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College Station is the home of Texas A&M University.
College Station is the home of Texas A&M University.

College Station is a city in Brazos County, Texas, situated in East-Central Texas in the heart of the Brazos Valley, in the center of the region known as Texas Triangle. It is 90 miles (140 kilometers) northwest of Houston and 87 miles (140 km) northeast of Austin. As of the 2010 census, College Station had a population of 93,857,[4] which had increased to an estimated population of 122,162 as of February 2019.[5] College Station and Bryan together make up the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, the 13th-largest metropolitan area in Texas with 273,101 people as of 2019.

College Station is home to the main campus of Texas A&M University, the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. The city owes both its name and existence to the university's location along a railroad. Texas A&M's triple designation as a Land-, Sea-, and Space-Grant institution reflects the broad scope of the research endeavors it brings to the city, with ongoing projects funded by agencies such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Naval Research.

Due largely to the presence of Texas A&M University, College Station was named by Money magazine in 2006 as the most educated city in Texas, and the 11th-most educated city in the United States.[6]


The origins of College Station date from 1860, when the Houston and Texas Central Railway began to build through the region.[7] Eleven years later, the site was chosen as the location for the proposed Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, a land-grant school.[7] In 1876, as the nation celebrated its centennial, the school (renamed Texas A&M University in 1963) opened its doors as the first public institution of higher education in the state of Texas.[7]

The population of College Station grew slowly, reaching 350 in 1884 and 391 at the turn of the century.[7] However, during this time, transportation improvements took place in the town. In 1900, the I&GN Railroad was extended to College Station[8] (the line was abandoned by the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company in 1965),[9] and 10 years later, electric interurban service was established between Texas A&M and the neighboring town of Bryan.[7] The interurban was replaced by a city bus system in the 1920s.[7]

In 1930, the community to the north of College Station, known as North Oakwood, was incorporated as part of Bryan.[7] College Station did not incorporate until 1938 with John H. Binney as the first mayor.[7] Within a year, the city established a zoning commission, and by 1940, the population had reached 2,184.[7]

The city grew under the leadership of Ernest Langford, called by some the "Father of College Station", who began a 26-year stretch as mayor in 1942. Early in his first term, the city adopted a council-manager system of city government.[7]

Population growth accelerated following World War II as the nonstudent population reached 7,898 in 1950, 11,396 in 1960, 17,676 in 1970, 30,449 in 1980, 52,456 in 1990, and 67,890 in 2000.[7] The population for the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area crossed 270,000 people in 2018.

In the 1990s, College Station and Texas A&M University drew national attention when the George Bush Presidential Library opened in 1997 and, more tragically, when 12 people were killed and 27 injured when the Aggie Bonfire collapsed while being constructed in 1999.


College Station is located south of the center of Brazos County at 30°36′5″N 96°18′52″W [76] (30.601433, -96.314464).[10] It is bordered by the city of Bryan to the northwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 49.6 sq mi (128.5 km2), of which 49.4 sq mi (128.0 km2) is land and 0.19 sq mi (0.5 km2), or 0.35%, is covered by water.[4]


The local climate is subtropical and temperate and winters are mild with periods of low temperatures usually lasting less than two months.

Snow and ice are rare; most recently, College Station received 5 inches (13 cm) of snowfall on December 7, 2017.[11]

Summers are hot and humid with occasional showers being the only real variation in weather.[12]

  • Average annual rainfall: 39 in (1000 mm)
  • Average elevation: 367 ft (112 m) above sea level
  • Average Temperature: 69.0 °F (20.6 °C)
  • Agricultural Resources: Cattle, corn, cotton, eggs, hay, sorghum
  • Mineral Resources: Sand, gravel, lignite, gas, oil


As of the census of 2000, 67,890 people, 24,691 households, and 10,370 families resided in the city. Of the 24,691 households, 21.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.2% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 58.0% were not families. About 27.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 2.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city, the population was distributed as 14.4% under the age of 18, 51.2% from 18 to 24, 21.3% from 25 to 44, 9.4% from 45 to 64, and 3.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females, there were 104.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $21,180, and for a family was $53,147. Males had a median income of $38,216 versus $26,592 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,170. About 15.4% of families and 37.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.


