University of Houston: How Good Is the School?

The University of Houston (Houston or UH) is a public research university that’s located in Houston, Texas.

Founded in 1927, it’s the flagship campus of the University of Houston System and the third-largest institution in the state — it has 47,031 students, 82% of which are undergraduates.

UH is ranked #182 in National Universities by US News.

Undergraduate students at the University of Houston can choose from more than 90 majors.

Of those, some of the most popular are accounting, finance, psychology and kinesiology and exercise science.

Houston has an acceptance rate of 66%, and the average GPA of successful candidates is 3.5. Tuition and fees at the public school are $11,870 (in-state) and $27,110 (out-of-state).

Just a cool fact before we start talking more about the University of Houston: some of the most widespread last names on the campus include Smith, Jones and Gonzalez.

Don’t be the last aspirant to know about the following UH quick stats:

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Founding date: 1927
  • Motto: In tempore (in time)
  • Campus size: 895 acres
  • Campus type: Urban
  • School type: Liberal public research university
  • Reputation: Party school
  • Selectivity level: Moderately selective
  • Number of majors: 96
  • Popular majors: Biology, Business, Communication, Engineering, Finance Psychology, Social Sciences
  • Student body: 47,090 (as per Common Data Set 2020 to 2021)
  • Students per class: 20 to 29 in most classes
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1
  • Retention rate: 86%
  • Graduation rate: 58%
  • Athletic affiliation: NCAA Division I
  • Color: Scarlet red and albino white
  • Mascot: Shasta
  • Number of varsity teams: 17
  • Sports: Baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, track and field, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball
University of Houston
University of Houston

Rankings of the University of Houston

The University of Houston is #88 in Top Public Schools and #179 in National Universities by US News. Meanwhile, the school is #3 in Most Diverse Colleges in Texas and #9 in Best Hispanic-Serving Institutions in America by Niche. UH is #5 in Best Public Colleges in Texas by College Simply.

When checking out various college rankings of the best public institutions in the US and the Lone Star State, chances are that you will run into the University of Houston many times.

You may also encounter its name when researching some of the known party schools in the country.

However, it’s safe to assume that UH students know how to have some fun and excitement without going overboard.

For instance, while the school is #13 in Top Party Schools in Texas by Niche. In 2014, it was #18 in the Top 20 Most Sober Universities in the Country by the Princeton Review.

The following are some other rankings of the institution by various college rankers:

  • #5 in Best Public Colleges in Texas (College Simply)
  • #5 in Top Public Universities in Texas (Niche)
  • #12 in Best Value Colleges in Texas (Niche)
  • #13 in Best Value Colleges in Texas (College Simply)
  • #26 in the South (Forbes)
  • #39 in Top Performers on Social Mobility (US News)
  • #50 in Public Colleges (Forbes)
  • #90 in Best Value Schools (US News)
  • #112 in Best Colleges for Veterans (US News)
  • #114 in Top Colleges (Forbes)

Acceptance Rate at the University of Houston

More than half of all applicants get an acceptance letter from the University of Houston. With an acceptance rate of 65%, the public school has a moderate selectivity level.

Many Texas colleges and universities have 100% acceptance rates, and UH’s acceptance rate is one of the lowest in the state.

Knowing that the University of Houston is a flagship school, some graduating high schoolers who are not that confident with the overall strength of their applications might feel terrified to try applying to it.

But the good news is that the school is not that selective in admitting first-year students.

UH has a holistic admissions policy — it will evaluate your application by considering various parts of it.

Still, some of the most important admissions factors are academic ones such as GPA, class rank and academic rigor.

Check out some of the colleges and universities in Texas with the lowest acceptance rates so that you may be able to put the acceptance rate at the University of Houston into context so much better:

Rice UniversityHouston9%
Dallas Christian CollegeDallas13%
Trinity UniversitySan Antonio29%
University of Texas at AustinAustin32%
Texas Wesleyan UniversityFort Worth42%
Texas A&M University – CommerceCommerce43%
Baylor UniversityWaco45%
University of DallasIrving45%
LeTourneau UniversityLongview45%
McMurry UniversityAbilene45%
Southern Methodist UniversityDallas47%
Texas Christian UniversityFort Worth47%
Southwestern UniversityGeorgetown49%
Austin CollegeSherman51%
Howard Payne UniversityBrownwood54%
Texas A&M International UniversityLaredo54%
Texas A&M University – GalvestonGalveston55%
University of Houston – VictoriaVictoria56%
Tarleton State UniversityStephenville56%
Texas Lutheran UniversitySeguin56%
Southwestern Adventist UniversityKeene58%
Texas A&M University – College StationCollege Station58%
East Texas Baptist UniversityMarshall59%
Abilene Christian UniversityAbilene61%
Huston Tillotson UniversityAustin63%
Vet Tech Institute of HoustonHouston65%
University of HoustonHouston65%

To have an idea of your chances of getting accepted into UH, use your preferred college chances calculator.

