Student Support Services

Student Support Services

Alumni Relations and Development

The SHSU Alumni Association exits to support and promote the University and represent the interest of over 100,000 alumni. The alumni program is an important part of an integrated advancement effort to inform and engage graduates and former students with the university.

Located in the John R. Ragsdale Visitor & Alumni Center, the role of Alumni Relations has expanded significantly, becoming and integral part of the University campus community while serving as a bridge to both local and national communities.   

The association’s programs and activities are developed and planned in consultation with an alumni board of directors. The association sponsors distinguished alumni and alumni service awards programs, homecoming, tailgate parties, regional alumni gatherings, newsletters, scholarships, student programs, merchandising, and the official university ring program.

The Association provides opportunities for its alumni to participate in community service projects, to raise scholarships for students, to advocate to the state legislature, and to join other graduates in alumni chapter activities across the country. The University must increasingly rely on private giving from its alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations to close the gap between what tuition, fees, and state support provide and what is necessary to offer programs of quality. The Annual Fund is an ongoing program to secure recurring contributions from alumni and friends. More than 8,000 alumni and friends contribute to the University’s scholarships, colleges, departments, and other programs. 

Regular membership is open to all graduates and former students of Sam Houston State University.  Associate memberships are open to non-alumni friends. For additional information, please call (936) 294-1841 or visit Alumni Association. For additional information about providing support for the University through an annual, capital, or planned gift, please contact University Advancement at (936) 294-3625 or Box 2537, Huntsville, TX 77341-2537. Donors wishing to make a gift with a credit card can go online to


Sam Houston State University (SHSU), as a member of the Southland Conference, competes at the NCAA Division I level in 17 sports, bringing the fun and excitement of intercollegiate athletes to the Huntsville campus.

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

Sam Houston State University is the only athletic program in the Southland Conference that has earned the coveted SLC Commissioner’s Cup three consecutive years. The Cup symbolizes the league’s all-sports championship for both men’s and women’s athletics. The Bearkats also have won two Southland men’s all-sports trophies. 

The Bearkats have won 25 Southland Conference regular season team championships including 16 since 2000. In addition, SHSU has won nine conference post-season tournament titles.

Since moving up to the NCAA Division I level in 1986-87, Sam Houston has participated in national post-season tournaments 18 times including five appearance in football, seven in baseball, and two in men’s basketball.

In 2011, the Kat football squad earned the No. 1 seed in the post-season playoffs and advanced to the NCAA Division I national championship game in Frisco. The Bearkat baseball team reached the regional finals in 2007 at Ole Miss and in 2012 at Rice.

While competing at a high level on the athletic Southland Conference playing field, the Bearkats also have proven themselves tops academically in the classroom. Since the 1992-93 school year, Sam Houston student-athletes have combined to produce an overall department grade point average (GPA) of 2.30 or higher.  For the past 12 semesters, the more than 400 Bearkats who participate in varsity sports have posted department GPAs above 2.87 with the overall SHSU athletic GPA in 2011 of 2.90. The athletic program’s GPA is a mark higher than the overall student population at Sam Houston State University.

Fifteen times since 2007, Bearkats have been recognized as the outstanding student-athlete in their individual sports. Winners of the Southland Conference “Student-Athlete of the Year” honors have been Ryan Bright (2007 and 2008 men’s basketball); Stephen Prihoda (2007 baseball); Lata Assudani (2007 women’s tennis); Jennie Sewell (2007 women’s track and field); Jennifer Heinz (2008 women’s golf); Barkley Falkner (2009 men’s basketball); Irina Sotnikova (2009 women’s tennis); Brittany Brooks (2010 women’s basketball); Chris Cralle (2011 men’s indoor and outdoor track); Travis Watson (2011 football); Morgan Davis (2012 women’s indoor track); James Glenn (2012 men’s golf); and Jake Arrington (2012 baseball).

Sam Houston State University annually draws regional and national media attention through televised athletic contests.  Bearkat football and basketball have been featured in nationally televised games on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. In addition, each year, SHSU games are telecast on the Southland Conference TV network.

The university boasts one of the finest athletic complexes in the southwest which serves as the site of both regular season competition and post-season tournament action.
Home athletic events are held at Bowers Stadium (football), Johnson Coliseum (basketball and volleyball), Don Sanders Stadium (baseball), Bearkat Softball Complex (softball), McAdams Tennis Center (tennis), York Track Center (track and field) and Pritchett Field (soccer).

