Student Support Services

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

Alumni Relations and Development

The SHSU Alumni Association exists to support and promote the University and represent the interest of over 130,000 alumni and friends. The alumni program is an important part of an integrated advancement effort to communicate with graduates and former students and engage them with the university.

Located in the John R. Ragsdale Visitor & Alumni Center, the role of Alumni Relations has expanded significantly, becoming an integral part of the University campus community while serving as a bridge to both local and national communities.   The Alumni Association’s programs and activities are developed and planned in consultation with an alumni board of directors.

The Association sponsors Distinguished Alumni, Young Alumni and Service Awards, the Life Member Celebration, Founders Day, Homecoming, tailgate parties, regional alumni clubs and gatherings, newsletters, scholarships, student programs, and the official university class ring program. It provides opportunities for alumni to participate in community service projects, raising scholarship funds, legislative advocacy, and joining with other graduates in alumni activities across the country.

The University must increasingly rely on private giving from its alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to close the gap between what tuition, fees and state support provide and what is essential to offer programs of quality. The Annual Fund is an ongoing program to secure recurring contributions from alumni and friends. More than 11,000 alumni and other friends contribute to the University’s scholarships, colleges, departments, and other programs. 

Donors may make a gift using a credit card by going online to .  Alumni Association membership is open to all graduates, former students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends of Sam Houston State.  For additional information, please call (936) 294-1841 or visit Alumni Association . For information about providing support for the University through an annual, major, or planned gift, please contact

University Advancement
Box 2537
Huntsville, TX 77341-2537
(936) 294-3625


Competing at a high level in 17 NCAA Division I sports, Sam Houston State University brings the fun and excitement of intercollegiate athletics to the Huntsville campus.

The Bearkats have become a fixture on national television sports networks including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, CBS Fox Sports and Comcast.

Sam Houston competes as a member of the Southland Conference. The Bearkats have won 46 league championships since joining the league in 1988. The Kats have represented the league in NCAA Division I post-season play 28 times. Recent successes have included five consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division I Football Championship semifinals. Sam Houston played in the football championship finals in 2011 and 2012.

The Bearkat women’s bowling team brought Sam Houston its first NCAA Division I national championship with a victory over Nebraska in 2014. The baseball team has earned NCAA regional playoff berths three of the last four years.

With 32 Southland Conference championships since 2000, Sam Houston stands as the only team in league history to win SLC Commissioner’s Cup trophies three years in a row and is the only current member to earn the league’s all-sports title five times. The trophy is awarded annually to the overall athletic program ranked as the best in the league.

The Bearkats play a nationally competitive schedule in all sports with games against top teams from the Big 12 and SEC including Texas A&M, Baylor, Texas, LSU and Arkansas.

Each of the past six seasons, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin have played their annual “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry game at NRG Stadium in Houston, putting more than 25,000 fans in the seats at the NFL Texans’ venue annually.

Men’s intercollegiate sports at Sam Houston include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field. Women’s sports are basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.

Sam Houston student-athletes are just as successful in the class room as on the playing field. The overall grade point average for the more than 400 Bearkat student-athletes annually is a mark higher than the general student population at the university. Seven of the last eight semesters, the department’s GPA has been 3.0 or higher including a record 3.22 GPA in the fall semester of 2015.

Bearkats have been recognized as the outstanding student-athlete in their individual sports by receiving the Southland “Student-Athlete of the Year” award 23 times in the past nine years.

Sam Houston boasts one of the finest athletic complexes in the Southwest. Home athletic events are held at Elliott T. Bowers Stadium (football), Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum (basketball, volleyball), Don Sanders Stadium (baseball), Bearkat Softball Complex (softball), Meredith and Miriam York Track and Field Center (track and field), McAdams Tennis Center (tennis), Joseph Pritchett Field (soccer) and the Ron Randleman Strength and Fitness Center.

Recent additions to the athletic facilities include state-of-the-art video/scoreboards at football, basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball games. Each of the athletic venues is located on campus within walking distance of any of the residence halls.

Sam Houston students are admitted to all home regular season athletic events on presentation of a current and valid Bearkat OneCard. Simply swipe your Bearkat OneCard at the designated student gates the day of the event for admission. Bearkat OneCards must be active and you must be currently enrolled.

News, schedules, ticket information and opportunities to watch live video of Bearkat sports events are available on the SHSU athletic web site .

Bearkat OneCard Services

The Bearkat OneCard is the official ID card of Sam Houston State University. The OneCard is an all-in-one student ID which has been designed to be an efficient, multi-purpose card.  It provides students easy access to University facilities and services. To ensure campus security, it is required that all students obtain and activate a Bearkat OneCard for campus identification.

