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Four Dallas-Fort Worth area universities have risen through the ranks in a highly anticipated new list of the country's best universities.

Niche, an education review and ranking website, has deemed Texas Christian University the sixth best college in Texas, for the third consecutive year. The university receives an A+ grade in four of the 12 ranking categories, including athletics, student life, and campus. The school also earned an A for its academics and party scene, a B- value and safety, and a B for the campus food.

Texas Christian University also ranked highly in other categories, including:

  • No. 2 out of 333 Best Christian College in America (behind cross-town rival SMU, which came in at No. 1)
  • No. 12 out of 1,287 Best College Campuses in America
  • No. 21 out of 828 Best Colleges for Accounting and Finance in America

More individual rankings can be found here.

TCU regularly earns ranks on lists of the best colleges and universities in the country, including those published by Niche, Forbes, and U.S. News & World Report.

"Since starting at TCU, I've felt really happy with the quality of education I've received," a student wrote in a Niche review. "Texas Christian University has made me feel safe and confident in my ability to learn and explore different subjects. The instructors are very knowledgeable and care about their students."

Dallas' Southern Methodist Universityranked right above TCU as the fifth best Texas college (down from No. 4 last year), and the best Christian college in the U.S. SMU earned an A+ in five out of 12 categories, including professors, student life, and party scene. It gets an A for the academics and athletics, an A- for diversity and campus food, and a B for value and safety.

The University of North Texas in Denton made waves as the No. 7 best public university in the state, but only ranked No. 12 in the overall list of best Texas colleges. It earned an A+ for the campus food, an A in student life, diversity, and party scene, a B+ in academics, value, and professors, and a C+ for the dorms.

The University of Texas at Dallas fell from No. 9 last year into No. 14 for the best statewide colleges, but maintained its No. 9 spot in the best public universities in Texas. The university earned an A in diversity, A- in safety, B+ in academics, professors, value, and location, and a C for its athletics and party scene.

Topping Niche’s national list is Yale University, followed by Stanford University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Princeton University, Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Dartmouth College.

Here are the top 10 Texas schools:

1. Rice University (Houston)
2. University of Texas at Austin
3. Texas A&M University (College Station)
4. Trinity University (San Antonio)
5. Southern Methodist University (University Park)
6. Texas Christian University (Fort Worth)
7. Texas Tech University (Lubbock)
8. University of Houston
9. University of Texas Permian Basin (Odessa)
10. Baylor University (Waco)

“Choosing where to go to college is easily one of the most significant — and expensive — decisions of a person’s life. Niche’s mission is to ensure that every college-bound student has access to easy, transparent and free resources … to help them find their best fit,” Luke Skurman, founder and CEO of Niche, says in a news release.

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A version of this article originally ran on our sister site InnovationMap.

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'Yellowstone' stars to greet fans at Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

Yellowstone news

Yellowstone fans, get your comfy shoes ready - there'll be a long line for this one. Cole Hauser a.k.a. "Rip Wheeler" on Yellowstone, and Taylor Sheridan, the show's co-creator, executive producer, and director of the series, will meet fans and sign autographs at the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo.

The event will take place from 4:30-6:30 pm only on Friday, February 3. Location is the 6666 Ranch booth near the south end of Aisle 700 in the Amon G. Carter, Jr. Exhibits Hall.

According to a February 2 announcement from FWSSR, "fans will have the opportunity to snag an autograph as well as purchase some distinctive Yellowstone and 6666 Ranch merchandise while also enjoying all the features the Stock Show offers."

The event is free to attend (with paid Stock Show admission) and open to the public.

It's the second year in a row for Hauser to appear at FWSSR; in 2022, he and fellow cast mates drew huge crowds.

Sheridan, a Paschal High School graduate, is no stranger to Fort Worth; he lives in a ranch near Weatherford and filmed 1883, the prequel to Yellowstone, in and around Fort Worth. Currently, another spinoff, 1883: The Bass Reeves Story, is filming in North Texas.

The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is winding up its 2023 run on Saturday, February 4.

Filming of Christmas movie tops this week's 5 hottest Fort Worth headlines

This week's hot headlines

Editor's note: A lot happened this week, so here's your chance to get caught up. Read on for the week's most popular headlines. Looking for the best things to do this weekend? Find that list here.

1. Fort Worth area keeps winning streak with new movie filming in Granbury. Everyone loves when a movie filming is in town, and there's one going down right now in Granbury, the quaint town 38 miles southwest of Fort Worth. Oh and it's a holiday movie, which makes it even better. According to a release, it's called A Christmas Heart, and is a drama about faith, family, and forgiveness.

2. Fort Worth named among 50 best places to travel in 2024 by Travel + Leisure. Fort Worth residents may want to forgo their travel plans next year and opt for a staycation. A new Travel + Leisure report has named Fort Worth one of the The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2024, specifically highlighting the region for its "big-city thrills."

