There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!
School Spotlight: Texas State University
San Marcos, TX
Despite its nearly 34,000 undergraduate students, Texas State has held on to its reputation as a small-feeling and friendly campus with student-focused faculty. Though sometimes labeled as a commuter campus on college research websites, 91% of first-year students live in campus housing and Texas State feels very much like your traditional (and beautiful) residential university with a quad at its center. Nature is a part of campus—literally—thanks to the San Marcos River that runs right through it, making it easy for students and locals to “float” whenever the weather allows, which is often. Hiking and biking are also popular pastimes, as are trips to Austin, which is just 30 miles away, and San Antonio, about 50 miles away.
Though it is federally identified as a Hispanic-Serving Institute, there is no majority ethnic group at Texas State, so the campus feels inclusive by nature. This diversity results in a range of political, cultural, and religious beliefs on campus, not to mention a range of interests and majors. The university hosts ten colleges on campus, including the Colleges of Applied Arts, Business Administration, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, and Science and Engineering. With nearly 100 bachelor’s degree programs, Texas State offers the typical, popular areas of study seen at many universities, but also has a wide variety of specialized majors like fashion merchandising, geography water resources, interior design, nutrition and foods, respiratory care, and sound recording technology. If you want the benefits of a large university but still crave small, seminar-style classes, the Honors College may be a perfect fit. In addition to modified coursework, the college offers special scholarships, top notch faculty, and access to study abroad programs and early course registration.
A public research university, Texas State emphasizes the following as its areas of research emphasis: translational health, environmental stewardship, resilient societies, teaching and lifelong learning, and powering innovation. Institutes include the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park, and (avert your eyes if you’re squeamish!) the Forensic Anthropology Center, one of only seven human decomposition research facilities in the U.S., and the largest in the world. Undergraduate Research Fellowships are available by application every semester, and students may have their original research published in the university’s own TXSTUR journal, which is managed and edited by students. The most recent issue featured research on everything from Chaucer to internet humor to nuclear terrorism.
Outside of academics, students are actively engaged in over 400 campus organizations; whether you’re into food waste prevention, hip-hop dance, or community service, you’ll find ways to get involved. Greek life is popular on campus, as are the Bobcat athletic teams, which compete in 16 NCAA Division I sports including football, basketball, baseball, softball, and volleyball. For those not quite at the DI level, there are a wealth of club sports to choose from like equestrian, cheerleading, cycling, fencing, ice hockey, and ultimate disc.
Image Credit: Top, Texas State University