The sister cities of Bryan and College Station, Texas are located at the center of what many now refer to as the "Texas Triangle," with the corners of the triangle composed of Austin, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth. Roughly an hour and a half from Houston and Austin and three hours from Dallas-Fort Worth, B/CS enjoys the benefits of a large, progressive community without many of the drawbacks such as heavy traffic, pollution and high crime rates. Lakes, pine forests, State Parks and National Forests are all within a one-hour drive. Both the Gulf Coast beaches and the Hill Country lakes are within a three-hour drive.
B/CS has been highlighted nationally as one of the most inexpensive communities in the state and in the country, with low cost of living and rental rates. And with the stabilizing factor of the 40,000+ student Texas A&M University, the area enjoys some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
Other aspects of life such as schooling, housing, health care and entertainment also benefit from the area's large-town resources set in a small-town environment. The population of the Bryan/College Station metropolitan area is around 150,000. The community has excellent schools, churches, hospitals, theaters, shopping malls, motels, and restaurants, but is especially proud of its many parks. A limited number of University-owned apartments, both furnished and unfurnished, are available for married students. A large number of privately owned apartments are also available in the community.
The 5,200-acre campus, one of the largest in the country, has numerous state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities, including a research cyclotron (one of only three of its caliber in the world), a research reactor and a visualization laboratory. Centers and institutes devoted to interdisciplinary studies in areas as diverse as biotechnology, trace characterization, hazard reduction and tectonophysics are part of the University. Texas A&M University is the science operator of the JOIDES Resolution, the U.S. Implementation Organization’s ocean drilling ship of the largest geoscience program in the world, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP). Former President George Bush selected Texas A&M as the site for his Presidential Museum and Library, which is located on 90 acres on the West Campus.
Modern university facilities provide students unlimited opportunities for learning and research. Texas A&M libraries house more than 2.5 million volumes and 4.7 million microforms. More than 29,600 serial titles are received, including some 150 state, national and foreign newspapers. The library is also a depository library for federal and state documents. In addition to the online catalog, the library provides numerous specialized full-text electronic resources and journal citation databases. Texas A&M ranks 12th among the Association of Research Libraries in funding for electronic materials.
The campus houses a 373,000-square-foot sports recreation facility that features outdoor and indoor swimming pools, spas, weight rooms, racquetball, squash, basketball and volleyball courts, a climbing wall, a pavilion, meeting rooms and a snack bar. The campus also boasts a 14,000-seat special-events center in Reed Arena.
More than 700 student organizations, from the Texas A&M Student Government to the Corps of Cadets to religious and sports organizations, allow Aggies to pursue areas of special interest. These organizations offer camaraderie, leadership training and a lifetime network of friends and associates.