Institutional Mission Statement

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

University Mission

Sam Houston State University provides high quality education, scholarship and service to qualified students for the benefit of regional, state, national, and international constituencies.

University Vision

Best at Educating the Texas Workforce:

  • Excellence in academics
  • Effective in student success
  • Efficient in operations
  • Loyal to traditions
  • Dedicated to innovation

University Goals

  • Foster a lifelong learning environment in support of a diverse faculty and staff who are excellent scholars, educators, and professionals.

  • Promote a stimulating learning environment through the integration of academic settings, campus culture, and service.

  • Increase and develop university resources and infrastructures that support the intellectual transformation of students.

  • Enhance marketing outreach and visibility to include academic and scholarly activities through consistent and integrated messaging while optimizing communication channels.

  • Promote efficient data driven decision making through the integration of centralized data analysis, review, and dissemination.

  • Cultivate a continually sensitive and proactive response to the ever-changing needs of our constituents.


Sam Houston State University, located in Huntsville, Texas, is a member of The Texas State University System. The school was created by the Texas Legislature in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute to educate teachers for the public schools of Texas. The baccalaureate degree was first awarded in 1919.

In 1923, the institution’s name was changed to Sam Houston State Teachers College. Two years later, the college was admitted to membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as an accredited institution of higher learning. A graduate degree was authorized in 1936, and the curriculum was expanded to emphasize preparation in a variety of fields.

Following World War II, an increase in students and faculty as well as a wide range of faculty-research activities provided impetus for the continued emergence of a multi-purpose institution. In recognition of these developments, the institution’s name was changed by the Texas Legislature to Sam Houston State College in 1965. The number of graduate degrees conferred increased significantly in the late 1960s; and the Texas Legislature, recognizing the changes that had taken place, changed the name of the institution to Sam Houston State University in 1969.

In the 1970s, the University was granted permission to offer its first doctorate, a PhD in criminal justice. This program grew to be one of the largest and most recognized doctoral programs in the country. In the 1980s and 1990s, the University completed a number of academic, athletic, and support facilities. With the improvement of faculty and facilities, the University set a vision to become one of the best regional universities in the country.

During the last five years of the twentieth century, the University expanded its reach by offering programs online, at The Woodlands in a multi-institutional teaching center, and various other off-campus sites. Beginning in 2000, the University expanded its building program and committed resources to develop and maintain nationally-recognized academic support programs. Sam Houston State University increased the number of doctoral programs, including programs in education and psychology, and experienced a tremendous surge in enrollment and name recognition.

Currently Sam Houston State University is organized academically into seven colleges: Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education, Fine Arts and Mass Communication, Health Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Sciences. Students are offered an extensive range of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as doctorates in selected areas. The faculty and the University are recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally.