They call themselves “The Rising Star of Texas,” and that pride shows through on campus and across the town on San Marcos. Texas State University is a large (30,803 students) public university that everyone says has the feel of a small school, in terms of a personalized education(small classes), and welcoming environment. The campus is gorgeous, set on a hillside on 457 acres, with a river running right through it. San Marcos is about 45 minutes north of San Antonio and 45 minutes south of Austin, and there is bus transportation available for students who would like to explore these cities. All freshmen are required to live on campus which is great for creating a solid foundation of friends. Social and networking skills are emphasized at Texas State, and they say undergrads are given a lot of care and feeding.
Being a larger university, the academic choices are vast, ranging from colleges in the Arts, Business, Applied Arts (agriculture, criminal justice, social work, etc.), Education, Communication, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, Science, Engineering, and even General Studies which allows students to create their own major by combining three minors. The musical theatre program is quickly rising in reputation as Broadway professionals are now teaching there. Majors are offered in music (vocal, instrumental, string, keyboard, jazz, sound recording, etc.), dance and theatre.
Texas State is a very active campus, with Division 1 sports, sports clubs (fishing, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, rodeo), or intramural sports teams (they even have inner-tube water polo!). The recreation center is impressive ( with all the sports and equipment a student could want) and features, “Calories 2 kilowatts,” the country’s largest human-powered generator, which converts energy from the cardio machines into electricity, quite an innovative idea. Texas State has its own 9 hole golf course, a river running through it, and many rivers and 6 lakes nearby, where students can canoe, snorkel, kayak, camp, hike, and Texas State students take advantage of all these activities.
The environment seemed very busy with activity, yet relaxed and friendly. The surrounding town of San Marcos is super supportive of the students at Texas State, and all the students I talked to seemed quite thrilled to be there! Admission is rolling and applying early is a good idea, to lock down the best housing options.