Community Education

Education Community Education

Seventeen school districts exist within the city of Houston. The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the seventh-largest school district in the United States. HISD has 112 campuses that serve as magnet or vanguard schools—specializing in such disciplines as health professions, visual and performing arts, and the sciences. There are also many charter schools that are run separately from school districts. In addition, some public school districts also have their own charter schools.

The Houston area encompasses more than 300 private schools, many of which are accredited by Texas Private School Accreditation Commission recognized agencies. The Houston Area Independent Schools offer education from a variety of different religious as well as secular viewpoints. The Houston area Catholic schools are operated by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.

Colleges and universities

Four distinct state universities are located in Houston. The University of Houston is a nationally recognized top-tier research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. The institution ranks among the Top 50 American Research Universities. The third-largest university in Texas, UH has nearly 40,000 students on its 667 acre campus in southeast Houston. The University of Houston–Clear Lake and the University of Houston–Downtown are stand-alone universities; they are not branch campuses of the University of Houston. Located in the historic community of Third Ward is Texas Southern University—one of the largest historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

Several private institutions of higher learning—ranging from liberal arts colleges to Rice University, the nationally recognized research university—are located within the city. Rice, with a total enrollment of slightly more than 6,000 students, is widely recognized as one of the top twenty universities in the nation, and it has a number of distinguished graduate programs and research institutes such as the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy. The university’s undergraduates are among the most select in the nation.

Three community college districts exist with campuses in and around Houston. The Houston Community College System serves most of Houston. The northwestern through northeastern parts of the city are served by various campuses of the Lone Star College System, while the southeastern portion of Houston is served by San Jacinto College. The Houston Community College and Lone Star College systems are within the 10 largest institutions of higher learning in the United States.