tier 1 universities in usa

Last Updated on December 25, 2022

William Marsh Rice University, commonly known as Rice University, is a private research university in Houston, Texas. It is situated on a 300-acre campus near the Houston Museum District and is adjacent to the Texas Medical Center.

Opened in 1912 after the murder of its namesake William Marsh Rice, Rice is a research university with an undergraduate focus. Its emphasis on education is demonstrated by a small student body and 6:1 student-faculty ratio. The university has a very high level of research activity, with $156 million in sponsored research funding in 2019. Rice is noted for its applied science programs in the fields of artificial heart research, structural chemical analysis, signal processing, space science, and nanotechnology. In 2010, it was ranked first in the world in materials science research by Times Higher Education (THE).

Rice has been a member of the Association of American Universities since 1985 and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

The university is organized into eleven residential colleges and eight schools of academic study, including the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the George R. Brown School of Engineering, the School of Social Sciences, School of Architecture, Shepherd School of Music and the School of Humanities. Rice’s undergraduate program offers more than fifty majors and two dozen minors, and allows a high level of flexibility in pursuing multiple degree programs. Additional graduate programs are offered through the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business and the Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. Rice students are bound by the strict Honor Code, which is enforced by a student-run Honor Council.

Rice competes in 14 NCAA Division I varsity sports and is a part of Conference USA, often competing with its cross-town rival the University of Houston. Intramural and club sports are offered in a wide variety of activities such as jiu jitsu, water polo, and crew.

The university’s alumni include more than two dozen Marshall Scholars and a dozen Rhodes Scholars.  Given the university’s close links to NASA, it has produced a significant number of astronauts and space scientists. In business, Rice graduates include CEOs and founders of Fortune 500 companies; in politics, alumni include congressmen, cabinet secretaries, judges, and mayors. Two alumni have won the Nobel Prize.

The University of Texas at Austin, shortened to UT AustinUT, or Texas, is a public research university in Austin, Texas and the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. Founded in 1883, the University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution is composed of over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

A Public Ivy, it is a major center for academic research, with research expenditures totaling $679.8 million for fiscal year 2018.

The university houses seven museums and seventeen libraries, including the LBJ Presidential Library and the Blanton Museum of Art, and operates various auxiliary research facilities, such as the J. J. Pickle Research Campus and the McDonald Observatory. As of November 2020, 13 Nobel Prize winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Turing Award winners, two Fields medalists, two Wolf Prize winners, and two Abel prize winners have been affiliated with the school as alumni, faculty members or researchers. The university has also been affiliated with three Primetime Emmy Award winners, and has produced a total of 143 Olympic medalists.

Student-athletes compete as the Texas Longhorns and are members of the Big 12 Conference. Its Longhorn Network is the only sports network featuring the college sports of a single university. The Longhorns have won four NCAA Division I National Football Championships, six NCAA Division I National Baseball Championships, thirteen NCAA Division I National Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships, and has claimed more titles in men’s and women’s sports than any other school in the Big 12 since the league was founded in 1996.

The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA or UT Arlington) is a public research university in Arlington, Texas, midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. The university was founded in 1895 and was in the Texas A&M University System for several decades until joining The University of Texas System in 1965.

The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.” The fall 2019 campus enrollment consisted of 43,863 students making it the largest university in North Texas and fourth-largest in Texas. UT Arlington is the third-largest producer of college graduates in Texas and offers over 180 baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs.

UT Arlington participates in 15 intercollegiate sports as a Division I member of the NCAA and Sun Belt Conference. UTA sports teams have been known as the Mavericks since 1971.

The University of Houston (U of H) is a public research university in Houston, Texas, and the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, U of H is the third-largest university in Texas with over 46,000 students.[8] Its campus spans 667 acres (2.70 km2) in southeast Houston, and was known as University of Houston–University Park from 1983 to 1991. The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”.

The university offers more than 282 degree programs through its 14 academic colleges on campus—including programs leading to professional degrees in architecture, law, optometry, and pharmacy. The institution conducts $150 million annually in research, and operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Interdisciplinary research includes superconductivity, space commercialization and exploration, biomedical sciences and engineering, energy and natural resources, and artificial intelligence. Awarding more than 9,000 degrees annually, U of H’s alumni base exceeds 260,000. The economic impact of the university contributes over $3 billion annually to the Texas economy, while generating about 24,000 jobs. The HPE Data Science Institute was created in 2017, and was named by the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute with its 10 million gift.

