Pomp and prestige

2 Dallas universities make the grade on new list of top Texas schools

2 Dallas universities make the grade on new list of top Texas schools

SMU, Southern Methodist University
SMU makes the cut. SMU/Facebook

The Owls of Rice University have a lot to hoot about. The Houston school bested all the rest to be ranked the top college in Texas and the seventh best college in the United States in a new survey.

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.

Two Dallas universities made the grade among top 10 Texas schools. Southern Methodist University came in at No. 4, and University of Texas at Dallas slid in at No. 10. Fort Worth's Texas Christian University ranked No. 6.

For visual help, here are the state’s top 10 in order, 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

There's a bit of a rivalry at the top. In the topsy-turvy world of college rankings, the recently released Times Higher Education World University Rankings put University of Texas at Austin as the 44th best university in the world. Rice took the 124th spot on that list. On this list, Rice beats UT.

But, back to Dallas.

SMU earned high marks nationally in some very specific categories, such as Best Colleges for Sports Management (No. 3 of 413), Best Christian Colleges in America (No. 6 of 362), and Best Colleges for Accounting and Finance (No. 10 of 789). It did not have a great showing in the categories of Most Diverse Colleges in America (No. 559 of 1,589) and Safest College Campuses in America (No. 730 of 1,336).

UTD scored high in the categories of Best Colleges for Information Technology in America (No. 8 of 219) and Best Colleges for Accounting and Finance (No. 39 of 789). Its lowest ranking came in the category of Colleges with the Best Student Life in America (No. 754 of 1,580).