Here Are the Best Colleges in Dallas

For non-natives of Texas, Dallas may seem like a confusing area because it is often associated with its neighbor Fort Worth. 

That is because most outsiders don’t fully understand the scale of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metroplex that includes many surrounding cities and suburbs. 

The sheer size of this area places it as the fourth largest metroplex in the country and the largest in Texas! 

Because of its size, Dallas goes big when it comes to business, faith, and culture. Not only is the area home to 22 Fortune 500 companies, it also has one of the largest concentrations of megachurches in Texas. 

A visit to the inner city of Dallas or Fort Worth will unveil a wide range of cultural sights that include the African American Museum, the Dallas Zoo, the Fort Worth Stockyards, and Six Flags. 

In addition, Dallas has a massive concentration of professional sports, including the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, and the Dallas Stars.    

Those who are looking to move to the area will not be disappointed with all the opportunities for fun and career development. 

This is especially the case for students who are looking to attend school in the area. 

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has a massive concentration of top-notch schools. This list covers both Dallas and suburban Dallas and breaks down some of the unique aspects that make these schools among the best in the area.

University of Texas at Dallas

UT Dallas
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

Located in one of Dallas’ northern suburbs, UT-D is considered one of the most affordable universities in the State of Texas. 

The university doesn’t let its R-1 status or long history of excellence in STEM get in the way of trying to provide accessible and affordable education to students from all backgrounds. 

UT-D was founded on the need to train more people in research and technology, and the more than 50 centers and institutes that make up its different departments now show how this commitment has been carried into the 21st century. 

Students will be able to study with professors like Dr. Kenneth K. O, whose team of researchers have discovered revolutionary imaging technology that can help with seeing in blinding conditions like smoke and fog. 

Beyond academics, UT-D is also known for being the home of chess champions. Students in the UT-D Dallas Chess Team have won awards both nationally and internationally and regularly participate in the Pan American Intercollegiate Championship and the National Collegiate Chess League. The school even has students who have been featured in the American Chess Magazine

Whether researching or playing chess, UT-D lives up to the University of Texas school system prestige. 

University of North Texas

University of North Texas
Michael Barera, University of North Texas September (Hurley Administration Building), CC BY-SA 4.0

Rated “Best in the West” by The Princeton Review, UNT has a reputation for being top rated and for leading the way in firsts. 

UNT is uniquely home to the first jazz studies program, the first undergraduate program in behavior analysis, and the first aviation logistics program at a university in Texas. 

UNT’s reputation and proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth area allow it to connect with one of the largest hubs of Fortune 500 companies. 

In addition, students have access to over 500 different companies for internships and have gone on to secure jobs in top-ranked industries like tech. 

Of the many different companies’ UNT has in its book of contacts, football fans will be thrilled to know the Dallas Cowboys franchise is on the list! 

UNT’s calls itself “The Mean Green” nation, and this is more than just a reference to their Division I sports teams. 

UNT is known for its research and participation in fighting for a healthier earth and offers 118 sustainability themed courses

Students who are interested in sustainability and environmental science will have the chance to work in at least four different research institutions, including UNT’s National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center.   

UNT believes in producing students who are the best even beyond the west. 

Southern Methodist University

Southern Methodist University
Michael Barera, Southern Methodist University (Clements Hall), CC BY-SA 4.0

Though the university is affiliated with the Methodist church, and its Perkins School of Theology is recognized as a training center by the Methodist Church, the university is open to people from all backgrounds and faiths. 

Community and inclusion are a big deal at SMU, and students are supported in both word and deed. 

Students need to look no further than the university’s LGBT programs to see the university’s commitment to a welcoming and diverse student body. 

For students who are looking to find a way to combine their spiritual life with their academic, SMU invites students to be part of The Center for Faith and Learning

Through the center, students can be part of programs like Faith & Learning Scholars that offer a chance for students to attend small groups, volunteer, and practice a personal faith. 

SMU offers a rich intersectional community that is committed to its founding Methodist principles of Wholeness, Purpose, Integrity, Growth, Discipline, Faithfulness, Trust, Joy, and Love/Acceptance. Students who are interested in learning more should visit the SMU admissions page

Texas Christian University

Texas Christian University Arena
Michael Barera, Texas Christian University (Ed and Rae Schollmaier Arena), CC BY-SA 4.0

TCU has the unique distinction of being one of the earliest colleges to allow women to attend college with the men. 

