sam houston state university graduate admissions

Graduate school can be a tough process. If you’re looking to attend a graduate program in Texas, you’ve come to the right place. At, we’ve got the information and resources you need to help simplify this process. Whether you’re researching my own institution (the number one university in Texas!), or trying to find more information about any other school, you’ve come to the right place.

At Sam Houston State University, we know that future students are our #1 priority. By providing an exceptional student experience, we are able to achieve our goal of educating highly motivated, talented, and well-prepared graduates. SHSU is a wonderful place to get your education, and we’d love to have you join our community as a student.

Graduate Transient Admission

Transient admission may be granted to a student who is accepted in good standing at a college and/or university recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and who wishes to enroll for one semester at Sam Houston State University. An applicant requesting this status must submit the following to the Office of Admissions: the graduate application for admission, a nonrefundable application fee, and certification of graduate standing in a college and/or university recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Some departments may require additional information for transient admission; therefore, applicants should contact the appropriate academic department. A student admitted with this admission type who later wishes to seek a degree at Sam Houston State University must submit an application for graduate studies. A maximum of 12 credit hours taken as a graduate transient may be applied to a graduate degree program at the discretion of the appropriate academic dean. For more information for international students, refer to Additional Visa Type Considerations. 


Master’s classification is assigned to a degree-seeking student possessing a baccalaureate degree or the equivalent and who has been admitted to an approved master’s degree program at SHSU. Master’s classification is also granted to a degree-seeking student admitted to a doctoral program who has not yet earned the required master’s degree or 30 hours toward the doctorate degree.


Doctoral classification is assigned to a degree-seeking student who has been admitted to an approved doctoral degree program at SHSU, and has completed a master’s degree (recognized as the equivalent of one year’s full-time work) toward the doctoral degree the student is seeking, or at least 30 graduate hours of work toward the proposed doctorate degree.


Professional classification is assigned to a degree-seeking student who has been admitted to an approved professional program at SHSU, and has completed the pre-requisites for entry into the degree program the student is seeking.

sam houston state university enrollment 2021

SHSU’s New Academic Year Shows Growth In Key Populations

Campus photoSam Houston State University’s unofficial fall 2021 student census indicates growth in strategic populations including first-time incoming freshmen (up 2.2 percent), first-time transfer students (up 3.11 percent) and graduate students (up 5.5 percent).

Overall, SHSU student enrollment for the fall semester is 21,679, down 1.1 percent from 2020, though President Alisa White is optimistic to see rises in key demographics.

“We are seeing great progress in those areas where we have been very strategic. SHSU recruits many non-traditional students in support of state educational attainment goals and also those seeking to enhance their education beyond a bachelor’s degree. The data are encouraging,” White said. “Our story is much better than it could have been given the tough time our students had last year. I’m thankful for the tremendous work of many teams on campus who did an incredible job over the summer in removing barriers for students that really wanted to come to Sam Houston State.”

First-time freshmen

Through grants, scholarships, student employment, money management coaching and many other services, SHSU helps make a college degree attainable for students from all economic backgrounds.  

Like the many freshmen who arrived on campus this fall, Rolando Gonzalez is learning the ropes of college for the first time as he pursues a bachelor’s degree in management information systems. Because of the generous support of the Smith-Hutson scholar program at SHSU, Gonzalez was able to overcome financial barriers and begin fulfilling a dream he previously thought impossible.  

“This program has given me the opportunity to envision a brighter future for my family and get me closer to accomplishing my career goals. It has provided me with all the resources to strive for greatness during my years at Sam Houston,” he said.

Transfer students

Specializing in the recruitment of transfer students, the SHSU Enrollment Success team assists with degree discovery and transfer course steps to help students understand which credits apply to specific degrees, and what courses are needed to achieve their goals.

New to SHSU, Gloria Moctezuma-Palma is a psychology major who just transferred from Lone Star College and is happy to finally be on track to earning a four-year degree. About to turn 30 with two young children, she manages a small car dealership and substitute teaches on the side. Like many at SHSU, she is a first-generation student—the first in her family to pursue a college degree.

“My parents immigrated here from Mexico where they only attended primary (elementary) school, so even though I am a non-traditional student, I feel blessed to be able to pursue a degree,” she said.

Graduate students

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in master’s-level occupations is projected to grow by almost 17 percent by 2026, the fastest of any education level. Employment in doctoral and professional-level occupations is projected to grow by about 13 percent.

Community and social service is one of six career fields projected to have the most job openings for graduate-level occupations. In this area, counseling is expected to see the greatest number of openings.

Tamisha Thomas is a first-generation student starting to pursue a master’s in counseling this semester at SHSU.

“I have always wanted to be a therapist, and my ultimate goal is to get my doctorate degree,” Thomas said.

Understanding the demand for more mental health professionals, Thomas aspires to build her own counseling center in the future and offer affordable, sliding-fee scale therapy services to those in need.

An added benefit to pursuing a master’s degree at SHSU is the opportunity to participate in graduate assistantships—salaried student employment opportunities exclusive to graduate students. Thomas currently works as a graduate assistant in the College of Education’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office.

With 52 percent of SHSU’s student enrollment comprised of first-generation students and 60 percent classified as “at risk,” it is clear that higher education solutions today must be designed to provide opportunities for everyone.

“We share in a common purpose at Sam Houston State—to help unlock the full potential of all students, helping them prepare for life, and providing top-notch instruction and tools for a great future,” White said. 

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