Knowing the various factors considered in the admissions process is recommended, too. And this is why below you will come across the different academic and non-academic admissions factors and their relative importance:


  • Academic rigor – very important
  • GPA – very important
  • Class rank – very important
  • Standardized test scores – considered
  • Admissions essay – considered
  • Recommendation letters – considered


  • Extracurricular activities – considered
  • Talent or ability – considered
  • First-generation – considered
  • Volunteer work – considered
  • Work experience – considered
  • Interview – not considered
  • Personal qualities – not considered
  • Alumni member relations – not considered
  • Geographical residence – not considered
  • State residency – not considered
  • Religions affiliation – not considered
  • Race or ethnicity – not considered
  • Demonstrated interest – not considered

How to Get Into University of Houston

The University of Houston does not offer Early Decision. What the school offers are three Regular Decision deadlines for spring, summer, and fall.

UH also has what it calls Scholarship Priority, which is due on November 1. The deadline for the submission of supporting information is November 15.

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas

Even if the University of Houston is your top-choice school, you will still have to apply at the same time as everybody else who is not that willing to commit to the school.

However, those who would like to get their hands on competitive scholarship packages may apply early.

The said admission plan is referred to as Scholarship Priority, whose deadline is similar to the deadline for Early Decision and Early Action at most colleges and universities: November 1.

Interested incoming first-year students have two weeks to gather and submit all the necessary supporting documents or information.

Applications for spring, summer and fall classes start on August 1. The deadlines are as follows:

UH Application Deadlines

GPA And Test Scores You Need to Get Into Houston

The University of Houston and the rest of the institutions of the University of Houston System requires applicants to have a high school GPA of 3.2 at least. Those with lower GPAs may be admitted, too.

However, they will need to have certain SAT or ACT scores to meet the University of Houston Eligibility Index.

Whether a college or university has a holistic admissions policy or otherwise, one thing remains true: an applicant’s high school GPA is one of the most important factors admissions officers take into account.

In order to increase your chances of getting accepted into UH, your high school GPA should be 3.2 or above.

Fret not if you have a high school GPA lower than 3.2 because the University of Houston will still consider your application. Unfortunately, your low GPA should be accompanied by a specific standardized test score.

Based on what’s called the University of Houston Eligibility Index, the lower the GPA is, the higher the test score should be.

Here’s a table indicating which SAT or ACT score should accompany which GPA:

2.50 to 2.541080 to 110024
2.55 to 2.591060 to 107923
2.60 to 2.641040 to 105923
2.65 to 2.691020 to 103922
2.70 to 2.741000 to 101922
2.75 to 2.79980 to 99921
2.80 to 2.84960 to 97921
2.85 to 2.89940 to 95920
2.90 to 2.94920 to 93920
2.95 to 2.99900 to 91919
3.00 to 3.04880 to 89919
3.05 to 3.09860 to 87918
3.10 to 3.14840 to 85918
3.15 and higher820 to 83917

Most admits at UH (for the academic year 2020 to 2021, at least) have GPAs of 4.0. Only a very small percentage of applicants have GPAs lower than the 3.2 minimum requirement.

Here’s a table of the percentage of admits at the University of Houston and the range of their GPAs:

3.75 to 3.9925.00%
3.50 to 3.7417.67%
3.25 to 3.498.10%
3.00 to 3.243.86%
2.50 to 2.993.53%
2.0 to 2.490.89%
1.0 to 1.990.08%
Below 1.00.17%

Wondering whether or not you should submit your SAT or ACT score?

Keep the following figures in mind before you decide to include your standardized test score or not:

  • Percentage of admits who submitted their SAT scores: 87%
  • Percentage of admits who submitted their ACT scores: 33%
  • SAT score range of most admitted students: 1140 to 1290
  • ACT score range of most admitted students: 24 to 29
University of Houston Cougars
University of Houston Cougars

How Much Does It Cost to Attend the University of Houston?

The estimated total cost of attending the University of Houston for a year, based on the academic year 2021 to 2022 rate, ranges from $23,119 to $37,881. The amount depends on the student’s residency. The tuition at UH alone costs $10,856 for in-state students or $26,096 for out-of-state students.