News, schedules, ticket information and opportunities to watch live video of Bearkat sports events are available on the SHSU athletic web site at

Student Tickets:
Sam Houston students are admitted to all home regular season athletic events on presentation of a current and valid Bearkat OneCard. Simply swipe your Bearkat OneCard at the designated student gates the day of the event for admission. Bearkat OneCards must be active and you must be currently enrolled.

Bearkat OneCard Services

The Bearkat OneCard is the official ID card of Sam Houston State University. The OneCard is an all-in-one student ID which has been designed to be an efficient, multi-purpose card.  It provides students easy access to University facilities and services. The card can also double as a debit card connected to the OneAccount, a fully functional FDIC-insured checking account. As a MasterCard Debit Card (NOT A CREDIT CARD), the Bearkat OneCard can be used for purchases at millions of merchants worldwide.

An Active Bearkat OneCard has the following uses:

  • SHSU Library Card
  • Parking Garage Access (OneAccount)
  • Managing Financial Aid and other Refund Preferences
  • Managing Student Payroll Preferences
  • Access to the Health and Kinesiology Center
  • Access to SHSU Athletic Events
  • Raven's Nest Golf Course Discounts
  • Debit Card for the Bearkat OneAccount
  • Bearkat Express Access
  • Meal Plan Access
  • Residence Hall Parameter Access

The Bearkat OneCard serves as the vehicle through which students choose the manner in which they receive financial disbursements from the University. Students set their own preference when activating their Bearkat OneCard online. 

Students have the option of: (1) sending disbursements to the OneAccount. Sending to this account is the fastest delivery method or (2) sending disbursements directly to a third party bank of choice through ACH processing. Federal banking procedures requires two to three business days for processing.

To obtain a Bearkat OneCard you must:

  • Have a photo taken in the Bearkat OneCard Office. It is mandatory to present a government issued photo ID at the time that the photo is taken.
  • Have a valid address on file with Sam Houston
  • Be registered for classes

When these steps have been completed, the Bearkat OneCard will be mailed to the address of record.  Upon receipt, the OneCard must be activated at for on-campus usage.  At the time of activation, a student can choose to activate the optional, free FDIC-insured, no minimum balance checking account. This debit/checking account has been carefully designated with the needs of students in mind.

The Bearkat OneCard Services staff provides assistance in taking ID photos, activating cards, configuring options, and providing information related to refund disbursements to students. The office also provides passport photos to all faculty, staff, and students free of charge.  For more information, please visit our office in the Estill Building, Suite 230, contact us by phone at (936) 294-2273, or visit

Student Money Management Center. The Student Money Management Center (SMMC) is a financial outreach and educational program administered by the Sam Houston State University Division of Student Services.

The mission of the Student Money Management Center is to improve the financial well-being of our students by providing the unbiased education, counseling, tools, and solutions to assist students in achieving financial independence.

The goals of the Student Money Management Center outreach program are for students to:

  • Learn how to identify and track expenses during and after college
  • Create a financial survival plan for college
  • Graduate with a plan for repaying student loans and personal debt
  • Locate external financial education resources
  • Talk to trained professionals about personal financial decisions and issues in a confidential and comfortable environment
  • Create a personalized budget for the upcoming semester or year at SHSU
  • Learn how to obtain, interpret and understand a personal credit report
  • Understand employee benefit packages and retirement plans prior to accepting a career opportunity 

The Student Money Management Center offers financial literacy outreach to students in the form of seminars and workshops on a number of financial literacy topics, including but not limited to:

  • Budgeting
  • Good Credit vs. Bad Credit
  • How to be a Smart Shopper
  • Preventing Identity Theft
  • Saving Money
  • Setting Financial Goals

Protecting Your Credit. The Student Money Management Center also offers private, individualized financial counseling and financial planning sessions from certified professionals and peers. Through this financial literacy resource, SHSU students can gain and maintain financial independence. Professional counseling sessions are by appointment only. Peer counseling walk-in hours are available daily and vary by semester. Please check the website for up-to-date walk-in availability hours as well as a variety of online resources.

For more information, visit the Student Money Management Center or contact 936-294-2600.

