University Mission

Sam Houston State University is a multicultural institution whose mission is to provide excellence by continually improving quality education, scholarship, and service to its students and to appropriate regional, state, national, and international constituencies.

University Goals

• Promote students’ intellectual, social, ethical, and leadership growth.
• Recruit and retain qualified, dedicated faculty and support staff.
• Recruit and retain qualified, motivated students.
• Provide the necessary library and other facilities to support quality instruction, research, and public service.
• Provide an educational environment that encourages systematic inquiry and research.
• Promote and support diversity and provide for equitable opportunities for minorities.
• Offer a wide range of academic studies in preprofessional, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs.
• Collaborate with other universities, institutions, and constituencies.
• Provide instructional research and public service through distance learning and technology.


Sam Houston State University, located in Huntsville, Texas, serves one of the most diverse populations of any educational institution in the state. The university is committed
to the development of its creative resources so that it can adapt to the changing educational needs of its constituency while maintaining the highest quality in the traditional curricula. The institution was created by the Texas Legislature in 1879 as Sam Houston Normal Institute to train teachers for the public schools of Texas. During the following four decades, instruction was offered in the natural sciences, agriculture, home economics, manual training, geography, sociology, and foreign languages. The
baccalaureate degree was first awarded in 1919.

The next twenty years witnessed rapid and dramatic changes, including a name change to Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1923. 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. The institution began to expand its programs, and a graduate degree was authorized in 1936, a development which expanded the curriculum from its sole emphasis on teacher training to emphasis on 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 emergence of a multi-purpose institution. By 1960, about 25 percent of the graduating seniors were receiving degrees in fields other than teaching. Degrees were offered in the social and communication
sciences; the biological, physical, and soil sciences; business administration; the fine arts; the humanities; and education. A growing emphasis on research allowed faculty to
make significant contributions in their fields beyond the classroom, and these activities were accompanied by an increasing diversity in the student body as more out-of-state
and foreign students began seeking degrees at Sam Houston. In recognition of these developments, the institution’s name was changed by the Texas Legislature to Sam
Houston State College in 1965, and in that year the Texas Legislature established as an integral part of the institution The Institute of Contemporary Corrections and the
Behavioral Sciences.

During the following years, there was a rapid increase in the enrollment of students with diversified backgrounds, interests, and aspirations, which necessitated continuous examination of programs, faculty, and facilities. The number of graduate degrees conferred increased significantly in the late 1960s, and the Texas Legislature, recognizing
the changes that had taken place during the course of the institution’s history, changed the name of the institution to Sam Houston State University in 1969.

In the decade of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the University continued to expand its offerings to keep pace with its dynamic environment by adding degree programs at all
levels. These additions were accompanied by significant improvement in faculty credentials and growth in faculty research activities.

Currently Sam Houston State University, a member institution in The Texas State University System, is organized academically into five colleges: Arts and Sciences,
Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Education, and Humanities and Social 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.

*The Mission Statement for Sam Houston State University was approved, during the four-year cycle, by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, January 27, 2005.