Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Love the Lone Star State? The best online colleges in Texas rank highly for affordability, academic rigor, and diverse program offerings.
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Updated February 27, 2024

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In 2015, Texas set a goal to get 60% of residents to hold a college certificate or degree by 2030. Online colleges in Texas can help the state meet its goal. Many Texas online colleges offer programs fully online. This format allows learners to complete coursework from anywhere.

Texas online degrees feature rigorous coursework and the same graduate outcomes as on-campus programs. Some programs require in-person experiences, such as labs or practicums.

We've ranked the best online colleges in Texas for their academic quality, affordability, and online resources.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

10 Best Online Colleges in Texas

#1 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

University of North Texas

  • Denton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $280
Out-of-State | $395

Credits to Graduate: 120

Still choosing a major? At the University of North Texas, you'll have plenty of options. UNT Online offers 86 online programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

The public university ranks among the largest online colleges in Texas, offering more than 1,800 online courses to over 140,000 learners. Major in criminal justice, business, or information sciences as an undergraduate. 

The bachelor's degree completion option can save you time and money if you have credits to transfer from a previous program. The program offers seven concentrations, including data analytics, organizational supervision, and consumer behavior. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,295
Out-of-state
$18,111
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,350
Out-of-state
$13,694
Retention Rate
79%
Acceptance Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
42,441
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Texas Tech University

  • Lubbock, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $284
Out-of-State | $704

Credits to Graduate: 120

You don't need to move to Lubbock to become a Red Raider. You can enroll in Texas Tech University as an online student. TTU Online offers 80 undergraduate and graduate programs at an affordable cost. 

You can study financial planning, biology, or criminology as a distance learner. Texas Tech also offers programs in early childhood education, English, public relations, and renewable energy. Or design your own major with a bachelor's degree in university studies.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$8,935
Out-of-state
$21,204
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,956
Out-of-state
$15,136
Retention Rate
85%
Acceptance Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
40,542
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $336-$420
Out-of-State | $336-$565

Credits to Graduate: 120

El Paso's public university is one of the leading Hispanic-serving institutions in the country. More than 24,000 students attend the University of Texas at El Paso, and 84% of the student body identifies as Hispanic. Thanks to UTEP Online, you can also earn your degree online at an affordable price.

The university's fully online programs prioritize convenience and one-on-one support. While majoring in liberal arts, business, education, or nursing, you'll work with student support specialists who provide personalized help with enrollment, financial aid, and registration. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,704
Out-of-state
$23,112
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,865
Out-of-state
$15,320
Retention Rate
70%
Acceptance Rate
100%
Students Enrolled
24,003
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Lamar University

  • Beaumont, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $314
Out-of-State | $314

Credits to Graduate: 120

A public university in Beaumont, Lamar University enrolls over 17,000 students on its 300-acre campus. LU also ranks as one of the best online colleges in Texas, thanks to its affordable tuition rate, regardless of where you live.

Many of the school's 120 programs offer online options. You can study accounting, communication, or healthcare administration. The university's engineering programs also offer several online majors, including electrical engineering and industrial engineering. Or choose a unique major like computer game development.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$6,228
Out-of-state
$16,020
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$6,471
Out-of-state
$13,815
Retention Rate
57%
Acceptance Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
16,320
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
88% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Sam Houston State University

  • Huntsville, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $244
Out-of-State | $244

Credits to Graduate: 120

Half of the students at this public university are first-generation college students. Sam Houston State University offers specialized support for first-generation and online learners. 

Through SHSU Online, you'll use learning technologies to connect with faculty and classmates. Choose from over 40 degree-granting programs that use a fully online format with majors in business, homeland security, health science, and the social sciences. And thanks to a low tuition rate, you can graduate with less debt regardless of residency. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,856
Out-of-state
$15,648
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,765
Out-of-state
$13,108
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
97%
Students Enrolled
21,612
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Texas Woman's University

  • Denton, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $238
Out-of-State | $658 

Credits to Graduate: 120

This public institution graduates more new healthcare professionals than any other college in Texas. And, despite its name, Texas Woman's University enrolls people of all genders in its online programs. 

