With a population of 6,810,913 people, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area is the fourth largest in the country and the biggest in Texas. Given Dallas' size, diversity and proximity to the U.S. border, this Texan city offers unique academic and career opportunities to prospective students. Its low unemployment rate may attract those who want the benefits of a large city without the high cost of living typical of other major cities.
Dallas' above-average level of diversity is integral to the city's unique character. In the most recent Census, approximately a quarter of residents identified as African American and slightly over 40 percent categorized themselves as Hispanic. Almost 25 percent of the city is foreign born, and 42 percent of the population speaks a language other than English in the home. This environment of cultural and linguistic diversity complements the role Dallas plays as a major center of education for the South Central United States.
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Colleges in Dallas
Dallas is home to the Dallas County Community College District, which is the largest community college system in the state. The system comprises seven independently accredited colleges: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake and Richmond.
In addition to degree and certificate programs, the community colleges of Dallas have a number of distinctive offerings. For example, students enrolled at any of the seven community colleges are eligible for the school's study abroad program, which takes place during both the winter and summer semesters. The school system also offers a senior adult program intended to encourage those over 50 to continue their educations. Lastly, there is the option for those who didn't finish high school to study for their GEDs at one of the seven colleges.
Over 20 four-year universities are clustered in the Dallas area. The region's public universities are generally divided between the University of North Texas and the University of Texas systems. The University of Texas at Dallas is one of the most well known public schools in the state. Begun as a research university, UT Dallas offers 134 degree programs and is widely recognized for studies in the fields of science, math and engineering. Kiplinger's Personal Finance has ranked UT Dallas as one of the top 100 best tuition values in the United States.
One of the numerous religious institutions of higher learning in Texas, the University of Dallas, is also located just outside of the city. The school's small student body of just over 2,500 provides a close-knit learning environment. In addition to bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, the university offers degrees in ministry and religious studies. The list of private universities in Dallas also includes Texas Christian University, Amberton University, Criswell College and Dallas Baptist University.
Below is a glance at a few of Dallas' colleges and universities, with some of the degrees offered.
Public Colleges and Universities in Dallas
|Dallas County Community College District||Associate degrees, certificates, GED, continuing education|
|University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center||Master's degrees, MD, PhD|
|University of North Texas at Dallas||Bachelor's and master's degrees, MBA, medical degrees, certificates|
|University of Texas at Dallas||Bachelor's and graduate, including MA and PhD|
Private Colleges and Universities in Dallas
|Criswell College||Associate, bachelor's and master's degrees (including Master of Divinity), diplomas|
|Dallas Baptist University||Bachelor's and master's degrees, PhD, Certificates, Continuing Education|
|Dallas Theological Seminary||Master's degrees (including Master of Theology), PhD, non-professional degrees|
|Paul Quinn College||Bachelor's degrees, teaching certification|
|Southern Methodist University||Bachelor's and master's degrees, PhD, JD|
|University of Dallas||Bachelor's and master's degrees, PhD, graduate certificates, pre-professional|
Online Colleges in Dallas
Spotlight: Brookhaven College – Dallas, Texas
Students at Brookhaven College can explore numerous online education options, ranging from associate degrees to technical certificates. Serving the Northwest area of Dallas County, the college belongs to the Dallas County Community College District, which has a four-decade history of distance learning education.
Brookhaven College offers fully online programs for Associate in Arts and Associate in Sciences degrees, which cover the core curriculum for traditional two-year degrees and transfer requirements for four-year colleges or universities. Other online degrees focus on career and technical studies, for instance, Associate in Applied Sciences degrees in areas such as software programming or business office systems. Brookhaven College also has a broad selection of online certificate programs for workforce development in fields such as accounting. Within the area of computer applications and information sciences, Brookhaven College's online programs delve into UNIX administration, electronic commerce and help desk support.
Distance learners at Brookhaven College have access to online advising, as it's important to plan out a path for academic progress with an advisor and to determine whether web-based courses have any on-campus requirements. Additionally, while e-learners can avoid the commute to-and-from campus, some courses may require proctored examinations at an approved testing location.
More information about online education at Brookhaven College is available at: http://www.brookhavencollege.edu/dl/
|COLLEGE NAME||Brookhaven College|
|# OF ONLINE PROGRAMS||20|
|SUBJECTS||Arts and Sciences, Business Technology, Computer Applications|
As part of a large and modern metropolitan community, the university system in Dallas has been deeply involved in the movement toward online education. The Dallas Community College District provides the students enrolled at its seven campuses with access to the system's virtual campus, Dallas Colleges Online. Its classes are 100 percent online and serve the needs of over 17,000 students a year.
The Dallas Colleges Online program seeks to deliver the same personalized service and attention that students could receive in a classroom. The cost per credit unit for online classes varies with Dallas County residents paying $52 per credit unit, while out-of-state and out-of-country students pay about $153. Topics for study online include teaching, criminal justice, business marketing and real estate.
Dallas Baptist University and Dallas Theological Seminary provide distance-learning options. Dallas Baptist University currently offers 58 programs and boasts a 92 percent student course completion rate. Online courses include not only certificate programs, but also bachelor's and master's degrees as well as accelerated dual-degree programs. Dallas Theological Seminary, on the other hand, offers both exclusively online and hybrid programs, which feature online classes plus a weeklong trip to one of the school's campuses. The program is targeted at those already working in the theology field who are unable to commit to a full-time degree program.
The University of North Texas hosts its own distance-learning platform. The school is proud to announce that its MBA program was named as one of the best buys among online programs in the United States.
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Top Industries, Careers and Employers
The Dallas Fort Worth metropolitan area's strong economic growth indicators and job market offer an appealing option for recent college graduates. There are 18 Fortune 500 companies, 70,000 firms and 90,000 physical businesses in the greater Dallas area. In addition, Texas was named CNBC's “Top State for Business” in 2012. Another added benefit is a lower cost of living than other Texas cities like Austin. The wide variety of industries in Dallas includes telecommunications, defense, information technology, real estate, transportation and tourism.
Dallas is home to the headquarters and important campuses of numerous major companies including Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Texas Instruments, Exxon Mobil and Kimberly Clark. Companies may choose a Dallas location because of the city's strong transportation system, which includes air operations to 144 U.S. and 48 international cities. In addition, more recently, Texas has begun to offer tax incentives to businesses willing to relocate to the state.
Five Largest Employers in Dallas, Fort Worth Area
|COMPANY||NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES|
|AMR (American Airlines)||24,700|
|Bank of America||20,000|
|Texas Health Resources||19,230|
|Dallas Independent School District (ISD)||18,314|
|Baylor Health Care System||17,097|
The most common occupations in Dallas mirror those of many cities. The majority of residents work in the office and administrative support field, while many others are employed in the sales, food preparation, transportation and material moving sectors. The northern suburbs of Dallas are often referred to as the Silicon Prairie as a result of the high number of telecommunication and information technology companies located in the area. The large concentration of these companies makes high-tech a major facet of the local economy. Among the major employers and industries of Dallas, health care, education and technology demand postsecondary education as a qualification for many positions.
Colleges & Universities in Dallas
Colleges & Universities in Dallas
|Southern Methodist University||12,513||$34,990||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Dallas Baptist University||6,931||$19,800||Not For Profit (Private)|
|University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center||3,078||$5,054||Public|
|Dallas Theological Seminary||2,490||N/A||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Parker University||1,205||$5,775||Not For Profit (Private)|