University of Houston: How Good Is the School?

Going to a large university is the way to go if you want a wide selection of academic programs. It’s also a great idea to do so if you want to meet more people and enjoy better networking prospects.

Among public institutions, one of your options is the University of Houston.

Also known as UH or U of H, it’s a massive school with a populated and diverse campus. More than a hundred majors and various internship and study-abroad opportunities are around.

Socializing is a given because it has a lively Greek and athletic life.

The Rankings are Not Lying

UH shines across different college rankings.

Its quality undergraduate programs, culturally diverse campus, and affordability are all admired. It is a top-ranked public research university in Houston and the United States.

Applying merely because of some great University of Houston rankings is wrong, of course.

However, considering how it fares in various college rankings can help simplify the selection process. It helps save a lot of time in comparing the institution with schools it has some similarities with.

The Biggest College Ranker Ranks One of the Biggest Schools

The University of Houston has a US News ranking of #133 in National Universities, a spot it shares with the likes of Chapman University, Elon University, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

It also has the following rankings by the same college ranker:

  • #70 in Top Public Schools
  • #97 in Best Value Schools
  • #87 in Best Colleges for Veterans
  • #31 in Top Performers on Social Mobility

US News also gives many undergraduate programs at UH good rankings, and they include the following:

  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Computer Science
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

Number Ones From One of the Leading Rankers

U of H has a couple of #1s from The Princeton Review:

  • #1 in Top 50 Entrepreneurship: Ugrad
  • #1 in Top Southwest Entrepreneurship: Ugrad

The college ranking and test prep and college admissions services company also ranks the school #16 in Lots of Race/Class Interaction, #17 in Most Active Student Government, and #45 in Top 50 Best Value Colleges (Public Schools).

The following lists by The Princeton Review also includes Houston:

  • The Best 389 Colleges
  • Best Value Colleges
  • Best Southwest
  • Colleges That Create Futures
  • Green Colleges

Let’s Unleash These Niche Rankings of UH

The University of Houston has the following national rankings from Niche:

  • #46 in Most Liberal Colleges in America
  • #63 in Best Big Colleges in America
  • #66 in Top Public Universities in America
  • #78 in Best College Food in America

Meanwhile, when compared with other schools in Texas, it has these Niche rankings:

  • #3 in Most Liberal Colleges in Texas
  • #4 in Top Public Universities in Texas
  • #4 in Best Big Colleges in Texas
  • #5 in Most Diverse Colleges in Texas
  • #6 in Colleges with the Best Professors in Texas
  • #8 in Best Colleges in Texas
  • #8 in Best College Food in Texas
  • #10 in Colleges with the Best Academics in Texas

Niche also highly ranks many of UH’s programs like:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Information Technology
  • Business
  • Psychology
  • Architecture
  • Chemistry
  • Music
  • Kinesiology and Physical Therapy
University of Houston
University of Houston

Everything’s Big in Texas: UH is a Massive School

The University of Houston has an urban campus that measures 895 acres.

It’s home to an interdisciplinary Honors College and as many as 16 colleges and schools, including the Bauer College of Business and the Cullen College of Engineering. It also has 40 research centers.

The number of degree-seeking undergraduate students attending it amounts to 37,356. Only around 15% of those are first-time, first-year students — 92% are enrolled full-time.

Below are some of the most popular on-campus hangouts among students:

  • Campus Recreation and Wellness Center
  • Cougar Grounds
  • Cullen Family Plaza
  • Lynn Eusan Park
  • MD Anderson Library
  • Student Center Games Room
  • Student Center North
  • Student Center South
  • Student Life Plaza

UH’s campus is in downtown Houston. It has a diverse mix of arts, culture, and entertainment.

Campus Diversity is a Certainty

U of H is the second most ethnically diverse among massive research universities in the country.

Niche ranks it #5 in Most Diverse Colleges in Texas (out of 75 surveyed institutions). The college ranking site ranks it #163 in Most Diverse Colleges in America (out of 1,517 surveyed institutions), too.