The Bearkat OneCard is required for:

  • Meal Plans
  • Bearkat Bucks (on-campus dining dollars)
  • Assigned Residence Hall
  • Entrance to Athletic Events
  • University Sponsored Functions
  • Recreational Sports Facility
  • Kat Klub
  • Newton Gresham Library Services
  • Managing Refund Preferences
  • Managing Student Payroll Preferences
  • Raven’s Nest Golf Course
  • University Health Center Services
  • Bursar’s Office
  • Financial Aid Office
  • SAM Center (Student Advising)
  • Career Services
  • Campus Departmental Identification

To obtain a Bearkat OneCard students MUST:

  • Have a photo taken in the Bearkat OneCard Office or request your OneCard online at .  It is mandatory to present a valid state or government issued photo ID in order to request a Bearkat OneCard.
  • Have a valid and current address on file with the University.
  • Be currently registered for classes.

Once these steps have been completed, the Bearkat OneCard will be mailed to the current address on file with the University.   Upon receipt, the OneCard must be activated at for on-campus usage.   Students will also select a refund and payroll preference when activating their OneCard online.  Students have the following options for receiving refunds and payroll:

  • Electronic deposit to an existing checking or savings account
  • Electronic deposit to the OneAccount

Note – Refund and Payroll preferences may be different. 

The OneAccount is an optional, non-interest bearing, internet-only, FDIC-insured checking account linked to the Bearkat OneCard. The OneAccount has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fee for students.  The Bearkat OneCard can be used as a DEBIT Mastercard if the OneAccount is opened and funds are deposited into the account. Students may choose to open the OneAccount when activating their OneCard; however, students are not required to open this optional account.   

The Bearkat OneCard Services staff provides assistance in taking ID photos, activating cards, and providing information related to student refund and payroll disbursements. The Bearkat OneCard office also provides passport photos to all faculty, staff, and students free of charge.  For more information, please visit our office in the Estill Building, Suite 230, contact us by phone at (936) 294-2273, or visit .

Career Services

The Career Services staff assists students and graduates of Sam Houston State University in their search for employment appropriate to their interests, skills, academic preparation, and personal aspirations. Opportunities and resources are provided to assist students in learning and implementing the life-long process of career exploration, career choice and ultimately, obtaining rewarding employment.

Specific services include:

  • Career Assessments
  • Career Counseling
  • JOBS for KATS (Student Employment Opportunities, Internship, Part-time and Full-time Job Postings, Resume Referrals, Resume Creator and InterviewStream®)
  • Resume and Cover Letter Writing Assistance
  • Mock Interviews
  • Career/Employer Information Resources and Computer Lab
  • Career-Related Workshops and Programs
  • Campus Interviews with Company Recruiters
  • Job Fairs

The Career Services office sponsors special events such as the annual Junior/Senior Etiquette Dinner and numerous job fairs such as the Career Expo held each fall semester, the Teacher Job Fair (fall and spring semesters), the Summer Camp Job Fair, the Agricultural and Industrial Sciences Job Fair, and the Criminal Justice Job Fair. As a member school in the Houston Area Consortium of Career Centers, SHSU Career Services also participates in the Texas Job Fair which attracts a large number of Houston-area employers each spring.

The Career Services department provides free career-related resources such as career magazines, brochures, literature from employers, and informational hand-outs.  Career Services is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located in the AB4 Building, Suite 210. Career Services has an office at The Woodlands Center in the Student Services Office to assist students with their career-related needs at that location.  We also provide a full array of services to alumni and to SHSU Online students. Further information may be obtained by calling (936) 294-1713, emailing, or by visiting Career Services .

Student Employment

On-campus Work Study and Non-Work Study jobs are posted on Career Services’ JOBS for KATS . Additional information about student employment opportunities may be obtained by visiting Career Services , located in the AB4 Building, Suite 210, emailing, or by calling (936) 294-1713. Career Services is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education offers non-credit courses for personal and professional development. Courses include allied health certification courses, introduction to various computer software, conversational Spanish, real estate, paralegal, instant piano, and much more. Numerous online courses covering a variety of subjects are also available for career purposes or just for fun.  For more information, telephone (936) 294-4568 or visit Continuing Education .