Dental hygienists can advance their education with the online bachelor's program. Learners can also major in health studies, nursing, or kinesiology. Outside of the healthcare field, TWU offers online degrees in general studies and sociology with a concentration in social inequality.

More than 16,000 students attend the university, a student population that has nearly doubled in the past two decades.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,616
Out-of-state
$15,408
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,112
Out-of-state
$12,456
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
16,338
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Angelo State University

  • San Angelo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $187
Out-of-State | $607

Credits to Graduate: 120

Angelo State University reports that its tuition costs an average of 70% less than Texas private universities. The public university, which enrolls nearly 11,000 students on its San Angelo campus, also offers online degrees. 

In the Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, you can choose from majors like criminal justice, border and homeland security, or intelligence and analysis. Or earn your bachelor's in management, psychology, social work, or sociology. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,495
Out-of-state
$14,287
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$4,181
Out-of-state
$11,525
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
70%
Students Enrolled
10,826
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Stephen F. Austin State University

  • Nacogdoches, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Year:
In-State | $10,600
Out-of-State | $23,200

Credits to Graduate: 120

This public university offers online and on-campus degrees from its campus in Nacogdoches. At Stephen F. Austin State University, distance learners choose from 20 online programs offered through SFA Online

Earn your degree in business, communication studies, or sports business. Or major in human development, education, or sustainability. These flexible programs prioritize affordability. For example, you can save money by taking more than 12 credits per semester while paying the same flat tuition rate. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$7,842
Out-of-state
$18,858
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$5,262
Out-of-state
$13,524
Retention Rate
76%
Acceptance Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
12,000
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

University of Houston-Downtown

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $246
Out-of-State | $666

Credits to Graduate: 120

Houston's public research university offers multiple online degrees. Through the University of Houston Downtown, you can study business, social sciences, public service, or STEM fields. UHD Online offers an affordable way to earn your degree online. 

You can finish your bachelor's degree with one of 15 degree completion programs or enroll in one of the five online graduate programs. Online programs offer flexible schedules, interactive learning experiences, and online student services. UHD Online also stands out for its low in-state tuition rate.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,882
Out-of-state
$15,740
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,073
Out-of-state
$14,535
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
95%
Students Enrolled
15,077
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
81% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Colleges in Texas 2024

Texas A&M University-Commerce

  • Commerce, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Cost per Credit:
In-State | $351
Out-of-State | $759

Credits to Graduate: 120

Join nearly 11,000 on-campus students at Texas A&M University-Commerce by enrolling in an online program. The public university's online programs include hybrid, primarily online, and 100% online options so you can find the program that best fits your needs and schedule. 

Major in agribusiness, human services, nursing, or paralegal studies. You can advance your career with a degree in technology management or nursing. Texas residents pay a low tuition rate of $4,212 per semester for full-time enrollment. You'll also benefit from internship and job placement support through the career service office. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,790
Out-of-state
$17,030
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$3,630
Out-of-state
$10,974
Retention Rate
60%
Acceptance Rate
87%
Students Enrolled
11,504
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
75% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Our Ranking Methodology

At Affordable Colleges Online, we use a proprietary ranking system to help you find the best schools for your needs. Our most important metric, affordability, accounts for 60% of our weighted formula. We also consider academic quality, program offerings, online enrollment, and graduation rate.

You can learn more about our school ranking methodology here.


Why Get an Online Degree?

What Is the Cost of Attending an Online College in Texas?

Finding an affordable online college in Texas shouldn't be too difficult. On average, Texas students attending in-state public schools spend around $1,000 less on their education than students in other states. Texas students pay an average of $8,678 annually.

Out-of-state students at the same public schools pay significantly more. Fortunately, over half of college graduates in Texas earn a degree without debt.

Online students can lower their education expenses by exploring financial aid options. In general, online students qualify for the same aid as on-campus students.

The federal government awards grants and loans to learners whose FAFSA results show financial need. And you can also apply for private scholarships.

