About Sam Houston

Sam Houston Statue on SHSU Huntsville campus in front of Austin Hall

A Great Name in Texas Education!

Named for Texas’s greatest hero, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) continually honors its historical roots through academic excellence. For more than 140 years, SHSU has been preparing students for meaningful lives of achievement. Its motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service,” resonates among its approximately 21,612 students, eight colleges and well beyond its Huntsville roots.

In U.S. News and World Report, SHSU is the best in Texas in ‘Top Performers on Social Mobility’ and No. 6 in the ‘2022 Best Colleges in Texas.’ Sam Houston State offers top-ranked degree programs and is No. 3 among the ‘Best Valued Online Colleges’ by TexasOnlineColleges.com. Nationally, SHSU is among the top 100 colleges and universities for Hispanic students, according to Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine.

The SHSU College of Osteopathic Medicine is only the third college of osteopathic medicine in Texas. Its mission is to train physicians who will serve the healthcare needs of rural and underserved Texans.

Service to self and others is paramount at SHSU and reflected in all university organizations and programs. In fact, the university was named to USA Today’s Top 50 in the U.S. for “commitment to civic engagement and global awareness,” in addition to being classified a "Community Engaged" by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education. This honor, bestowed to only 311 public institutions nationwide, acknowledges the university's significant commitment to service.

In 2022, SHSU was designated a Doctoral University of High Research Activity by The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Sam Houston State is one of only two universities that currently hold this research status within the Texas State University System (TSUS).

The Bearkats compete in 17 NCAA Division I sports in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). SHSU moved from the Southland Conference to the WAC in 2021 and subsequently accepted an invitation to Conference USA for membership in Fall 2023. The conference membership move requires a two-year NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision transition to be completed by Fall 2024.

Women’s teams include basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, indoor and outdoor track & field, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball. Men’s teams include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and indoor and outdoor track & field.

With SHSU’s array of recognized academic programs, exceptional student support services, volunteer opportunities and more, Bearkats are not only well-prepared to think and respond to the workforce needs of a rapidly changing world but stand ready to serve their community.