Sam Houston State University


Founded on April 21, 1879 by Governor Oran M. Roberts as a teacher’s college, Sam Houston State University is named for a revered general in Texas history. The institute is located in Hunstville, Texas and is a member of the Texas State University System.

Today, the university awards a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and is classed as a Carnegie Research/Doctoral-Intensive University. Its mission is “to meet the needs of the civilized community by providing to the community educational opportunities and resources of the highest quality.” The emphasis is on instruction rather than research.

Information Summary

Ranks 24th in Texas and 731st overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 83.7
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $22,478
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 23 / 1140
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 20 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 76% / 54%
Enrollment Total (all students) 21,213


Undergraduate academic tracks of study include degree programs in five colleges, including Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education, and Humanities & Social Sciences. In addition to the various majors offered, there are several pre-professional programs including pre-dental and pre-veterinary medicine.

Schools and Colleges

Sam Houston State University is composed of a number of different colleges: the College of Arts and Science, the College of Business Administration, the College of Criminal Justice, the College of Education, and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Master’s Programs

Master’s degrees are awarded in administration, clinical psychology, counseling, English, Library science, music education, reading, and statistics, among others. A master of fine arts (MFA) is available in dance, and several fields offer both a Master of Arts and a Master of Education. The school awards four doctoral degrees, in criminal justice, educational leadership, counselor education, and clinical psychology.

Most Popular Fields of Study


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Old Main :: Sam Houston State University Sam Houston Normal Institute :: Sam Houston State University


Prospective students seeking admission must send the completed application form, and all the official transcripts, along with their ACT/ SAT scores. Getting transfer to the institute is also very simple. Applicants must send their official transcripts from all previous institutes attended. International students are also encouraged to apply for admission. They are required to meet all the above mentioned admission requirements, and also send their TOEFL or IELTS score.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available through a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. To determine eligibility for financial aid, applicants must complete the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. While family income is a considerable factor in determining need, The financial aid office also considers factors such as family size, age of older parents, savings, and investments. The university offers a variety of institutional and private scholarships, as well as access to student loan programs.

Students can apply for the TEACH Grant programs or the Bearkat Transfer Scholarship. Other types of scholarships include Ray Gordon Dollar Scholarship, Dr. James E. Gilmore Endowed Scholarship, Wesley l. Oakes Endowed Scholarship, Edward James Crawford Scholarship, Faith Foundation Scholarship, and Tommy Metcalf Endowed Scholarship. There are also several work-study programs available through which students can earn money to meet their educational expenses.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4572nd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Texas.


The student life on campus is rich and diverse. There are over 220 registered student organizations on the campus. In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, the school has an on-campus hotel, a planetarium and observatory, as well as a student-operated cable television station and radio station.

The library offers electronic catalogs and online databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site or available through interlibrary lounge. Specialists offers individual assistance to doctoral and master’s students working on their dissertations or theses. The university has a special, confidential legal affairs office to assist students with legal problems. It also offers mediation services.

The campus is home to more than 15,000 students. With over 30 residence halls, there is a community for every student, including family and sorority housing. The residence halls are well equipped with modern facilities for the convenience of the students. The campus is also home to a fully-staffed Health Center, television station, radio station (90.5 FM), and student-published newspaper “The Houstonian”. There are a variety of recreational sports programs, including track, racquetball, and aerobics. SHSU also has a leading intercollegiate rodeo program. Golfers have use of the local Raven Nest Golf Course.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The athletic department sponsors men’s and women’s sports teams in diverse sports categories such as baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, bowling, soccer, softball, tennis, and track & field. The teams participate in NCAA Division I in the Southland Conference. The athletic teams are nicknamed as the Bearkats. The colors are orange and white. Their official mascot is Sammy Bearkat.

Local Community

The town of Hunstville is located 70 miles from Houston. It has a population of approximately 34,500 and is surrounded with by forests, lakes and ranchlands, including Huntsville State Park, a haven for hikers and mountain bikers. Huntsville is also host of an annual folk festival and the “Fair on the Square” downtown.


Notable alumni include:

  • Molly Hazlett, 2007 Miss Texas
  • Frank Bielec, notable Trading Spaces designer
  • Johnny Maze, eminent radio disc jockey
  • Steve Sparks, professional baseball player

Additional School Information

The university is particularly well known for its Criminal Justice program. It ranks among the nation’s top programs of its kind and offers a Ph.D. in criminal justice. The Criminal Justice Program has its own set of admissions standards separate from those of the overall university, and interested applicants should contact the department directly. The campus is also home to a world class planetarium and observatory for the study of astronomy and to provide educational services to the public.


Accreditation is granted by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The institute also holds several discipline based accreditations such as AACSB International, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and others.

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