Graduate Advisement

Before the initial registration, the student should consult with the appropriate graduate advisor. Academic advisement is encouraged prior to each registration. All students should confer with graduate advisors on a regular basis, monitor their own academic progress, and review the degree plan on a continuous basis. The graduate advisors can be located by accessing the desired degree program at Graduate Studies.


During scheduled periods of registration, students may register online by selecting the My Sam link on SHSU's homepage ( and then the Registration tab. Students will need their SamID and password to access My Sam. For further information please contact the Office of the Registrar at (936) 294-1052.

Graduate Courses

A graduate course is an advanced course requiring critical analysis and study. Typically, courses with numbers of 5000- or 6000-level are master’s-level courses and 7000-level or higher are doctoral-level courses. To provide a greater range of academic course offerings, some graduate programs allow students to take a limited number of approved 4000-level courses for graduate credit. To receive graduate credit for a 4000-level course, the student must receive prior approval from the department chair and the academic dean and complete additional requirements as outlined by the professor. Please see the specific degree programs within this catalog for more details on taking 4000-level courses for graduate credit.

Course Load

Normal Load. The load for a full-time graduate student is nine to twelve credit hours per fall or spring semester and six credit hours in the summer. Students enrolled in master’s and doctoral degree programs should enroll in a minimum of nine graduate credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters and six credit hours in the summer to be considered full-time graduate students.

Master’s students desiring to enroll in more than twelve graduate credit hours and doctoral students desiring to enroll in more than nine graduate credit hours in any one semester must obtain approval from the dean of the college in which they are enrolled.

It is important to note that the University requirements for full-time status and requirements of various financial aid programs may differ. It is recommended that students consult with the University’s Financial Aid Office to determine how assistantships and fellowships may impact financial aid.

Course Load for Graduate Assistants. Graduate students employed by the University at least half-time as graduate assistants, research assistants, or teaching assistants should enroll in a minimum of six graduate credit hours per semester to be considered full-time graduate students. The maximum course load for graduate assistants on half-time employment is nine credit hours per fall or spring semester or six credit hours during the summer. Graduate assistants on less than a half-time assistantship may have the maximum course load authorization increased proportionately by the appropriate department/school chair. For more information on the employment of graduate assistants refer to Academic Policy Statement 890303 at

Change of Schedule

(Adding and Dropping Courses)
The registration system is used to add or drop courses. Registration periods are stated in the Term Guidelines which can be found online by selecting Class Schedule on the University Fast Links. No schedule changes may be made after the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar.
After changing a schedule, students are encouraged to verify the class schedule by selecting the My Sam link on SHSU’s homepage ( and then selecting the Registration Tab and then My Schedule in the Registration Toolbox.

After the initial payment of tuition, those students who make schedule changes resulting in enrollment for additional semester credit hours are responsible for payment of additional tuition and fees. Additional costs incurred for classes added after established payment dates are due on the day they are added. Failure to meet these payment deadlines will result in the classes being dropped from the student’s schedule and in certain cases, in the resignation of the student.

Off-Campus Courses

Students may register for off-campus courses during the regular registration periods as listed in the current Class Schedule. Courses taught by SHSU at a location away from the main campus carry residence credit. Off-campus procedures for resignations and schedule changes (adds or drops) are the same as for students attending classes on campus. See the current Class Schedule for a complete listing of courses and locations.
Sam Houston State University has approval from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer various degree programs at The Woodlands Center in The Woodlands, Texas. Courses completed as part of these programs carry residence credit.

Correspondence Courses

Correspondence courses are not offered at the graduate level, nor can any correspondence course taken at any level or at any institution count toward a graduate degree at Sam Houston State University.

Correct Addresses

It is necessary to have on file with the University a correct residency address. Students who change addresses after completing registration should immediately update their address by logging on to SamWeb and selecting Address Change under Student Records. Official University e-mail correspondence will be sent to the assigned SHSU e-mail address. The University assumes no obligation for failure of a student to receive communications.

International students must contact:

Office of International Programs
Sam Houston State University
Box 2150
Huntsville TX 77341-2150
(936) 294-4737

Name Change

Appropriate documentation substantiating a legal name change for a student must be submitted to the Payroll Office prior to the student’s next registration. All transcripts are issued under the student’s legal name as recorded in the Payroll Office. The Request for Change of Name form can be found on the Payroll Office and the Registrar’s website under forms:

International Students: Requirements for Registration

Immediately upon arrival on campus, international students should contact the Office of International Programs to ensure that all admission and immigration papers are in order. Students must bring with them their I-20A/B, passport, visa, and I-94 card. Visit or call:

Office of International Programs
Sam Houston State University
Farrington, Room 116
Box 2150
Huntsville TX 77341-2150
(936) 294-4737

All international students are required to purchase the Group Hospitalization, Medical Evacuation, and Repatriation Insurance available to all eligible SHSU students. Purchase of this insurance is coordinated through the University Health Center.

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