Counseling Center

Counseling Services

The Counseling Center provides a variety of services to enhance student learning and assists students in achieving their academic goals. The Center is staffed by psychologists, post-doctoral residents, and graduate trainees who provide a confidential setting where students can freely discuss their concerns. The typical range of services provided includes individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, consultation, and outreach/preventive education presentations. Staff members are available to assist students in crisis situations on short notice. Common issues that bring students to the Counseling Center include adjustment problems, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties, self-esteem, stress management, and many others. Services are also available for international students who may request assistance in adjusting to life at an American university. In addition to individual counseling, the Counseling Center offers a number of therapy and support groups including Understanding Self and Others, Mindfulness, LGBT Support Group, Guy's Group, Sister to Sister, Survivors of Sexual Assault Support Group, and Coping Skills. All of the services the Counseling Center provides are free and confidential.  

The Counseling Center is located on the second floor of the Powell Student Health and Counseling Center, conveniently located next to Old Main Market. To make an appointment, visit or call (936) 294-1720. The Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with additional evening hours during the Fall and Spring semesters.  For more information, visit the Counseling Center's wesite .

Dean of Students’ Office

Through leadership, programs, and policy development, the Dean of Students’ Office contributes to the overall intellectual, social, and personal development of the students. The Dean of Students’ Office represents student needs to the University administration, faculty, and departments and also transmits needs of these groups to the students. This Office assists students who have questions about any phase of campus life. In an effort to promote individual group development of students, the office co-sponsors educational programs and leadership development workshops.

The professional staff is responsible for the administration of a number of policies and procedures found in Student Guidelines, the student handbook. These include student conduct and judicial processes and certain provisions of the Family Rights and Privacy Act. 

In addition, the Office is responsible for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; the Freshman Leadership Program; Orange Keys Program; The Raven’s Call; University Parking Appeals; Alpha Lambda Delta, a freshman Honor society; The Parent Relations Office; advising the Parents’ Association; Bearkat Family Weekend; advising the Student Government Association; the Students of Concern Team; Ask The Raven; The Online Mentoring and Guidance (OMG) Program; and Greek Life.

The Dean of Students’ Office is located in the Lowman Student Center Suite #215, telephone (936) 294-1785. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday. Other times may be scheduled by appointment.

General Conduct And Campus Regulations

It is expected that all Sam Houston State University students are on campus for serious educational pursuits and that they will conduct themselves so as to preserve an appropriate atmosphere of learning. It is also expected that all students who enroll at Sam Houston State University agree to assume the responsibilities of citizenship in the campus community. While enrolled, students are subject to University authority, which includes the prerogative of dismissing those whose conduct, is not within the aims and policies of the University. Students are responsible for abiding by all published University rules and regulations as printed in this catalog; in the student handbook, Student Guidelines; and in other official University publications. Failure to read these publications will not excuse the student from the requirements and regulations described therein. In addition, students should be familiar with House Bill 141 of the 61st Legislature on Disruptive Activities and Senate Bill 24 of the 70th Legislature on Hazing, extracts of which can be found in Student Guidelines.

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association exists for the sole purpose of serving the student community. It is the political voice and liaison for the student body. The University recognizes the need and worthwhile contribution of student input in all facets of the University decision-making processes. The Student Government Association has long been active in this regard and has worked for the betterment of student life and academic quality. The student body participates in the development and management of a well-rounded program of student activities by electing the Student Government Association officers and Student Senators. 

Open meetings are conducted each Tuesday night. Students are encouraged to participate in their student government. Copies of the Student Government Association constitution and other information may be obtained from the Student Government Association Office , which is located in the Lowman Student Center Suite #326. Please call (936) 294-1

Health Center

The Student Health Center, located at the corner of Avenue J and Bearkat Boulevard, provides comprehensive routine health services and education to currently enrolled students. The Health Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays during the fall and spring semesters. The Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the summer. The Health Center sees patients by appointment.

The Health Center is equipped with an in-house dental clinic, travel and immunization nursing clinic, women’s health center, pharmacy, and laboratory providing convenient and affordable access to routine healthcare services.

The cost of office visits are covered by the Medical Service Fee paid at the time of registration. Fees are charged for laboratory tests, prescription drugs, and certain procedures. These charges are placed on the student’s bursar account and are expected to be paid once posted. However, these charges are at discount rates that are often below the market rate.

In addition to medical services, the Health Center offers health education, prevention programs, and general health information. Students with questions about any health issue are encouraged to contact the Health Center.

The Health Center prides itself in its accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  Accreditation means that the department’s operations meet or exceed rigorous standards of quality.

In the case of on-campus medical emergencies, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should be called. Persons experiencing a serious or potentially life threatening medical condition should seek medical attention at Huntsville Memorial Hospital.