The University of Houston hosts a variety of theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, and events. It has more than 400 student organizations and 17 intercollegiate sports teams. Annual U of H events and traditions include The Cat’s Back, Homecoming, and Frontier Fiesta. The university’s varsity athletic teams, known as the Houston Cougars, are members of the American Athletic Conference and compete in the NCAA Division I in all sports. The football team regularly makes bowl game appearances, and the men’s basketball team has made 22 appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament—including six Final Four appearances. The men’s golf team has won 16 national championships—the most in NCAA history.

The University of North Texas (UNT) is a public research university in Denton, Texas. Until 1988, it was known as North Texas State University. It consists of 14 colleges and schools, an early admissions math and science academy, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, for exceptional high-school-age students from across the state, and a library system that comprises the university core. The university is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation, UNT spent $78.4 million on research and development in 2019.

UNT was founded as a nonsectarian, coeducational, private teachers college in 1890 and was formally adopted by the state 11 years later. UNT is the flagship institution of the University of North Texas System, which includes additional universities in Dallas and Fort Worth. UNT also has a location in Frisco.

Texas A&M University (Texas A&MA&M, or TAMU) is a public land-grant research university in College Station, Texas. It was founded in 1876 and became the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System in 1948. As of 2020, Texas A&M’s student body is the second largest in the United State. Texas A&M’s designation as a land, sea, and space grant institution—the only university in Texas to hold all three designations—reflects a range of research with ongoing projects funded by organizations such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research. In 2001, Texas A&M was inducted as a member of the Association of American Universities. The school’s students, alumni—over 500,000 strong—and sports teams are known as Aggies. The Texas A&M Aggies athletes compete in 18 varsity sports as a member of the Southeastern Conference.

The first public institution of higher education in Texas, the school opened on October 4, 1876, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas under the provisions of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. Originally, the college taught no classes in agriculture, instead concentrating on classical studies, languages, literature, and applied mathematics. After four years, students could attain degrees in scientific agriculture, civil and mechanical engineering, and language and literature. Under the leadership of President James Earl Rudder in the 1960s, A.M.C. desegregated, became coeducational, and dropped the requirement for participation in the Corps of Cadets. To reflect the institution’s expanded roles and academic offerings, the Texas Legislature renamed the school to Texas A&M University in 1963. The letters “A&M”, originally A.M.C. and short for “Agricultural and Mechanical College”, are retained as a link to the university’s tradition.

The main campus is one of the largest in the United States, spanning 5,200 acres (21 km2), and is home to the George Bush Presidential Library. About one-fifth of the student body lives on campus. Texas A&M has more than 1,000 officially recognized student organizations. Many students also observe the traditions, which govern daily life, as well as special occasions, including sports events. Working with various A&M-related agencies, the school has a direct presence in each of the 254 counties in Texas. The university offers degrees in more than 150 courses of study through ten colleges and houses 18 research institutes.

As a Senior Military College, Texas A&M is one of six American public universities with a full-time, volunteer Corps of Cadets who study alongside civilian undergraduate students.

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD or UT Dallas) is a public university with its main campus in Richardson, Texas. It is the largest public university in the Dallas area and the northernmost campus of the University of Texas system. It was initially founded as a private research arm of Texas Instruments.

While the main campus is officially under the city jurisdiction of Richardson, one-third of it is within the borders of Dallas County and it has an on-campus DART train station on the Silver Line (which will be completed in 2022). UT Dallas also operates several locations in downtown Dallas – this includes the Crow Art Museum in the Arts District as well as several buildings in the Medical District next to UT Southwestern: the Center for BrainHealth, the Callier Center, and the new Translational Biomedical Engineering and Sciences building (under construction).

The young university has been characterized by rapid growth in research output and its competitive undergraduate admissions policies since its inception. Less than 47 years after its founding, the Carnegie Foundation had classified the university as a doctoral research university with “Highest Research Activity”—faster than any other school in Texas.[12] The university is associated with four Nobel Prizes, and has members of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering on its faculty. Research projects include the areas of Space Science, Bioengineering, Cybersecurity, Nanotechnology, and Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

The University of Texas at Dallas offers more than 140 academic programs across its eight schools and hosts more than 50 research centers and institutes. From July 2018 to June 2019, the university granted 4,225 bachelor’s degrees, 3,430 master’s degrees, and 238 PhDs for a total of 7,893 degrees.

The college has a Division III athletics program in the American Southwest Conference and fields 14 intercollegiate teams including a nationally recognized co-ed varsity Esports program. The university recruits worldwide for its Top 4 collegiate chess team and has an award-winning debate team.

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