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

Application for a Degree

All students must submit a formal application to the Registrar’s Office prior to graduation. Students who are enrolled in all coursework required to complete the degree and are not short more than 9 grade points in major, minor, overall, or in their SH GPA will be permitted to participate in the commencement ceremony if application for degree has been completed.

Application Deadlines

  • Students graduating in either a fall or spring term must submit the Application for Degree prior to the 12th class day of their graduating semester.
  • Students graduating in summer must submit the Application for Degree prior to the 4th class day of the first summer session. The exact deadline dates for Applications for Degree will be available in the Academic Calendar.

Cost to Apply for Graduation

The graduation application fee must be paid at the time of application. A student filing a degree application after the published deadline will be assessed an additional late fee.

  • The fee for students who apply by the published deadline is $35.00.
  • The fee for students who apply after the published deadline is $60.00.
    Applications for Degree must be received prior to the commencement ceremony in order to have a degree posted within that term.
    A student who is completing the last semester of coursework at an institution other than the University must notify the Registrar’s Office upon submission of Application for Degree and provide the Undergraduate Admissions Office with an official transcript of this coursework by the grade deadline date for Sam Houston State University as published in the Academic Calendar.

Application for Tuition Rebate

A tuition rebate program was created by Senate Bill 1907, 75th Texas Legislature, and is authorized by the Texas Education Code.

The purpose of this program is to provide tuition rebates that will provide a financial incentive for students to prepare for university studies while completing their high school work, avail themselves of academic counseling, make early career decisions, and complete their baccalaureate studies with as few extraneous courses as possible. Minimizing the number of courses taken by students results in financial savings to students, parents, and the state.

Students are required to apply for the rebate during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Applications are available online.

Graduation with Special Recognition

Special recognition at graduation is provided to undergraduate students who compile outstanding academic records. Those graduates who have achieved undergraduate academic excellence at the University receive a gold cord at graduation to reflect this achievement. The gold cord indicates one of the following academic achievements: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, Cum Laude, with Academic Distinction, or with Honors (Honors College).

Degrees conferred Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude reflect an outstanding grade point average with a minimum of 30 semester hours earned in residence at Sam Houston State University, with not fewer than 24 hours being advanced course work. To qualify for these honors, students must meet the GPA requirements in both the SHSU and overall (transfer and SHSU combined) GPA. The distinction and corresponding grade point averages are:

  • Cum Laude—3.50 to 3.66;
  • Magna Cum Laude—3.67 to 3.85;
  • Summa Cum Laude—3.86 to 4.00.

The department Academic Distinction Program is an individualized learning experience available to outstanding students at Sam Houston State University. An Academic Distinction Program project provides qualified students with a comprehensive introduction to meaningful research under the guidance of a designated faculty advisor. (See Academic Distinction Program)

Participation in the Honors Program at Sam Houston State University is based on a competitive selection process, and provides outstanding academic opportunities, and distinct undergraduate college experiences. Upon successful completion of the Honors Program (twenty-four semester hours of Honors courses including two special seminars) the student’s academic transcript will indicate graduation “With Honors” and the student may wear an Honors medallion provided by the Honors College with academic regalia. To be designated as having graduated “With Highest Honors” the student must also successfully complete a special senior project involving original research and/or an effort of creative expression.

Academic Distinction Program

An enriched program is offered to superior students at Sam Houston State University, culminating in the student receiving a diploma designating that the degree is being conferred “With Academic Distinction” in a field of specialization. The program consists of six hours of individual work on a project under the guidance of a designated faculty member. To qualify for Academic Distinction, the student must enroll for six (6) semester hours of credit in a department Academic Distinction program, and the student must have the following qualifications:

  1. be of junior standing (60 semester hours or more) or written approval of the chair of the major department or the discipline in which academic distinction is sought,
  2. have a Sam Houston State University grade point average of not less than 3.25,
  3. have a grade point average of at least 3.5 on all courses taken in the major field, and
  4. have the written approval of the department chair, the Director of the Honors Program, and the Academic Dean.

The six additional semester credit hours of department Academic Distinction Program coursework will be completed in addition to the standard requirements within the major field and may not be taken in lieu of any requirements in the major field.

Graduate Studies

The graduate programs at Sam Houston State University offer advanced and specialized study to those who aspire to become intellectual leaders in the professions and in various fields of teaching and research. The University provides graduate students the opportunity to pursue individual educational programs through carefully directed intellectual activity. Above all, Sam Houston State University offers graduate education that is both professional and personal. Masters and doctoral degree programs are available at Sam Houston State University. A list of graduate degree programs is located in the “Degrees Offered” section of this catalog or may be accessed at . Students should contact the appropriate department or college housing the degree program for more information on availability of scholarships and graduate assistantships.