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How It Works

Whether you are just starting your education career or going back after being away, earning your degree can seem daunting. Knowing a little of how it works will help. And remember, we are always here to answer any questions you might have, just drop us a line!

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The Quality of Your Degree Matters

A degree through SHSU Online is not an “online degree;” it is the same accredited degree Sam Houston State University (SHSU) students have received for more than 130 years. At SHSU, there is no distinction between students pursuing their degree online or on-campus.

Online Courses

Every degree through SHSU Online is built on the high quality courses offered at SHSU.

  • SHSU degrees are earned by completing a required number of course credits. Students earn course credits by completing a course with a satisfactory grade.
  • Any SHSU student can take courses on campus or online and will receive the same credit towards their degree. Your official SHSU transcript will not differentiate between courses completed online or in person.
  • SHSU Online lists a degree as available online when the course credits required for the degree can be earned online. Every semester SHSU adds more online courses.
  • Courses run by the semester; Fall Semester, Spring Semester and two condensed summer sessions. Registration for courses opens before each semester.
  • Online courses, like all SHSU courses, are created and taught by members of the university teaching faculty. Each course consists of a unique mix of video, text, discussion boards, lectures, and other course materials in accordance with the individual instructor and subject matter. Course structure and policies are outlined in the course syllabus, which will be available on the first day of the course.

Online Students

At SHSU Online, we use the term “online student” because we recognize that students learning from a distance have specific, different needs from students who attend classes on campus. However, “online student” is not an official designation. Whether you attend classes on campus or opt for the flexibility of online coursework, you are a Sam Houston State University student, pure and simple.

Your Classroom is Wherever You Are

Although class requirements may vary from course to course, one thing remains the same for all online courses: if you have an internet connection, you can access your course. At SHSU Online, we strive to make courses available to everyone through tools that require the minimum amount of setup and access. We are always working to improve our tools without disrupting the learning experience for our students.

The Blackboard Learning Environment

At the heart of your online learning experience is Blackboard, an online learning platform that you can access from your internet browser. As a leader in online learning management, Blackboard is used in all levels of education, and is familiar to many students.

Blackboard is where you find your courses and coursework, contact your classmates and instructors, see your grades, and turn in your work. In short, Blackboard is where you will find everything you need to successfully access your courses wherever you are.

First things first…

Before any of this, though, you will need to apply for admissions. For step-by-step instructions on how to apply as an undergraduate student, a graduate student, a transfer student, or an international student, or how to receive your benefits as a member of the U.S. Military, go to How To Apply.