Information regarding student health insurance is available through the Health Center. The student policy is mandatory for international students. Please visit the Health Center or call (936) 294-1805 to set up an appointment. For dental clinic inquiries, contact (936) 207-8472.

International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) promotes and coordinates international activities at Sam Houston State University, including the recruitment and retention of international students and study and travel abroad of SHSU faculty and students. OIP is the primary contact for international students at the University, and the staff provides assistance and information to international visitors. 

Active in the recruitment of international students and scholars to the University, the OIP staff assists with immigration rules and regulations for international students and scholars. This office also provides various support services for international students such as initial airport arrival transportation, cultural and social field trips, and activities-both on campus and off campus.

Sam Houston State University offers opportunities for study on exchange programs and faculty-led programs in numerous countries across the globe. In addition, the university is affiliated with 6 of the country’s top Study Abroad providers, allowing students to participate in a wide variety of study abroad programs while utilizing their financial aid. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. 

Visit or call the Office of International Programs in Farrington Building, Room 116, telephone (936) 294-4737.

Mail address:
International Programs
1908 Avenue J (SHSU Box 2150)
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341-2150

James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

Opened in fall 2010, the Gaertner Performing Arts Center is a showcase for artistic talent and creative works, serving the community and the region. It serves as a world-class academic facility for students in The College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication.

James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Features

  • 800-seat concert hall
  • 175-seat Recital hall
  • 150-seat dance theatre
  • Outdoor performance space
  • Dance studios
  • Practice rooms
  • Dressing rooms
  • Audition areas
  • Scene shop for set construction
  • Costume shop
  • More than 90,000 square feet of total space

Public Art in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

The central lobby of the Gaertner Performing Arts Center showcases original public art by internationally known artists and sculptors. Seven installations were commissioned for the building by Joe Akers, Kathleen Ash, Rebecca Finley, Jason Lawson, Jesús Morales and Tim Prentice and Charles Pebworth.

Events in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

The extensive events calendar for this spectacular performance space and for the College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication in general can be accessed at College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication .

Mailing Address:
College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication
Sam Houston State University
PO Box 2209
Huntsville, TX 77341

Physical Address:
James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center
College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication
1900 Avenue I; Suite 200
Huntsville, TX 77340

Lowman Student Center

The Lowman Student Center (LSC) proudly serves as SHSU's campus Living Room!  Students may consider joining one of the many organizations that meet in the LSC. By getting involved and connected, students may find the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests, make new friends, and gain valuable leadership experiences.

The Lowman Student Center is home to:

  • University Bookstore
  • Several Dining Options
  • Information Center
  • Student Art Gallery
  • Kat Klub Entertainment Center
  • Area's Premiere Ballroom
  • 360-seat Theater
  • 16 Conference Rooms

NOTE: In addition the LSC offers wireless computer access throughout the building, computer work stations, and an ATM.   

For additional information, visit the Lowman Student Center or contact the staff at (936) 294-1759.

Mission of the Lowman Student Center

The mission of the Lowman Student Center is to provide an inclusive environment where students, faculty, staff, and guests can gather to participate and learn through developmental experience and to create an atmosphere that fosters a sense of community.

The staff of the Lowman Student Center ascribes to the ethical standards of the Association of College Unions International as stated in the Code of Ethics.

Museum, Sam Houston Memorial

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum, established in 1936 as a Texas centennial project, is an integral part of Sam Houston State University and is dedicated to preserving the memory of General Sam Houston (1793-1863). A soldier, statesman and politician, the only man to serve as governor of two states and president of an independent republic, Sam Houston led the fight for Texas’ independence and then served Texas as President, U.S. Senator, and Governor. Located on fifteen acres, the museum complex preserves three fully furnished original Houston buildings - Woodland Home, Steamboat House, and Law Office - as well as a kitchen, blacksmith shop, and Guerrant and Bear Bend log cabins.

The Memorial Museum Building houses the major collection of Houston memorabilia and exhibits. The Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center is named for a distinguished alumnus of Sam Houston State University and his wife, and provides auditorium, classroom, and meeting spaces, including the W. S. Gibbs Conference Hall, as well as a gallery for traveling exhibits. The ‘Wigwam Neosho,’ the museum store and gift shop, is housed in a large log building on the Museum grounds. The museum offers many educational opportunities for Sam Houston State University students. These include semester- and year-long internships, with both undergraduate and graduate exploring a variety of museum study options. We also provide several part-time student jobs, tours, and research and writing programs using archives, manuscripts, and artifacts. Numerous lectures, symposia, and workshops are offered throughout the year, many carrying academic credit. Classes as diverse as history, biology, political science, and art use the Museum and grounds as a laboratory, studio and classroom.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality services of museum visitors.

