University of Houston

From Academic Kids

This article is about the University of Houston, a flagship institution of the UH System.
It is not about nor does it include UH-Clear Lake, UH-Downtown, or UH-Victoria, which are separate universities of their own and not affiliated in any way with the University of Houston.

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<p> University of Houston

Established 1927
School type Flagship, State University
Location Houston, Texas, USA
President Jay Gogue, Ph.D.
Campus Urban, 560 acres (2.3 km²)
Enrollment 35,180 (Fall 2004)
Faculty 3,036 (Fall 2004)
Alumni 170,000
Degree Programs 286 Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral and Professional
Degrees Awarded 6,547 (FY 2004)
Sports team Houston Cougars
Mascot Cougar
Expenditures US $717 million (FY 2005)

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The University of Houston, often called U of H or UH, is a nationally recognized doctoral degree-granting extensive research university located in Houston, Texas. It is the third largest university in the state of Texas with an enrollment of 35,180 students and is Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution. UH is the only doctoral degree-granting university and is the flagship institution with the largest enrollment in the University of Houston System, a state system of higher education that includes three other universities and two multi-institution teaching centers.



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Ezekiel W. Cullen Building
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One of two monuments of the Cougar

The university was founded in 1927 as Houston Junior College. In 1934, Houston Junior College became a four-year institution and changed its name to the University of Houston. UH then moved to its current location in 1939. In 1985, the school's name was changed to the University of Houston—University Park. Three years later in 1988, the school reverted its name back to the University of Houston.

The University of Houston serves more than 35,000 students in twelve academic colleges and in the interdisciplinary Honors College. UH offers 105 bachelor's, 128 master's, 50 doctoral, and three professional degree programs. UH awards more than 6,500 degrees annually. The mission of the University of Houston is to provide a range of educational programs that foster an intellectually and culturally diverse environment that enhances individual growth and development.

The University of Houston's innovative curriculum, nationally ranked programs, and dynamic learning and mentoring environment bring students face-to-face with award-winning faculty such as three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Albee, National Medal of Science recipient Paul Chu, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams.

The University of Houston conducts basic research in each academic department and operates more than 40 research centers and institutes on campus. Through these facilities, UH maintains creative partnerships with government and private industry. The interdisciplinary research conducted at UH breaks new ground in such vital areas as superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration and management. In addition, UH is a destination for all who enjoy theater, concerts, lectures, and intercollegiate sports. The university has an inter-collegiate sports program, which competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, in Division I-A.


Houston Junior College

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Houston Junior College in 1927

The University of Houston began as Houston Junior College (HJC). On March 7, 1927, trustess of the Board of Education unanimously passed a historic resolution that authorized the "founding, establishment and operation of a junior college." The junior college was operated and controlled under the guidance of the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

HJC was located in San Jacinto High School and offered only night courses. Its first session began June 5, 1927, with an enrollment of 232 students and 12 faculty. This session was primarily held to educate the future teachers of the junior college, and no freshmen were allowed to enroll. A more accurate date for the official opening of HJC is September 19, 1927, when enrollment was opened up to "all persons having completed the necessary educational requirements to enter at a level contingent with higher education needs." The first president of HJC was Dr. Edison Ellsworth Oberholtzer. He was the dominant force in establishing the junior college.

Creation of the University of Houston

The junior college became eligible to become a four-year institution in October 1933 when Governor Miriam A. Furguson signed House Bill 194 into law. On April 30, 1934, HISD's Board of Education unanimously adopted a resolution extending the scope and services of the Houston Junior College "to include at least two additional years of college work" and changed the name of the institution to the University of Houston.

UH's first session as a four-year institution began June 4, 1934, at San Jacinto High School with an enrollment of 682. Reminiscent of David vs. Golliath, the University of Houston is one of the few Texas colleges to be started by the people in a grass roots effort in contrast to most of the state universities, which were initiated by money from the national level. With its new status, the university needed day classes but had no facility for this purpose. In 1934, the first campus of the University of Houston was established at the Second Baptist Church at Milam and McGowen. The next fall, the campus was moved to the South Main Baptist Church, on Main between Richmond and Eagle, where it stayed for the next five years.

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Roy Gustav Cullen Memorial Building, the first building on the UH campus opened for classes in 1939.

The University of Houston moved to its present campus in 1939. Its first building, the Roy Gustav Cullen Building, was dedicated on June 4, 1939, and classes began the next day. The first full semester of classes began officially on Wednesday, September 20, 1939.

The next step was the creation of the University of Houston as an institution separate from HISD. On July 26, 1943, the Board of Education adopted a resolution establishing an Advisory Board of the University of Houston consisting of 15 members. on March 12, 1945, Senate Bill 207 was signed into law, removing the control of the University of Houston from HISD and placing it into the hands of 15 HISD-approved regents.

The last obstacle facing UH in its quest to become a major institution of higher education was its entrance into the Texas State System of Higher Education. After a lengthy battle between supporters of the University of Houston and forces from state universities geared to block the change, Senate Bill 2 was passed on May 23, 1961, enabling the university to enter the state system in 1963.

Official Seal

The seal of the University of Houston, officially adopted in 1938, is the coat-of-arms of General Sam Houston. The seal was adopted by the UH in 1938 in conjunction with the construction of the campus. The first official version was placed on the floor of the Roy Gustav Cullen Building.


UH offers a full range of 105 bachelor’s, 128 master’s, and 50 doctoral degrees, as well as three professional degrees, through its twelve academic colleges. UH is also home to over forty research centers and institutes and conducts more than $72 million in research programs every year.

The many nationally ranked academic programs at the University taught by world-class faculty members offer UH students the opportunity to learn from the very best in an environment that mirrors the real world.

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Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
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Melcher Hall, home of the C. T. Bauer College of Business
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Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
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University of Houston Science Center

The Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, perennially considered in the top 3 architecture schools in the state of Texas. The school received a perfect 37/37 in NAAB accreditation, and enjoys a 5-year accreditation certificate. It was the first architecture school in the state of Texas to receive a perfect NAAB score. It recently added an industrial design program, also the first in the state of Texas. Students frequently earn top honors in regional, national, and international competitions. Joe Mashburn is the current Dean. Famous alumni of the College are Neil Denari, Carlos Jimenez, Gene Aubry, Burdette Keeland and Walid Bugazia. UH is one of only 36 national schools to have both an accredited Bachelor's and Master's degree in Architecture.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Bauer College of Business as the top Undergraduate Business Program in Houston, third among public universities in the state of Texas, and 44th in the nation among public universities. The ranking places the Bauer College in the top quartile of the approximately 400 AACSB-accredited undergraduate business programs and top five percent among all 1608 undergraduate business programs in the United States. The MBA Program ranked 5th among public universities for CEOs of S&P 500 companies, according to Bloomberg Markets. Houston was tied with the University of Michigan and Dartmouth. The EMBA Program ranked 17th in the U.S. among public EMBA programs according to the 2004 Financial Times ranking of the top 75 EMBA Programs in the World.

The Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management regularly competes with Cornell University for the top spot for hospitality management in the U.S. News & World Report rankings. UH's Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel & Restaurant Management is known as one of the world's premier hospitality institutions. It is currently ranked third in the U.S.

Amongst the most prestigious of the University of Houston's colleges is the University of Houston Law Center, a law school that, until recently (2002), was frequently ranked in the top 50 law schools by U.S. News & World Report each year. The UH Law Center's Health Law and Policy Institute is ranked number one in the nation while the Intellectual Property Law Program is ranked fifth, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The University is home to the Creative Writing Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, which was founded by alumnus Donald Barthelme and offers a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Fiction Writing. Noted writers who have come out of the program include novelist Robert Clark Young. UH Creative Writing Program is ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is one of the most competitive programs in the country as well as one of only two offering a Ph.D.

Colleges and schools

  • Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture
  • C. T. Bauer College of Business
  • College of Education
  • Cullen College of Engineering
  • Honors College
  • Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • College of Optometry
  • College of Pharmacy
  • Graduate School of Social Work
  • College of Technology


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A park-like campus just outside of Downtown Houston
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Campus Recreation and Wellness Center

The University of Houston campus is located southeast of Downtown Houston at the intersection of Interstate 45 and Texas Highway 35 (also known as Texas Spur 5). The 560-acre campus includes lush greenery, fountains, and sculptures.

The mascot of the University of Houston is the Cougar. The official student newspaper on campus is The Daily Cougar, which is the second largest English-language daily newspaper in Houston, Texas. Another student publication is The Houstonian, the official University of Houston yearbook.


UH world-class facilities include high-tech laboratories, modern classrooms, and nationally renowned centers such as the Moores School of Music, the Athletics/Alumni Center; and the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting, which houses KUHT Houston PBS, 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.

The university has an on-site Hilton hotel. The full-service hotel is a part of of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. The University is also home to the Blaffer Gallery, which exhibits both visiting artists and student work from the University of Houston School of Art.

