The 10 Best “Hidden Gem” Universities In Texas

3. Abilene Christian University (Abilene, TX)

Abilene Christian University
Michael Barera, Abilene Christian University (Moody Coliseum), CC BY-SA 4.0

There are plenty of great Christian schools in Texas, but this option in the small city of Abilene is a true hidden gem. In addition to great academics, they focus on giving students a path to grow in their spirituality and bond with one another. 

There are always activities happening on campus, and freshmen are immediately welcomed into the fold with traditions like Wildcat Week. This week happens at the beginning of the year and gives new students plenty of fun things to do and opportunities to become part of the campus. 

This school is large enough that students can have a traditional college experience – many people live on campus, and there are plenty of athletics, performances, and other fun things to attend. Class sizes are relatively small, with an excellent student to faculty ratio of 14:1, and professors take time to get to know their students. 

2. Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, TX)

Stephen F Austin State University
Michael Barera, Stephen F. Austin State University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Originally a teacher’s college, this state university is now home to a number of incredible programs, including a top forestry degree and excellent nursing program. SFA is located in Nacogdoches, a small town surrounded by national forests. 

Although there is a small town environment, this university is also home to an advanced early childhood research center as well as a brand-new STEM center. 

This school is very friendly with incredible school spirit – students are always proud to support the Lumberjacks on the field, with 17 division I sports teams. 

The campus is very walkable, and there are plenty of dining options on and off campus. It’s also a great choice for anyone who loves outdoor activities, with multiple national forests and plenty of large bodies of water nearby.

1. Texas Woman’s University (Denton, TX)

Texas Womans University
Michael Barera, Texas Woman’s University (Pioneer Hall), CC BY-SA 4.0

TWU is a top-tier university in Denton, a small town north of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. They also have satellite campuses in Dallas and Houston. 

They are known for their excellent nursing and health sciences programs, but also have a number of other degrees to choose from in the arts, sciences, and business fields. The charming campus is small and walkable, making it easy to get around. 

Class sizes here are very small, so students can get to know their professors. The campus environment focuses on supporting women, and it’s one of the most popular schools in Texas for students who have children. 

The school is very safe, and it’s also very diverse, welcoming a wide range of students into its programs. Additionally, it’s very affordable, with the average tuition coming in at less than $10,000 per year. 

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