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Studying a Postgrad Program in Texas

Postgrad Courses in TexasTexas was once an independent republic and Texans are very proud of their history. It is also known as the Lone Star State, and is the second largest state in terms of its area in the United States after Alaska, and the second largest in terms of population after California The overall population of Texas is about 27.5 million, with the largest cities being Houston, San Antonio, Austin and El Paso. Texas shares borders with several US states, including Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast and Oklahoma to the north. The main industry was formally cattle raising, but oil was discovered in the 1900s and there is now a large technology industry. Texas has a large Spanish speaking population as it was once part of Mexico. With an independent spirit, Texas is a diverse and fascinating place for postgraduate study. Houston is the fourth largest city in the US and a popular place for students as there are numerous universities based there.

Where can you study a postgrad program in Texas?

Texas has an independent and self-reliant spirit and there are many options for postgraduate study. The cities of Houston and Austin offer an especially large range of subjects. There are 37 universities based in Texas. Many of these are large public institutions with long and proud athletic traditions.

University of Texas Austin: The University of Texas system is made up of 14 institutions and the University of Texas Austin is the largest and most prestigious institution of this system. It is the seventh largest single campus institution in the US with a student population of over 50,000. Austin is the capital of Texas and is in the centre of the state about a 2 and a half hour drive from Houston. The University of Texas Austin was established in 1881 and has a competitive athletic program. Students, staff and alumni are all very proud of the successes of the Texas Longhorn teams in the many sports, such as basketball, football, swimming, golf and volleyball, which they compete in.

Texas A&M University: A student body of 64,300 makes Texas A&M University the largest university in Texas and the fourth largest in the US. Based in the town of College Station in East Central Texas 90 miles North West of Houston and 87 miles North East of Austin. Texas A&M was established in 1876 as an agricultural college and has a very strong athletic tradition. It is a public university and is ranked in the top 20 of research institutions in the US.

University of Houston: The University of Houston system is another public university in Texas. It has a student body of almost 43,000 with an excellent reputation for research. The campus is based in South East Houston and has 17 collegiate sports teams. They participate in a range of sports from football and basketball to tennis and swimming and all compete under the name of the Houston Cougars.

Rice University: Based in Houston, this small private university has about 6,600 students. It is considered to be the most selective and prestigious institution in Texas. Established in 1912 Rice University has an excellent reputation for scientific research.

Southern Methodist University: This private university has around 11,000 students and around half of these are postgraduates. The system of fraternities or sororities offer an instant social life and home for many students and it has a large presence on the Southern Methodist University campus. At this university about half of the students are members of a fraternity or sorority and it can offer international students a great opportunity to make American friends. The campus is based in and around Dallas and the university was established in 1911.

Tuition fees & living costs in Texas

Tuition fees for in-state students can be as low as $5,000 per year for an arts-based postgraduate program, and up to $100,000 for an Executive MBA. The cost depends on the subject studied and if the institution is a public or private one. Universities that charge in-state students relatively low fees tend to charge more to out-of-state or international students. These tend to start at about $10,000 a year. The universities that charge higher fees, from $40,000 to $100,000 per year, tend to offer similar or even the same fees to the out-of-state students. Most courses have out-of-state fees of between $20,000 to $50,000 per academic year. Many universities offer discounts to out-of-state students if they have studied continuously for three academic years.

Living costs can be between $11,000 and $17,000 per year. Don't forget to think about other hidden living costs. You will also need to include about $750 for books and another $2,000 for health insurance.

Admissions & applications in Texas

Most graduate courses require a bachelors degree in a related subject for the student to be successful in the applications and admissions process. Some graduate courses in Texas are also willing to except experience especially business-related courses. Rice University requires candidates to sit an exam for entrance on top of any qualifications or experience required for the specific course or department. If English is not your first language, then you must provide proof of your English language ability. Here is some advice on providing proof of your English language ability.

Interesting Texas alumni

Many famous Texans have studied at the state’s universities. Former president Lyndon B Johnson studied at Texas State University. The University of Texas Austin has a large group of interesting alumni. Actors Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, Farah Fawcett and Owen Wilson all studied there. First ladies Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson and Laura Bush are both alumni as well. Howard Hughs and astronaut Peggy Whitson both attend Rice University.

Student case study

Limerick University Law student, Stephen, recently spent time studying a postgraduate law course at the University of Texas Law. He describes the course as a competitive environment with plenty of opportunities to voice your opinion. Being based in Austin gave him the opportunity to spend time exploring Texas and access a large community of international students based in the city.

What can you do in Texas when you're not studying?

Texas is a large state – in fact it is the size of France – so there is plenty to see. When you are not studying there are miles of beaches and national parks to visit. Biking, kayaking and other outdoors pursuits are all very popular in Texas. Going out to a ranch and trying out the cowboy lifestyle is a high priority for many visitors. Supporting the home team is a big part of many Texans lives and watching your university's team play is a good way to meet people. Participating in local life is a great way to settle in to life in your new country.

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