The Texas MBA Programs Guide: Houston vs. Dallas

Texas MBA

If you’re looking to earn a Texas MBA, where should you go to school? Should you choose a top MBA program in Dallas or Houston? First, we need to take a look at the cities.

Living in Dallas vs. Houston

First, let’s take a look at the cost of living in Dallas vs. Houston. According to Numbeo, the world’s most extensive database containing user contributed data about cities, the overall cost of living is relatively similar: $4,242 in Houston compared to $4,000 in Dallas. Houston barely edges out Dallas with a slightly higher cost of living, and here’s how that’s broken down.

  • Consumer Prices: 35 percent higher in Houston
  • Rent Prices: 7.30 percent higher in Houston
  • Restaurant Prices: 27 percent higher in Houston
  • Groceries Cost: 95 percent higher in Houston
  • Local Purchasing Power: 26 percent lower in Houston

Other things to consider when choosing between Dallas and Houston include:

  • Industries
    • Houston is known for being the oil capital and is an ideal location for jobs in the energy industry.
    • Dallas, on the other hand, is known for real estate (Tramelle Crow is headquartered here), as well as hedge funds and asset management firms.
  • Economic Development: According to Site Selection Magazine, Houston and Dallas are comparatively equal when it comes to economic development, ranking second and third respectively.
  • Top Companies: Houston edges out Dallas for being home to more Fortune 500 companies. In fact, Houston is home to 27 top companies compared to 14 in Dallas. However, they rank second and third respectively.

However, according to Forbes, “while Houston and Dallas have decent amenities (and having better ones surely wouldn’t hurt), they aren’t places that offer a unique lifestyle brand, such as charming architecture or a cutting-edge arts scene.”

Texas MBA Programs

The next step is to compare the top three MBA programs in each city. In particular, we wanted to take a look at the tuition rates (two years), GMAT averages, and post-graduation salaries at each program in each city to get a well-rounded picture.

Overall, there are a few things to note right away.

  • The top full-time MBA programs in both cities are ranked well. However, Houston programs tend to rank higher on major ranking sites such as The Economist and Bloomberg Businessweek.
  • Houston tends to be more expensive regarding tuition ($93,052 vs. $69,191), but it also pays a higher salary ($110,000 vs. $92,000). This balances out with around a $25,000 difference in tuition and a $20,00 difference in post-graduation salary.
  • Finally, GMAT averages for class profiles tend to be higher in Houston as well (688 vs. 660).

Here’s how it all breaks down per school.

Top 3 Houston MBA Programs

McCombs School of Business – University of Texas at Austin

The McCombs School of Business offers a full-time MBA, an Evening MBA, a Weekend MBA, and an Executive MBA program. And it’s considered one of the top business schools in the country, consistently ranking highly on various lists, including ranking 28 according to The Economist.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $91,000
  • GMAT Averages: 703
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $117,068

Rice University – Jones Graduate School of Business

The Jones Graduate School at Rice University offers a full-time MBA program, an MBA for Professionals (part-time), and an Executive MBA Program. The school’s full-time MBA program ranked 10th on the Bloomberg Businessweek list in 2017.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $116,000
  • GMAT Averages: 711
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $112,158

Mays Business School – Texas A&M University

The Mays Business School has both a full-time MBA program as well as a part-time Professional MBA program. In addition, the school offers an Executive MBA. In 2017, The full-time MBA program ranked 20th overall by Forbes, and 22nd overall by Bloomberg Businessweek.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $72,158
  • GMAT Averages: 649
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $103,299

Top 3 Dallas MBA Programs

Naveen Jindal School of Management – University of Texas at Dallas

The Naveen Jindal School offers a full-time MBA, part-time Professional MBA, Executive MBA, and Global Leadership Executive MBA program. The full-time MBA is well ranked according to the U.S. News & World Report, ranking 16th among public university programs in the U.S.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $27,603
  • GMAT Averages: 678
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $86,644

Cox School of Business – Southern Methodist University

The Cox School of Business at SMU offers a full-time MBA, Fast Track MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), and an Executive MBA program. Most recently, SMU Cox achieved its first Financial Times ranking at 91st.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $91,952
  • GMAT Averages: 661
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $96,587

Neeley School of Business – Texas Christian University

At the Neeley School of Business at TCU, MBA applicants can apply to the full-time MBA, Accelerated MBA, Professional MBA (part-time), Accelerated Professional MBA, or MBA for Energy Professionals program. The Economist ranked the Neeley School MBA ranks 61st overall on its most-recent ranking.

  • Tuition Rates (two years): $88,020
  • GMAT Averages: 640
  • Post-Grad Salaries (Mean): $93,010

Dallas vs. Houston Breakdown in Charts

When breaking down the data between MBA programs in Dallas and Houston, here’s what it looks like:

Texas MBA Tuition

Texas MBA GMAT Averages

Texas MBA Post-Graduation Salaries

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About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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