3. Smokey Robinson is surprise act at Fort Worth Stock Show 2024 concert series. The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo returns for 2024 with a slate of live music acts that include a major name in R&B and a smattering of country singers. The surprise is Motown legend Smokey Robinson, plus five country acts: Sammy Kershaw, Old Crow Medicine Show, Trace Adkins, and Pam Tillis and Little Texas.

4. Pastries at bakery in Southlake look as good as they taste. A new bakery in Southlake is sweetening the local pastry game. Called D'Caramel Patisserie, it's doing beautiful croissants and French desserts, as pretty to look at as they are to eat.

5. Top Fort Worth-area neighborhoods for magnificent Christmas lights in 2023. When it comes to holiday decorating, Fort Worth-area homes and neighborhoods know how to bring the "merry and bright." Here is a list of top local homes and neighborhoods for Christmas light pilgrimages this season. And for a much longer list of spectacular Christmas lights around DFW, click here.

These are the 12 must-see shows in Dallas-Fort Worth theater for December

Theater Critic Picks

It's here: holiday show time. Many of them opened at the end of November, so we're including them here for your planning ease.

Whether you're looking for something family-friendly, a play the in-laws will love, or a performance that has nothing to do with the holidays at all, read on.

In order of start date, here are 12 local shows to watch this month:

Jada Bells - A Holiday Extravaganza
Uptown Players, through December 10
Dallas drag performer Jada Pinkett Fox, aka Lee Walter, will show off her charisma, stage presence, and voice as she brings her unique blend of glamour, humor, and talent to the stage. Jada will be joined by musical guests, each bringing their own flair and style. The holiday-themed extravaganza, written and directed by BJ Cleveland, features classic holiday favorites and contemporary hits.

Black Nativity
Bishop Arts Theatre Center, through December 17
For 19 years, Bishop Arts Theatre Center's annual holiday production of Black Nativity, inspired by Langston Hughes's iconic 1960 Broadway show, is back with a mesmerizing display of hand-clapping, toe-tapping, and finger-snapping theatrical wonderment like never before.

Poor Clare
Stage West, through December 17
Meet Clare: a stylish teen living in medieval Italy, trying out the newest hairstyles, and keeping up with the latest fashions and juicy town gossip. But everything changes when she meets a man named Francis who has started ranting in the streets. Her mother, sister, and maids don’t understand it, but this man’s ideas are, like, totally starting to make sense – and now she can’t unsee the world he has shown her.

Scrooge in Rouge
Theatre Three, through December 17
After a widespread case of food poisoning wipes out the majority of The Royal Music Hall Twenty-Member Variety Players, three surviving members of the company soldier on through a performance of A Christmas Carol that abounds in bad puns, naughty double-entendres, and witty songs.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Dallas Children's Theater, through December 23
Rediscover the true reason for the season while sharing laughs with the Peanuts Gang along the way. Accompanied by a live combo, Charles Schulz’s classic special will make audiences nostalgic for days gone by.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical
Casa Mañana, through December 23
Based on the best-selling book and play by Barbara Robinson, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical is the story of the Herdmans, who are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, they steal, they bully other kids, and they smoke smelly cigars. There used to be only one place where you’d never see them: church.

A Gospel Black Nativity
Jubilee Theatre, through December 24
Black Nativity is an adaptation of the Nativity story by Langston Hughes, performed by an entirely Black cast. Hughes was the author of the book, with the lyrics and music being derived from traditional Christmas carols, sung in gospel style, with a few songs created specifically for the show.

A Christmas Carol
Dallas Theater Center, through December 30
Three spirits have come to visit the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and to take him on a fantastic journey through Christmases past, present, and future. Brimming with joyful songs, magical spirits, and holiday cheer, this holiday classic embodies a story of joy, redemption, and the spirit of Christmas.

Safe at Home
Kitchen Dog Theater, December 7-10
An engaging and provocative site-specific work designed to be performed inside a baseball stadium, the second-ever professional production of Safe at Home examines the complex intersection between baseball, politics, and the American Dream. Lead by tour guides, pods of audience members travel throughout the stadium to nine different spaces, ranging from a luxury suite to the men’s room to the dugout, as the patrons — not the cast — move from scene to scene.

Deathtrap
Theatre Three, December 7-31
Without a success to his credit for some years, Sidney Bruhl receives a new potential hit script called Deathtrap that was written by his student. Sidney plots with his reluctant wife Myra about how best to plagiarize the play and the evening takes a hilarious and dangerous turn.

The Cher Show
Broadway at the Center, December 14-16
Superstars come and go but Cher is forever. The Cher Show is the Tony Award-winning musical of her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star, and the icon.

Les Miserables
Broadway Dallas, December 20-31
Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, the production tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption — a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. The epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history.