Whether you are a Texas student or reside in another state, Sam Houston State University may be a good fit for your personality and your pocketbook. Sam Houston State University is located in Huntsville, Texas, and is named for Texas hero and statesman Sam Houston, who lived in the city and is buried there. The school was founded in 1879 as the Sam Houston Normal Institute and became known under its present name in 1967. The school is the third oldest college in Texas and has a student population of more than 20,000. There are 88 undergraduate programs and 59 master’s level programs available at SHSU. Although the university ranking in the US News and World Report is not published, the school has the sixth best online graduate computer information technology program.

Accreditation Details

The university is accredited by the Southern Association of the Higher Learning Commission on Accreditation of Colleges and Schools. The business programs at the school, both traditional and online, are accredited by AACSB. The bachelor’s degree in nursing is accredited by ACEN. The psychology department is accredited by the APA. The teaching programs are accredited by NCATE.
The computer technology degrees are accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. There are other accreditations by department. Generally, the online degree programs in each department offer the same coursework as the traditional degrees and are accredited by the same organizations.

Application Requirements

Whether you are applying for admission as a freshman, transfer or graduate student in traditional or online programs, the school prefers that you complete the online admission application. There is a non-refundable $45 application fee for both undergraduate and graduate students. Freshman applicants must have their high schools send their complete official transcripts. If you are a transfer or graduate student, you should have any colleges you attended send transcripts for all coursework you completed. In addition, freshmen must submit scores for the ACT or THEA tests. The school will also accept SAT scores. Graduate students should submit GMAT or GRE scores. If you are applying for admission to the graduate school, you should check the requirements of the department that houses your degree as there may be additional requisites such as letters of recommendation. You have the option of applying for the Academic Fresh Start program that allows you to have the records of all previous coursework for the last ten years removed from consideration for admission. Once you have finished the initial application process, you should activate your student computer account. It is through this portal that you will be notified of admission and financial aid status, check your class schedule and receive online coursework.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Resident undergraduate tuition and fees at Sam Houston State University are $3,881 per semester. You will need an estimated additional $500 for books and supplies. The residence hall averages $2,460 per semester and the average meal plan is $1,930. In-state graduate students pay $3,661 per semester for nine hours. Non-resident graduate tuition for the same number of hours is $7,333.25. Tuition and fees for online students taking a course load of twelve hours are $4,542.

If you are a first-time freshman, you may apply for the Guaranteed Price Plan that allows you to pay a fixed tuition rate for up to eight semesters. The guaranteed rate does not cover fees or other expenses. Almost all students who apply for financial aid at SHSU receive some type of help. Nineteen percent have their needs met completely. If you need assistance to pay for your education, the first step is completing the FAFSA form. This is a government program that awards grants, loans and work-study eligibility based on the financial information you submit. When you receive your awards letter, you will be able to apply for additional assistance through other grants, scholarships and student loans.

Texas offers the Texas Grant as an incentive for students to pursue higher learning. There is also a grant available to students who ranked in the top ten percent of their high school classes. The school awards the Terry Scholar Grant, which is a full-ride scholarship, based on academic progress and other considerations. Sam Houston State University offers several scholarships by department as well. The Smith Hutson Scholarship, for instance, is for business students and awards up to $7,000 per semester based on financial need and academic potential. There are also scholarships funded by organizations, private individuals and by corporations. An online search will inform you about these opportunities and the requisites for each. If you have exhausted all funding and still fall short of your financial need, you might consider taking out a low-interest student loan, which usually features a deferred repayment plan.

Online Degrees Available

There are more than forty degrees offered online at Sam Houston State University, as well as several professional certifications. The online programs offer the same degree coursework and degrees as the traditional programs. There are programs in business administration, in teaching and nursing, in psychology and sociology and other areas. If you are interested in earning a degree in Information Technology, the only online offering at this time through Sam Houston State University is the Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics. The program, however, ranks as #6 in the US News and World Report listing of Online University Programs. Graduates from this degree program will be equipped to work in digital forensics or in network security in any number of public and commercial settings as well as in law enforcement. Digital Forensic experts assist in computer crime investigation and recover lost files. If you decide upon this major, you will learn how to build programs that protect the security of financial and governmental agencies as well.

The program contains thirty-to-thirty-six credit hours. Students learn to plan, create and administer security and information assurance systems. Courses in the program include Digital Security, File Systems, Forensics and Network Cyber Security, among others.

Online programs offer flexibility and may save you money in commuting, housing and other areas. If you are thinking about earning an online degree, particularly in Information Technology, the Master’s Degree in Digital Forensics at San Houston State University may prove exciting and worthwhile.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Information Technology