Jul 23, 2024  
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Undergraduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

University Profile

University Profile  > University Profile


Who We Are

Office of the President 713-743-8820
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost 713-743-9101
Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance 713-743-5550
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer 713-743-9104
Vice President for University Advancement 713-743-8165
Vice President for University Marketing, Communication and Media Relations 713-743-0945
Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services 713-743-5390
Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel 832-842-0949
Vice President for Governmental Relations 832-842-9064

The University of Houston, founded in 1927, is Texas’ premier public metropolitan research and teaching institution. Located in the fourth-largest city in the United States-Houston is ranked third in the number of Fortune 500 headquarters-we place our students in the midst of a vibrant, entrepreneurial, and economically diverse environment.

The University of Houston is the doctoral degree-granting and largest university of the University of Houston System, a public system of higher education that includes three other universities (UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, and UH-Victoria). The system also offers six regional campuses (UHS at Cinco Ranch, UH System at Sugar Land, UHCL Pearland, UH Northwest, UHD Northwest, UHS Texas Medical Center). We stand at the forefront of education, research, and service. Our students enjoy a combination of academic excellence in a mentoring environment, a vibrant community of stellar faculty and dynamic programs, and real-world experience.

Bright Students

We serve more than 40,600 students in twelve academic colleges and in the interdisciplinary Honors College. We offer 109 majors and minors, 105 master’s, 41 doctoral, and three professional degree programs. We award nearly 8,000 degrees annually.

Our innovative curricula, nationally ranked programs and dynamic learning environment bring students face-to-face with award-winning faculty who have received honors including the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, and the National Medal of Science, among others.

The quality of our students is reflected in the increasing average SAT scores of entering freshmen and in the growing enrollment of our Honors College. The average SAT score of current Honors College students is 1250. The Honors College draws on the talents of the finest UH faculty members to provide a wide range of special courses for some of the nation’s most academically gifted students. (www.uh.edu/academics/hon)

We are the second most ethnically diverse research university in the United States. Our student body is 33.1 percent white, 19.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 23.5 percent Hispanic, 12.1 percent African American, 8.5 percent International, 0.3 percent Native American, and 2.9 percent unspecified. UH students represent more than 137 nations. We have a 21:1 student-faculty ratio.

In an effort to make high-quality education available to all deserving students, we offer financial assistance programs that include scholarships, grants, and loans. (www.uh.edu/admissions/financial/)

We are home to more than 300 student organizations, including the Student Government Association, 26 national Greek fraternities and sororities, and 40 local and professional fraternities and sororities. Campus activities include film series, concerts, theatrical productions, art exhibits, and Division 1A NCAA representation.

About 6,000 students live on campus in traditional residence halls or apartment-style housing. Bayou Oaks offers townhomes and residence halls for students. Greek Park at Bayou Oaks also provides residential living for all students, including those in Greek organizations. All residence halls include study lounges, computer labs, laundry facilities, mail services, and parking options. Each room is furnished and includes basic cable and Ethernet.

The entire UH System contributes $3.1 billion to the Houston-area economy every year and generates about 24,000 local jobs. Our impact includes more than 600 partnerships with community organizations and our students contribute nearly 1 million hours of volunteer and internship service to organizations in Houston every year.

Most of our students secure career-level jobs either just before or shortly after graduation. Over the past 85 years, we have awarded more than 268,000 degrees, and approximately 80 percent of our alumni remain in the Houston area up to ten years after graduation.

Our graduates can be found in leadership positions from Capitol Hill to community nonprofits. They are scientists, astronauts, researchers, professors, teachers, administrators, engineers, doctors, presidents/CEOs, entrepreneurs, legislators, attorneys, judges, authors, singers, songwriters, actors, actresses, Olympians, professional athletes-the career list is endless. Our alumni are making a significant impact in all areas of life and are helping to bring about a better tomorrow.