Career Services

The Career Services staff assists students and graduates of Sam Houston State University in their search for employment appropriate to their interests, skills, academic preparation, and personal aspirations. Opportunities and resources are provided to assist students in learning and implementing the life-long process of career exploration, career choice and ultimately, obtaining rewarding employment.

Specific services include:

  • Career Assessments
  • Career Counseling
  • Jobs for Kats (Student Employment Opportunities, Internship, Part-time and Full-time Job Postings)
  • Resume and Cover Letter Writing Assistance
  • Mock Interviews
  • Career/Employer Information Resources and Computer Lab
  • Career-Related Workshops and Programs
  • Campus Interviews with Company Recruiters
  • Job Fairs

The Career Services office sponsors special events such as the annual Teacher Job Fair (fall and spring semesters), Career Expo held each fall semester, the Summer Job and Camp Fair, the Agricultural and Industrial Sciences Job Fair, and the Criminal Justice Job Fair. As a member school in the Houston Area Consortium of Career Centers, SHSU Career Services also participates in the Texas Job Fair which attracts a large number of Houston-area employers each spring.

The Career Services department provides free career-related resources such as career magazines, brochures, literature from employers, and informational hand-outs.  Career Services is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and is located at 1921 Avenue J in the AB4 Building, Suite 210. Further information may be obtained by calling (936) 294-1713 or by visiting Career Services.

Student Employment

On-campus Work Study and Non-Work Study jobs are posted on Career Services’ Jobs for Kats. Additional information about student employment opportunities may be obtained by visiting Career Services, located at 1921 Avenue J in the AB4 Building, Suite 210, by calling (936) 294-1713. Career Services is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education offers non-credit courses for personal and professional development. Courses include allied health certification courses, introduction to various computer software, conversational Spanish, sign language, real estate, paralegal, country and western dance, ballroom dance, instant piano, and much more. Numerous online courses covering a variety of subjects are also available for career purposes or just for fun.  For more information, telephone (936) 294-4568 or visit Continuing Education.

Counseling Center

Counseling Services. The Counseling Center provides a variety of services to enhance student learning and assists students in achieving their academic goals. The Center is staffed by professional psychologists, post-doctoral residents, and graduate trainees who provide a confidential setting where students can freely discuss their concerns.  The typical range of services provided includes individual counseling, group counseling, couples counseling, vocational counseling, couples counseling, and outreach/preventive education presentations.  Staff members are available to assist students in crisis situations on short notice. Students can receive assistance with a variety of concerns, including adjustment problems, depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, self-esteem, stress management, and many others.  Services are also available for international students who may request assistance in adjusting to life at an American university. Groups that are commonly offered include a Women’s Support Group, Interpersonal Therapy Group, Relationship and Communication Skills Group for Students with Aspergers Disorder, Managing Anxiety Group, Self-Esteem Group and others. All of the services the Counseling Center provides are free. Individual and couples counseling services have a 12-session limit per academic year, and group therapy services are unlimited. All counseling is confidential within the limits of legal and ethical obligations.   

The Counseling Center is located in the North Annex of the Lee Drain Building.  To make an appointment, visit or call (936) 294-1720. The Counseling Center is open Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., with additional evening hours during the Fall and Spring semesters.  For more information, visit Counseling Center. 

Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) provides academic adjustments and auxiliary aids and services for students with documented mental or physical impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.  To apply for services, students must register with SSD, participate in a disability intake, and submit current documentation from a qualified professional indicating the presence of a substantially limiting impairment.  Accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, as supported by the student’s documentation and educational needs.  For additional information on the SSD documentation guidelines, procedures for requesting services, and adaptive technologies available on the SHSU campus, students are encouraged to visit Services for Students with Disabilities or to contact at (936) 294-1720 or TDD (936) 294-3786.  

Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD). TDD locations are as follows with corresponding telephone numbers:

Office of Student Life: (936) 294-3785
Counseling Center and Services for Students with Disabilities: (936) 294-3786
University Police: (936) 294-3787
Office of Undergraduate Admissions: (936) 294-3788
Registrar’s Office: (936) 294-3789

Dean of Students’ Office

Through leadership, programs, and policy development, the Dean of Students’ Office contributes to the overall intellectual, social, and personal development of the students. The Dean of Students’ Office represents student needs to the University administration, faculty, and departments and also transmits needs of these groups to the students. This Office assists students who have questions about any phase of campus life. In an effort to promote individual group development of students, the office co-sponsors educational programs and leadership development workshops.                                                   

The professional staff is responsible for the administration of a number of policies and procedures found in Student Guidelines, the student handbook. These include student conduct and judicial processes and certain provisions of the Family Rights and Privacy Act. 