The museum complex is located at the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and 19th Street and can be reached by calling (936) 294-1832 or by visiting Sam Houston Memorial Museum .

Office of Students’ Legal & Mediation Services


We serve SHSU students by providing them with high-quality legal advice and equipping them with techniques to resolve disputes so they can focus on their educational goals.

Legal Services

Our full-time attorney is available to advise and counsel students on legal issues that they face. Meetings between a student and the attorney are confidential, as allowed by law. While our attorney does not represent students in court, the attorney can help the students better understand their legal issues, rights and responsibilities, guide students through the legal procedures that they may face, and assist students to productively and proactively deal with their legal situation.

Types of Legal Issues

SLMS can assist students with many types of legal issues, including, but not limited to:

  • Rental Agreements and Issues with Landlords
  • Contract Drafting and Review
  • Business Formation
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Divorces and Name Changes
  • Real Estate
  • Demand Letters
  • Consumer Protection
  • Expunctions and Orders of Nondisclosure
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property
  • Debt Collection Practices
  • Employment-related issues

Mediation & Conflict Resolution Training

SLMS also provides free mediation services and conflict resolution training. When people are in conflict, a neutral person—the mediator—can help the parties understand the cause of the conflict and help them develop creative solutions to resolve the conflict. SLMS has a trained mediator who can help students resolve their conflicts constructively, timely, and confidentially. We've helped students in roommate disputes, family conflicts, and conflicts between groups.


Because SLMS is supported by student fees, there is no cost for a consultation with the attorney or the mediator.

Location & Making Appointments

SLMS is located in the Lowman Student Center , Suite 330. Consultations are by appointment. Students may make an appointment with the attorney by calling (936) 294-1717 or online at .

Speaker for Student Groups

SLMS is also available to speak to student groups and organizations on legal and conflict resolution topics. Please call (936) 294-1717 to learn more about having us speak to your group. 

Conflicts of Interest

Because of conflicts of interests, SLMS is unable to offer legal advice in disputes between Sam Houston State University students or disputes between a student and the University, but our office can refer you to a private attorney.

Press & Copy Center, Sam Houston

Sam Houston Press & Copy Center is the University’s in-house printing and copying facility.  Copying, binding, faxing, and printing services are offered to students, student organizations, faculty, and departments at Sam Houston State University.

Sam Houston Press & Copy Center is located on the first floor of the Thomason Building. The facility is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information or to arrange an appointment for placing an order, please, call (936) 294-1856.

Public Safety Services, University Police, and Parking & Transportation Office

University Police Officers are licensed peace officers as defined under the laws of the State of Texas and thereby have the authority of peace officers. Their primary jurisdiction, under H.B. 391, includes all counties in which property is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise under the control of Sam Houston State University.

The University Police Officers subscribe to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, a portion of which reads, “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all citizens to liberty, equality, and justice.” In this endeavor, the University Police earnestly solicit the support of the faculty/staff and students. Many officers are students thus providing a balance within Public Safety Services from a student’s perspective.

In addition to University regulations, all the general and criminal laws of the State and the United States are declared to be in full force and effect within the properties of Sam Houston State University. All persons are responsible for compliance with these laws. 

All thefts, vehicle accidents, or other offenses that occur on campus should be reported immediately to the University Police. The Charles W. Tackett University Police Building is located at 2424 Sam Houston Avenue (Sam South Complex) —Telephone Number (936) 294-1800. Police Officers are on duty 24 hours every day. The business office hours are 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Campus Safety. Sam Houston State University offers a variety of services to promote a safe campus environment. The campus is equipped with emergency call boxes stationed at strategic locations throughout the campus to include parking lots, walkways, and residence halls. Additionally, the University Police provide staff to escort students not wishing to walk alone at night to and from campus buildings and parking lots. Students wishing to learn more about personal safety and self defense may take advantage of programs offered by the University Police Department. For more information, call (936) 294-1800 (Emergency 936-294-1000).

Parking & Transportation

Parking.  Students, full - or part-time, who operate or expect to operate a motor vehicle, motor cycle, or motor-assisted cycle on University property, regularly or occasionally, are REQUIRED to register the vehicle with the Department of Public Safety Services and obtain an electronic parking permission assigning a designated area of parking.  The University reserves the right to require proof of ownership of the vehicle being registered.  Parking and Traffic Regulations and Information governing the operation of motor vehicles is issued via internet hyperlink at the time of the electronic parking permission purchase and is available for download or view from .  Failure to read the regulations is not an excuse for failure to comply with the university parking rules and regulations.  Vehicles found in violation are subject to applicable fines as well as tow and impound.

