Graduate Advisement

Before the initial registration, the student should consult with the appropriate graduate advisor. Academic advisement is encouraged prior to each registration. All students should confer with graduate advisors on a regular basis, monitor their own academic progress, and review the degree plan on a continuous basis. The graduate advisors can be located by accessing the desired degree program at The Graduate and Professional School.


Sam Houston State University has approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer various degree programs at The Woodlands Center in The Woodlands, Texas. (Registration into courses at The Woodlands Center will incur additional fee.) During scheduled periods of registration, students may register online by selecting the My Sam link, under Campus Tools, on the SH homepage and then the Registration tab. Students will need their User ID and password to access My Sam. For further information please visit the Registrar's website.

International Students:

Immediately upon arrival on campus, international students should contact the Global Engagement Center to ensure all admission and immigration documents are in order. Visit the Global Engagement Center for check-in requirements. 

SH International Students must obtain health insurance coverage through either applying for a waiver and presenting proof of other insurance coverage that meets applicable federal or state requirements for minimum coverage and benefits, or accepting the university offered compliant health insurance policy. International student health insurance will be coordinated through the Global Engagement Center.  

Osteopathic Medical Students:

Students associated with the College of Osteopathic Medicine will be registered for classes by Registrar staff. Certain tasks may be required of osteopathic medicine students prior to registration. Students will be contacted with those tasks each semester. 

Graduate Courses

A graduate course is an advanced course requiring critical analysis and study. Typically, courses with numbers of 5000 or 6000 level are master’s level courses and 7000 level or higher are doctoral/medical level courses.

To provide a greater range of academic course offerings, graduate and undergraduate courses with similar content and background requirements may be offered as stacked sections.  Stacked sections are defined as course sections at different levels scheduled as combined classes taught simultaneously by the same faculty member with graduate faculty status. Most commonly, it will be a 4000 level section stacked with a 5000 level section.  In the course syllabus, the additional effort required for higher level credit must be clearly stated.  Please contact the program department for more information.

Some graduate programs allow students to take a limited number of approved 4000 level courses for graduate credit. To receive graduate credit for a 4000 level course, the student must receive prior approval from the department chair and the academic dean and complete additional requirements as outlined by the professor. Please see the specific degree programs within this catalog for more details on taking 4000 level courses for graduate credit.

Course Load

Normal Load - The load for a full-time graduate student is nine to twelve credit hours per fall or spring semester and six credit hours in the summer. Students enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs should enroll in a minimum of nine graduate credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters and six credit hours in the summer to be considered full-time graduate students. Osteopathic medical students are considered full-time and are enrolled in a standard array of courses each term as designated by the College of Osteopathic Medicine approved curriculum. 

Master’s students desiring to enroll in more than twelve graduate credit hours and doctoral students desiring to enroll in more than nine graduate credit hours in any one semester must obtain approval from the dean of the college in which they are enrolled.

It is important to note that the University requirements for full-time status and requirements of various financial aid programs may differ. It is recommended that students consult with the University’s Financial Aid Office to determine how assistantships and fellowships may impact financial aid.

Course Load for Graduate Assistants

Graduate students employed by the University at least half-time as graduate assistants, research assistants, or teaching assistants should enroll in a minimum of six graduate credit hours per semester to be considered full-time graduate students. The maximum course load for graduate assistants on half-time employment is nine credit hours per fall or spring semester or six credit hours during the summer. Graduate assistants on less than a half-time assistantship may have the maximum course load authorization increased proportionately by the appropriate department/school chair. For more information on the employment of graduate assistants refer to Academic Policy Statement 890303.

Class Schedule Changes

What should students consider when adding or dropping courses?

  • Adding or dropping courses can impact financial aid. Students receiving financial aid and/or scholarships are encouraged to visit with a financial aid representative prior to adding or dropping courses. 
  • Adding or dropping courses can impact time to completion. Students should meet with their graduate advisor to discuss potential impacts.
  • Beginning with the first class day of each term, added courses will result in tuition and fee charges to be paid by 4:00 pm on the date the course(s) are added.
  • International students must make changes through the Global Engement Center.

When can students change their schedules?

  • Students may add courses through the 8th class day for fall or spring terms and the 2nd class day for summer terms.
     For registration times, please refer to Registration Dates and the Academic Calendar.   

Osteopathic Medical Students:

Students associated with the College of Osteopathic Medicine will be registered in course blocks required for promotion to the next semester. Osteopathic medical students are not permitted to drop individual courses that are a part of these blocks.

Correct Addresses

It is necessary to have a correct residency address on file with the University. Students who change addresses after completing registration should immediately update their addresses by logging in to My Sam. (Campus Resources -> Banner Self-Service-> Personal Information -> Update Addresses and Phones)

Official University e-mail correspondence will be sent to the assigned SHSU e-mail address. The University assumes no obligation for failure of a student to receive communications.

International students must contact the Global Engagement Center.

Name Change

Appropriate documentation substantiating a legal name change for a student must be submitted to the Registrar's Office. All transcripts are issued under the student’s legal name as recorded on the student's academic record. The Request for Change of Name form can be found on the Registrar’s website under Student Resources – Forms and Documents.