In addition, the Office is responsible for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges; the Freshman Leadership Program; Orange Keys Program; The Raven’s Call; University Parking Appeals; Alpha Lambda Delta, a freshman Honor society; The Parent Relations Office; advising the Parents’ Association; Bearkat Family Weekend; advising the Student Government Association; the Students of Concern Team; Ask The Raven; The Online Mentoring and Guidance (OMG) Program; and Greek Life.

The Dean of Students’ Office is located in the Lowman Student Center Suite #215, telephone (936) 294-1785. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday. Other times may be scheduled by appointment.

General Conduct And Campus Regulations. It is expected that all Sam Houston State University students are on campus for serious educational pursuits and that they will conduct themselves so as to preserve an appropriate atmosphere of learning. It is also expected that all students who enroll at Sam Houston State University agree to assume the responsibilities of citizenship in the campus community. While enrolled, students are subject to University authority, which includes the prerogative of dismissing those whose conduct, is not within the aims and policies of the University. Students are responsible for abiding by all published University rules and regulations as printed in this catalog; in the student handbook, Student Guidelines; and in other official University publications. Failure to read these publications will not excuse the student from the requirements and regulations described therein. In addition, students should be familiar with House Bill 141 of the 61st Legislature on Disruptive Activities and Senate Bill 24 of the 70th Legislature on Hazing, extracts of which can be found in Student Guidelines.

Student Government Association. The Student Government Association exists for the sole purpose of serving the student community. It is the political voice and liaison for the student body. The University recognizes the need and worthwhile contribution of student input in all facets of the University decision-making processes. The Student Government Association has long been active in this regard and has worked for the betterment of student life and academic quality. The student body participates in the development and management of a well-rounded program of student activities by electing the Student Government Association officers and Student Senators. 

Open meetings are conducted each Tuesday night. Students are encouraged to participate in their student government. Copies of the Student Government Association constitution and other information may be obtained from the Student Government Association Office, which is located in the Lowman Student Center Suite #326. Please call (936) 294-1

Health Center

The Student Health Center, located at the corner of Avenue J and Bearkat Boulevard, provides comprehensive routine health services and education to currently enrolled students. The Health Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays during the fall and spring semesters. The Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the summer. The Health Center sees patients by appointment.

The Health Center is equipped with an in-house pharmacy and laboratory providing convenient and affordable access to routine healthcare services.

The cost of office visits are covered by the Medical Service Fee paid at the time of registration. Fees are charged for laboratory tests, prescription drugs, and certain procedures. These charges are due when services are rendered. However, these charges are at discount rates that are often below the market rate.

In addition to medical services, the Health Center offers health education, prevention programs, and general health information. Students with questions about any health issue are encouraged to contact the Health Center.

The Health Center prides itself in its accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).  Accreditation means that the department’s operations meet or exceed rigorous standards of quality.

In the case of on-campus medical emergencies, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) should be called. Persons experiencing a serious or potentially life threatening medical condition should seek medical attention at Huntsville Memorial Hospital.

Information regarding student health insurance is available through the Health Center. The student policy is mandatory for international students. Please visit the Health Center or call (936) 294-1805 for more information.

International Programs

The Office of International Programs (OIP) promotes and coordinates international activities at Sam Houston State University, including the recruitment and retention of international students and study and travel abroad of SHSU faculty and students. OIP is the primary contact for international students at the University, and the staff provides assistance and information to international visitors. 

Active in the recruitment of international students and scholars to the University, the OIP staff assists with immigration rules and regulations for international students and scholars. This office also provides various support services for international students such as initial airport arrival transportation, cultural and social field trips, and activities-both on campus and off campus.

Sam Houston State University offers opportunities for study on exchange programs and faculty-led programs in numerous countries across the globe. In addition, the university is affiliated with 6 of the country’s top Study Abroad providers, allowing students to participate in a wide variety of study abroad programs while utilizing their financial aid. Scholarships are available for those who qualify. 

Visit or call the Office of International Programs in Farrington Building, Room 116, telephone (936) 294-4737.   Mail address: International Programs, 1908 Avenue J (SHSU Box 2150), Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341-2150.

