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Grad School in Houston

Why Houston?

Houston serves as a prime location for an aspiring I/O Psychologist to research and study the workplace. This is due to its large size and thriving economy. It is home to some of the largest energy, oil and gas, and medical industries. Houston is also an exciting, fun place to live and visit, with a rich culture and living environment. Read more about what Houston has to offer in this guide here (PDF). You can also learn more about Houston via's "About Houston" Web site.

What’s the best part of living and working in Houston?

Here’s what our current graduate students have to say about Houston:

Word Cloud - Why Houston - The best part of living and working in Houston

Student testimonials:

The diversity:

Danny P. says, “There is always a place for you in Houston, no matter where you come from.”

Zach R. says, “Because of Houston’s diversity, Houston is one of the most hospitable places I have ever been. The people make the place, and in Houston, the place is warm, exciting, and fruitful.”

Joseph Z. says, “One of my favorite things about Houston is the diversity of its population. Living in a big city with many diverse cultures and sub-cultures helps play to the diverse interests of individuals. In other words, there’s something for everyone!”

Research opportunities:

Lars J. says, “Houston offers a lot of opportunities for an I/O Psychology graduate student. There are a lot of organizations here that are familiar with the field and are very welcoming of university research projects. There are also a lot of opportunities for internships here.” Olivia C. says, “When I began graduate school at UH, I was immediately impressed with the research opportunities available in the Houston area. The professors at UH do a wonderful job facilitating research projects for students to gain hands-on experience within the community.”

Local economy:

Zach R. says, “Houston sports one of the country’s most promising economies stemming from the booming industries such as the gas and energy sectors.”

Joseph Z. says, “Texas has been able to maintain a relatively stable and growing economy which is associated with an influx in population. Therefore, many new businesses have migrated here fulfilling unique market niches and creating a cultural undertone of colorful and unique places.”

Lars J. says, “Houston is known for the oil and gas industry, but there are several other large organizations and industries here. The medical district is pretty extensive and several thousand people work there. This was great for research but also on a social and family level. My wife is in the medical field and finding a job was relatively easy. We’re always meeting new people and some of our friends from our home state of Mississippi have moved to Houston because of all the opportunities here.”

Activities to do:

Allison M. says, “What’s great about Houston is that there is always something to do here. You can see movies, visit dog parks, go shopping, join recreational sports teams, or volunteer. You also have access to great nightlife, live music, bars, theaters, museums, concerts, and other special events. The only challenge is deciding what to do first!”

Alex V. says, “The dog parks are plentiful so you can often find me playing fetch with my dog Sully, walking memorial park, or strolling the neighborhoods in central Houston.”

Benjamin F. says, “I made some friends outside of the program. There are young adult kickball and softball leagues you can join to make new friends.”

Amanda P. says, “"The Dynamo is exciting to watch and the games are relatively inexpensive to go to, so soccer season is fun! I also tend to enjoy going to foreign film festivals and gallery openings.”

Sonya S. says, “Galveston is an easy driving distance away, and dog parks are great if you have a pet. I love having tons of walking paths and parks.”

Danny P. says, “You can do just about anything you want or find a group of people in nearly any walk of life. The city is so diverse and large; you can always find other people with similar interests.”

There were many more activities described by the current students, including: the Free Press Summer Fest, Beerfest, the annual Halloween party at the Museum of Natural Science, Splashtown, Schlitterbahn, musical concerts, theater performances at Miller Outdoor Theater, comedy shows, and sporting events. Houston is also close to many other exciting cities including Galveston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and even New Orleans.


Candice T. says, “On the weekends, I love to try out new restaurants! There is such an assortment of ethnic variety in the restaurants – you can get anything from local Texas favorites to more eastern fare such as Thai, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, etc.”

Sonya S. says, “Food here is AMAZING. Every culture or cuisine is represented.”


Dena R. says, “Summers can get very hot, but Houston is fantastic with air conditioning. Winters are very nice. Houston hardly ever gets snow and winters are usually in the 40’s.”

Allison M. says, “Long summers mean that pool parties and cold drinks are almost always in season. The summers are hot (not Florida hot) but pretty warm. However, every building in Houston has a massive air-conditioning system with enough power to launch a space shuttle.”

Moving to Houston:

Amanda P. moved from California and says, “I was afraid I would encounter many different-minded people in Houston than I’m used to, but on the contrary, I’ve been very impressed by the warmth and care of the people in the city! Houstonians tend to be pretty liberal!”

Candice T. moved from Arizona and says, “Houston is a large city with a lot to offer in the way of culture, food, and entertainment. But, unlike large cities in other areas, it still has a country/southern feel to it.”

Alex V. moved from Louisiana and says, “Houston is a lot bigger than my hometown but I cannot think of a better place to spend my twenties!”

Olivia C. moved from Mississippi and says, “Before moving to Houston, I had never lived in a large city. Although moving always has a bit of a transition phase, Houston quickly began feeling like home.”

Cody B. moved from Ohio and describes the negatives and positives of moving here, saying, “"I really miss the seasons, especially fall and its bonfires, but your friends and family will be jealous you are not enduring the long winters. However, I was pleasantly surprised about many things about the city. For example, the food here is so good! I also enjoy that there is pretty much every major sport you can think of (besides hockey) here. It’s also very culturally diverse which is very good for experiences you wouldn’t otherwise get in most cities.”

Benjamin F. moved from the North East and says, “Houston is not too expensive compared to other cities and offers lots of activities to do. I like to go out with friends to bars, movies, concerts, and events. There is always something to do.”

Laura C. moved from Florida and says, “Houston is thriving! You really gain a sense of how people that live here are professionally and personally motivated.”

Jing Z. moved from China and says she likes Houston because it is “accepting of people from different cultures.”

Danny P., a local Houstonian, says, “The city has never stopped growing in my 32 years living here and you will quickly find that many people living in Houston are not Houstonians. This is due to the strong economy and desirable weather we have.”

Cost of living:

Lisa S. says, “As the fourth largest city in the United States, it’s impressive that the cost of living in the city is relatively low compared to other large cities. Even most of the graduate students are able to find places to live near campus and near downtown.”

Places to live in Houston:

Allison M. says, “It really depends on what you want. I chose to live near campus because I like the location and the short commute. Some nice areas close to campus are Midtown, Montrose, and the Museum District.”

Laura C. says, “It depends on your preferences and what scene you’re looking for. I personally like the Montrose, Midtown, Rice village, and Upper Kirby neighborhoods.”

Sonya S. says, “I live in the West University area and love it. There’s easy access to just about anything, and I have only a 15-20 minute drive to campus even in rush hour.”

Lisa S. says, “While many of the graduate students choose to live closer to campus, my husband and I chose to live in a suburb right outside of Houston. Despite a longer commute, it was a great compromise for maintaining my work-family balance.”