Let’s take a look at its student body’s distribution by race and ethnicity:

  • Hispanic: 33.2%
  • Asian American: 22.1%
  • White: 20.0%
  • African American: 10.9%
  • International: 9.4%
  • Multiracial: 2.9%
  • Native American: 0.1%
  • Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.1%

Many U of H departments do their best to promote inclusion and belongingness.

For instance, the College of Education encourages students (and even faculty and staff members) to seek help from the department should they feel marginalized.

On the other hand, different health profession-related departments have the Health Profession Advising.

To meet its goal of supporting students of all backgrounds in pursuing careers in the health sector, it offers services and resources to the following individuals:

  • International students
  • Underrepresented and minority students
  • LGBTQ+
  • Students with disabilities

On-Campus Living: Not a Requirement

First-year students are not required to live on campus.

It’s the reason why it’s primarily a commuter school. According to it, up to 85% of the entire undergraduate population are students commuting to and from the campus.

Undergraduates who wish to reside on campus can choose from various residence halls, apartments, and lofts.

What’s nice about UH is that it allows students to choose their roommates. All they need to do is simultaneously select a room and complete the application process online.

However, they need to be enrolled full-time to qualify to live on campus.

Play Sports Whether You are a Pro or Want to Become One

There are 17 varsity teams, and they are called the Houston Cougars.

As of this writing, U of H is celebrating 75 years of athletic achievements, awards, and championships. Sports is a significant part of campus life at this public research institution.

Here are some noteworthy numbers related to Houston sports:

  • NCAA team titles: 17
  • NCAA individual championship titles: 68
  • Conference championship titles: 158
  • Olympic gold medals: 20

Some of the most popular sports include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Cross country
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Besides varsity sports, there are also intramural sports to choose from.

Non-student athletes who wish to participate in their favorite sporting activities may join the Sports Club Program. It enables them to compete, improve their existing skills, and acquire new ones.

University of Houston Cougars
University of Houston Cougars

Socialize and Serve by Being a Frat or Sorority Member

UH is in favor of Greek-letter associations. It has a Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, whose goal is to help students find an organization that shares their dreams, values, and aspirations.

More than 1,100 students are members of fraternities and sororities.

The following are some groups with the highest number of active members:

  • Delta Zeta: 57
  • Alpha Chi Omega: 55
  • Delta Gamma: 54
  • Chi Omega: 52
  • Zeta Tau Alpha: 51
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon: 42
  • Phi Mu: 41

While partying is a significant component of Greek life, fraternity and sorority members at UH also engage in other activities. They also carry out many things, including community service and fundraising.

Members of the 39 on-campus chapters have served 15,000+ hours and raised more than $140,000.

A Range of Party Events, None of Which are Raging

The University of Houston is a party school.

It may not be the biggest in the US, alright. However, it’s one of the biggest in Texas — so much so that Niche ranks it #12 in Top Party Schools in Texas (out of 78 surveyed institutions).

Fraternity and sorority parties are some of the hottest, and they mostly happen on weekends only.

A Niche poll says that 27% of students agree that there are party options from Wednesday to Saturday. Around 26% of people either can’t seem to find parties to attend or are not interested in partying at all.

Some of the brightest campus events other than Greek ones include:

  • Frontier Fiesta
  • Winter Wonderland
  • Homecoming
  • Welcome Week-Glow

If you enjoy partying, you may find the University of Houston’s party scene satisfactory.

Meanwhile, if you don’t like parties because you want to focus 100% on your studies or prefer having me-times, you may find the campus an ideal choice.

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas

Houston, We Have No Problem With Academics!

UH is one of the best public institutions in the United States. Many trusted college ranking sites confirm it.

It has an 87% retention rate. It means that more first-year students return the following year to continue their studies than the national average retention rate for public degree-granting institutions: 82%.

Meanwhile, the six-year graduation rate is only 39%.

UH has a Carnegie R1 classification for having very high research activity. So, in other words, it’s a wonderful school for students interested in research-heavy courses.