Through UH Distance Education, classes and degrees are also available on instructional television, videotape, online, and face-to-face at sites throughout the greater Houston area.

The 264,000 square-foot Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is recognized by the National Intramural-Sports Association as one of the most outstanding sports centers in the nation.

UH traditions

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Bleacher creatures

Student traditions thrive at the University of Houston. Cougar Craze at the beginning of the fall semester provides a great introduction for new students. Activities range from Homecoming and Bonfire to the unique Frontier Fiesta. Frontier Fiesta is re-creation of a 19th-century western town, with music, food and living historical exhibits, is a major event on campus each spring semester. Throughout the year, brightly painted Bleacher creatures roam the stands during athletic contests, embodying a decidedly nontraditional take on cheerleading. Cougar First Impressions takes place every year on the first two days of classes, when faculty and staff turn out to welcome new and returning students. And the student body's rich ethnic mix combines with the culinary expertise of hotel and restaurant management students to produce an International Food Festival bursting with world beat flavors.


The official colors of the University of Houston are Scarlet Red and Albino White. These were the colors of Sam Houston's ancestor, Sir Hugh, and were adopted by UH at the same time as the seal. The red stands for courage or inner strength to face the unknown, and the white stands for the good of helping one's fellow man.

Cougar Sign

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Cougar Sign

The cougar sign, made by folding in the ring finger of the hand towards the palm, has several stories explaining its meaning. The true story of its origin dates back to 1953, the first time UH played The University of Texas (now, The University of Texas at Austin) in football. Since this was their first meeting, members of Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity in charge of taking care of Shasta I, the university's mascot, brought her to the game. During the trip, Shasta's front paw was caught in the car door and one toe was cut off. At the game, members of the opposing team discovered what had happened and began taunting UH players by holding up their hands with the ring finger bent, say UH's mascot was invalid and so were our players. UT went on to win this game 28-7. UH students were very upset by this and began using the sign as notice that they wold never let UT forget the incident. Fifteen years later, at their second meeting, the UH Cougars, proudly holding up the now adopted symbol of UH pride, fought UT to a 20-20 tie.

UH did not play UT again for eight years, our first year as members of the Southwest Conference. The Cougars were on a mission, and in front of 77,809 spectators (at that time the largest crowd ever in attendance at Memorial Stadium) slammed the lid on the disgrace Texas had attempted to put upon UH 23 years earlier. The final score was the Univerisity of Houston Cougars, 30, the Texas Longhorns, 0.

Fight Song

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Cougars fight for dear old U of H
For our Alma Mater cheer.
Fight for Houston University
For victory is near.

When the going gets so rough and tough
We never worry cause we got the stuff.
So fight, fight, fight for red and white
And we will go to victory. </center>

Alma Mater

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All hail to thee,
Our Houston University.
Our hearts fill with gladness
When we think of thee.
We'll always adore thee
Dear old varsity.
And to thy memory cherished,
True we'll ever be. </center>


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Partial ariel view of the campus

The University of Houston is the most diverse research university in the nation, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students. The university has significant Asian American and Hispanic populations. Its international student population is primarily from Asia.

  • African American 13%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander 19%
  • Hispanic 18%
  • International 8%
  • Native American 0.4%
  • White/Other 40%
  • Unknown 2%

Media and entertainment

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UH students enjoy entertainment in Downtown Houston, just minutes away from campus.

The official student newspaper is The Daily Cougar, which is the second largest English-language daily newspaper in Houston, Texas. Another student publication is The Houstonian, the official University of Houston yearbook.

The University of Houston operates KUHT-TV Houston PBS, the nation's first educational television station, and KUHF-FM. The KUHT-TV Houston PBS is housed in the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting on campus.

Featured in films


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Atheletics/Alumni Center

NCAA Division I sports

The University's enviable record of nationally recognized athletic achievements includes:

  • Baseball - 13 NCAA Tournament appearances, with two trips to the College World Series
  • Basketball - 18 NCAA Tournament appearances, with five trips to the Final Tour
  • Football - 14 post-season bowl appearances
  • Golf - 16 NCAA National Championships, a position unmatched by any school
  • Soccer - rated as the top first-year women's program in the country in 1998
  • Track and Field - perennial top-10 NCAA team
  • Volleyball - a streak of nine consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament

See also:

Athletics facilities

Famous alumni

External links

Template:University of Houston Template:Conference USA

Template:University of Houston System


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