Sam Houston State University

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Template:Infobox American Universities

Sam Houston State University, (known as SHSU and Sam, for short) founded in 1879, is a university located in Huntsville, Texas. It is the oldest purpose-built institution for the instruction of teachers west of the Mississippi River and named for one of Texas' founding fathers, Sam Houston. The university is part of the Texas State University System and is a comprehensive, doctoral granting university enrolling over 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students.



Created by legislation signed by Governor Oran M. Roberts on April 21, 1879, Sam Houston Normal Institute's dedicated goal was to train teachers for the public schools of Texas—the first of its kind west of the Mississippi River. On October 10 of the same year, the first class of 110 students and four faculty commenced instruction on the site of what had once been the campus of Austin College.

When the university first opened, students received a certification to teach in the state's elementary and secondary schools, but after 1919, the university began to award bachelor's degrees. In 1923, the school was renamed the Sam Houston State Teachers College. In 1936, the school awarded its first post-baccalaureate degree. In 1965, the school was renamed, again, to Sam Houston State College, and, finally, to Sam Houston State University in 1969.


Sam Houston State's colors are orange and white and their nickname is the Bearkats. Sam Houston State sports teams participate in NCAA Division I (I-AA for football) in the Southland Conference.

Sam Houston's Bearkat is represented by the mascot team of Sammy and Samantha Bearkat who entertain and lead crowds in cheers during sporting events. Recently, Sammy's two minute routine earned him the title of "national champion" at the 2005 United Spirit Association National Collegiate Mascot Competitionships.


Ranked as a "doctoral intensive" university by the Carnegie Foundation.

Sam's programs in criminal justice are particularly strong given the school's long relationship with the state prison that is located in Huntsville. Additionally, many students choose to go to Sam because of its traditional academic strength, its education program.

Recently, the university has become a leader in distance education, offering both bachelor's and master's degrees via the web in several areas, incuding history (a first at a regionally accredited instituiton in the U.S.) and criminal justice.

Currently (as of mid-2005), the university offers:

  • 84 undergraduate degree programs
  • 47 masters' programs
  • 4 doctoral programs (Criminal Justice, Educational Leadership, Counselor Education and Clinical Psychology)

Academic subdivisions

Sam Houston State's academic departments and programs are organized into colleges. Colleges at Sam Houston State University are:


"Houston," for whom the school is named, was the first word spoken on the moon.

Notable alumni

External link


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