Houston is the fourth largest city in the country, recognized for its many academic institutions. There are over 40 colleges and universities in the Houston area, many with distance learning programs. Inhabitants of this culturally diverse city speak over 90 languages. Academic achievement is valued in Houston: among its residents, 28.7 percent hold at least a bachelor’s degree, which is higher than the state average and slightly higher than the national average.
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Colleges in Houston, Texas
Students wishing to pursue a certificate or degree program in Houston have numerous options. Of the three community college districts serving the Houston area, two are among the country’s 10 largest institutions: the Houston Community College system and the Lone Star College system. The third school is San Jacinto College in southeastern Houston.
The largest public institution of higher education in Houston is the University of Houston, the flagship institution of the University of Houston System, with over 40,000 students. The city is home to four separate state universities in all, including the University of Houston-Downtown and the University of Houston-Clear Lake. A historically African American school, Texas Southern University, is located in Houston’s Third Ward.
Houston has several private universities, including the University of St. Thomas, which is the city's only Catholic university. Rice University is a nationally recognized research university. In addition to the two-year and four-year colleges in Houston, there are many smaller independent schools and career colleges. Special focus institutions include the College of Biblical Studies Houston and the Art Institute of Houston. ITT Technical Institute has two local branches, Houston North and Houston West.
Some of the Colleges & Universities Located in Houston:
|Houston Community College||Public||Associate degrees, continuing education, adult education|
|San Jacinto College||Public||Certificates, associate degrees, technical degrees, continuing education|
|University of Houston||Public||Certificates, credentials, undergraduate and graduate degrees, general education|
|University of Houston - Downtown||Public||Undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees|
|Texas Southern University||Public||Undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees|
|University of Houston - Clear Lake||Public||Certificates, Air Force ROTC, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees|
|Rice University||Not for Profit (Private)||Continuing studies program, executive education program, undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, MBA program|
|The University of Texas - Health Science Center at Houston||Public||Certificates, undergraduate and graduate degrees, doctorates, RN, DDS, MD and other health care degrees|
|University of St. Thomas||Not for Profit (Private)||Pre-professional programs in law, dental, medical, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician’s assistant and veterinary studies|
|Houston Baptist University||Not for Profit (Private)||Undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees|
|Remington College - North Houston Campus||Not for Profit (Private)||Diplomas, associate and bachelor’s degrees|
|Remington College-Houston Campus||Not for Profit (Private)||Diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees|
|College of Biblical Studies- Houston||Not for Profit (Private)||Certificates, associate and bachelor’s degrees|
Online Colleges and Universities in Houston
Spotlight University of Houston-Downtown – Houston, Texas
Access to education is a top priority for the University of Houston-Downtown, which offers online for-credit and non-credit programs as well as evening and weekend classes at multiple locations. As a result, UHD undergraduates are able to balance work and academics: about half of them attend school part-time, and about one-fifth of their courses are delivered online. UHD's focus on e-learning follows the lead of the University of Houston system, which boasts a total of 99 online degrees and certificates across its different campuses.
University of Houston-Downtown offers undergraduate degree completion programs in several disciplines, ranging from professional writing to psychology to interdisciplinary studies. Business-related majors make up a sizable chunk of the online programs, with choices such as enterprise information systems, finance and supply chain management. Also available online are three master's degree programs, which cover nonprofit management, criminal justice and teaching. To boost the career skills of students, UHD online also offers noncredit certificates in areas such as land management and AutoCAD computerized design.
UHD provides different choices for distance education, including Internet-based courses, live video classes at a variety of locations, or hybrid courses combining online delivery and face-to-face time with faculty and peers. Students log in to the Blackboard learning management system through their CougarNet accounts. The UHD website posts video tutorials on distance learning, including tips for troubleshooting and using the secure web-based application for test-taking.
Additional information on UHD's online programs can be found at: http://www.uhd.edu/academic/distance/online.html.
Overview: University of Houston-Downtown
Students in Houston have many opportunities to learn online. The Distance Education program at Houston Community College allows students to take some of the same classes taught on campus. However, distance education students complete work through Eagle Online, an online learning management system. Texas Southern University (TSU) offers several certificates online in computers and business management. TSU’s graduate options include online MBA, MPA, M.Ed. and Executive Master of Administration of Justice (eMAJ) programs.
Other area schools have online course options as well. The Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University offers online classes in professional development. The University of Houston at Clear Lake has numerous online certificate programs and bachelor’s or master’s degree programs in areas such as psychology, finance and instructional technology. Houston Baptist University provides a handful of undergraduate online courses for students to add to their campus classes. In addition, the school has four fully accredited online graduate programs for students who may need flexible scheduling, including a Master of Arts in Apologetics. Find Online Programs Now »
Top Industries, Careers and Employers
According to the Population and Employment Forecast of the Greater Houston Partnership (GHP), many of the businesses responsible for economic growth are energy-related, as the city is a global center for oil and gas industries. Houston is home to 40 of the nation’s 145 publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production firms. However, Houston also has many other industries that are essential to the economy. Some of the top industries, according to Houston.gov, include:
- Oil and gas exploration
- Basic petroleum refining
- Petrochemical production
- Medical research and health care delivery
- Technology: computer, aerospace, environmental, etc.
- Government: city, state and federal
- International import and export
The city has a population of over 2.1 million, with a diverse workforce employed in a wide range of occupations. Manufacturers’ News listed Houston as one of the top U.S. Manufacturing Cities for 2014. Monster.com named Houston as the city with the Highest Demand for Engineering Jobs in 2013. GHP’s research found the three leading areas in terms of future job growth in Metro Houston to be:
- Professional/business services
- Educational services
Health services is also one of the fastest growing industries in Texas. In addition, GHP projects a surge of jobs in accommodations/food service as well as mining and logging. Among the high-growth industries, fields such as health care, education, engineering and high tech usually require specialized postsecondary training for potential employees.
Colleges & Universities in Houston
|University of Houston||45,001||$5,173||Public|
|University of Houston-Downtown||16,341||$3,720||Public|
|Texas Southern University||11,063||$1,376||Public|
|University of Houston-Clear Lake||10,338||$4,080||Public|
|Rice University||6,503||$34,900||Not For Profit (Private)|
|The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston||5,124||$6,120||Public|
|University of St Thomas Houston||4,430||$24,960||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Houston Baptist University||2,954||$24,145||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Baylor College of Medicine||1,489||N/A||Not For Profit (Private)|
|South Texas College of Law||1,399||N/A||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Remington College-North Houston Campus||1,137||$15,193||Not For Profit (Private)|
|Remington College-Houston Campus||823||$15,193||Not For Profit (Private)|
|College of Biblical Studies-Houston||596||$8,676||Not For Profit (Private)|