The 465-square-mile city of San Antonio boasts equally vast higher education opportunities. The citywide effort of SA2020 is focused on providing citizens with access to education and career opportunities, including workforce development, degree completion programs and online education. Academia is connected to the community and the economy through institutions such as the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Colleges in San Antonio
San Antonio is home to the Alamo Colleges, the second largest community college district in the state and the largest in south Texas. More than half of all students in Bexar County are enrolled in one of these five community colleges, which offer hundreds of associate degrees and certificates. San Antonio College has about 75 associate degree programs, and St. Philip's — established in 1898 — has approximately 82. The Alamo Colleges are leading local transfer institutions to four-year colleges and universities, and the number one public provider of workforce education in the area. Students can find career-related training at a number of off-campus centers serving the community as well as military establishments such as Fort Sam Houston.
At the four-year college level, San Antonio offers several public university options, most notably the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). UTSA is one of the fastest growing public universities in the country, and the second largest component of the University of Texas System. In 2010, the university boasted a record enrollment of 30,258 students in 62 bachelor’s degree programs, 43 master’s degree programs and 19 doctoral degree programs.
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San Antonio also features a number of private nonprofit schools, including three Catholic universities. The University of the Incarnate Word serves more than 7,000 students with more than 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas such as theatre arts, nuclear medicine, fashion design, meteorology, nutrition, computer graphic arts and pre-pharmacy. Founded in 1852, St. Mary’s University is the oldest university in San Antonio, the oldest and largest Catholic university in both Texas and the Southwest, and home to the only Catholic law school in the state. Our Lady of the Lake University was the first university in Texas to offer college on the weekend and a Ph.D. in leadership studies.
Here are some of the public and private nonprofit colleges and universities in San Antonio:
|San Antonio College||Public (2-year)||Certificates, Associate degrees, Continuing education|
|Northeast Lakeview College||Public (2-year)||Certificates, Associate degrees, Continuing education|
|Northwest Vista College||Public (2-year)||Certificates, Associate degrees, Continuing education|
|St. Philip’s College||Public (2-year)||Certificates, Associate degrees, Continuing education|
|Palo Alto College||Public (2-year)||Certificates, Associate degrees, Continuing education|
|Texas State University||Public (4-year)||Certificates, Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|University of Texas at San Antonio||Public (4-year)||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|Texas A&M University-San Antonio||Public (4-year)||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio||Public (4-year)||Certificates, Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees, Continuing education|
|University of the Incarnate Word||Private Nonprofit (Catholic)||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|St. Mary’s University||Private Nonprofit (Catholic)||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees, Law school|
|Our Lady of the Lake University||Private Nonprofit (Catholic)||Certificates, Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|Wayland Baptist University-San Antonio||Private Nonprofit (Christian)||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
|Texas Lutheran University||Private Nonprofit||Undergraduate degrees|
|Trinity University||Private Nonprofit||Undergraduate degrees, Graduate degrees|
Online Colleges in San Antonio
Spotlight Northwest Vista College, San Antonio, Texas
Serving more than 16,000 students on-campus and online, Northwest Vista College is a member of the Alamo Colleges alliance of community colleges. NVC offers a variety of online and hybrid associate degree programs, ranging from Mexican-American studies to pre-nursing. In addition, NVC students can access online certificate programs and a broad selection of individual courses available online.
The two different types of distance learning offered by Northwest Vista College are fully online and hybrid/blended. Fully online courses deliver from 85 percent to 100 percent of content online and may require an in-person orientation and on-campus or proctored exams. Hybrid offerings present 50-85 percent of the course material through the e-learning model. To make sure that online students have the necessary tech skills and preparation, the school requires those enrolling in Internet-based courses to attend an on-campus orientation.
Among its fully online degree options, NVC features business, criminal justice, education and psychology. Hybrid associate degree programs may include on-campus public speaking opportunities, face-to-face instruction and work in art or dance studios. Other blended programs make use of hands-on practice with digital media or lab time for science-related subjects.
Beyond its seven fully online and 14 hybrid associate degree programs, NVC provides two certificate options: an online program for networking technology and a hybrid program for community health workers. Online course availability varies by school term, but choices include anthropology, the arts, English — for example, composition, world literature and technical writing, foreign languages, geography and kinesiology. NVC's online degree programs are approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
|College Name||Northwest Vista College|
|Sub-Location||Northwest San Antonio|
|# of Online Programs||23|
|Subjects||Liberal Arts, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Science|
In San Antonio, online programs are available at diverse levels of education. The Alamo Colleges offer a variety of online marketable skills awards, workforce certificates and associate degrees. San Antonio College (SAC), one of the five Alamo Colleges, was the first school in the state to offer an online associate degree. SAC Online is a member of the Virtual College of Texas, a consortium of community colleges focused on accessible learning opportunities for the state's students.
Four-year college students can log in to the University of Texas (UT) Online Consortium, the gateway to fully online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs across the UT System. Texas A&M University also offers online graduate certificates, as well as online master’s degrees through its Colleges of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Education & Human Development, Engineering and Science. And professionals can pursue continuing dental and medical education online at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
In addition, private nonprofit schools, some with religious affiliations, participate actively in the distance learning arena. The University of the Incarnate Word Online offer fully online undergraduate and graduate certificate and degree programs specifically designed for adult learners. The Virtual Campus of Wayland Baptist University provides completely online undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as on-site programs that feature individual classes online. Concordia University, with campus locations in San Antonio and other Texas cities, has fully online programs through CTX Online. Its undergraduate and graduate degree programs include a master's in education specializing in literacy or differentiated instruction.
Top Industries, Careers and Employers
San Antonio boasts a diverse economy built on business services, biotechnology, the energy industry and more. The Brookings Institution named the city one of the strongest performing economies among the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the nation, and number one in overall performance based on employment and unemployment levels.
Take advantage of new job opportunities in San Antonio
According to San Antonio’s Economic Development Department, the city’s major industries include:
- Health Care and Bioscience
- Information Technology and Cybersecurity
- Renewable Energy
A catalyst for the $18.9 billion health care and bioscience industry is the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, reports the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation (SAEDF). More than 22,000 of the school’s graduates – physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals – serve in their fields, including many in Texas.
Outside health care, SAEDF lists these other major regional employers, showing the importance of the government, education and military sectors:
- Lackland Air Force Base
- Fort Sam Houston
- United Services Automobile Association
- Northside Independent School District
- City of San Antonio
- Randolph Air Force Base
Additionally, San Antonio is home to Valero Energy, Tesoro, NuStar Energy and CC Media Holdings – all Fortune 500 companies.
Colleges & Universities in San Antonio
Community Colleges and Vocational Schools in San Antonio
|San Antonio College||36,718||$3,360||Public|
|Northwest Vista College||20,855||$3,360||Public|
|St Philips College||14,847||$3,360||Public|
|Palo Alto College||12,465||$3,360||Public|