Sam Houston State University is in Huntsville, Texas, about 70 miles north of Houston. It is classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education and ranks in the top 7 percent of all U.S. colleges and universities. Admissions requirements differ for in-state and out-of-state freshman students, transfer students and graduate students, according to information from the university website.

You're Only a Freshman Once

As a freshman, you must apply for admission on the Texas statewide college application website and select Sam Houston State University as your desired school. You have three options for paying the non-refundable $45 application fee. You can pay through the website using a credit card, mail a check or money order to the Sam Houston Undergraduate Admissions Office or make a credit or debit card payment directly through the school. SHSU requires all freshmen to send official high school transcripts by mail or ask their high school guidance counselors to send them electronically. Students are not allowed to email or fax their transcripts. The application deadline is Aug. 1 for fall admission and Dec. 1 for spring admission.

College Facts and Stats about Sam Houston State University

Standardized Scores Matter

Freshman applicants must also submit their standardized test scores from official ACT or SAT websites. If you graduated from a Texas high school and rank in the top 25 percent of your graduating class, scored in the top 25 percent on the ACT or scored in the top 25 percent on the SAT combined reading and math sections, you receive automatic admission. Those who graduated in the second-quarter percentile of their graduation class must have a minimum combined score of 20 on the ACT or 960 on the SAT to apply. Third-quarter students need a 23 ACT or 1060 SAT to apply, and fourth-quarter graduates are reviewed by SHSU admissions boards.

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Texas Uniform Admissions Standards

Special admissions requirements apply to students who graduated from high schools in Texas. According to state laws known as the Uniform Admissions Standards, freshman applicants must meet at least one college readiness standard. They must have either completed a distinguished high school program, completed an equivalent curriculum that is just as competitive as a distinguished high school program or meet college readiness benchmarks established by SAT and ACT boards. The benchmarks require a minimum score of 1500 out of 2400 on the SAT, or minimum scores of 18 in English, 21 in reading, 22 in mathematics and 24 in science on the ACT.

Transferring is a Breeze

If you apply to SHSU as a transfer student, you must apply at, pay a non-refundable $45 application fee and submit your transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you attended to the Undergraduate Admissions Office. Once again, faxed or emailed transcripts will not be accepted. Students who want to transfer 1 to 11 credits must have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA on transferable credits, those with 12 to 17 transfer credits must have an overall minimum 2.5 GPA, and those with over 18 credits need a minimum 2.0 GPA. The Aug. 1 and Dec. 1 deadlines also apply.

Graduate School is for Brainiacs

Graduate school admissions requirements vary by degree program. All applicants must apply through and pay the $45 application fee. You must send your official transcripts from the university or universities where you got your baccalaureate degrees or ask the schools to send them electronically. Some graduate programs also require recommendation letters and specific test scores, but SAT and ACT scores are not required. For example, the Master of Science in computing and information science graduate program requires two letters of recommendation and official GRE scores.

About the Author

As curriculum developer and educator, Kristine Tucker has enjoyed the plethora of English assignments she's read (and graded!) over the years. Her experiences as vice-president of an energy consulting firm have given her the opportunity to explore business writing and HR. Tucker has a BA and holds Ohio teaching credentials.