James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

Opened in fall 2010, the Gaertner Performing Arts Center is a showcase for artistic talent and creative works, serving the community and the region. It serves as a world-class academic facility for students in The College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication.

James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center Features:

• 800-seat concert hall
• 175-seat Recital hall
• 150-seat dance theatre
• Outdoor performance space
• Dance studios
• Practice rooms
• Dressing rooms
• Audition areas
• Scene shop for set construction
• Costume shop
• More than 90,000 square feet of total space

Public Art in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

The central lobby of the Gaertner Performing Arts Center showcases original public art by internationally known artists and sculptors. Seven installations were commissioned for the building by Joe Akers, Kathleen Ash, Rebecca Finley, Jason Lawson, Jesús Morales and Tim Prentice and Charles Pebworth.

Events in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center

The extensive events calendar for this spectacular performance space and for the College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication in general can be accessed at College of Fine Arts & Mass Communication.

Mailing Address:
College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication
Sam Houston State University
PO Box 2209
Huntsville, TX 77341
Physical Address:
James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center
College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication
1900 Avenue I; Suite 200
Huntsville, TX 77340

Lowman Student Center

The Lowman Student Center (LSC), conveniently located at the center of campus, offers several dining options and a variety of meeting facilities and services. The University bookstore is located on the second floor, along with the Art Gallery and Information Center.  The LSC also houses the Kat Klub entertainment center, a spacious ballroom, theater, and sixteen conference rooms.  The LSC provides wireless computer access as well as computer work stations on the first and second floors. An ATM is located on the first floor near the Kat Klub. Students may consider joining one of the many organizations that meet in the Lowman Student Center. By getting involved and connected, students gain the opportunity to meet other students with similar interests, make new friends, gain valuable leadership experiences, and make better grades.

For additional information, visit the Lowman Student Center or contact the staff at (936) 294-1759.

Museum, Sam Houston Memorial

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum, established in 1936 as a Texas centennial project, is an integral part of Sam Houston State University and is dedicated to preserving the memory of General Sam Houston (1793-1863). A soldier, statesman and politician, the only man to serve as governor of two states and president of an independent republic, Sam Houston led the fight for Texas’ independence and then served Texas as President, U.S. Senator, and Governor. Located on fifteen acres, the museum complex preserves three fully furnished original Houston buildings - Woodland Home, Steamboat House, and Law Office - as well as a kitchen, blacksmith shop, and Guerrant and Bear Bend log cabins.

The Memorial Museum Building houses the major collection of Houston memorabilia and exhibits. The Katy & E. Don Walker, Sr. Education Center is named for a distinguished alumnus of Sam Houston State University and his wife, and provides auditorium, classroom, and meeting spaces, including the W. S. Gibbs Conference Hall, as well as a gallery for traveling exhibits. The ‘Wigwam Neosho,’ the museum store and gift shop, is housed in a large log building on the Museum grounds. The museum offers many educational opportunities for Sam Houston State University students. These include semester- and year-long internships, with both undergraduate and graduate exploring a variety of museum study options. We also provide several part-time student jobs, tours, and research and writing programs using archives, manuscripts, and artifacts. Numerous lectures, symposia, and workshops are offered throughout the year, many carrying academic credit. Classes as diverse as history, biology, political science, and art use the Museum and grounds as a laboratory, studio and classroom.

The Sam Houston Memorial Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Accreditation certifies that a museum operates according to standards set forth by the museum profession, manages its collections responsibly and provides quality services of museum visitors.

The museum complex is located at the corner of Sam Houston Avenue and 19th Street and can be reached by calling (936) 294-1832 or by visiting Sam Houston Memorial Museum.

Office of Students’ Legal & Mediation Services

Our full-time attorney is available to advise and counsel students on legal issues that they face. Meetings between a student and the attorney are confidential. While our attorney does not represent students in court, the attorney can help the students better understand the legal issues, rights and responsibilities, guide the student through the legal procedures that they may face, and assist the student to productively and proactively deal with the legal situation. There are some situations where legal representation is needed immediately, and in those instances SLMS will assist students in contacting a local attorney. SLMS is unable to offer legal advice in disputes between Sam Houston State University students or disputes between a student and the University.

