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3.5.3 Undergraduate program requirements

The institution defines and publishes requirements for its undergraduate programs, including its general education components. These requirements conform to commonly accepted standards and practices for degree programs. (Undergraduate program requirements)

Judgment of Compliance

Sam Houston State University defines and publishes general education and major program requirements, as well as the general education core curriculum, for undergraduates through the Sam Houston State University catalog. The Core Curriculum section of the online version of the 2006-2008 Undergraduate Catalog (pages 70-72 of the hard copy) explains the Core Curriculum [1] and the Academic Colleges section (pages 103 – 394 of the hard copy) define the major requirements [2] for each degree program offered at Sam Houston State University. The published standards follow the guidelines mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and represent standard practice for such academic programs. The faculty in each discipline determine the degree program requirements, which are reviewed by the respective departmental, college and university committees and the Board of Regents of The Texas State University System. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) gives final approval to all academic programs. The THECB’s approval insures the use of commonly accepted standards and practices for each reviewed degree program. THECB, in its review, demands that the curriculum be up-to-date and consistent with current academic theory [3]. In some cases, degree requirements are further defined by external state certification agencies or national associations from whom specific programs require approval. For example, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programs are required to include a communication component in their degree requirements for AACSB [4]. A full listing of externally accredited programs is provided later in this narrative. A detailed listing of all University courses along with a brief description of the course follows each degree program listing in the published SHSU catalog as well as the online version of the catalog.

As a member of The Texas State University System and as a state-supported public institution of higher learning, SHSU is also bound by the rules of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Consistent with these rules, SHSU has identified a general education core curriculum that complies with the standards put forth in THECB’S rule 4.28 [5]. The core curriculum at Sam Houston State University contains 45 semester credit hours, encompassing six component areas [1]. Each component area has a minimum credit hour requirement and a set of specific courses that may be used to satisfy the requirement. The Core Curriculum requirements are broken down as follows:

Component Area I (Communication) 6 Hours
Component Area II (Mathematics) 3 Hours
Component Area III (Natural Sciences) 8 Hours
Component Area IV (Humanities & Visual & Performing Arts) 9 Hours
Component Area V (Social and Behavioral Sciences) 15 Hours
Component Area VI (Institutionally Designated Option) 4 Hours
Total Hours Required to Complete Core Requirements 45 Hours*

* Effective Fall 2008, the SHSU Core Curriculum was reduced to 42 hours, by eliminating 3 hours of computer literacy from Component Area VI. Computer Literacy was transferred from the general education requirement to the degree requirement.

Sam Houston State University follows the guidelines established by the THECB in the selection of core course distribution across areas of study and further, obtains approval from the same regulatory body for all degrees offered at the undergraduate level. The adherence to the THECB requirements and approval by the THECB for established degrees ensures that Sam Houston State University’s general education requirements conform to the same accepted collegiate standards and practices as all public institutions of higher education in the State of Texas.

All undergraduate degree programs at SHSU have designated United States Department of Education Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes in accordance with THECB policies [6]; therefore, SHSU’s undergraduate programs are aligned with undergraduate programs throughout Texas and the United States. These programs also meet standards outlined by the THECB in Section 5.45 [3] of its rules.

Additionally, some programs’ adherences to accepted collegiate standards and practices are certified by external accrediting agencies. These programs and their corresponding accrediting agencies are published online in the Sam Houston State University 2006-2008 Undergraduate Catalog and in the Sam Houston State University 2005-2007 Graduate Catalog, and are listed below [7] [8].

• The College of Business Administration’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs are accredited by AACSB International, The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
• The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
• The American Chemical Society recognizes the Department of Chemistry as having adequate faculty, facilities, library, curriculum, and research for training professional chemists.
• The undergraduate computer science degree program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission ABET
• The Masters Program for Licensed Professional Counselors is accredited by the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) for the period July 2006 through July 2014.
• The Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at the undergraduate level and the Dietetic Internship (DI) Program at the graduate level in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences are currently granted Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) of the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
• The Bachelor of Music curricula of the School of Music are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
• The Doctoral Program degree in Clinical Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).
• The Graduate Program in School Psychology is approved by the National Association of School Psychologists.

All SHSU degree programs have been designed in accordance with TSUS Rules and Regulations, Chapter III, Section 5.1 [9]. These rules stipulate that each bachelor’s program require at least 120 total semester credit hours and require at least 24 hours in the major; the rules also stipulate that degree requirements be comparable to similar degrees in the state, and that requirements meet, where applicable, state and national accreditation, licensure, or certification standards.

Supporting Documentation
Documentation Reference
Document Title
[1] Core Curriculum, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008
[2] Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008 - Academic Sections
[3] Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Rules and Regulations, Chapter 5, Section 5.45, Subsection 6
[4] AACSB Communication Standard
[5] Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Rules and Regulations, Chapter 4, Subchapter B, Section 4.28
[6] Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) Codes - Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
[7] Accreditation, Undergraduate Catalog, 2006-2008 - Online
[8] Accreditation, Graduate Catalog, 2007-2009 - Online
[9] The Texas State University System, Rules and Regulations, Chapter III, Section 5.1

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Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1111