Recreational Sports and Activities Program

The Mission of the Department of Recreational Sports and Activities is to advance and enrich the collegiate experience.  The friendships, leadership, and well-being skills established through involvement in sport and recreation can be some of the most valuable parts of the college experience.  Studies have even shown that students who participate in campus recreation often have better grades.


Facilities managed by the Department of Recreational Sports include:

  • the Recreational Sports Center (RSC)
  • the Health and Kinesiology Center (HKC)
  • Johnson Coliseum
  • the McAdams Tennis Complex
  • the Pritchett Field Sports Complex
  • three Intramural Sports Fields
  • Sand Volleyball Courts
  • the University Camp.

The RSC houses a 34’ climbing wall with bouldering area, a 10,000 square-foot weight room with a cardio area, several multipurpose and fitness rooms, as well as an outdoor heated swimming pool. The HKC is shared with the Health and Kinesiology academic program and offers four basketball courts, two multi-purpose rooms, an 1/8-mile indoor running track, ten racquetball courts, and a supplemental weight room. You can register for all Intramural Sports and Bearkat Camp in the HKC office. Adjacent to the RSC/HKC are the three Intramural Sports Fields and Sand Volleyball courts.  These are utilized for Intramurals, Informal Recreation, and Special Events. Just up the road is the McAdams Tennis Complex, an outdoor tennis venue with eight tennis courts. Johnson Coliseum, located directly across from the RSC and HKC, seats 6,094 people and hosts over 90 large-scale events each year. Sammypalooza, Bearkat Breakout, the SHSU Comedy Showcase, Varsity Basketball and Volleyball are just some of the events you can attend there. The newly-renovated Pritchett Field Sports Complex, home to our Recreational Sports Clubs, includes two athletic fields (one grass and one turf) and an outdoor running track.


As a student, you’ll enjoy the Informal Recreational program by participating in self-directed activities such as drop-in basketball, weight-lifting, cardio, racquetball, or swimming. The seasonally heated 182,000 gallon pool has four 25-yard lap lanes and a leisure area which can be used for water sports or merely relaxing in the sun. The Fitness Program offers comprehensive wellness programming for the Bearkat community. Programs include group fitness classes, yoga, personal training, as well as fitness and well-being events such as Celebrate EveryBODY Week. Instructor Training and development is also available. The Intramural Sports program offers a variety of team, dual, and individual activities with both competitive and recreational divisions. The Club Sports program consists of recognized student organizations established to promote and develop common sport- and/or recreation-related interests. Each of our 35 active clubs are organized, managed, and currently maintained by volunteer student leaders. Outdoor Recreation is a multifaceted program consisting of six primary components; Trips, Workshops, the Climbing Center and bouldering area, equipment rental (tents, sleeping bags, kayaks, etc.), Bearkat Camp (a four day, three night experience for incoming freshmen), and the 345-acre University Camp and retreat center. The University Camp is a one-of-a-kind recreation and retreat facility located 15 minutes northeast of campus. Members of the SHSU community can spend a day canoeing on the water, fishing, hiking, biking, challenging themselves on the low or high-ropes courses, hosting a gathering in the dining hall, or just enjoying a picnic by the lake. Special Events are hosted by Recreational Sports throughout the year. Past activities have included Sammypalooza, a musical festival with multiple acts, Bearkat Breakout, the largest bouncy-house party ever, as well as Demo Days, Sweat the Stress week, and Earth Day activities. The department also provides numerous employment opportunities for students who are interested in part-time work. Over 200 student positions are filled annually in the areas of intramural officiating, facility supervision, aquatics, marketing, and fitness. Please refer to Jobs for Kats website for current and complete list of student work opportunities. For more information about any of these Recreational Sports activities, please stop by the administrative offices located on the first floor of the Recreation Complex, call (936) 294-1985, or visit .

Residence Life

Residence Halls

The Department of Residence Life operates about twenty-three residence halls, including an apartment complex for upperclassmen. Upon acceptance to the University, all students who are required to live on-campus their first year will be mailed a housing brochure. This brochure provides many details of the residence life program at Sam Houston State University, including information regarding specific residence halls, applicable rates, and some policies. Students can also visit Residence Life or call (936) 294-1812.

A person may not live in University housing unless enrolled in classes at SHSU for each particular semester.