Being a public institution, it isn’t surprising why attending the University of Houston is cheaper for Texas residents.

It’s not uncommon for out-of-state tuition costs to be two to three times more expensive than in-state tuition costs. True enough, a non-Texas resident admitted into UH will have to pay almost two and a half more tuition per academic year than an admit who resides in the Lone Star State.

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

The following is the estimated breakdown of the total cost of going to the University of Houston for a year (as per academic year 2021 to 2022) for both in-state and out-of-state students:

Room and board$9,962$9,404
Books and supplies$1,367$1,367
Cost of attendance at the University of Houston

The University of Houston itself says it realizes the important role financial aid plays in funding one’s college. It’s because of this why it encourages applicants to complete the FAFSA form as soon as possible after October 1, the date when the FAFSA form becomes available on the website of the Federal Student Aid Office.

How Much Do the University of Houston Graduates Make?

The average earnings of the University of Houston graduates six years upon initial enrollment to the school amount to $45,500 per year. Average annual earnings increase to up to $59,000 ten years from the time alumni members started attending UH. They make a little more than 70% of the national median.

Because the University of Houston is a flagship school, the degree you can earn from it will be respected by employers. This can considerably increase your job market value.

The yearly salary-related figures above, of course, will vary from one UH alumni member to the next. How much money you will make in your career will depend on an assortment of factors. Some of those that lead the list include your work experience, location, job position and degree completed from the University of Houston.

Speaking of degree, check out this table of the average initial annual earnings of UH graduates by major:

Electrical Engineering$70,800
Communications Engineering$70,800
Industrial Engineering$70,600
Mechanical Engineering$68,700
Registered Nursing$68,600
Nursing Administration$68,600
Civil Engineering$63,200
Computer and Information Sciences$56,800
Computer Systems Analysis$55,500
Chemical Engineering$53,300
Business Administration$47,800
Communication and Media Studies$32,900

Please take note that not all available UH majors are included in the table above.

Which Famous People Went to the University of Houston?

Wondering where a UH experience could take you?

To have an idea of the various possibilities, all you have to do is take a quick look at some of the school’s well-known alumni members.

Below are some of the most notable UH graduates or former students:

  • Sylvester Turner – The 62nd mayor of Houston, Texas
  • Elizabeth Warren – Senior US Senator from Massachusetts since 2013
  • Tom Delay – Former US House of Representative (Texas’s 22nd congressional district)
  • Welcome Wilson, Sr. – Chairman of the Welcome Group, which has facilities in over 100 locations in Texas
  • Matt Mullenweg – Co-founder of WordPress, an open-source blogging platform
  • Tilman Fertitta – Chairman, CEO, and owner of Landry’s, Inc.
  • Mary Kay Ash – Founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc.
  • Karen Katz – Former president, CEO and director of the Neiman Marcus Group
  • Adrees Latif – Pulitzer Prize-winning Pakistani-American photojournalist
  • Bernard Harris Jr. – First African-American NASA astronaut to perform a spacewalk
  • Victor Costa – Fashion designer popular for mimicking high-end European styles
  • Hakeem Olajuwon – Former UH basketball team and NBA player
  • Clyde Drexler – A 15-year NBA veteran and two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee
  • Carl Lewis – Nine-time Olympic gold medalist track-and-field athlete
  • Bill Worrell – Former NBA commentator for the Houston Rockets for over 30 years
  • Jack Valenti – Longtime president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
  • Dan Rather – Former CBS Evening News anchor who worked with the network for four decades
  • Dennis Quaid – Actor who first gained widespread attention in the 1980s
  • Jim Parsons – Famous for playing Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory on CBS
  • Kenny Rogers – Country music singer, record producer, actor and entrepreneur
  • Lil Wayne – One of the top-selling hip-hop artists in the early 21st century
  • Lizzo – Singer, rapper, songwriter and flutist
  • Crystle Stewart – Won Miss USA 2008 and served as the national director of Miss USA and Miss Teen USA

Is UH a Good School

The University of Houston is great for students who like to attend a highly ranked and diverse institution — UH is the flagship school of the University of Houston System and the third-largest university in Texas with over 40,000 students.

UH is also a party school with a moderate selectivity level.

But first, you will have to impress UH’s admissions officers with your application.

With a holistic admissions policy and the majority of applicants ending up admitted, having a solid application can help increase your chances of receiving an acceptance letter from the school.

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.

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