Dallas is the poster child for all things Texas. Big, brash, and brazenly in love with conspicuous consumption, Dallas is Texas’s third largest city, the country’s fourth largest metropolitan area, and host to one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.
Although it has some colonial and pre-Revolutionary roots, the city got its real start in the 19th century with the construction of the railroads. It quickly became a major railway hub and inland port transporting cotton, cattle, and oil from across Texas to be distributed to the rest of the country. By the end of the 19th century, the city was booming and in 1909 even became home to the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi.
Sports fans will not be disappointed with the city. Indeed, the Big D has five major league teams. The Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleaders are the most famous sports icons, but teams like the Texas Rangers (baseball) and the Dallas Mavericks (basketball) also pull in respectable crowds.
Although the Cowboys and their cheerleaders are the most bombastic and visible symbols of culture (pop or otherwise), the city also has excellent museums dedicated to the fine arts. A massive 68-acre Arts District—home to 13 institutions is now the largest district of its kind in the country featuring galleries, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, multiple performing arts venues and theatres, a number of sculpture gardens, outdoor festivals, and a whole host of other cultural activity.
Equally excellent are Dallas’s restaurants. There are more restaurants per capita than even in New York City including a number of nationally and Zagat ranked steakhouses. Cuisine here has a heavy focus on authentic Mexican, barbecue, and Tex-Mex.
Dallas has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild-to-warm winters. Spring, Fall, and Winter are generally pleasant, making the academic year a great time to enjoy all Dallas has to offer. As a result, a large number of students choose to study in Dallas and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The city is an educational center for the south central United States. Both Dallas proper and the cities immediately surrounding it are home to private colleges, branches of the University of Texas system, and a host of community colleges, religious seminaries and non-traditional options.
Top Universities in Austin TX
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University of Texas at Austin
Tony SMU is located within the equally tony towns of Highland Park and University Park. The private, coeducational university is the best in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the third best in Texas. Founded in 1911, the small research university of about 6,300 undergraduates and 4,500 postgraduates was founded and is still owned by the Methodist Church. SMU has a substantial endowment of $1.425 billion and is in the midst of a capital campaign to raise further $1 billion. With a roster of notable alumni concentrated in law, professional sports, politics, and the C-suite (including the CEOs of behemoths like Tyson Foods and Virgin America), it seems to be an imminently achievable goal. Indeed, The Economist ranks the University’s Cox School of Business as Number 1 in the United States for “Potential to Network”. Unsurprisingly, Greek life is an undeniable presence on campus with over 50% of the student body participating. With solid undergraduate and postgraduate academics and an incredible alumni network, the University’s beautiful campus is an excellent launch pad for any career.
University of Texas at Dallas
Located 18 miles north of downtown Dallas, UT Dallas has its origins as the research arm of Texas Instruments. The University’s founders purchased the firm Geophysical Service Inc. one day before the Pearl Harbor attacks of December 6, 1941. The rapid increase defense contracts led the company to reorganize as Texas Instruments. However, at that point in time, the region’s universities were not supplying qualified employees. Recognizing this, Texas Instruments founded UT Dallas as the “Graduate Research Center of the Southwest” in 1961. In 1969, the school was transferred into the University of Texas system.
The first students clustered in physics, biology, and the geological sciences and to this day the University retains a distinct strength in STEM fields. Their research efforts are particularly noted in space science, bioengineering, cyber security, nanotechnology, and neuroscience. The School of Engineering and Computer Science is the University’s second largest after the School of Management and is especially noted for a unique suite of programs that combine STEM skills with the humanities. For example, the $60 million Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology building features 3D art studios, recording studios, motion capture labs, and even an “anechoic chamber” designed to completely absorb both sound and electromagnetic waves. As a Tier 1 national university according to US News and World Report, UT Dallas offers great value for money especially for in-state undergraduate students looking for comprehensive study in complex scientific fields and doctoral students seeking a healthy funding environment for their research.