Business Administration

The Top MBA Programs in Texas

The Top MBA Programs in Texas
Texas is home to many Fortune 500 firms, representing industries as diverse as aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods. Everything is bigger in Texas, including business opportunities. Image from Unsplash
Christa Terry profile
Christa Terry September 21, 2020

There are just over 50 MBA programs in the Lone Star State. We've winnowed that list down to the traditional, online, and executive MBAs that should be on your shortlist.

MBA/Business Programs You Should Consider

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Texas is known as the center of the US energy industry, but it’s also a hub for technology firms, a hotspot for innovation, and a veritable paradise for entrepreneurs. On top of that, the people are friendly, the cost of living is relatively low, and the quality of life is high.

You won’t find any of the nation’s ultra-elite MBA programs here. However, you will find many highly ranked programs that can launch your lucrative career in business, tech, entrepreneurship, or—unsurprisingly—energy. A Texas MBA provides an excellent education and abundant networking opportunities within the area’s robust business community.

On-campus and online MBA programs at prestigious business schools like Southern Methodist University‘s Edwin L. Cox School of Business or Rice University‘s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business enjoy a prominent national profile. Other, lesser-known business programs also merit your consideration.

In this article about earning a Texas MBA, we discuss the benefits of studying business in the land of cowboy hats and world-class barbecue. We cover:

  • Seven reasons to get an MBA in Texas
  • Master of Business Administration tuition rates in Texas
  • The Texas schools with the best MBA programs
  • How graduating from a Texas MBA program will affect your income

Seven reasons to get an MBA in Texas

There are many good reasons to explore MBA programs in Texas. For instance:

  • Texas colleges and universities tend to be budget-friendly (more on this below). While not all the Texas MBA programs we highlight in this article are affordable, it’s definitely possible to earn an MBA in Texas for less than you’ll pay in other states with major business centers.
  • If Texas were a country, it would be the tenth largest economy in the world. Texas’ GDP is larger than that of both Canada and South Korea and nearly as large as that of Brazil.
  • Texas is home to many Fortune 500 firms, representing industries as diverse as aerospace and aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, and consumer goods. Everything is bigger in Texas, including business opportunities.
  • Texas is the hub of the energy industry in the United States, offering plenty of jobs. Most people associate this state with oil and natural gas production and processing, but Texas also leads the nation in wind-powered electricity generation.
  • Austin is the new Silicon Valley. More than 10 percent of businesses in this city are startups, and a high concentration of those are tech companies. Apple, Facebook, and Google all have hubs in Austin, which has earned the nickname Silicon Hills.
  • Texas is home to NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, a vital hub of the aeronautics industry in the US. SpaceX has both a rocket development facility and a launch facility in Texas. The aerospace and aviation industries employ over 148,000 Texas workers.
  • __The state regularly leads the nation in job growth with a correspondingly low unemployment rate. That means you’ll have a solid shot of landing a good job right out of school after earning your MBA in Texas.


University and Program Name Learn More

Master of Business Administration tuition rates in Texas

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-accredited MBA programs in Texas and elsewhere are typically more expensive than other types of master’s degree programs. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll pay a lot to attend a Texas business school. You’ll find both relatively expensive programs and relatively affordable programs on our list. For instance, MBA students enrolled in Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business pay about $110,000. Meanwhile, the full-time MBA program at The University of Texas at Dallas‘s Naveen Jindal School of Management costs about $35,000 for residents and $64,000 for non-resident students.

Keep in mind, however, that unless you’re enrolling in an online MBA program in Texas, tuition won’t be your only expense. The good news is that Texas has no state income tax, and the overall cost of living in cities like Austin, Dallas, and Houston is a lot lower than in cities like NYC, LA, or Boston. Choosing a Texas MBA program might mean you can comfortably afford to enroll in a more prestigious school because you’re able to save on your housing costs and day-to-day expenses. Then again, taking out loans and pinching pennies may be worth it if you’re able to get into one of the top Texas MBA programs because you’ll almost certainly earn more after graduation than you would if you’d chosen a less-prestigious school.

The Texas schools with the best MBA programs

Baylor University‘s Hankamer School of Business in Waco, Texas__

Baylor University has full-time MBA, executive MBA programs, and traditional and accelerated 100 percent online MBA programs. The lengths of these graduate programs vary. Students can earn an MBA in as little as 12 months or over two years. Students in the executive MBA program have the option of choosing a Healthcare Administration track; online students can choose from among three MBA concentrations (cyber security, executive communication, and marketing); and full-time students can choose from among four (healthcare administration, business analytics, entrepreneurship & corporate innovation, and cyber security).

All MBA programs at Baylor University include immersive travel experiences. Students have access to robust professional support and to the 45,000+ member strong Baylor Business Alumni Network before and after graduation—regardless of which format they choose. It’s worth noting that the online MBA program at Baylor University is less expensive than the on-campus programs by about $20,000, which is unusual.

