A public, two-year institution, Richland College was established in 1972 and is located on the north side of Dallas. The college has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1974 and currently has an enrollment of more than 19,000 students. Like many colleges and universities in Texas, Richland College has taken advantage of advancing technology to expand their distance education offerings. Online degree programs are available in areas such as accounting, business, engineering, fine arts, health science, humanities, mathematics, natural science, social science, and technology. Both associate degrees and individual online college courses are available for working adults and students who cannot regularly commute to campus.
Established in 1911, Southern Methodist University is a private, four-year institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The university has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1921 and, today, serves nearly 11,000 students. In an effort to better serve the diverse needs of a growing student body, the school also offers a number of online courses and several online degrees. Available areas of study include education, engineering, and computer information technology. U.S. News & World Report ranked the school's online graduate-level computer information technology programs No. 22 for student engagement and accreditation. In addition, SMU's online engineering degree programs were ranked No. 56 in the same category.
The University of Texas at Dallas is a public, four-year research institution established in 1969 in Richardson, just north of downtown Dallas. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and currently serves a student body of more than 17,000. With advances in e-learning technology and growing demand for more flexible options, the school has expanded its online education offerings in recent years. Online students can choose from programs in business administration, criminology, global leadership, management, information technology, education, and accounting. The online business degree programs at UT Dallas were ranked No. 22 for student engagement and accreditation and No. 33 for student services and technology by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.
With a population of more than 1.1 million residents, Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and the ninth largest in the country. Engineering, telecommunications, and retail are some of the city's largest industries. In fact, a number of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the Dallas area, including ExxonMobil, AT&T, Kimberly-Clark, Southwest Airlines, and Texas Instruments. Given the economic opportunities in the area, students who graduate with online degrees in business, engineering, computer technology, and other related fields are in the best position to fill openings with Dallas' top employers.