Sam Houston State University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Sam Houston State University
SHSU is proud to provide an extraordinary education in the name of Sam Houston,...

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, Texas

Sam Houston State University’s motto, “The Measure of a Life is its Service,” thrives in the foundation of every program and every event on campus. SHSU is proud to provide an extraordinary education in the name of Sam Houston, a beacon of Texan excellence. Its historical honor stands strong to support contemporary students, providing an education from faculty who care about their students’ success. Its programs thrive both on campus and off, as the University offers online courses that can be recognized as some of the best in Texas.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
17,401 undergraduate students
81% of undergrad students are full time
39% male — 61% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
794 full-time faculty
236 part-time faculty
21 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Retention Fall 2015

80% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

49% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 20%
Black or African American 19%
White 53%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 2%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 3%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


Sam Houston State University sponsors 17 varsity teams competing at the NCAA Division I level.

Women: Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball
Men: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field

School Mascot: Bearkats
School Colors: Orange and White


SHSU hosts an Undergraduate Research Symposium in which student research is praised and acknowledged as a critical part of the campus’ scholarly atmosphere. Students are given the opportunity to hone their public speaking and presentation skills. The Symposium acts as an efficient forum for networking and learning across a vast number of fields.


SHSU students begin their college careers with University 1301, a first-year writing intensive that prepares them for the rigor of collegiate coursework as well as the transition into their new lifestyles at school. The coursework for each session varies among disciplines, all designed to build a foundation of skills that continue to be useful throughout students’ respective majors. Those who participate in University 1301 commonly have higher GPAs and stronger graduation rates, as they all begin college knowing that they are given direct access to academic survival tools and are instantly put in touch with their peers.


Sam Houston State University offers a writing center, a math center, and online tutoring at no additional cost to every student. The university also provides students with advising, mentoring, and career planning through our Student Advising & Mentoring Center.


First-year students have the option to participate in SHSU’s Freshman Learning Communities, living-learning communities that draw students together on the foundation of academic or extracurricular interests. These students get to know one another and act as great providers of support at every hour of the day; they spend so much of their time growing together, both out of the classroom and in the same core classes.


SHSU’s tradition of service echoes throughout all that students and faculty do on campus. The school is roaring with a large number of annual volunteer events such as its Volunteer Opportunities Fairs and Alternative Spring Break trips. Most engaging is the “Bearkats: All Paws In” event in the spring, which is a campus-wide day for volunteer work and service. On this day, faculty suspend classes so that they may join their students in giving back to their community.


SHSU faculty strive to serve the world around them even through the courses they teach. Academic Community Engagement (ACE) courses combine service and academics, inspiring students to apply their knowledge to life-changing acts of kindness.


Many programs at SHSU strongly encourage students to pursue internships in and around Birmingham, an amazing city center that’s filled with industry professionals who are looking for talented assistants. Internships build students’ pre-professional work experience, all while supplementing their academic performance as well. Because internships are so beneficial for students both in and beyond college, they frequently reward students with credit toward graduation.


Admissions Fall 2015

9,242 Total Applicants 
6,720 Total Admissions 
2,637 Total Freshman Enrollment

72.71% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 450 550
SAT Math 440 540
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 19 24
ACT Math 18 24
ACT English 19 25
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator


Expenses In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $5,172 $14,532
Fees $2,446 $2,446
Total $7,618 $16,978
Room and Board (on campus) $8,676 $8,676
Room Only $4,896 $4,896
Board Only $3,780 $3,780
Estimated Total On Campus $16,294 $25,654


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

93% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
65% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$8,852 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$6,395 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates

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