SLMS is located in the Lowman Student Center, Suite 330. Students may make an appointment with the attorney by calling (936) 294-1717 or online at Brochures concerning specific legal issues are also available for registered students.

SLMS can assist students with many types of legal disputes, including:

  • Landlord/Tenant
  • Criminal Law
  • Breach of Contract
  • Traffic Tickets
  • Wills and Powers of Attorney
  • Divorces and Name Changes
  • Real Estate
  • Demand Letters
  • Consumer Protection
  • Expunctions
  • Copyright and Intellectual Property
  • Debt Collection Practices

Because SLMS is supported by student fees, there is no cost for a consultation with the attorney.

SLMS also provides free mediation services. When people are in conflict, a neutral person—the mediator—can help the parties understand the cause of the conflict and help to develop creative solutions to resolve the conflict. SLMS’ attorney is also a trained mediator and can help students resolve their conflicts constructively, timely, and confidentially.

SLMS is also available to speak to student groups and organizations on legal and conflict resolution topics. Please call (936) 294-1717 to learn more about having the attorney speak to your group. 

Press & Copy Center, Sam Houston

Sam Houston Press & Copy Center is the University’s in-house printing and copying facility. It provides year-round service for students, faculty, and staff of Sam Houston State University. Copying, binding, faxing, and printing services are offered to students and student organizations.

Sam Houston Press & Copy Center is located on the first floor of the Thomason Building. The facility is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For information or to arrange an appointment for placing an order, please, call (936) 294-1856.

Public Safety Services, University Police, and Parking & Transportation Office

University Police Officers are licensed peace officers as defined under the laws of the State of Texas and thereby have the authority of peace officers. Their primary jurisdiction, under H.B. 391, includes all counties in which property is owned, leased, rented, or otherwise under the control of Sam Houston State University.

The University Police Officers subscribe to the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics, a portion of which reads, “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all citizens to liberty, equality, and justice.” In this endeavor, the University Police earnestly solicit the support of the faculty/staff and students. Many officers are students thus providing a balance within Public Safety Services from a student’s perspective.

In addition to University regulations, all the general and criminal laws of the State and the United States are declared to be in full force and effect within the properties of Sam Houston State University. All persons are responsible for compliance with these laws. 

All thefts, vehicle accidents, or other offenses that occur on campus should be reported immediately to the University Police. The University Police Building is located at 2424 Sam Houston Avenue (Sam South Complex) —Telephone Number (936) 294-1794. Police Officers are on duty 24 hours every day. The Business Office hours are 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Campus Safety. Sam Houston State University offers a variety of services to promote a safe campus environment. The campus is equipped with emergency call boxes stationed at strategic locations throughout the campus to include parking lots, walkways, and residence halls. Additionally, the University Police provide staff to escort students not wishing to walk alone at night to and from campus buildings and parking lots. Students wishing to learn more about personal safety and self defense may take advantage of programs offered by the University Police Department. For more information, call (936) 294-1794.

Parking & Transportation

Parking Permits. Students, full- or part-time, who operate or expect to operate a motor vehicle, motor cycle, or motor-assisted cycle on University property, regularly or occasionally, are REQUIRED to register the vehicle with the Department of Public Safety Services and obtain a parking decal assigning a designated color area for parking. The University reserves the right to require proof of ownership of the vehicle being registered. Parking and Traffic Regulations and Information governing the operation of motor vehicles is issued with each parking permit and is available in administrative offices and on our website. Failure to read the regulations is not an excuse for failure to comply with the regulations. 

Recreational Sports and Activities Program

The Mission of the Department of Recreational Sports and Activities is to advance and enrich the collegiate experience.  The friendships, leadership and wellbeing skills established through involvement in sport and recreation can be some of the most valuable parts of the college experience.  Studies have even shown that students who participate in campus recreation often have better grades.


