Sam Houston State University (known as SHSU or Sam) was founded in 1879 and is the third oldest public institution of higher learning in the State of Texas
Sam Houston State University is located approximately one hour north of downtown Houston in the hills, lakes, and forests region of East Texas in Huntsville. It is one of the oldest purpose-built institutions for the instruction of teachers west of the Mississippi River and the first such institution of its type in Texas. The school is named for Sam Houston, who made his home in the city and is buried there.
SHSU is a member of the Texas State University System and has an enrollment of more than 18,400 students across over 80 undergraduate, 54 masters’, and 6 doctoral degree programs. The university also offers more than 20 online bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and its programs are ranked high by U.S. News & World Report. It was the first institution classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education within the Texas State University System, and while education continues to be the most popular major among students at the university, SHSU has nationally-recognized programs in banking, performing arts, mathematics and criminal justice.
The oak-studded Sam Houston State University main campus sits on 316 acres in the central area of Huntsville. Two large agricultural complexes feature a 1,600 acre teaching and research farm and a rodeo arena. The campus also features a planetarium, an observatory, a body farm, and an 18-hole golf course named Raven Nest. The mall area of the main campus includes Blatchley Bell Tower and Clock and a fountain.
The campus stood in for the fictional Austin University in the motion picture The Life of David Gale.