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Sam Houston State University (SHSU) is a public higher education institution located in Huntsville, Texas. Founded in 1879, it is the state’s third oldest public university. US News & World Report ranked the school #1 in Texas for Top Performers on Social Mobility. It was also ranked #6 for 2022 Best Colleges in Texas.

Overview of Sam Houston State University (SHSU)

The university is an inclusive institution that strives to provide high quality education, scholarship, and service to students, as well as to regional, state, national, and international constituencies. Faculty and staff work hard to promote the intellectual, social, ethical, and leadership growth of those enrolled. Sam Houston State University also promotes scholarly and research activities that contribute to greater knowledge and understanding.

The total student population is 21,600+, with nearly 18,300 enrolled in undergraduate programs. The school employs approximately 843 full-time and 248 part-time faculty members. The majority of these professionals focus solely on instructional efforts, although approximately 20 faculty members dedicate time to research and public service. The institution also maintains around 180 graduate assistants, 55 of whom help with instruction and 125 of whom provide research support. Overall, the school’s student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Distant
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 20:1
Graduation Rate 57%
Year Founded 1879

Student Enrollment

Total Students21,612


Undergraduate Student

Male 6,584
Female 11,704

Graduate Student

Male 1,197
Female 2,127

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SHSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 3,970
Female 7,586


Male 3,772
Female 7,358

Acceptance Rate97%

Male 95%
Female 97%

Enrollment 2,914

Male 1,018
Female 1,913
Application Fee $50
High School GPA Required
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations NA
SAT/ACT Considered But Not Required
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline August 1
Common Application Accepted Yes

SHSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

According to, Sam Houston State University is ranked #3 among the Best Valued Online Colleges. The actual cost of attending the institution, however, depends on several factors including state of residency, the type of program pursued, and the number of credit hours taken. The base tuition rate per semester credit hour during the 2022-2023 academic year is $244, with an additional institutional service fee of $68.8 per hour. Non-residents are charged more, however. Out-of-state students must pay $652 per semester credit hour, plus the institutional service fee.

It's important to realize that students are responsible for many other institutional fees. Sam Houston State University charges fees for intercollegiate athletics, student services, student center access, medical care, and recreational sports. Additional costs may also be incurred when students take online classes, take lab courses, major in a specific field, retake a class, or make late payments.

Prospective students must also anticipate paying for fees, housing, meal plans, and books. Sam Houston State University offers room and board options, but the cost varies significantly depending on the residence hall and meal plan selected. Other indirect costs include transportation and personal expenses.

To help students pay for tuition and other costs, Sam Houston State University offers a variety of need and merit-based financial awards. To be considered for these, everyone enrolled is encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). During the 2021-2022 academic year, 84% of full-time beginning undergraduate students received some form of financial aid. While many were provided grants and scholarships, 53% still required loans.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $14,287
Average Total Aid $9,492
Students Receiving Financial Aid 84%
Room & Board $10,406

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,960
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $18,752
  • Books and Supplies - $1,380
  • Room & Board - $10,406
  • Other - $3,866


Sam Houston State University offers a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs, as well as some professional certificates.

Students can choose from majors and minors in more than 170 fields of study through eight schools and colleges:

  • College of Arts and Media (CAM)
  • College of Business Administration (COBA)
  • College of Criminal Justice (CJ)
  • College of Education (COE)
  • College of Health Sciences (COHS)
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS)
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM)
  • College of Science and Engineering Technology (COSET)

According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time, undergraduate freshmen who began their studies in 2020 was 73% for full-time students and 60% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. Overall, this indicates that most students enrolled at the university chose to return in 2021 for further education.

The overall graduation rate for students who began their studies in fall 2015 was 57%, with a 24% transfer-out rate. This means that over half of students were able to complete requirements within 150% of normal time, which is six years. Only 32% of students considered managed to graduate within the traditional four-year timeframe. However, if those students that transferred out graduated from their new school homes, then that graduation rate would be around 80%.

Sam Houston State University is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), one of six agencies recognized by the United State Department of Education. It is permitted to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In addition to this regional accreditation, the institution also maintains several programmatic accreditations. Some notable examples include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), and Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND).

Student Population Total

Student Population 21,612

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services 883 Total Graduates / 20%
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 833 Graduates
Corrections and Criminal Justice, Other 47 Graduates
Homeland Security 3 Graduates
All Business Majors 766 Total Graduates / 18%
Business/Commerce, General 243 Graduates
Accounting 129 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 80 Graduates
Business Administration and Management, General 76 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 509 Total Graduates / 12%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 142 Graduates
Health/Health Care Administration/Management 127 Graduates
Public Health, General 108 Graduates
Health Services/Allied Health/Health Sciences, General 85 Graduates
All Education Majors 317 Total Graduates / 7%
Teacher Education, Multiple Levels 317 Graduates
All Psychology Majors 239 Total Graduates / 5%
Psychology, General 239 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 38%

Outcome & Salary

According to statistics released by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Sam Houston State University graduates are in high demand among the state’s workforce. Of the 39 institutions considered, Sam Houston State University ranked #1 with the highest percentage of graduates employed in the fourth quarter in which the program year ends. Additionally, according to PayScale, graduates from this institution earn an average base salary of $66,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $52,200
College Grads Average Salary $66,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $96,800
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $660,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,628,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $57,148
10 Year Projected ROI $602,852
20 Year Projected ROI $1,570,852
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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