Admission Standards for Undergraduate Students

Sam Houston State University accepts applications for undergraduate admission from students of accredited secondary schools and students transferring from accredited colleges without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, or age.

Beginning Freshmen

A beginning freshman student must submit all of the following documentation:

  • Completed SHSU Admission Application with nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official ACT Composite or SAT score report. (Optional)
  • Official high school transcript showing GPA and degree plan. Upon graduation from high school, applicant must provide a final official high school transcript with final GPA, date of graduation, and graduation plan.

Automatic Admission is granted when eligible prospective freshmen are in the Top 10% of their high school graduating class in one of the two school years preceding the academic year for which they are applying for admission with one of the following diploma types:

  • (HB5) Distinguished Achievement
  • (UAS) Distinguished

Automatic Admission is granted when eligible prospective freshmen graduate high school with one of the following diploma types:

  • (HB5)* Foundations with Endorsement(s)
  • (HB5) Distinguished Achievement
  • (UAS) Recommended
  • (UAS) Distinguished
  • Or equivalent

AND meet the requirements on the chart below (requirements are based on a 4.0 scale).

If GPA and/or test scores do not fall within the ranges listed on the above table, applications will receive holistic review. Holistic review decisions are final.

Students automatically admitted into SHSU still need to submit test scores to be considered for certain scholarships.

The requirements summarized in the above table are for Texas high school students on the Recommended (UAS), Distinguished (UAS), Foundations with Endorsement(s) (HB5)*, or Distinguished Achievement (HB5) plans. Applicants from private schools or home schools must have an equivalent diploma type, and home school transcripts must be notarized. Graduates of a non-accredited high school and students who earned the GED must meet the requirements listed in the SHSU Undergraduate Catalog.

*The Endorsement earned must be noted on the transcript provided.

A beginning freshman student who has attempted college/university coursework while enrolled in high school or prior to entering Sam Houston State University (Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment) must provide official college transcript(s) indicating the completion of all transferable academic hours (excluding developmental, remedial, vocational/technical, continuing education, or lifelong learning courses). While the overall cumulative transfer grade point average (for Dual Credit courses) will not be used for admittance, the GPA will factor into the overall GPA. It should be noted that transferable courses may not be relevant to every degree plan. Regular advising at the community college/university and review of SHSU four-year degree plans in this catalog is highly recommended.

Upon admission, Freshman Orientation is required. Visit Orientation for details.

Graduates of a Non-Accredited High School, Home Schooled Students, and Students Who Earned the GED*

Graduates of a non-accredited high school, home-schooled students, and students who earned the GED must submit the following documentation:

  • Completed SHSU Admission Application with nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official ACT Composite or SAT score report. (Optional for graduates of non-accredited high school and home schooled students)
  • Official high school transcript showing GPA or official GED certificate with GED scores. If the student is home schooled, a notarized copy of the transcript must be provided. Upon graduation, applicants must provide a final official transcript showing final GPA and date of graduation.

Sam Houston State University will admit a student who has obtained a GED based on the following criteria:

  • Score of at least 21 on the ACT Composite or 1090 on the SAT (evidence based reading/writing + math).
  • Present an official copy of the GED certificate with GED scores in lieu of a transcript.

Upon admission, Freshmen Orientation is required. See Orientation for details.

*Home schooled students must meet the same admissions requirements as referenced in the Beginning Freshmen section above. 

Transfer Students

A transfer student is defined as an undergraduate student who has completed a minimum of 12 hours of transferable academic coursework from a college and/or university accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board after high school graduation. Transferable academic coursework is defined as those attempted hours of coursework which are applicable to a baccalaureate degree program.

Transfer Students from U.S. Colleges or Universities

Undergraduate students who transfer to Sam Houston State University from a college or university of recognized standing must provide all of the following documentation:

  • Completed SHSU Admission Application with nonrefundable application fee.  
  • Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended.

Transfer Student Requirements:

12-17 hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.
18+ hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on transferable hours.

Undergraduate students who transfer from a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with less than 12 transferable hours must meet the standards of beginning freshmen students as well as have a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.

