Beginning Freshmen

Students who have recently graduated or soon will graduate from high school are considered freshmen, even if a student has completed transferable college credit while in high school. If a student is not a recent high school graduate or received a GED but has completed less than 12 transferable credit hours, then that student is also considered a freshman student and should follow the requirements outlined for freshman applicants. If you have completed more than 12 transferable credit hours, please see admission instructions for transfer students.

  • Christian Teague, Bachelor of Arts in Music, poses by a window.
    Community Of Support
    As a first-generation student, Teague knew college would have its challenges and adopted the mindset of not wanting to disappoint his family and community back at home. He participated in the Bearkat Learning Community as a freshman and quickly adjusted into the campus community.
  • Sophomore Ilexus Williams Poses
    Confronting Your Comfort Zone
    Every summer, sophomores share some of their experiences and offer advice to SHSU’s newest cohort of freshman. In her “First-Year Series” discussion, Ilexus Williams shares how joining the First-Year Experience organization helped her get out of her comfort zone.
  • Sophomore Hannah Waltrip poses by a tree.
    Discovering Campus Community
    In her “First-Year Series” discussion, Hannah Waltrip shares how joining the First-Year Experience organization helped her adjust to college life after graduating from a small-town high school.
  • Christian Martinez, Criminal Justice Major, poses on brick wall.
    Finding Your Way!
    In his “First-Year Series” discussion, Christian Martinez shares how joining the First-Year Experience organization helped him find his on a new campus.
  • Explore the Honors program logo.
    Explore the Honors program
    The Elliott T. Bowers Honors College is a place for highly-motivated students looking for a unique educational opportunity.

  • Steps to Apply for Admission as a Freshman

    Step 1: Complete the Online Application for SHSU

    Complete an online application and pay the $45 (Fall 20, Spring 21, Summer 21) or $50 (Fall 21 and after) non-refundable application fee.

    Alternatively, you may pay later by mailing a check (address below) or pay through the SHSU Self Service Center.

    Qualifying students may submit an application fee waiver request to SHSU Office of Admissions via mail at below address or email Applicants must include the required supporting documents to request a fee waiver:

    • ACT Waiver Form or;
    • College Board Waiver Form or;
    • Letter from H.S. Counselor or Principal

    Mailing address:

    SHSU Admissions Office
    Box 2418
    Huntsville TX 77341-2418

    Step 2: Submit Your Transcripts

    Contact your high school to send an official transcript to SHSU.

    • Mail an official high school transcript to:
      Sam Houston State University
      Admissions Office
      Box 2418
      Huntsville TX 77341-2418
    • Or ask your high school to send an electronic official transcript to Sam Houston State University (code: 003606).
    • If transcripts are from a school outside of the U.S., the document must be translated and evaluated by a NACES accredited service or SDR Educational Consultants. International high school transcript evaluations must include a GPA on a U.S. 4.00 scale.
    • Please note that SHSU does not accept fax or emailed transcripts.

    Step 3: Submit Your Test Scores

    Contact the appropriate testing agency to request an electronic submission of your test score be sent to SHSU.

    • Send SAT scores to school code 6643 for SHSU.
    • Send ACT scores to school code 4162 for SHSU.
  • Texas Uniform Admission Standards

    Per state law, TEC 51.803-51.809, Uniform Admissions Standards (UAS) requires applicants to four-year public universities to meet college readiness standards through completion of a high school graduation program or equivalent or through SAT or ACT score benchmarks.

  • Automatic Admission for Freshmen

    Eligible prospective freshmen should graduate high school with one of the following diploma types: Recommended (UAS), Distinguished (UAS), Foundations with Endorsement(s) (HB5)**, or Distinguished Achievement (HB5) plans. Additionally:

    1. Automatic acceptance for top 10% regardless of high school GPA or ACT or SAT score. Students automatically accepted into SHSU still need to submit test scores to be considered for certain scholarships.
    2. Automatic acceptance for students who meet the minimum Composite SAT/ACT requirements by appropriate high school GPA ranges as indicated on the chart below (the requirements are based on a 4.0 scale):
    High School GPA RangeACTOld SAT Scores*
    (Critical Reading + Math only)
    New SAT Scores*
    (Evidence Based Reading/Writing + Math)
    3.5 - 4.0 17 850 930
    3.0 - 3.49 19 930 1010
    2.5 - 2.99 22 1030 1110
    2.25 - 2.49 25 1140 1210
    2.24 & below considered by review only considered by review only considered by review only

    If GPA and/or test scores do not fall within the ranges listed on the above table, applications will receive individual review.

    The requirements summarized in the above table are for Texas high school students on the Recommended (UAS), Distinguished (UAS), Foundations with Endorsement(s) (HB5)**, or Distinguished Achievement (HB5) plans. Graduates of a non-accredited high school, home-schooled students and students who earned the GED must meet the requirements listed in the SHSU Undergraduate Catalog (

    * Old SAT Scores are SAT exams taken PRIOR to March 2016 and New SAT Scores are for SAT exams taken March 2016 and after.

    **The Endorsement earned must be noted on the transcript provided.

  • Dual Credit

    The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board has a program implemented in Texas High schools for juniors and seniors to be able to enroll in college courses, through a local community college the high school has the agreement with, and receive academic credit for the high school course as well as college credit. This gives an opportunity for incoming freshman students to start their college career with college credits already.

    With dual credit, incoming freshman will have the allotted credits added to their college transcript, and it will appear as transfer credits. These courses will factor into their transfer GPA on their academic record. Once they start to take courses at Sam Houston State University, they will have a Transfer GPA and a SHSU GPA that will be combined together to give their Overall GPA.

    If a student wishes to retake the courses they originally received as dual credit, they are able to, and Sam Houston will report the highest grade received on their transcript.

    For more information on Dual Credit, you can find it on The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

  • Scholarship Opportunities

    Visit our financial aid website to learn how to complete the FAFSA and to complete the Scholarship4Kats Application. You must be accepted to SHSU in order to complete a Scholarship4Kats application. Most scholarships available to fall applicants have an application priority deadline of November 1 with recipient selections through February.

  • What Are the Application Deadlines
    • Fall: August 1
    • Spring: December 1
    • Summer: May 15