Application for housing may be made via the website once the student has been accepted to SHSU. A deposit of $200 is required with the application for housing. Assignments are made on a space-available basis according to the date of deposit. The housing contract will be in effect and must be adhered to for the full academic year.

Should a student become unable to fulfill a reservation, a refund may be made under certain conditions. Please refer to the Housing Application/Contract Terms and Conditions for specific details regarding refunds which are determined by the date the cancellation is received. Students may pay for housing in full at registration or in an installment arrangement, in accordance with the policies set forth by the University Bursar.

University residence halls are closed during the academic breaks between semesters. Students who have a future reservation with SHSU may stay in the residence hall during these periods for an additional fee.

Bearkat Village Apartments

The University maintains two-bedroom, fully furnished apartments for upperclassmen. The apartments are located on Montgomery Road across from Bowers Stadium. All residents must be enrolled in the University.

First-year Students Required Housing And Meal Plan Policy

All students who have graduated from high school within the current or previous calendar year are required to reside in University housing and to purchase a meal plan for their first year, which will normally include the fall and spring semesters. For example, a May or June 2016 graduate will be required to reside on-campus Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. Anyone signing an academic year housing/meal plan contract will be required to fulfill the terms of that contract. Exceptions to the First-Year Required Housing and Meal Plan Policy may be made by the Department of Residence Life if:

  1. residence in University housing will impose a significant hardship, financial or otherwise; or
  2. the student is married and living with his/her spouse; or
  3. the student commutes from the home of his/her parents, grandparents, or a brother or sister within a 60 mile radius from the SHSU campus; or
  4. the student is a veteran of military service.

The student must provide documented evidence to warrant consideration for a waiver of this requirement. A denial of this request may be appealed to the Director for Residence Life Business Operations. Charges for both services will be added to the student’s account until approval for the waiver is obtained. Any student who does not comply with the above policy will be subject to disciplinary action as specified by the Code of Student Conduct as published in Student Guidelines.

Dining Service for Residential Students

All students (regardless of classification) who reside is the residence halls will be required to purchase a University Resident Meal Plan (All Access, 20 Meals per Week, or 15 Meals per Week). All of these meal plans include “Bearkat Bucks,” which can be used in lieu of cash at any food related establishment on campus. Meal plan contracts are valid for the entire academic year. Rates and additional information are available from the Department of Residence Life. Students who reside in Bearkat Village Apartments will not be required to purchase a Resident meal plan.

Dining Service for Non-Residential Students

Students who do not reside on campus have the option to purchase any meal plan available (All Access, 20 Meals per Week, or 15 Meals per Week, 90 Meals per Semester, 60 Meals per Semester, or 30 Meals per Semester). All of these meal plans include “Bearkat Bucks,” which can be used in lieu of cash at any food related establishment on campus. Meal plan contracts are valid for the entire academic year. Rates and additional information are available from the Department of Residence Life.   

Bearkat Bucks

Bearkat Bucks, welcome at any ARAMARK managed campus dining facility, is a declining balance account in which a minimum of $25 is deposited, and the cash price of food purchases is deducted from the balance. Money deposited in a students’ Bearkat Bucks can be used in lieu of cash at any food related establishment on campus. All purchases are non-refundable and any unused Bearkat Bucks will be lost at the completion of the 2nd summer session.

Summer Housing

The buildings that are open for summer school housing vary from year to year because of renovation and maintenance schedules. Assignments are made according to date of deposit.

Services for Students with Disabilities

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services for students with documented mental or physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.  To apply for services, students must register with SSD, participate in a disability intake, and submit current documentation from a qualified professional indicating the presence of a substantially limiting impairment.  Accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, as supported by the student’s documentation and educational needs.  For additional information on the SSD documentation guidelines, procedures for requesting services, and adaptive technologies available on the SHSU campus, students are encouraged to visit Services for Students with Disabilities or to contact the SSD Office at telephone (936) 294-3512, TDD (936) 294-3786, or email 

Student Money Management Center

The Student Money Management Center (SMMC) is a financial outreach and educational program administered by the Sam Houston State University Division of Student Services.

The mission of the Student Money Management Center is to empower the students of Sam Houston State University with the unbiased education and tools they need to achieve financial independence.

The goals of the Student Money Management Center outreach program are for students to:

  • Learn how to identify and track expenses during and after college;
  • Create a financial survival plan for college;
  • Graduate with a plan for repaying student loans and personal debt;
  • Locate external financial education resources;
  • Talk to trained professionals about personal financial decisions and issues in a confidential and comfortable environment;
  • Create a personalized budget for the upcoming semester or year at SHSU;
  • Learn how to obtain, interpret and understand a personal credit report; and
  • Understand employee benefit packages and retirement plans prior to accepting a career opportunity.