The city of College Station has a council-manager form of government. Voters elect the members of a city council, who pass laws and make policy. The council hires a professional city manager who is responsible for day-to-day operations of the city and its public services.[19]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Bryan District Parole Office in College Station.[20]

The United States Postal Service operates the College Station and Northgate College Station post offices.[21][22]


Northgate is a mixed-use district north of Texas A&M University that features a combination of businesses, restaurants, apartments, churches, and entertainment. It is a vibrant part of the city known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and bars.[23][24] A large portion of the stores, bars, and restaurants in Northgate are frequented and patronized by Texas A&M students, and the establishments employ A&M students, as well.[24] In total, the district spans about 145 acres (0.59 km2), bounded by Wellborn Road to the west, South College Avenue to the east, the College Station city limits to the north, and University Drive to the south. The district is the home of the Dixie Chicken and of the first Texas location for the regional fast-food chain Freebirds World Burrito.

Northgate's roots started in the 1930s as the city began enjoying rapid population growth from the influx of Texas A&M University students, professors, and their families. Realizing that proximity to the campus would be a boon for revenues, the first business district was established in College Station near the campus, taking its name for the closest on-campus landmark: the north gate. When the city was incorporated in 1938, its first City Hall was opened in the new district. In 1994, restoration efforts began to revitalize the ailing area. A four-day music festival, "North By Northgate", was introduced in 1998 and has become an annual tradition, renamed the "Northgate Music Festival" in 2002. In 2006, the city council incorporated Northgate as a special tax zone to finance additional improvements and expansions.[25]

Live music is a major draw to the Northgate area, with venues such as Church Street BBQ and Hurricane Harry's consistently providing evening concerts. Many well-known musicians, especially in the Texas country music scene, have gotten their starts playing on the porches and stages found in the Northgate area. Notable names include Robert Earl Keen, Grammy award-winner Lyle Lovett, Dub Miller, and Roger Creager. The district is bisected to the north by Church Street, made famous by the Robert Earl Keen and Lyle Lovett duet "The Front Porch Song".

Wolf Pen Creek District is a large commercial development adjacent to Post Oak Mall and between two of the city's main commercial thoroughfares: Earl Rudder Freeway and Texas Avenue. The area consists of a greenway with trails, a $1.5 million amphitheater and entertainment area, a small lake, the Spirit Ice Arena, and is the home of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley. The amphitheater has hosted a variety of musical events, including the annual Starlight Music Series, a concert series that starts in late spring and runs through late summer. Wolf Pen often has sidewalk for a scenic run that when completed is about 1 mi (2 km).

Wellborn became a community in 1867 as a construction camp on the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. The town's name has been attributed to a well at the construction camp, a foreman named E.W. Wellborn, or a landowner named W.W. Willburn. Also in 1867, a post office opened in the community under the name Wellborn Station. In 1870, the name was shortened to Wellborn.[26] On April 14, 2011, the City Council of College Station voted 5-2 to annex Wellborn, thus making the community the Wellborn district. Wellborn is often mispronounced as 'well-born' but is pronounced by locals as 'Well-burn'.[27]

Business parks

  • Business Center at College Station A 200-acre (81 ha), class "A" business center 5 miles (8 km) from the university, its current residents include firms involved in telecommunications, software development, and oilfield services.
  • Spring Creek Corporate Campus A 100-acre (40 ha), class "A" business center, a greenbelt surrounds most of the campus and provides a buffer between the new development and adjacent land uses which include the Pebble Creek Country Club and Woodland Hills Subdivision.
  • Texas A&M University Research Park This 324-acre (131 ha) research park was established to provide businesses direct partnering opportunities with Texas A&M University. Several companies and nonprofit research interests have located in the park, including Schlumberger, Lynntech, AdventGX, Notequill, AskU, Improving Enterprises, the Institute of Food Science and Engineering, the Electron Beam Food Research Facility, the Academy of Advanced Telecommunications and Learning Technologies, and the International Ocean Discovery Program.
  • Crescent Pointe Crescent Pointe is a master-planned, mixed-use development of roughly 192 acres (78 ha), with frontage on University Drive (FM 60) and Harvey Road (Highway 30).


  • The Brazos Transit District (formerly Brazos Valley Transit Authority) provides public bus transportation in the Bryan/College Station area.
  • Texas A&M Transportation Services provides bus transportation throughout College Station and Bryan for students, faculty, and staff of Texas A&M University and Blinn College. On Texas A&M football game days, the department provides additional park-and-ride service to and from Kyle Field.
  • Starline Travel offers weekend service from Texas A&M's campus to downtown Houston, with additional Houston service for Aggie game days and additional service to Dallas during major A&M breaks.
  • Groundshuttle provides daily shuttles to and from Houston airports (Hobby and Bush).