Students who are currently suspended, dismissed or expelled from another college or university are not eligible for admission to Sam Houston State University.

Transfer of Credit

Sam Houston State University accepts a maximum of 66 semester credit hours plus 4 hours of activity-based physical education (kinesiology) for a total of 70 semester credit hours from the accredited community colleges attended. Please visit Texas Common Course Numbers for information about Texas Common Course Numbers and equivalent SHSU courses.

All academic courses attempted at a college or university accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board will be reviewed for transferability. Sam Houston State University reserves the right to refuse courses taken at U.S. schools other than those accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. It should be noted that transferable courses may not be relevant to every degree plan. Regular advising at the community college and review of SHSU four-year degree plans in this catalog is highly recommended.

Former (Returning) SHSU Students

All former SHSU students who did not attend the University within the last year must submit all of the following:

  • SHSU Admission Application for undergraduate admission (readmit) with the nonrefundable application fee.
  • Official transcript(s) from all institutions attended since last attending SHSU.

All students applying for readmission into the university must present a minimum, combined grade point average of 2.0 or higher on all transferable hours.

Transient Students

Students enrolled at another institution of higher education (home institution) wishing to attend Sam Houston State University for one semester with the intention of transferring credits to their home institution, must meet the following requirements:

  • Be regularly enrolled in a degree-seeking program at their home institution and eligible to re-enroll.
  • Provide official transcript from home institution.
  • Complete the Transient Application on Apply Texas.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  • Complete the SHSU Transient Student Form.

Students admitted under this option are considered non-degree seeking and are not eligible for financial aid. Credit and grade points earned as a transient student will not be used toward admission to Sam Houston State University at a future date.

Early Undergraduate Admissions Program

High school students who have completed the sophomore year may be accepted to attend classes at Sam Houston State University. To be accepted to attend classes, the students must provide official documentation for the criteria listed below, complete the SHSU Admission Application, and pay the nonrefundable application fee. To qualify for the Early Undergraduate Admissions Program, a high school student must meet the following criteria:

  • Be in the top 25% of the graduating class
  • Have the intent to return to high school and complete the senior year
  • Have the recommendation of the high school principal or counselor
  • Have written permission of the parent or guardian
  • Provide verification of TSI status
  • Submit the completed Early Admission form

Students admitted under this option are considered non-degree seeking and are not eligible for financial aid. Upon graduation from high school, the student must submit a new undergraduate application to change the classification from “Early Admissions” to “Undergraduate Student” and meet the appropriate admission standards in order to continue taking classes at Sam Houston State University. 

Full-Time Early Undergraduate Admissions Program Requirements

Sam Houston State University recognizes that in some instances a truly gifted student may receive considerable educational benefit from a full-time early undergraduate admissions program to a college or university.

To be admitted to SHSU, the student must provide official documentation for the criteria listed below, complete the SHSU Admission Application, and pay the nonrefundable application fee. High school students desiring to enter a full-time early undergraduate admissions program must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete the junior year of high school
  • Be in the top 10% of the graduating class
  • Score 27 or higher on the ACT Composite or 1270 or higher on the SAT (evidenced based reading/writing + math)
  • Provide letters of recommendation from the high school principal and two other high school teachers
  • Provide a signed letter from the student’s parents or guardian stating that they understand the program and approve of the student’s participation
  • Have a personal interview with the Admissions Committee

Students admitted under this option are considered non-degree seeking and are not eligible for financial aid. Upon graduation from high school, the student must submit a new undergraduate application to change the classification from “Early Admissions” to “Undergraduate Student” and meet the appropriate admission standards in order to continue taking classes at Sam Houston State University. 

Admission of Undergraduate International Students

All undergraduate international students must submit the Apply Texas Application (International) and pay the nonrefundable application fee in U.S. currency. All undergraduate international students must declare a major (other than Integrated Studies) on the application for admission.