Top-Notch Programs

UH public service and community activities, such as cultural offerings, clinical services, policy studies, and small-business initiatives, serve a diverse metropolitan population. In turn, the resources of the Gulf Coast Region complement and enrich our academic programs, providing students with professional expertise, practical experience, and career opportunities.

A sampling of our academic and research distinctions further demonstrates our commitment to excellence.

  • The UH Law Center’s Health Law and Policy Institute and the Institute for Intellectual Property and Information are among the best in the nation-both ranking in the top 10, according to U.S.News & World Report. Our faculty includes nationally recognized experts who help students mesh legal theory with practical applications of the law. (www.law.uh.edu/)
  • Our Creative Writing Program is one of the most competitive programs in the country as well as one of only two offering a Ph.D. Only 20 new students are admitted to the program each year. (www.uh.edu/cwp)
  • The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management is one of the top hospitality programs in the world. Because of connections 40 years in the making, Hilton college graduates are sought after by industry locally, nationally and throughout the world. (www.hrm.uh.edu/)
  • Students in the Moores School of Music consistently place first in regional and national competitions. With some 80 percent of its graduates remaining in the Houston area, the Moores School is infusing churches, schools, and professional performance organizations with superbly trained musicians and teachers. (www.class.uh.edu/)
  • The College of Education uses pioneering technologies for teaching and learning and is recognized as one of the most innovative colleges in the country. Many education students who graduate with teaching certificates remain in the Houston/Galveston area, helping to ensure well-trained educators for local schools. (www.coe.uh.edu/)
  • Students at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design frequently earn top honors in regional, national, and international competitions. (www.arch.uh.edu/)
  • The Cullen College of Engineering’s chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and civil engineering programs are ranked among the top programs in the nation. With our undergraduate program in biomedical engineering, combined with recent strides in nanoengineering, we are poised to become one of the premier players in bionano research. Additionally, the Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program is one of the many ways we are preparing students to gain a competitive edge in the market place. (www.egr.uh.edu/)
  • The C.T. Bauer College of Business is ranked nationally by U.S. News & World Report in the following programs: the Entrepreneurship program is 21st among entrepreneurship programs; the full-time MBA program is among the top 50. The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur magazine ranks our Center for Entrepreneurship as the #1 undergraduate program in the nation. Bauer College is one of only five U.S. schools with multiple members in the Academy of Management Hall of Fame and our marketing faculty is ranked number one in Houston and is in the top 5 percent worldwide. Our students also receive a world class education with real-world experience through the C.T. Bauer College of Business AIM Center for Investment Management. (www.bauer.uh.edu/)
  • The College of Optometry’s University Eye Institute is among the largest clinics in Houston- a city that is home to the world’s largest medical center. We also are one of only 17 optometry colleges in the United States and the only one in the Southwest. We serve more than 40,000 patients annually through our community-based clinics. Our College of Optometry-equipped with the latest ophthalmic instruments and diagnostic systems-has education and training affiliations with more than 100 community health centers, outpatient surgical centers, Veterans Affairs hospitals, Air Force, Army and Navy hospitals, and public health/Indian health hospitals. (www.opt.uh.edu/)
  • Our College of Pharmacy has partnered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Unlike any other partnership in the nation, we will develop and exchange scientific resources and educational opportunities. Our faculty and students will be trained in various departments within the FDA and FDA representatives will conduct research at the university. Our facilities in the Texas Medical Center allow our students to train with physicians, medical students, and members of our clinical faculty. Faculty research and program initiatives include cardiovascular studies, transdermal drug delivery, neuropharmacology, signal transduction mechanisms, aging and exercise, infectious disease protocols, and patient counseling and compliance. Projects addressing asthma management, community wellness, high school outreach, and medication labeling earned our students top honors in a Texas Pharmacy Association competition. (www.uh.edu/pharmacy/)
  • The Anthropology Program offers more field-based research opportunities for undergraduate students than any similar program in the state. (www.anthropology.uh.edu/)
  • Our Graduate College of Social Work is the only school of social work in Houston. With more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Houston/Harris County area, our award-winning NonProfit Leadership Alliance Program prepares our students to meet the growing need for qualified professionals in nonprofits. Our advanced concentrations in gerontology, children and families, mental health, political social work, and healthcare are nationally recognized for preparing our students for real-world social work practice. We offer our students outstanding faculty, diversity of field practice education sites, and numerous community projects and cutting-edge research centers. (www.sw.uh.edu/)
  • Our College of Technology’s emphasis on practical technology and merchandising is partnered with training in practical business and leadership skills. We help our students make a smooth transition from the classroom to the workplace by giving them the skills that are valuable in an immediate way to the companies and institutions that hire them. This is one of the reasons why two thirds of our students are employed in their chosen field before graduation. (www.tech.uh.edu/)