Easterwood Airport, owned by Texas A&M, is located three miles (5 km) southwest of College Station and has flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.


As of May 2008, the local unemployment hovered around 3 to 4%, among the lowest in Texas. This rate is largely attributed to the significant role the university plays in the local economy.[28][29] However, underemployment is an ongoing issue.[30]

Until its 2007 acquisition by Tavistock Group, Freebirds World Burrito had its corporate headquarters in College Station.[32][33]

Post Oak Mall was the city's first mall and is currently the largest mall in the Brazos Valley. The 82-acre (330,000 m2) mall is home to 125 stores; its opening on February 17, 1982, helped create the impetus for growing economic and commercial developments for College Station.[34] It is currently the largest taxpayer in College Station and the second-largest in the Brazos Valley, though the anchor stores are free-standing units that are privately owned and taxed separate from the mall proper.[35] Over 75% of retail sales in the Brazos Valley come from sales at the mall's stores.[34]

Sports facilities

  • Football: Kyle Field (capacity: 102,733 <106,000 in 2014 only, during reconstruction>[36])
  • Racing: Texas World Speedway (capacity: 23,000)
  • Basketball/volleyball: Reed Arena (largest crowd: 13,657 for basketball)
  • Baseball: Olsen Field (largest crowd: 11,052)
  • Soccer: Ellis Field (largest crowd: 8,204)
  • Track and field: Anderson Track and Field Complex (capacity: 3,500)
  • Tennis: George P. Mitchell Tennis Center (largest crowd: 2,339)
  • Softball: Aggie Softball Complex (largest crowd: 2,341)
  • Hockey: Spirit Ice Arena (capacity: 500)
  • Golf: Texas A&M Traditions Club
  • Bowling: Grand Station Entertainment (capacity: 600+)

Media and journalism

The only full power local television station is CBS affiliate KBTX, which also broadcasts a CW channel. Waco-based KCEN operates a semi-satellite low power NBC channel, KAGS. ABC affiliate KRHD and Fox affiliate KWKT air coverage originating in Waco. PBS affiliate KAMU, which is owned by Texas A&M University.

College Station is part of the Bryan-College Station Arbitron market #238.

  • The Bryan/College Station Eagle (city newspaper)
  • The Battalion (Texas A&M University newspaper)
  • Maroon Weekly (Aggie-owned and operated independent newspaper, Bryan/College Station)
  • The Touchstone (left/progressive, alt/indie newspaper)
  • The Jail Times (Locally owned and operated independent newspaper, Bryan/College Station)
  • 12th Man Magazine
  • Aggieland Illustrated
  • Insite Magazine
  • AgriLeader Magazine


  • College Station Medical Center [77]
  • The Physicians Centre Hospital [78]
  • Scott & White Hospital [79]
  • St. Joseph Regional Health Center [80]
  • St. Joseph Emergency Center [81] - College Station


Tallest buildings

  • Buildings with seven or more floors Kyle Field: 118 feet (36 m)[37] Rise at Northgate: 18 floors[38] Aspire of College Station: 15 Floors [39] Oceanography and Meteorology Building: 15 floors/151 feet (46 m)[40][37] Albritton Bell Tower: 138 feet (42 m)[41] Rudder Tower: 12 floors[42] College Station Hilton: 11 floors[43] Momentum Plaza (formerly Adam Corporation Building and formerly First American Bank headquarters): 121.49 ft; 10 floors[44] Richardson Petroleum Engineering: 10 floors[45] Civil Engineering/Texas Transportation Institute: eight floors[46] Regents Building: eight floors[47] Embassy Suites: eight floors [48] Brown Engineering: seven floors[49] Harrington: seven floors[50] Bright Building: seven floors[51] McFerrin Indoor Athletic Practice Facility: over 100 feet (30 m)[52] Texas A&M University System Building: seven floors[53] Evans Library: seven floors

Surrounding cities

  • Cities with population over 500,000 within 200 mi (320 km) Houston 69.7 mi (112.2 km) (population: 2,145,146; metro population: 6,086,538) Austin 107.7 mi (173.3 km) (population: 820,611; metro population: 1,783,519) San Antonio 169 mi (272 km) (population: 1,359,758; metro population: 2,194,927) Fort Worth 173 mi (278 km) (population: 758,738; metro population: 6,145,037) Dallas 187 mi (301 km) (population: 1,223,229; metro population: 6,145,037)

Notable people

The following people have lived or are currently living in College Station:

Points of interest

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