kinesiology, and child development and family studies. Students may also continue on to master's programs in criminal justice or kinesiology, among others.
Undergraduate applicants do not need to send SAT or ACT scores. Professional studies students must possess transferable credits, typically a minimum of 12 in the relevant professional subject area. Graduate admissions requirements vary, so students must check with their chosen department before applying.
Tarleton is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Located in Lubbock, TTU Online offers several bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as graduate certificate programs.
Students can choose from over 20 bachelor's options, including several education, communications, and plant and soil sciences programs. Students can choose from about 40 master's options, including a master of arts in mass communication, a master of engineering, a master of science in horticulture science.
The school also offers six fully online doctoral programs and several more offered in a hybrid format. Fully online options include a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction and a doctor of philosophy in family and consumer science education. Certificate options include book history and digital humanities, crop protection, gerontology, and wind energy.
TTU supports all online students with a 24/7 chat and online support system and a dedicated online section of the library. Online students must first contact their chosen department to begin the admission process.
TTU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
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.
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 EducatorsServing 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 TexasDedicated 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 AssociationServing 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 AssociationAnother 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.