NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University received several good marks in the 2023 College Rankings issued by Niche, a market leader in data- and review-based research of schools and universities. SFA was ranked the 11th best public university in Texas; the state’s fifth best college for agricultural sciences; and eighth in the state, as well as within the top 15% nationally, for kinesiology and physical therapy.

Niche also ranked SFA’s Fraternity and Sorority Life as eighth best in Texas and the university’s history program as 12th best in the state. 

Niche rankings encompass the entire landscape of higher education, from admissions to food service, and from major research institutions to community colleges. It pulls its data from millions of reviews and ratings, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and highly tuned algorithms.

“Being recognized as a leading institution in multiple categories is great news for SFA,” said Dr. Steve Westbrook, interim president of SFA. “Then again, I’m not surprised. The faculty and staff at SFA are dedicated to providing a quality education for all our students, and to providing avenues for success through all our colleges and departments. Our Niche rankings are a result of their efforts.”

With nine areas of study, the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture’s Department of Agriculture offers a broad array of concentrations, from agribusiness to poultry science. The college also boasts nearly 100% job placement rates within six months of graduation. 

“We are proud to see that Niche 2023 has ranked SFA agriculture as one of the top five programs in Texas and in the top 45% of programs in the nation,” said Dr. Hans Williams, dean of the College of Forestry and Agriculture. “The combination of student-centered faculty and staff; outstanding resources, like the Todd Agricultural Research Center; and support from our regional partners results in transformative, experience-based learning for our agriculture students.”

In the James I. Perkins College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, undergraduates can choose from among three degree options: two kinesiology tracks with options for exercise science or all-level teaching, and health science. The department also offers two master’s programs with focus areas in human performance studies and athletic training.

“The reasons the department is so successful are the hands-on experiences our students encounter and the commitment of faculty members to student learning,” said Dr. Jay Thornton, chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science. “The lab activities allow students to get real-world experiences on how to use the information presented in lectures.”

In the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, the Department of History offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees with emphasis areas in history and public history. Additionally, it houses the East Texas Historical Association and is associated with the Center for Regional Heritage Research.

“The recently released rankings by Niche reflect something we already know here at SFA – that students can come here to get a great education,” said Dr. M. Dustin Knepp, dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts. “We are fortunate to have outstanding teachers who are also outstanding scholars whom students can engage with. Our history department is ranked among the best in the state because our faculty members are among the best in the state.”

Fraternity and Sorority Life at SFA hosts 32 separate Greek chapters housed within four different councils. Each strives to create transformative leadership opportunities that promote academic excellence, service to others, cultural awareness and inclusion.

“SFA strives to promote the fraternity and sorority experience and help the Greek community foster and grow in the best possible ways,” said Morgan Pulliam, assistant director of Student Engagement. “It is an honor to be ranked in the top 15% of public and private colleges.”

Enrolling approximately 12,000 students, Stephen F. Austin State University offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 120 areas of study within six colleges – business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. SFA provides the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. Visit

Learn more about SFA’s 2023 rankings issued by Niche.