Sam Houston State University has five categories of undergraduate international students:

International students who are beginning freshmen graduating from a high school outside the U.S. or a country whose primary mode of instruction is English must provide the following:

Admission Requirements/Documentation

  • Completed Apply Texas Application (International) with nonrefundable application fee (must declare a major other than Integrated Studies).
  • Official TOEFL score of at least 79 (iBT or iBT Special Home Edition), IELTS of at least 6.5, or Duolingo EPT score of at least 105, if English is not their first language.
  • Copy of high school transcript.
  • Official evaluation of high school transcript from a NACES accredited evaluation company.
  • Certified English translations for documents submitted in a language other than English.
  • Must have a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Current proof of financial support. The student’s or sponsor’s bank statement(s) on bank letterhead indicating an amount of deposit equal to the estimated expense for one year at the University. Visit the Office of International Programs for further details.
  • Home country address. Regardless of current residency, students must provide a home country address for the processing of the I-20 A/B. Visit the Office of International Programs for further details.
  • Copies of immigration documents (i.e., passport photo page, visa, and I-94).
  • To ensure that all undergraduate admission and immigration papers are in order, international students are required to visit the Office of International Programs immediately upon arrival on campus. Telephone (936) 294-4737 or e-mail Office of International Programs.
  • All international students are required to purchase the University’s Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Further information concerning this required coverage may be obtained from the University Health Center. Telephone (936) 294-1805.

All International Students are required to complete International Student Orientation, in lieu of New Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607 for information concerning this specialized orientation session.

International students who are beginning freshmen graduating from a high school in the U.S. must provide the following:

Admission Requirements/Documentation

International students who are beginning freshmen graduating from a high school in the U.S. must meet the same admissions requirements as referenced in the Beginning Freshmen section above.

Students must declare a major other than Integrated Studies.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Current proof of financial support. The student’s or sponsor’s bank statement(s) on bank letterhead indicating an amount on deposit equal to the estimated expense for one year at the University. Visit the Office of International Programs for further details.
  • Home country address. Regardless of current residency, students must provide a home country address for the processing of the I-20 A/B. Visit the Office of International Programs for further details.
  • International Student Adviser’s Report. This form is to be completed and signed by the student and an adviser at the U.S. high school.
  • Copies of immigration documents (i.e., passport photo page, visa, and I-94).
  • To ensure that all undergraduate admission and immigration papers are in order, international students are required to visit the Office of International Programs immediately upon arrival on campus. Telephone (936) 294-4737 or e-mail oip@shsu.edu.
  • All international students are required to purchase the University’s Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Further information concerning this required coverage may be obtained from the University Health Center. Telephone (936) 294-1805.

All International Students are required to complete International Student Orientation, in lieu of New Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607 for information concerning this specialized orientation session.

International students who are transfer students who attended a college or university outside the U.S. must provide the following:

Admission Requirements/Documentation

  • Completed Apply Texas Application (International) with nonrefundable application fee (must declare a major other than Integrated Studies).
  • Official TOEFL score of at least 79 (iBT or iBT Special Home Edition), IELTS of at least 6.5, or Duolingo EPT score of at least 105, if English is not their first language.
  • Copy of transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • Official evaluation of all transfer work from a NACES accredited evaluation company (World Education Services, etc.).
  • Certified English translations for documents submitted in a language other than English.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Current proof of financial support. The student’s or sponsor’s bank statement(s) on bank letterhead indicating an amount on deposit equal to the estimated expense for one year at the University. Visit the International Programs for further details.
  • Confirmation of dependents. If dependents will accompany the student to the U.S., provide each dependent’s full name, date of birth, country of citizenship, and relationship to the student. For each dependent the dollar amount of financial support must be increased by the following amounts: $2,000 for a spouse, $2,000 for the first child, and $1,000 for each additional child. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • Home country address. Regardless of current residency, students must provide a home country address for the processing of the I-20 A/B. Visit the International Students website for further details.
  • Copies of immigration documents (i.e., passport photo page, visa, and I-94).
  • To ensure that all undergraduate admission and immigration papers are in order, international students are required to visit the Office of International Programs immediately upon arrival on campus. Telephone (936) 294-4737 or e-mail oip@shsu.edu.
  • All international students are required to purchase the University’s Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Further information concerning this required coverage may be obtained from the University Health Center. Telephone (936) 294-1805.

