Office of Graduate Studies

Mission Statement

The Office of Graduate Studies at Sam Houston State University is an academic support unit that promotes quality graduate education and provides resources to maximize graduate student success.  Graduate Studies provides leadership and services to create high-quality learning environments for graduate students by:

  • Facilitating the development of new programs and strengthening existing programs
  • Retaining and graduating high-quality students, especially those in underserved populations
  • Providing resources to retain a high-quality, diverse graduate faculty
  • Fostering campus-wide collaboration and strengthening the role of graduate education at SHSU
  • Supporting graduate program quality by assisting graduate programs with accreditation, external review, and other quality enhancement practices
  • Encouraging and supporting scholarship and intellectual creativity among graduate faculty and students
  • Implementing efficient and effective best practices
  • Highlighting and promoting graduate student research and success
  • Establishing and implementing effective academic policy


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Student Spotlight - Slimane Aboulkacem

Former Fulbright Scholar Slimane Aboulkacem is a poster child for literacy. Born in Algeria in 1987, he grew up speaking Berber, an oral language indigenous to Northern Africa. However, because Berber wasn’t recognized as an official language by the Algerian government, Aboulkacem had to learn Arabic when he started primary school: “I didn’t understand what anyone was saying. It was the full immersion method,” he said. In 4th grade, Aboulkacem began learning French. He has fond memories of his late father helping him to read Le Soir d’Algerie, a French-language daily newspaper. He didn’t begin seriously studying English until college, when at the University of Algiers, he majored in English Teaching Pedagogy. Aboulkacem first came to Sam Houston State University through the prestigious Fulbright program, an educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. State Department that welcomes applicants to the U.S. from around the world. Aboulkacem’s cohort included more than 450 nominees who spoke over 180 languages. After an initial orientation at Howard University in Washington, D.C., Aboulkacem traveled to Huntsville, TX and began working in the Department of Foreign Languages at SHSU, where he taught Arabic, joined the French club, and audited classes ranging from Political Science to Management. Before leaving in May 2014, Aboulkacem was encouraged to apply to the doctoral program in Literacy. Now, he is a doctoral student in the Department of Language, Literacy, and Special Populations. In collaboration with Dr. Hannah Gerber, whose research on how Minecraft™ is helping children to learn to read was recently featured in Wired, Aboulkacem studies digital epistemologies—i.e., how children are learning through apps, video games, and social media. He is also working as a graduate assistant in the department, where he was a guest editor assistants for a special issue of Education Media International, a European academic journal. In addition, three doctoral students are working as editors' assistants under a group of faculty from Language, Literacy, and Special Populations as the English in Texas Journal is now housed at SHSU. Aboulkacem also works as an editorial assistant on a forthcoming book, Education and the Arab Spring: Shifting towards Democracy. Ultimately, he hopes to work some day for a nonprofit like UNESCO, where he can develop curriculum and help at-risk youth around the world. Already, Aboulkacem has made strides toward his goal. Along with a team of former Fulbright Scholars, he worked as a data analyst on the Algerian English Language Teachers Training Project, which was one of only 40 projects chosen for funding from over 800 submitted to the State Department from around the world. The award is called the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. Aboulkacem and his colleagues are currently piloting the project and hope that it will improve the quality of foreign language instruction in his homeland. To him, we say, “Bonne chance!”

The Office of Graduate Studies oversees graduate study and graduate student life at SHSU. We help graduate students leave their mark by providing academic and professional support for currently enrolled graduate students, from orientation to student engagement programming. Please explore the services and resources we have to offer.