Houston is home to a host of upstanding colleges and universities that offer a variety of activities open to the public, from sports events to farmers markets. Whether you're moving a friend or family member to school or going back yourself, don't limit your trip to unloading trucks and attending orientation.

Rice Village

Rice University

Nestled in the Museum District, among beautiful tree-lined streets and close to some of Houston’s top parks and attractions, Rice University has much to offer locals, visitors and students. Plus, it was ranked the top university in Texas and 16th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Colleges Report. Don’t miss James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace, a unique architectural space where changing spectrums of light come together with the natural lighting changes at sunrise and sunset to create a beautiful landscape. Visit the Moody Center for the Arts, an experimental space where you will find art exhibits and performances, eat at one of the area’s many acclaimed restaurants, or support the Rice Owls at Rice Stadium. Load up on fresh produce and prepared foods at the university’s farmers market, open every Tuesday afternoon. Nearby Rice Village, a pedestrian-friendly shopping center in the area, offers dining, shopping and nightlife options for people of all ages. 

Sam Houston statue

Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University is located just outside the busy city in Huntsville, Texas. Be sure to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the Sam Houston National Forest, a 163,045 acre park anchored by Lake Conroe. If you need more photo ops, head to the Sam Houston Statue, which is the most photographed statue in all of Texas. If you’d rather read about Sam Houston than take a picture of his statue, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum is in Huntsville, as well as other museums nearby including the Texas Prison Museum. Other activities for the SHSU student and visitor alike include open mic nights, movie nights, and sports events on campus.

Texas Medical Center

Baylor College of Medicine

Located in the Texas Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine has helped make Houston great since 1943. Its location is sure to please with plenty to see and do both on campus and nearby off-campus. The Debakey Museum, named after the father of modern cardiovascular surgery, is open to the public and features artifacts from Debakey’s office and career. BCM is also within walking distance of the Houston Zoo, Hermann Park, Rice Village, and the museum district.

texas southern university

Texas Southern University

If you’re heading to Texas Southern University for any reason, it’s likely you are familiar with the TSU Tigers. Students show school spirit by frequently attending football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and other sports events on campus. When there’s not an event to attend, students can play their own games at the Ernest S. Sterling Student Life Center. The student center features a game room with bowling lanes and pool tables, as well as a video arcade. Also open to the public in the center is a barber shop. Another jewel of TSU is the University Art Museum. Features at the museum can vary from murals to textiles to other programs created by talented TSU students.

university of houston

University of Houston

The University of Houston football team is heating up for another exciting season this year. The team stepped into the national spotlight in 2015 when it won the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Georgia. Go Coogs! So if you, like many Texans, appreciate good football, don’t miss a Cougars game this season. Art lovers will appreciate the Blaffer Art Museum, the university’s gallery of art and culture. Free to the public, the museum hosts exhibits and special events throughout the year. In Clear Lake campus, UH also has an art gallery that hosts everything from lectures to hands-on art making events.

To stay updated on what’s happening on Houston’s campuses, see our events calendar.