All International Students are required to complete International Student Orientation, in lieu of New Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607 for information concerning this specialized orientation session.

International students who are transfer students who attended a college or university in the U.S. and have obtained less than 30 transferable hours must provide the following:

Admission Requirements/Documentation

  • Completed Apply Texas Application (International) with nonrefundable application fee (must declare a major other than Integrated Studies).
  • Official TOEFL score of at least 79 (iBT or iBT Special Home Edition), IELTS of at least 6.5, or Duolingo EPT score of at least 105, if English is not their first language.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • 12-17 hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.
    18+ hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on transferable hours.
  • Undergraduate students who transfer from a college or university of recognized standing with less than 12 transferable hours must meet the standards of beginning freshmen students as well as have a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.
  • Students who are currently suspended, dismissed or expelled from another college or university are not eligible for admission to Sam Houston State University.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Current proof of financial support. The student’s or sponsor’s bank statement(s) on bank letterhead indicating an amount on deposit equal to the estimated expense for one year at the University. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • Confirmation of dependents. If dependents will accompany the student to the U.S., provide each dependent’s full name, date of birth, country of citizenship, and relationship to the student. For each dependent the dollar amount of financial support must be increased by the following amounts: $2,000 for a spouse, $2,000 for the first child, and $1,000 for each additional child. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • Home country address. Regardless of current residency, students must provide a home country address for the processing of the I-20 A/B. Visit the Office of International Programs or further details.
  • International Student Adviser’s Report. This form is to be completed and signed by the student and an adviser at the U.S. high school.
  • Copies of immigration documents (i.e., passport photo page, visa, and I-94).
  • To ensure that all undergraduate admission and immigration papers are in order, international students are required to visit the Office of International Programs immediately upon arrival on campus. Telephone (936) 294-4737 or e-mail oip@shsu.edu.
  • All international students are required to purchase the University’s Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Further information concerning this required coverage may be obtained from the University Health Center. Telephone (936) 294-1805.

All International Students are required to complete International Student Orientation, in lieu of New Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607 for information concerning this specialized orientation session.

International students who are transfer students that attended a college or university in the U.S. and have obtained at least 30 transferable hours must provide the following:

Admission Requirements/Documentation

  • Completed Apply Texas Application (International) with nonrefundable application fee (must declare a major other than Integrated Studies).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • 12-17 hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.
    18+ hours must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher on transferable hours.
  • Undergraduate students who transfer from a college or university of recognized standing with less than 12 transferable hours must meet the standards of beginning freshmen students (see Beginning Freshmen within this chapter) as well as have a cumulative grade point average of a 2.5 or higher on transferable hours.
  • Students who are currently suspended, dismissed or expelled from another college or university are not eligible for admission to Sam Houston State University.

Enrollment Requirements

  • Current proof of financial support. The student’s or sponsor’s bank statement(s) on bank letterhead indicating an amount on deposit equal to the estimated expense for one year at the University. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • Confirmation of dependents. If dependents will accompany the student to the U.S., provide each dependent’s full name, date of birth, country of citizenship, and relationship to the student. For each dependent the dollar amount of financial support must be increased by the following amounts: $2,000 for a spouse, $2,000 for the first child, and $1,000 for each additional child. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • Home country address. Regardless of current residency, students must provide a home country address for the processing of the I-20 A/B. Visit International Programs for further details.
  • International Student Adviser’s Report. This form is to be completed and signed by the student and an adviser at the U.S. high school.
  • Copies of immigration documents (i.e., passport photo page, visa, and I-94).
  • To ensure that all undergraduate admission and immigration papers are in order, international students are required to visit the Office of International Programs immediately upon arrival on campus. Telephone (936) 294-4737 or e-mail Office of International Programs.
  • All international students are required to purchase the University’s Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Further information concerning this required coverage may be obtained from the University Health Center. Telephone (936) 294-1805.

All International Students are required to complete International Student Orientation, in lieu of New Student Orientation. Contact the Office of International Programs at (936) 294-4607 for information concerning this specialized orientation session.