Austin wall mural


With over 950,000 people, Austin is the 11th largest city in the United States. Both Austin natives and newcomers can appreciate the immense talent that lives within the confines of the area. Students from all over the world come to the Austin area to study at some of the United State’s best universities. 


From private colleges to small institutions and everything in between, the city of Austin is a major hub of education. Regardless of your interest, Austin is sure to provide a variety of programs to match all your educational needs. With so many educational options to choose from, where do we begin? We’re here to breakdown some of the top universities near Austin.


The History of Education in Austin


Austin boasts a rich history of education and innovation. 


Before we dive into the specifics, let’s take a step back and look at Austin’s history of education as a whole. Austin has a richly diverse educational culture that includes both public and private institutions. The city is home to some of the most prestigious and important libraries, museums, and educational research facilities in the world! 


One major thing that differentiates Austin, Texas from other cities regarding higher education is the fact that all students who graduate in the very top percentages of their high school class gain automatic admission to all state-funded universities. There are currently 35 distinct public universities in the state of Texas. 


Universities in Texas currently host three presidential libraries, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum at the University of Texas at Austin, the George Bush Presidential Library at Texas A&M University, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University. 


Is Austin a Good Place to Study?


Person writing.
Would you consider studying in Austin?


As we’ve already established, Austin has a long and prosperous history of higher education. However, the question still remains “Is Austin a good place to study?”. The short answer is yes. Here’s why. 


1. The Culture


The culture of Austin is widespread and diverse as it has been influenced by many other cultures and sources. The creative scene in the Austin area is booming with massive amounts of art centered programs available for citizens. Everything from community theater to public murals and art exhibitions, Austin truly is a beautiful place to live. 


Austin also has a booming tech scene as it’s one of the most start-up driven cities in the world. From major industry players such as Apple and Amazon to a multitude of smaller startups, there is truly something for everyone in the Austin tech scene. 


Innovation is a top priority in Austin and this mentality shines throughout the area. Additionally, a variety of museums and parks are spread throughout the sprawling landscape providing yet another source of creativity and inspiration for the citizens of Austin. With a bustling tourism industry and a city determined to be diverse, Austin is a city that is only looking to grow in the future. 


2. Innovation


As mentioned previously, Austin is a major hub of all things innovation. From the tech industry to the arts, everyone in Austin is motivated to get things done. With a variety of coworking spaces and different ways of networking available, Austin is a hub of all things progress. 


Austin has access to some of the brightest minds throughout a variety of industries. Living in close proximity to such great minds could actually end up boosting your own motivation and creativity. 


3. Job Prospects


With some of the best-educated professionals all living in such close proximity, admittedly there is tough competition for job openings. However, with the formation of new companies every day and a variety of industries in the Austin area continuing to be on the rise, the job market in Austin is only going to grow from here. 


As mentioned before, Austin is home to some of the tech industry’s biggest figures. Being in close proximity to such accomplished companies can help get your foot in the door when it comes time to start job hunting. 


Top Universities Near Austin


American and Texas Flag.
Universities both big and small call Austin home.


1. University of Texas – Austin


The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university located in Austin, Texas. Founded in 1883, the university is a major part of the University of Texas System. The institution has the nation’s 8th largest single-campus enrollment with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff. 


The university is home to seven museums and seventeen libraries. Members of the numerous faculty include receipts of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Primetime Emmy Award, National Medal of Science, and many more. 


The University of Texas spans over 1,400 acres throughout its many properties. The main campus houses 150 buildings totaling over 18,000,000 square feet. The University of Texas offers over 100 undergraduate and 170 graduate degrees.


Additionally, the university has 8 highly selective academic honors programs. UT Austin is currently ranked 48th among all universities in the US, and 14th among all public universities in the US. 



2. Southwestern University


Southwestern University is a private liberal arts college located 30 minutes from downtown Austin in Georgetown, Texas. Formed in 1873, the university is the oldest higher education institution in the state of Texas. 


Southwestern University offers 40 bachelors degrees and 36 minors in a variety of subjects from sciences, arts, fine arts, and music as well as interdisciplinary and pre-professional programs. The university offers over 90 student clubs and organizations. The university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church.


3. Texas State University 


Located about 40 minutes from Austin in San Marcos, Texas, Texas State University is a prominent research public university. Established in 1899, the university has since grown into the largest institution in the Texas State University System and the fifth-largest higher learning institution in the state of Texas. The main campus consists of 245 academic buildings on 492 acres of land along the San Marcos River. 


Texas State University had an enrollment of over 38,500 students during the 2018 fall semester. The university has ten colleges and over fifty schools and departments. Texas State University is classified as a doctoral university with high research activity and boasts degrees in 98 bachelors programs, 93 masters programs, and 14 doctoral programs. 


4. Saint Edward’s University


Saint Edward’s University is a private Catholic university in Austin, Texas. The university was founded in 1877 by the same Congregation of Holy Cross who founded the major Catholic University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 


St. Edward’s offers 10 masters degrees and over 50 bachelors degrees in a variety of subjects and schools. The university recently opened a campus in Angers, France in 2008, which students now have the chance to travel abroad to each semester. 


Nearly 5,000 students attend St. Edward’s hailing from 44 different states and 51 countries across the globe. The acceptance rate for incoming freshman applicants is 62%. 


5. Concordia University – Texas


Concordia University is a private liberal arts institution located in Northwest Austin, Texas. The university offers a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and online degrees as well as an Adult Degree Program for returning and part-time students. 


Founded in 1926 as the Lutheran College of Texas, the school was originally a 4-year high school that prepared young men for a career in ministry. As of 2017, the school had a student body of about 2,600 students participating in a variety of clubs and organizations. 


6. The Art Institute of Austin


The Art Institute of Austin is a college with campuses in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, offering a variety of artistically driven programs. Areas of study include Visual Design, Interior Design, Marketing, Animation, Film, Gaming, Fashion, and Culinary. 


7. Huston-Tillotson University 


Huston-Tillotson University is a private university in Austin, Texas. Established in 1875, the university was the first higher educational institution in Austin, Texas. The university is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, The United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund. 


The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Business and Technology. 


What’s the Takeaway?


Person hiking.
Where will you go on your own educational journey?


Austin’s universities are some of the best in the world. From large private institutions to smaller local options, each university in the Austin area is influenced by the city in a different way. Through the rich culture of the Austin area, these universities have the pleasure of being able to influence their students through a variety of different worldviews and opportunities. 


As you continue to grow throughout your coding journey, staying informed with the latest tech news will be crucial to your career success. That’s why we’re here to keep you motivated and up-to-date as you follow your coding goals and prepare yourself for a career in tech.

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