Undergraduate Degree Requirements

All degrees contain the following MINIMUM requirements:

Total Hours. A minimum of 120 hours total (developmental courses not included) is required of each degree. Some degree programs may require additional hours above the 120 minimum.

Advanced Hours. (3000-4000 level courses) 42 semester hours of advanced work must be completed for a degree. Courses taken from a community college do not transfer for advanced credit.

Minimum Residence. Residency, for the purpose of meeting degree requirements, is defined as courses that require classroom instruction and include:

  • course taken on the campus of SHSU
  • courses taken at SHSU The Woodlands Center
  • courses taken at selected off-campus sites
  • courses taken online from SHSU

The following hours must be completed “in residence” to meet degree requirements:

  • At least 25% of the credit hours required by the degree (e.g., 30 semester credit hours for a 120 credit hour program) of which 24 semester credit hours must be advanced (3000 or 4000-level),
  • 12 semester credit hours (SCH) of advanced (3000 or 4000-level) coursework within the major field of study,
  • 6 semester credit hours (SCH) of advanced (3000 or 4000-level) coursework within the minor field of study (if applicable).
  • Correspondence courses DO NOT meet residency requirements.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A minimum 2.00 GPA is required in the following:

  • Overall GPA (SHSU coursework and transfer coursework. This is considered the cumulative grade point average.)
  • SHSU Major GPA (some programs may require a higher GPA)
  • Overall Major GPA (SHSU coursework and transfer coursework)
  • SHSU Minor GPA (some minors may require a higher GPA)
  • Overall Minor GPA (SHSU coursework and transfer coursework)

Academic Credit and Institutional GPA

  • Academic credit for additional major or minor coursework shall be applicable to institutional grade point average in order to achieve minimum required grade point averages for graduation purposes. Academic credit for additional major and minor coursework beyond course requirements as notes on a student’s degree plan may be used for institutional grade point average purposes and does not increase the total required hours for the degree program.

Degree Works/Degree Plan

The specific degree requirements will be listed in the student’s degree plan. A degree plan outlines academic requirements for successful completion of a specific degree. Students are encouraged to use the Student Advising (SAM Center) for advice on degree plans. Students may view their degree plan via My Sam using DegreeWorks located under the Student Tab.

The Notes in Degree Works contain important information placed by either academic advisors, Registrar's Office, or academic departmental staff, including academic deans. Students should review the Notes in Degree Works regularly.

The university provides advisors to assist students with registration to ensure appropriate progress toward completion of degree requirements.  However, the student bears sole responsibility for assuring that all degree requirements are fulfilled.

Students are placed under a degree and major based on the selection at the time of application to Sam Houston.  A student has the option of meeting the academic requirements for any degree as outlined in the catalog at the time of admission.  In addition, a later catalog may be selected provided the requirements are met not later than six years from the effective date of the selected catalog. Students are responsible for knowledge of the detailed requirements of the degree plan, including any special requirements of the major and/or minor department. Students may change degree/major/minor through their academic advisor.  Some academic departments may require approval of the change of major.

Please, visit the Sam Center for information regarding location or you may call: (936) 294-4444; Toll free: (866) 364-5211; Houston area: (281) 657-6432, or via email: samcenter@shsu.edu. Students majoring in Criminal Justice should contact the Criminal Justice Advisement Center located on the second floor of the George J. Beto Criminal Justice Center at 816 17th Street, Huntsville, TX  77340.  Telephone: (936) 294-1702.

Second Degree

Any student with a completed baccalaureate degree from Sam Houston State University or any other regionally accredited institution may earn a second baccalaureate degree differing in basic academic subject area and concentration from the first degree earned by completing the following requirements:

  • A minimum of an additional 30 semester credit hours in residence above the total hours required for the first degree, of which 24 must be advanced hours
  • Any additional requirements of the department and college approving the respective degree plan
  • All other University requirements for the degree sought
  • Completing two majors under the same baccalaureate program in the same term, does not constitute a second degree
  • With academic chair and dean approval, a student might be permitted to pursue a second degree with a major in the same discipline as a previously awarded minor.

University Academic Policy Manual and Student Guidelines

Sam Houston State University’s Academic Policy Manual and Student Guidelines provide specific information pertaining to the educational procedures of the University and student conduct. Copies of these publications may be viewed at the Reference Desk in the Newton Gresham Library or online.