This forward thinking since its founding can still be seen in many of the goals it is striving for and the programs it has implemented. 

One of the two universities in Texas to join in interrogating their past relationship to slavery and racism, TCU is part of the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium

The Consortium is part of an effort to find ways to describe the history of slavery in the United States ethically. TCU has joined the Consortium to forward its goal to become a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable university. 

TCU’s commitment to researching the past reflects their active commitment to conducting ethical and productive research to the greater Texan, American, and Global community. 

This can be seen in professors like Danica Knight, whose Trust-Based Relational Intervention has helped children and teens who are incarcerated. 

Professors and students at TCU use research to reduce injustices and inequitable conditions that they see in the larger community. 

Though Christian in name, the university extends a welcome to students from all faiths and backgrounds. This is evident in the university’s thriving LGBTQ+ community as well as the campus Hillel and Muslim Student Association. 

Texas Woman’s University

Texas Woman's University
Michael Barera, Texas Woman’s University September (Old Main Building), CC BY-SA 4.0

The largest institution in the nation dedicated to educating women, Texas Woman’s University prides itself on providing a quality education for hard-working women – and men. Unlike other women’s colleges that only accept women, TWU has opened its doors to men since 1972, and of the current student body, 11% are male. 

One of TWU’s priorities is the powerful impact of women and the challenges they face with accessibility and resources. This can be seen first and foremost in the university’s ranking as one of the top schools in the nation for students with children. But this is only the beginning of TWU’s efforts at accessibility. 

TWU’s Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership has provided women entrepreneurs well over $1 million in grants, training, and advisors in the areas of business, politics, and education. 

As a result of this program and other similar efforts, TWU has contributed at least $1.48 billion to the Texas economy. 

In addition to financial support, students have access to faculty who are highly involved in their areas of expertise. 

In the College of Arts and Sciences, students will find professors like Catalina Pislariu whose studies into soil bacteria secured her a $330,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. While over in the Nutrition and Food Sciences, students can work closely with Xiaofen Du whose work in sugar consumption garnered her a $64,000 grant. 

TWU is committed to contributing real-world solutions to real-world problems for all people regardless of gender, and they do it through the lens of empowering those that have been traditionally disempowered. 

University of Texas at Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington
Michael Barera, University of Texas at Arlington (College Park Center), CC BY-SA 4.0

When it comes to inclusivity, UT Arlington casts a wide net. UTA is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPSI), and a number one ranked institution for veterans, all highly coveted designations in higher education. 

UTA extends this inclusivity to sports as well with its Movin’ Mavs Adaptive Sports Programs

Students with disabilities can join the women’s or men’s wheelchair basketball team and compete in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament against the best teams in the nation.   

Success in and out of the classroom is essential to UTA. Students from all backgrounds can gain help from UTA’s intensive student success programs through the UTA Division of Student Services

Support through the program includes tutoring, peer support, residential learning communities, and advising. 

Finally, UTA knows that cost can be a significant barrier to pursuing higher education. 

As a result, the university implements several resources to help students afford their education. The university implements a guaranteed tuition plan, which ensures tuition rates remain the same when a student enters until they graduate from UTA. 

In addition, the university has many scholarship and grant options that students can both apply for and be considered automatically for upon admission. 

UTA opens the door to students instead of making them jump unnecessary hurdles to get a higher education. 

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas Baptist University
Turn685, DallasBaptistUniversity, CC BY-SA 4.0

Dallas Baptist University combines strong Christian faith with a rigorous academic curriculum to offer students a Christ-centered education. 

Though the university offers many general degree plans, the curriculum at DBU reflects the university’s commitment to a Christian education. 

DBU believes instructors should be Christian leaders who are experts in their fields. That is why they hire professors like Cicely Jefferson in the Business and Public Law Department, who combines her extensive legal experience with a faith-based passion for nurturing her students into ethical businessmen and women. 

The university offers many different ways for students to put their faith in action, including regular global studies and mission trips. Students can go on trips close to home or international places like Spain and Rome. These trips offer students a chance to enrichen their Christian faith as well as their academic understanding. 

Christian faith is important to DBU in all areas of student life, including their Division II sports teams and Division I baseball team. 

The university is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) and has won NCCAA Championships in men and women’s golf, women’s soccer, and men and women’s cross country. 

Located right between the Dallas-Fort-Worth divide, DBU is positioned in one of the most thriving and faith-based cities in the state of Texas.

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