Groundbreaking Research

We conduct research in every academic department and operate more than 40 research centers and institutes. Through these facilities, we maintain more than 300 creative partnerships with corporate, civic, and governmental entities. Our interdisciplinary research breaks new ground in vital and innovative areas including bionanotechnology, superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration, and virtual technology.

With $113.7 million in research expenditures in 2011, UH is a leading research institution. As a reflection of our commitment to excellence in education, research and service, the university anticipates continued support and growth in every major research arena.

A $5.5 million grant was awarded to UH through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF). As a result of the ETF grant, UH has recruited top hormones researcher Jan-Åke Gustafsson and his team to carry out laboratory research and to create next-generation pharmaceuticals and medical technologies at a world-class center to be established by UH and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute (TMHRI).

World-Class Athletics

The University of Houston has a proud tradition of athletics as it continues to inspire excellence today while preparing leaders for life by fostering a culture which challenges student-athletes to achieve their highest academic, athletics and personal aspirations.

Its past speaks to the culture: 107 conference championships, 21 football bowl games, five men’s basketball NCAA Final Four appearances, 18 NCAA tournament appearances, 16 NCAA golf championships, two trips to the NCAA College World Series and the only women’s basketball team in Conference USA history to finish 16-0 in league play.

401 student-athletes earned 861 All-American honors in 14 sports.

In 2012, the Houston football team set a school record for wins with a final record of 13-1 and claimed the program’s ninth bowl win in its 21st appearance including its sixth in the last seven years. The Houston Men’s Track and Field program won its fourth straight Conference USA Outdoor Track and Field Championship while a record 164 student-athletes were named to the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll for posting a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, a 64-percent increase from 2008 and the third straight year for the department to set a record in the category.

On the international scene, 64 University of Houston student-athletes, coaches and administrators have competed in 14 Olympiads including three in the 2012 London Games. Jamaican Errol Nolan (Track & Field), Nigerian Seun Adigun (Track and Field) and Russian Anastasia Pozdniakova (Diving) all competed with Houston coaches Jane Figueiredo and Leroy Burrell both traveling across the Atlantic Ocean in coaching capacities.

Twenty-two competitors have won 39 medals (20 golf, 13 silver, 6 bronze) highlighted by Carl Lewis, who is the most decorated male Olympian in history with 10 medals including nine gold medals. Diver Yulia Pakhalina is the most decorated female Houston Olympian with five total medals; one gold, three silver and one bronze.

Renowned athletes Carl Lewis, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Elvin Hayes, Fred Couples, Andre Ware, and Leroy Burrell competed for UH under legendary coaches Guy V. Lewis, Bill Yeoman, Dave Williams, and Tom Tellez. Lewis is an inductee of the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Burrell, U.S. Olympian and alumnus, is the current men’s and women’s track and field head coach.

Stellar Facilities

Our 667-acre campus includes lush greenery, fountains, and sculptures. Our world-class facilities include high-tech laboratories, modern classrooms, and nationally renowned centers such as the Moores School of Music, the Athletics/Alumni Center; and the LeRoy and Lucille Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, which houses the Houston Public Media Group of KUHT, the nation’s first educational television station; KUHF, Houston’s NPR station and KUHA, the classical music station. The Center for Public Policy Polling and television studio labs are also based in the Melcher Center.

