Undergraduate Catalog Archive: Fall 2010 - Summer 2011
Base Catalog

Undergraduate Catalog F10-S11 Base Archive

University Profile

Who We Are
Office of the President 713-743-8820
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost 713-743-9101
Vice President for Research 713-743-9104
Vice President for Administration and Finance 713-743-5550
Vice President for University Advancement 713-743-8165
Vice President for Governmental Relations 512-499-8787
Vice President for Student Affairs 713-743-5390
Vice President for Legal Affairs and General Counsel 713-743-0949

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 fifth 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) and two multi-institution teaching centers (UH System at Sugar Land and UH System at Cinco Ranch). 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 35,000 students in twelve academic colleges and in the interdisciplinary Honors College. We offer 109 majors and minors, 131 master's, 51 doctoral, and three professional degree programs. We award more than 6,900 degrees annually.

Our innovative curriculum, nationally ranked programs, and dynamic learning and mentoring environment bring students face-to-face with award-winning faculty who have received awards such as 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 1270. 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. (

We are the second most ethnically diverse research university in the United States. Our student body is 38.5 percent white, 19.5  percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 19.3 percent Hispanic, 13.2 percent African American, 7.3 percent International, 0.4 percent Native American, and 1.8 percent unspecified. UH students represent more than 133 nations. We have a 27:1 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. (

We are home to more than 250  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 4,000 students live on campus in traditional residence halls or apartment-style housing. Bayou Oaks, our newest housing addition, 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.

In 2006, we conducted a study to assess our economic and community impact. The entire UH System contributes $3.1 billion to the Houston-area economy every year and generates 24,000 local jobs. Our impact includes 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 within three months after graduation. Over the past 80 years, we have awarded more than 230,000 degrees, and approximately 80  percent of our alumni remain in the Houston metropolitan area.

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. (
  • 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.
  • The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management is the only school of its kind in Texas and is rated as one of the top hospitality programs in the world. More than 95 percent of Hilton College students begin career-level positions upon graduation. (
  • The science journal Nature ranked UH 10th in the nation in physical sciences (physics, chemistry, earth science, engineering, mathematics, and applied sciences) based on how frequently UH faculty members' research was cited by other scientists.  (
  • 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. (
  • 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. (
  • Students at the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture frequently earn top honors in regional, national, and international competitions. (
  • 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. (
  • The C.T. Bauer College of Business is ranked nationally in the following programs: our MBA Program ranked 5th among public universities for CEOs of S&P 500 companies; our Executive MBA Program ranked in the top 20; and 12th in the nation among EMBA programs; our finance program is ranked 10th for research productivity; our undergraduate program ranked 63rd in the nation and number one in Houston; and our accounting department consistently ranked first or second for Texas CPA exam pass rates. We also have the #2 entrepreneurship program in the U.S. Additionally, 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 management information systems program is number one in the Gulf Coast Region and 17th worldwide; and we have the number one selling program with the largest enrollment and most extensive curriculum. 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. (
  • The Houston Business Journal listed our College of Optometry's University Eye Institute as the 7th largest clinic in Houston—home of the world's largest medical center. We also are one of only 17 optometry schools and colleges in the United States and the only one in the Southwest. We serve more than 30,000 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. (
  • 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. (
  • The Department of Anthropology offers more field-based research opportunities for undergraduate students than any similar program in the state. (
  • Our Graduate School 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 American Humanics Nonprofit Certificate 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. (
  • 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. (

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 $86.1 million in research awards for fiscal year 2006, an increase of $24.4 million in five years, 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 the number of grants and awards.

A $2.8 million National Institutes of Health grant is helping us develop a new type of interdisciplinary scientist in the emerging field of nanobiology—combining the tools, ideas, and materials of nanoscience and biology. We received the grant through our Institute for Molecular Design for the Keck Center for Computational and Structural Biology. Funds will be disbursed to undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students over a five-year period as competitive fellowships among students at UH, Rice, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Texas Health Science Center, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

World-Class Athletics

We have a proud athletics heritage: 18 bowl games; five men's basketball NCAA Final Four appearances, 18 NCAA tournaments, and six NIT preseason tournaments; 16 NCAA golf championships; and berths to baseball's College World Series. In 2004, the Lady Cougars basketball team clinched its first Conference USA championship; and the U.S. Basketball Writer's Association and named the Lady Cougars head coach, Joe Curl, National Coach of the Year.

Seventy-seven UH athletes and coaches have participated in an Olympic competition, and UH student-athletes have earned 33 medals. In 2007, 101 student-athletes were named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Former Lady Cougars forward/guard Chandi Jones was a three-time Conference USA Player of the Year and the first player in UH and Conference USA history to be named a Kodak All American. Jones was the WNBA's first round draft pick and is now with the WNBA Minnesota Lynx.

Football coach Kevin Sumlin has coached in nine bowl games, was a four-year letterman as a linebacker at Purdue and ended his college football career among the top 10 in tackles for the Purdue University Boilermakers. He was named to Sports Illustrated's All-America walk-on list as a freshman after leading Purdue with 91 tackles. Sumlin was twice named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten while leading Purdue in tackles as both a junior and senior.

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 track and field head coach. (

Stellar Facilities

Our 560-acre campus includes lush greenery, fountains, and sculptures. Our world-class facilities include high-tech laboratories, modern classrooms, and nationally renowned centers such as theMoores School of Music, theAthletics/Alumni Center; and theLeRoy and Lucille Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, which houses KUHT HoustonPBS, the nation's first educational television station; KUHF (88.7 FM), Houston's NPR station; the Center for Public Policy Polling; and television studio labs.

In February 2004, we completed funding for the $49 million expansion and renovation of the M.D. Anderson Library and The Honors College. The library's new wing doubles the facility's square footage and allows current collections to increase from 1.6 million volumes to 2.4 million volumes. It also includes a 24-hour study area, a consolidated services area, and a café.

Libraries at UH provide abundant resources for research, with total collective holdings of more than 4 million microform units, 20,000 research journal subscriptions, and other research materials. The M.D. Anderson Library is technologically sophisticated, with more than 140 networked workstations accessing about 180 electronic databases, more than 18,000 electronic journals, approximately 40,000 electronic books, as well as Internet access to Web-based research resources. The Honors College is located on the second floor of the new wing.

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.

We've also completed a $6 million classroom enhancement project in 40 locations across campus including Melcher Hall, Agnes Arnold Hall, the Cullen College of Engineering, the Graduate College of Social Work, and Farish Hall. Classrooms received new colorful and contemporary interior designs as well as audio, visual, and mechanical upgrades.

As classrooms improved, campus parking increased by more than 800 spaces, including new spaces near the UH Law Center and across from the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Additionally, a new 300-space lot on the south side of Robertson Stadium and across from Cougar Place was added.

Our new 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 off-campus teaching centers—UH System at Cinco Ranch and UH System at Sugar Land—bring educational opportunities to students in outlying parts of the Houston area and offer credit and continuing education programs to meet almost any need. We have the highest distance education enrollment and the most upper-division resident courses and degree programs in Texas. Also, our instructional television and online programs provide degree opportunities for students at home, at work, or in their neighborhoods. (


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.

Catalog Publish Date: August 19, 2010
This Page Last Updated: August 24, 2009
Effective Date of Archive: January 13, 2011