This is an archived copy of the 2023-2024 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Application for Graduation

Students must submit their online application for graduation in the term of degree completion. Degree candidates enrolled in all coursework required to complete the degree who also meet the required major, minor, and overall grade point averages are permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony. The application for graduation is required for degree awarding within a term and must be submitted by the pre-set graduation application deadlines from the Academic Calendar. (See graduation application deadlines section below.)

Students who fail to submit the application for graduation to the Registrar’s Office within the term of degree completion may submit an application for graduation for a subsequent term. For these students, the degree will be awarded pending all degree requirements are completed.

Graduation Application Deadlines

  • Students graduating in either a fall or spring term must submit the application for graduation prior to the 12th class day of their graduating semester.
  • Students graduating in summer must submit the application for graduation prior to the 4th class day of the first summer session. The exact application deadline dates for current terms are available in the Academic Calendar.

Graduation Application Fee

The graduation application fee must be paid at the time of application. A student filing a graduation application after the published deadline will be assessed a late fee. The graduation application fees listed below are subject to change. Please, be sure to visit the Office of the Registrar for the most up-to-date fees.

  • The fee for students who apply by the published deadline is $50.00.
  • The fee for students who apply after the published deadline is $80.00.

Applications for graduation must be received prior to the graduation ceremony to have a degree posted within that term. The application fee does not roll forward to future terms; re-application and payment of fee will be required again for students who do not meet degree requirements in the term of graduation application.

Transferring Courses in Term of Graduation

Completing final degree required courses at a transfer institution in the term of expected graduation is highly discouraged. The SH final grade deadline may not align with other institutions. Regardless, the SH final grade deadline must be adhered to have a degree awarded, and no exceptions will be made.

The Registrar's Office requires: 

  • Notification of Transfer Course form to be submitted at the time of application for degree. Email the Graduation team within the Registrar's Office (Graduation) to complete the required form.

The Admissions Office requires:

  • Official transfer transcript of final course completed by the grade deadline date for SH as published in the Academic Calendar to articulate the coursework to the SH academic record. The student should notify the Admissions Office and the Graduation Team (Graduation) in the Registrar’s Office upon submission of the transfer transcript.

Warning: Transfer grades not arriving by the final grade deadline date for a degree candidate will result in no degree awarded. Student will be required to re-apply for graduation and pay the application fee for the next term.  Degrees are not posted for students without an application for graduation on file with the Registrar within the term of degree completion.

Tuition Rebate for Undergraduates

A tuition rebate program was created by Senate Bill 1907, 75th Texas Legislature. The Texas Education Code §54.0065 authorizes qualified undergraduate students receive up to $1,000 in tuition rebate upon completion of an undergraduate baccalaureate degree. 

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. To remain on track to earn the rebate at Sam Houston State University, it is important to meet and follow course completion advice from an academic advisor in the Sam Center. Repeated and Q-dropped course hours are calculated as attempted hours and could negatively affect the awarding of the tuition rebate.

Students are required to apply for the rebate during the term in which the student plans to graduate. The Tuition Rebate Application is 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.

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.

Note: Grades earned in prior correspondence courses completed are not used in determining the grade point averages for the graduation Latin honors of Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Summa Cum Laude.

Graduation with Academic Distinction

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.

Pursuit of 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 Prospective Graduate Students. Students should contact the appropriate department or college housing the degree program for more information on availability of scholarships and graduate assistantships.