Cost of College in Texas in 2021
Institution Type Average Tuition & Required Fees
Public 4-year (in-state) $8,016
Public 4-year (out-of-state) $25,419
Private 4-year $37,451
Public 2-year (in-state) $2,859
Public 2-year (out-of-state) $7,913
Source: NCES

Accreditation for Online Colleges in Texas

Accreditation ensures that colleges offer students the best educational experience. The top online colleges in Texas are regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This organization evaluates every college and university throughout the southern United States.

Schools with online programs should also have national accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.

Some online programs feature programmatic accreditation that evaluates specific departments. You can check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for programmatic accreditation agencies relevant to your degree.

The Highest-Paying Jobs in Texas

Everything, as they say, is bigger in Texas. The 12 jobs listed below earn the biggest salaries in Texas.

Cardiologists currently earn the most, with an annual salary of $413,510. Other top-earning careers in Texas include pediatric surgeons, ophthalmologists, and chief executives.

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree (and likely extensive medical training) to land one of the 12 highest-paying jobs in Texas.

12 Highest-Paying Jobs in Texas
Job Annual Mean Wage
Cardiologists $413,510
Pediatric Surgeons $365,130
Ophthalmologists $338,400
Surgeons $331,980
Chief Executives $314,060
Anesthesiologists $298,710
Radiologists $297,320
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $294,250
Physicians $276,750
Pediatricians $250,850
Neurologists $235,780
Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers $212,940
Source: BLS

The Most In-Demand Jobs in Texas

You have a good chance of landing a job in Texas, especially with a college degree. The Lone Star State is projected to add 1.7 million new jobs from 2018-2028.

The construction industry will add the most jobs— particularly for electricians, supervisors in construction, construction managers, and plumbers. Texas's other top four in-demand industries include manufacturing, agriculture and forestry, healthcare and social assistance, and educational services.

The table below, with data sourced from the Texas Workforce Commission, outlines the top occupations in each of the fastest-growing industries in Texas.

Five In-Demand Texas Job Industries
Top Industries Top Occupations Within the Industry
Construction
Manufacturing
  • First-Line Supervisors of Production and
  • Operating Workers
  • Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers
  • Machinists
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanics
Agriculture and Forestry
  • Farmers, Ranchers, and Agricultural Managers
  • Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
  • First-Line Supervisors of Farming, Fishing, and Forestry Workers
  • Logging Equipment Operators
Healthcare and Social Assistance
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Medical and Health Services Managers
  • Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
Educational Services
Source: Texas Workforce Commission

Frequently Asked Questions About College in Texas

What colleges in Texas offer online degrees?

All the colleges featured in our ranking offer fully online degrees — including the University of Texas, the University of Houston, and Lone Star College.

In general, many colleges in Texas offer fully online or hybrid degrees, but the availability of virtual classes depends on your subject area.

Are online colleges accredited?

Not all online colleges hold accreditation, but legitimate ones will.

You want to look for online colleges with institutional or programmatic accreditation from an agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) or the U.S. Department of Education.

Accreditation determines your ability to receive federal financial aid, qualify for graduate school, and earn employment.

Do I need to live in Texas to attend an online college in Texas?

No, you don't need to live in Texas to attend a Texas college online. Online colleges in Texas often admit students who live anywhere in the country and sometimes internationally.

That said, you may pay different tuition rates depending on where you live and the college's tuition structure.

Does Texas A&M have online programs?

Texas A&M offers "distance degrees" in 13 schools and colleges. Some of the programs Texas A&M students can complete online are in engineering, architecture, agriculture, government, business, and education.

The distance learning division at Texas A&M features one undergraduate degree, 64 graduate programs, and 50 certificates.

Are online colleges taken seriously?

Yes, you can expect the same education and rigorous curriculum in online colleges. Online colleges may also feature the same faculty who teach on campus.

Employers recognize online degrees earned from institutionally accredited colleges. And your online degree certificate will not look any different from an on-campus degree certificate.

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AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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