The Student Money Management Center offers financial literacy outreach to students in the form of seminars and workshops on a number of financial literacy topics, including but not limited to:

  • Budgeting
  • Good Credit vs. Bad Credit
  • How to be a Smart Shopper
  • Preventing Identity Theft
  • Saving Money
  • Setting Financial Goals

Personal Coaching

The Student Money Management Center also offers private, individualized financial coaching and planning sessions from certified professionals and peers. Through this financial literacy resource, SHSU students can learn how to gain and maintain financial independence. Coaching sessions with full-time staff members are by appointment only. Peer coaching walk-in hours are available daily and vary by semester. Please check the website for up-to-date walk-in availability hours as well as a variety of online resources.

For more information, visit the Student Money Management Center or contact 936-294-2600.

Student Services, Division of

The role of the Division of Student Services is to complement the total educational mission of the University by providing opportunities for students to develop and grow in an academic environment. This is accomplished by offering quality programs and emphasizing the holistic approach in co-curriculum involvement. Studies indicate that learning occurs in an environment conducive to social, recreational, educational, and intellectual interaction. A variety of student service programs are designed to foster such interaction with students, faculty, staff, and the University community. The goal of the division is to contribute to the learning experiences of SHSU students, helping them to become educated, enlightened, and empowered in ways that they can achieve and contribute as productive citizens in their college, community, and country.

The Office of the Vice President for Student Services provides administrative leadership, supervision, and coordination for the Division of Student Services. The division includes the following departments: Bearkat OneCard Services; Student Money Management Center; Counseling and Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD); Dean of Students’ Office; Health Services; Lowman Student Center; Student Activities; Recreational Sports and Activities,  Residence Life and Students’ Legal and Mediation Services and Title IX Administration. For more information, visit the website at .

Veterans Resource Center

The Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is available to assist students with Veterans Affairs (VA) educational and Hazlewood benefits.  Our office is located in Academic Building III, Suite 116.

Types of VA Educational Benefits:

Chapter 30 - Montgomery

Chapter 31 - Vocational Rehabilitation

Chapter 33 - Post 9/11 GI Bill

Chapter 35 - Dependent Educational Assistance

Chapter 1606 – Reservist

Chapter 1607 – Activated Reservist

Hazlewood Act

The Hazlewood Act is a State of Texas benefit that provides qualified Veterans, spouses, and dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at public institutions of higher education in Texas. This does not include living expenses, books, or supply fees.

If you would like to apply for one of the VA benefits or Hazlewood Act please contact us at
(936) 294-1046, or by email at

VetSuccess Counselor

SHSU houses one VA VetSuccess Counselor on its campus. If you are a veteran, active duty military or an eligible family member who attends or plans to attend SHSU, please call or come by to meet with our VetSuccess on Campus Counselor.

SHSU VetSuccess on Campus counselor can help you:

  • Manage your education benefits
  • Explore vocations and select a suitable major/career
  • Elect your healthcare benefits with Veterans Healthcare Administration
  • Access, understand and apply for VA benefits (e.g., Disability Compensation, Life Insurance, Education, Home Loan Guaranty, and Vocational Rehabilitation)
  • Get referrals for medical and mental health care
  • Get referrals for readjustment counseling services for eligible veterans and their families
  • Coordinate with school faculty/staff to provide veteran-specific services (e.g., VA Certifying Official, Career Center, Student Disabilities Services, Counseling Center)
  • Find job placement assistance and coordinate with Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) and Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Programs (DVOP)
  • Locate community and other resources

Your VetSuccess on Campus Counselor

Roberta Ardoin, MHS, CRC
ABIII Suite 116

Visitor Center

Located in the John R. Ragsdale Visitor & Alumni Center, the Sam Houston State University Visitor Center is the welcoming point of the University. Visitors are encouraged to register at the Center upon arrival to campus to ensure the maximum benefit of their visit. Please contact the Center to:

  • Schedule a tour of the campus
  • Obtain departmental brochures to assist in educational planning
  • Register for Saturdays@Sam Campus Preview Day

The Visitor Center, located at the Bowers Boulevard entrance to campus, is housed with the Office of Alumni Relations. Visitors can enjoy showcased SHSU alumni success stories, university history, and view the university’s “story” on video in the state-of-the-art theater.

Saturdays@Sam campus preview days are held in the fall and spring of each year for prospective students, parents, and guests. For more information, please contact the Visitor Center at (936) 294-1844 or visit .