Plenty of Major Selections, But No Room for Triple Majoring

There are 110+ majors that undergraduate students attending Houston can choose from.

Some of the most popular and highly ranked of those majors include those in STEM and business-related fields. Health professions and related majors are in demand as well.

Here are some of the top majors Houston offers:

  • Psychology
  • Computer and Information Sciences
  • Engineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Public Administration
  • Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Architecture

At UH, undergraduate students who have not declared a major must do so at the beginning of their second year. By that time, they usually have 30 credit hours under their belt.

However, they can also declare a major when applying to or after getting accepted by the university.

Let’s answer this question some college-bound teens might want to ask:

Can You Double Major at the University of Houston?

Students attending UH can double major. However, they must identify one of the two majors of their liking as their primary major to establish a home for their academic records.

UH does not allow triple majoring or any number of majors more than two.

Don’t Wait in Line for In-Demand Courses: Take Them Online!

More than 50 online degree programs are available at UH. The majority of those are graduate programs.

Undergraduate students can choose from a limited number of online bachelor’s degree programs: 11. There are also 11 online minors available to those who like to pair their chosen major with a minor.

Classes can be 100% online or hybrid, which is something that combines face-to-face and virtual classes.

Between semesters, students enrolled online may take mini-courses. These courses count toward summer enrollment, allowing students to take classes that fill up quickly in the fall and spring semesters.

As a result, online students can stay on track to graduate on time or even graduate earlier.

Sadly, just because you want to earn an online degree doesn’t mean you can.

U of H’s undergraduate degree programs are for students with at least two years of college. So, in other words, you can start working on an online degree program in your third year of college.

Gain Skills Outside the School by Being an Intern

Undergraduate students can participate in internship programs. Doing so allows them to:

  • Apply their learned skills
  • Acquire new ones
  • Gain real-world work experience
  • Build a professional network

Those who are interested must meet eligibility requirements.

For instance, students eyeing health-related internships must complete health courses to master health competencies. Some programs require students to have a senior class standing.

Each internship is a semester-long experience.

Finding an internship site is the student’s responsibility — a list of approved internship sites is available online. It means that it’s not the duty of an internship coordinator or academic advisor.

Here are some of the organizations that offer internships to UH undergraduates:

  • American Enterprise Institute
  • Cato Institute
  • Center for American Progress
  • Congressional Budget Office
  • Empower America
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Hudson Institute
  • Oxfam America
  • The Manhattan Institute
  • US Department of Labor
  • US Department of State

Pack Your Bags for There are Study-Abroad Programs

Opportunities for U of H students to study abroad come aplenty.

What’s so great about the available study-abroad programs to undergraduates is that they are year-round. Yes, they are accessible in spring, fall, winter, and even summer semesters!

Besides being outside the US for an entire semester, you can also study abroad for just a week.

Study-abroad programs come in the following forms:

  • Faculty-led programs
  • Exchange programs
  • Affiliated programs
  • Internship programs
  • Service-learning opportunities

For those interested in studying abroad, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, everyone who wishes to apply for a study-abroad program must attend the Learning Abroad 101 Workshops. Available in in-person and virtual classes, it’s a prerequisite for the study-abroad advising process.

Second, there are full and partial study-abroad scholarship opportunities.

Where Most Classes are Big and Most Faculty Members Have Big Degrees

With over 37,300 undergraduate students, one might wonder what classes are like at the heavily populated institution.

Around 24% of classes at UH consist of 10 to 19 students. Less than 10% have less than 10.

On the other hand, as many as 12% of classes have 50 to 59 students. Around 10% have more than 100 students in them, although they are usually major prerequisite courses.

Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, keeping class sizes in mind is vital. That’s because it can impact your overall college and social experience and academic success.

Meanwhile, the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1.

The University of Houston employs 3,137 instructional faculty members, and around 52% teach full-time. Approximately 76% have doctorate degrees, while about 17% have master’s degrees.

Related Article: 425 Colleges Charging In-State Tuition for Out-of-State Applicants

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

Similar Posts