Facilities managed by the Department of Recreational Sports include the Recreational Sports Center (RSC), the Health and Kinesiology Center (HKC), Johnson Coliseum, the McAdams Tennis Complex, the Pritchett Field Sports Complex, three Intramural Sports Fields, Sand Volleyball Courts, and the University Camp. The RSC houses a 34’ climbing wall with bouldering area, a 10,000 square-foot weight room with a cardio area, several multipurpose and fitness rooms, as well as an outdoor heated swimming pool. The HKC is shared with the Health and Kinesiology academic program and offers four basketball courts, two multi-purpose rooms, an 1/8-mile indoor running track, ten racquetball courts, and a supplemental weight room. You can register for all Intramural Sports and Bearkat Camp in the HKC office. Adjacent to the RSC/HKC are the three Intramural Sports Fields and Sand Volleyball courts.  These are utilized for Intramurals, Informal Recreation, and Special Events. Just up the road is the McAdams Tennis Complex, an outdoor tennis venue with eight tennis courts. Johnson Coliseum, located directly across from the RSC and HKC, seats 6,094 people and hosts over 90 large-scale events each year. Sammypalooza, Bearkat Breakout, the SHSU Comedy Showcase, Varsity Basketball and Volleyball are just some of the events you can attend there. The newly-renovated Pritchett Field Sports Complex, home to our Recreational Sports Clubs, includes two athletic fields (one grass and one turf) and an outdoor running track.


As a student, you’ll enjoy the Informal Recreational program by participating in self-directed activities such as drop-in basketball, weight-lifting, cardio, racquetball or swimming. The seasonally heated 182,000 gallon pool has four 25-yard lap lanes and a leisure area which can be used for water sports or merely relaxing in the sun. The Fitness Program offers comprehensive wellness programming for the Bearkat community. Programs include group fitness classes, yoga, personal training, as well as fitness and wellbeing events such as Celebrate EveryBODY Week. Instructor Training and development is also available. The Intramural Sports program offers a variety of team, dual, and individual activities with both competitive and recreational divisions. The Club Sports program consists of recognized student organizations established to promote and develop common sport- and/or recreation-related interests. Each of our 35 active clubs are organized, managed, and currently maintained by volunteer student leaders. Outdoor Recreation is a multi-faceted program consisting of six primary components; Trips, Workshops, the Climbing Center and bouldering area, equipment rental (tents, sleeping bags, kayaks, etc.), Bearkat Camp (a four day, three night experience for incoming freshmen), and the 345-acre University Camp and retreat center. The University Camp is a one-of-a-kind recreation and retreat facility located 15 minutes northeast of campus. Members of the SHSU community can spend a day canoeing on the water, fishing, hiking, biking, challenging themselves on the low or high-ropes courses, hosting a gathering in the dining hall, or just enjoying a picnic by the lake. Special Events are hosted by Recreational Sports throughout the year. Past activities have included Sammypalooza, a musical festival with multiple acts, Bearkat Breakout, the largest bouncy-house party ever, as well as Demo Days, Sweat the Stress week, and Earth Day activities. The department also provides numerous employment opportunities for students who are interested in part-time work. Over 200 student positions are filled annually in the areas of intramural officiating, facility supervision, aquatics, marketing, and fitness. Please refer to Jobs for Kats website for current and complete list of student work opportunities. For more information about any of these Recreational Sports activities, please stop by the administrative offices located on the first floor of the Recreation Complex, call (936) 294-1985, or visit

Residence Life

Residence Halls. The Department of Residence Life operates about twenty-eight residence halls, including an apartment complex for upperclassmen. A housing brochure will be sent to the students upon acceptance to SHSU. This brochure provides many details of the residence life program at Sam Houston State University, including information regarding specific residence halls, applicable rates, and some policies. Students can also visit Residence Life or call (936) 294-1812.

A person may not live in University housing unless enrolled in classes at SHSU for each particular semester.

Application for housing may be made via the website once the student has been accepted to SHSU, or may be filed in person, by mail, or by fax. A deposit of $200 is required with the application for housing. Assignments are made on a space-available basis according to the date of deposit. Prior to the beginning of a semester, students will be mailed a residence hall or apartment assignment, the appropriate arrival and check-in hours, and other pertinent information. The housing contract will be in effect and must be adhered to for the full academic year.

Should a student become unable to fulfill a reservation, a refund may be made under certain conditions. Please refer to the Housing Application/Contract for specific details regarding refunds which are determined by the date the cancellation is received.

Students may pay for housing in full at registration or in an installment arrangement. Payment of rent and/or deposit may be made with MasterCard or VISA, if desired. A late fee of $10 is charged on all payments received after established deadlines. Information on specific dates of payments and amounts due may be obtained from the Department of Residence Life.

University residence halls are closed during the Thanksgiving holiday, academic breaks between semesters, and during spring recess. The student may stay in the residence hall during these periods, if approved, for a separate fee unless the buildings are closed for maintenance or renovation.