Since 2008, we have completed $219 million worth of construction projects and another $219 million is funding current projects, including a new athletic complex to replace Jeppesen/Robertson Stadium. The new Health and Biomedical Sciences Center features an ambulatory surgical center, laser center, research laboratories, classrooms and seminar spaces. The new Cougar Woods Dining Hall seats 600, and includes a Cougar Xpress Mini Market for those who are on the go. Residential construction includes the new Cougar Place. Discover more at www.uh.edu/plantops/departments/fpc/.

Libraries at UH provide abundant resources for research with collection holdings of more than 4 million microform units and 20,000 research journal subscriptions. The M.D. Anderson Library offers more than 140 networked workstations accessing 180 electronic databases as well as Internet access to Web-based research resources. The Honors College is located on the second floor.

Our 264,000-square-foot Campus Recreation and Wellness Center offers:

  • three gyms;
  • fitness equipment;
  • a 53-foot-high climbing wall;
  • racquetball and squash courts;
  • a 70-meter indoor competition pool with diving facilities;
  • a dry sauna and hot tub;
  • an outdoor leisure pool with hot tub;
  • a sand volleyball court;
  • an outdoor equipment rental shop;
  • six multipurpose rooms;
  • class/meeting rooms;
  • office space;
  • showers and dressing areas with lockers;
  • and much more.

The center is recognized by the National Intramural-Sports Association as one of the most outstanding sports centers in the nation.

The 191,730-square-foot Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex promises unprecedented interdisciplinary cooperation within the sciences in cutting-edge facilities for research and teaching. The three-building complex includes a five-story research building, a two-story classroom building, and a two-story auditorium. This new facility-designed by internationally renowned architect Cesar Pelli-addresses the evolution and future direction of collaborative research and will facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction among UH scientists and engineers, the Texas Medical Center, and other universities and research centers. The $81 million complex is the only academic facility of its kind in Houston.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston hosts world-class artists, writers, performers, and scholars. We teach and inspire the next generation of creative visionaries through collaborative academic courses along with innovative public performances, exhibitions, and informative lectures. Funded by a $20 million grant from George and Cynthia Woods Mitchell, the center- housed in the School of Theatre and Dance- is an alliance among the five arts units within our College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences -the School of Art; the Creative Writing Program; the Moores School of Music; the School of Theatre and Dance; and Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston. Along with classes, educational outreach programs, exhibitions, and public performances, the center offers residencies to emerging artists, writers, and curators to expand their work through postgraduate studies in the arts.

The Welcome Center and parking garage offers convenient parking and easy access to student services including admissions and financial aid service centers and a visitor’s center.

The Burdette Keeland Jr. Design Exploration Center at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture is rising from the skeleton of the World War II-era Band Annex, the last of its kind on campus, and provides a large, open space for student architects to test prototypes, gauge environmental effects on materials, and build full-scale models.

Our six regional campuses -UHS at Cinco Ranch, UH at Sugar Land UHCL Pearland, UH Northwest, UHD Northwest, The Texas Medical Center -bring educational opportunities to students across Houston and the Gulf Coast, offering credit and continuing education programs to meet almost any need. Also, our instructional television and online programs provide degree opportunities for students at home, at work, or in their neighborhoods. (www.distance.uh.edu/)

Finally, we commissioned the development of a Master Plan to serve as our blueprint for growth for the next 20 years. The plan includes five distinct areas: Art District, Professional District, Undergraduate District, Core Academic District, and Stadium District. The framework is under way and new residential housing in the Professional District has been approved by the UH System Board of Regents. By 2020, UH will be a more pedestrian-focused campus. We will have more housing in all areas, improved academic buildings, and new “lifestyle” features such as stores, restaurants, and gathering areas-and this is just the beginning.