Rice University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business in Houston, Texas

There are multiple MBA options at Rice University’s college of business, including a full-time program, a professional program, an executive program, and a hybrid program with live online coursework plus intensive residencies and international excursions to help students gain work experience. Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine rated the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business MBA #1 for entrepreneurship, and the Financial Times rated it the best MBA for women.

All MBA students can take part in global field experiences and international business excursions. Each student is assigned an admissions counselor and a dedicated student success adviser. Online students can even work with the business school’s team of career coaches virtually. GMAT and GRE exam waivers are granted to EMBA students on a case-by-case basis.

Southern Methodist University’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business in Dallas, Texas

Small classes, teamwork, and a curriculum built on three foundational pillars—leadership, analytics, and experiential learning—are the hallmarks of the Cox MBA program. Students can choose from among the school’s full-time one-year MBA, a full-time two-year MBA, a professional MBA, an executive MBA, a part-time hybrid MBA for working professionals, and an online MBA.

SMU hosts numerous MBA clubs aimed at specific demographics (e.g., women) and interests (e.g., energy) to help students build their networks and get support. MBA students are assigned a dedicated Success Coach for general and academic support when they enroll. SMU’s Career Management Center provides career coaching from day one. Applicants aren’t required to submit GMAT scores to apply, although most do.

Texas A&M University – College Station‘s Mays Business School in College Station, Texas__

Mays offers three MBA degree programs: a full-time 18-month MBA, a 22-month professional MBA, and a 22-month executive MBA. The Financial Times rated the full-time MBA #1 in Texas and the EMBA one of the best worldwide.

Mays Business School offers individualized attention and robust career management services; its alumni network is one of the largest and most active alumni groups in the world. Mays also maintains relationships with corporate employers who regularly recruit MBA students. That may be why almost 90 percent of MBA graduates secure employment within three months of graduation and earn an average salary of approximately $102,000 (plus an average signing bonus of $14,000). Applicants to the EMBA program are not required to submit GMAT scores or GRE scores.

Texas Christian University‘s Neeley School of Business in Fort Worth, Texas__

Students enrolled in the Neeley School of Business’ college of business administration can choose from among a traditional full-time MBA, a full-time accelerated MBA, a professional MBA, an EMBA, an Energy MBA, a Healthcare MBA, and a dual MBA/Doctor of Education (EdD). Traditional MBA tracks include finance, marketing, and supply chain management. This business school supports several research centers, including the Center for Real Estate, Center for Supply Chain Innovation, Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Sales and Customer Insights Center—all of which can be valuable resources for students. US News & World Report ranked the Neeley MBA fifth in its list of programs with the best ROI.

The University of Texas at Austin‘s McCombs School of Business in Austin, Texas__

Highlights of the McCombs full-time, evening, and executive MBA programs include the cohort-focused curriculum, the 20+ MBA concentrations available, and the focus on hands-on learning. The business school maintains close partnerships with numerous large corporations, enabling students to attend seminars led by business leaders and work on micro-consulting projects with real-world companies. UT Austin also maintains an MBA Fellows program and Venture Labs. Business school students receive support before and after graduation through peer advisors, career consultants, and more than 20,000 Texas MBA alumni.

The University of Texas at Dallas’s Naveen Jindal School of Management in Richardson, Texas

With 15 concentration options, 200 electives, and 14 dual degree options, the Jindal School of Management MBA is among the most customizable anywhere. Consequently, MBA degree students who graduate from this business school tend to end up working in a diverse range of industries. The Jindal School helps students launch careers with an internship and recruiting portal, personalized career coaching, and professional development opportunities sponsored by partner companies (including local Fortune 500 firms)—which may be why the school maintains a 90 percent job placement rate.

How graduating from a Texas MBA program will affect your income

Most people look at ROI when attempting to derive the value of an MBA over a bachelor’s degree. It’s common knowledge that earning a Master of Business Administration can increase earning potential. The programs we listed will almost certainly give you an even bigger income boost than a degree from the average Texas MBA program.

SMU graduates earn around $103,000after graduation—an increase of almost 96 percent over their pre-MBA salaries. Graduates of Rice University’s MBA program typically earn about $113,000 after graduation—an increase of roughly 60 percent. And UT McCombs graduates earn anywhere from $115,000 to $150,000.

Student outcomes obviously vary from Texas MBA program to Texas MBA program. Still, graduates coming out of top business schools earn, in some cases, salaries and bonuses triple those of colleagues who attended lower-ranked schools or those whose highest level of education is an undergraduate degree.

The bottom line is that Texas has traditionally been one of the fastest-growing markets in the nation. Even when economic downturns happen, the employment landscape in this state bounces back quickly. Graduating from one of the above Texas MBA programs will help you tap into that market and profit from it.

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

To learn more about our editorial standards, you can click here.


MBA/Business Programs You Should Consider


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