Pomp and prestige

Houston university bests UT Austin to be declared top school in Texas

Houston university bests UT Austin to be declared top school in Texas

Places-Unique-Rice University-main building-exterior-1
Rice University joins prestigious schools such as MIT and Harvard. Photo courtesy of Rice University

The Owls of Rice University have a lot to hoot about. The Houston school bested the University of Texas at Austin to be ranked as the seventh best college in the U.S. and the top college in Texas.

Neighborhood review site Niche.com’s latest college rankings, released August 21, rely on U.S. Department of Education data coupled with reviews from current students, alumni, and parents to judge American colleges on 12 factors, including academics, campus, dorm life, and professors. Niche.com helps parents and students choose colleges and K-12 schools.

Last year’s Niche.com list of the best colleges put Rice at No. 10, so it jumped up three spots this year. On the new list, Rice ranks fourth among the colleges with the best professors, 10th among the colleges with the best value, and 16th among the hardest colleges to get into.

In Niche.com’s ranking this year, Rice earns bragging rights as the best college in Texas. Here are the state’s top 10, according to Niche.com:

  1. Rice University
  2. University of Texas at Austin
  3. Texas A&M University, College Station
  4. Southern Methodist University, Dallas
  5. Trinity University, San Antonio
  6. Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
  7. Baylor University, Waco
  8. LeTourneau University, Longview
  9. Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  10. University of Texas at Dallas

But, in the topsy-turvy world of college rankings, the recently released Times Higher Education World University Rankings put UT as the 44th best university in the world. Rice took the 124th spot on that list.

Times Higher Education, which assesses more than 1,500 institutions around the globe, unveiled the rankings on September 2. In determining the world's best schools, the prestigious magazine based their rankings on teaching; research; citations; international outlook (staff, students, and research); and industry income. 

UT scored an overall 74, earning its highest marks in citations (90.5), research (74.8), and teaching (67.9). Its worst mark came in the international outlook category, which measures the international depth and breadth of staff, students, and research. For that the school earned a 39.4.