Bearkat Village Apartments. The University maintains two-bedroom, fully furnished apartments for upperclassmen. The apartments are located on Montgomery Road across from Bowers Stadium. All residents must be enrolled in the University.

First-year Students Required Housing And Meal Plan Policy. All students who have graduated from high school within the current or previous calendar year are required to reside in University housing and to purchase a meal plan for their freshman year, which will normally include the fall and spring semesters. For example, a December 2007 high school graduate would be required to live on campus the Spring 2008 semester as well as the entire 2008-2009 academic year. Anyone signing an academic year housing/meal plan contract will be required to fulfill the terms of that contract. Exceptions to the Freshman Required Housing and Meal Plan Policy may be made by the Department of Residence Life if:

  1. residence in University housing will impose a significant hardship, financial or otherwise; or
  2. the student is married and living with his/her spouse; or
  3. the student commutes from the home of his/her parents, grandparents, or a brother or sister; or
  4. the student graduated from high school at least one year prior to attending Sam Houston State University; or
  5. the student is a veteran of military service.

The student must provide documented evidence to warrant consideration for a waiver of this requirement. A denial of this request may be appealed to the Assistant Director of Residence Life. Charges for both services will be added to the student’s account until approval for the waiver is obtained. Any student that does not comply with the above policy will be subject to disciplinary action as specified by the Code of Student Conduct as published in Student Guidelines.

Dining Service. Four meal plans are currently available. All required first-year students must choose between the 20, 15, or “any 160” meal plans. The 5 meal plan is designed for and restricted to upperclassmen living on or off campus. The 20, 15, or 5 meal plans offer the given number of meals per week (Monday through Sunday). The fourth option provides for “any 160” meals during the semester. Students who purchase the 5, 20, or “any 160” meal plans receive 100 “Bonus Points” toward the Bearkat Express. Students who purchase the 15 meal plan will receive 155 “Bonus Points” toward the Bearkat Express. The Bearkat Express is a declining balance account in which a minimum of $25 is deposited and the cash price of food purchases is deducted from the balance. Bearkat Express funds are nonrefundable. Bearkat Express is welcome at any ARAMARK managed campus dining facility. Rates and additional information are available from the Department of Residence Life.

Summer Housing.  The buildings that are open for summer school housing vary from year to year because of renovation and maintenance schedules. Rooms in residence halls and Bearkat Village apartments are usually open for summer school students. Assignments are made according to date of deposit.

Student Services, Division of

The role of the Division of Student Services is to complement the total educational mission of the University by providing opportunities for students to develop and grow in an academic environment. This is accomplished by offering quality programs and emphasizing the holistic approach in co-curriculum involvement. Studies indicate that learning occurs in an environment conducive to social, recreational, educational, and intellectual interaction. A variety of student service programs are designed to foster such interaction with students, faculty, staff, and the University community. The goal of the division is to contribute to the learning experiences of SHSU students, helping them to become educated, enlightened, and empowered in ways that they can achieve and contribute as productive citizens in their college, community, and country.

The Office of the Vice President for Student Services provides administrative leadership, supervision, and coordination for the Division of Student Services. The division includes the following departments: Bearkat OneCard Services; Student Money Management Center; Counseling and Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD); Dean of Students’ Office; Health Services; Lowman Student Center; Student Activities; Recreational Sports and Activities; and Students’ Legal and Mediation Services. For more information, visit the website at

Visitor Center

Located in the John R. Ragsdale Visitor & Alumni Center, the Sam Houston State University Visitor Center is the welcoming point of the University. Visitors are encouraged to register at the Center upon arrival to campus to ensure the maximum benefit of their visit. Buses are welcome and easily accommodated. Please contact the Center to:

  • Schedule a tour of the campus
  • Obtain departmental brochures to assist in educational planning
  • Register for Saturdays@Sam Campus Preview Day

The Visitor Center, located at the Bowers Boulevard entrance to campus, is housed with the Office of Alumni Relations. Visitors can enjoy showcased SHSU alumni success stories, university history, and view the university’s “story” on video in the state-of-the-art theater.

Saturdays@Sam campus preview days are held in the fall and spring of each year for prospective students, parents, and guests. For more information, please contact the Visitor Center at (936) 294-1844 or visit

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