Living in Houston

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and the second largest in the State of Texas. The city is located on the Buffalo Bayou, near Trinity Bay and just fifty miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

Houston was founded in 1836 by the Allen brothers and incorporated into the Republic of Texas. The city served as the republic’s capital from 1837 to 1840. The port and railroad industry, combined with the oil discovery in 1901, has induced continual surges in the city’s population and industry. Today, the city has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. It’s home to the world’s largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions, including Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center and NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Mission Control Center.

The city touts a diverse population and growing international community. Rated as a global city, Houston has repeatedly been ranked for its attractiveness, arts, entertainment, and dining.

Our Neighborhoods

The city is comprised of several neighborhoods that individually represent and contribute to the diversity and culture of the city.

Hermann Park

Hermann Park balances easy access to downtown and the medical center with recreational paths, the conservatory, and many dining and entertainment options.

Adjacent to the Museum District, Hermann Park offers a handful of apartments that are only a couple miles from the University of Texas Professional Building, which is where the MSA Program offices are housed.

Museum District

Named for the nineteen museums that reside within the district, the Museum District is home to many cultural institutions and exhibits that attract more than seven million visitors a year. The neighborhood offers walkable zones and daily inspiration for residents and visitors alike. The museums and cultural attractions housed in this neighborhood include:

  • Children’s Museum of Houston
  • Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
  • Diverseworks
  • The Health Museum
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science
  • Houston Zoo
  • The Jung Center
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

A number of the museums offer free admissions, and students are encouraged to learn more here.

The district also sits along the METRORail Red Line, which runs through both Downtown Houston and Texas Medical Center.

Downtown and its Districts

Downtown Houston has recently become known for its diverse, urban hotspots, which include thousands of restaurants and cultural attractions. Houston is one of the few cities with a permanent ballet, opera, symphony, and theatre companies, many of which are located within the limits of Downtown.

Downtown Houston is organized into districts, which include the Theater, Historic, and Warehouse districts, and which each offer their own personality and attractions. Downtown is also home to the Houston Astros’ Minute Maid Park and the Houston Rockets’ Toyota Center.

Midtown

Known for its sustainable, walkable community, Midtown Houston offers a cultural alcove between two busy neighborhoods, Downtown Houston and Texas Medical Center. In recent years, the neighborhood has launched major economic development projects and community revitalization initiatives.

Since 2012, Midtown has experienced steady growth and, today, is home to nearly 10,000 Houstonians. The neighborhood is bordered by the major highways, and the METRORail Red Line cuts through the center of Midtown.

MSA students who are accepted into the program in Houston receive additional information and guidance on moving to the city and finding the neighborhood that’s right for them. We encourage you to learn more about Houston, and the opportunities for living and working here.