Skip to main content

About Texas A&M

Opened in 1876 as Texas' first public institution of higher learning, Texas A&M University is a research-intensive flagship university with more than 50,000 students — including 10,000 graduate students — studying in more than 120 undergraduate and 240 graduate degree programs in 16 colleges and schools. Students can join any of 800 student organizations and countless activities ranging from athletics and recreation to professional and community service events.

Distinguishing Hallmarks of Texas A&M

  • Texas A&M University, with 53,000 students at the College Station campus, is the fifth-largest university in the United States. In recent years, it has received accolades from a variety of sources as one of the best value universities in the nation. And last year it was named as the "Happiest College in the Country."
  • Texas A&M is one of a select few academic institutions in the nation to hold triple federal designations as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university, and it has a College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Medicine and School of Rural Public Health on one campus.
  • It holds membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities — one of only 62 institutions with this distinction.

About the Community

Texas A&M University is located in the twin cities of Bryan and College Station, home to about 170,000 residents. Our Central Texas location offers the best of both worlds: it's small enough to offer safe and affordable living and just a short drive to three major Texas cities — Houston, Austin and Dallas. Its regional airport provides commercial flights to neighboring cities.

The Bryan/College Station community enjoys a healthy economy with strong job growth, one of the state's lowest unemployment rates and an affordable housing market. In addition to Texas A&M, both public and private elementary, intermediate and high schools and a two-year community college, provide educational options for all ages. As a regional health care hub, the area has three hospitals, numerous medical specialists and several retirement and assisted living facilities.

Bryan/College Station's temperate climate provides for recreational opportunities year around. The University is home to the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum. More than 1,200 public events are hosted through the university each year.


With more than 120 undergraduate degree programs and more than 240 master's and Ph.D. programs to choose from, the university enrolls one of the 6 largest student bodies in the nation — and the largest outside a major metropolitan area. Fall 2013 total enrollment was a record 58,809.

Ranked among the nation’s top 25 public universities and top 10 public engineering schools by U.S. News & World Report, Texas A&M is the largest research university in the Southwest with more than $820 million in research expenditures generated by faculty-researchers. The university also holds membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities, one of only 62 institutions with this distinction.

Branch Campuses

Texas A&M operates two branch campuses and three overseas centers.

The Texas A&M University at Galveston campus opened in 1964. With a current enrollment of about 2,000, degrees are awarded from Texas A&M University. The Galveston campus offers 10 marine-oriented bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree in marine biology, marine resources management and maritime administration and logistics. The university also grants a doctoral degree in marine biology through the Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Degree Program in cooperation with Texas A&M University and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi.

Also a component of the Galveston campus, the Texas Maritime Academy is one of six seacoast maritime academies in the U.S. and the only maritime academy on the Gulf of Mexico coast. It provides opportunities for students to learn how to operate and maintain an ocean-going vessel. At the conclusion of the program, graduates can become licensed as officers in the U.S. Merchant Marine, or serve in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Naval Reserves or U.S. Coast Guard.

In 2003, Texas A&M and the Qatar Foundation for Science and Community Development entered into an agreement to bring Texas A&M's top-ranked engineering programs to the Middle East by establishing a branch campus in Doha, Qatar, funded by Qatar Foundation. Today, Texas A&M University at Qatar enrolls more than 350 engineering students from more than 20 countries and recently moved into one of the largest and most advanced engineering education facilities in the world.

In addition to the branch campuses, in 2009, Texas A&M opened the Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro, Costa Rica, which serves students, faculty and researchers year around.

History of the University

Texas A&M is the state's first public institution of higher education. With a current student body of more than 50,000 and a physical campus of more than 5,200 acres, Texas A&M is also among the nation's largest universities. Its origins, however, were much humbler. Texas A&M owes its origin to the Morrill Act, approved by the United States Congress on July 2, 1862. This act provided for donation of public land to the states for the purpose of funding higher education, whose "leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanic arts."

The State of Texas agreed to create a college under the terms of the Morrill Act in November 1866, but actual formation didn't come until the establishment of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas by the Texas state legislature on April 17, 1871. A commission created to locate the institution accepted the offer of 2,416 acres of land from the citizens of Brazos County in 1871, and instruction began in 1876. Admission was limited to white males, and, as required by the Morrill Act, all students were required to participate in military training.

Texas A&M underwent many changes in the 1960s under the presidency of Gen. James Earl Rudder. Under his tenure the college diversified, opening its doors to African-Americans and formally admitting women. Participation in the Corps of Cadets was also made voluntary. In 1963 the Texas state legislature officially renamed the school to Texas A&M University, with the "A" and "M" being a symbolic link to the school's past but no longer officially standing for "Agricultural and Mechanical".

Since that time Texas A&M has flourished and has become one of the nation's premier research universities. Along with the University of Texas and Rice, it is one of only three Tier 1 universities in the state. In 1971 and 1989 respectively, Texas A&M was designated as a Sea Grant and a Space Grant institution, making it among the first four universities to hold the triple distinction of Land Grant, Sea Grant, and Space Grant designations.

While membership in the Corps of Cadets became voluntary in 1965, it has nonetheless continued to play a key role in the university. The Corps is often referred to as the "Keepers of the Spirit" and "Guardians of Tradition." Texas A&M remains one of only six senior military colleges, and the Corps is the largest uniformed body outside the national service academies. As such it has historically produced more officers than any other institution in the nation other than the academies.

The George Bush Presidential Library and Museum opened in 1997 on West Campus, making Texas A&M one of only a few universities to host a presidential library on their campus. President Bush maintains an active role in the university, hosting and participating in special events organized through the Library.