University of Houston
The University of Houston, established in 1927, is a public research university located in Texas, which is the fourth-largest city in the United States. As one of the four distinct institutions in the University of Houston System, it operates alongside the University of Houston–Clear Lake, the University of Houston–Downtown, and the University of Houston–Victoria, each functioning independently. Annually, the University of Houston educates nearly 50,000 students through a combination of online and on-campus courses. In the 2024 the university is ranked #641-650 in QS World University Rankings.
Originally founded as a junior college, it gained university status in 1933. Over time, a law school was added, and today the campus spreads across 667 acres, housing 25 research centres. The university features various green spaces, sculptures, and fountains, with architectural contributions from César Pelli and Philip Johnson. Renowned individuals who have been part of the university’s faculty include Edward Albee, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Paul Chu, a physics professor and recipient of the National Medal of Science, and Jody Williams, a political activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
The University of Houston prides itself on having the second most ethnically diverse student body among major research universities in the United States. Students from 137 different nations attend the university, which offers over 500 student organisations and 16 intercollegiate sports teams. In 2013, the university’s endowment fund was valued at approximately $700 million. It also had a research expenditure of $141 million in 2014, supporting over 40 research labs, centres, and institutes. Notable alumni from the University of Houston include Bonnie J. Dunbar, a former NASA astronaut, Alice Sebold, the author of The Lovely Bones, and Jack Valenti, the former president of the Motion Picture Association of America.