2013-2014 Student Handbook

Introduction

Introduction

While containing important information about the university, the Handbook is not comprehensive in its listings. Instead, vital information is presented, and when necessary, the Handbook will refer to other publications that provide more detailed information. The provisions of this handbook do not constitute a contract, expressed or implied, between any person and the University of Houston.

Mission Statement University of Houston

The mission of the University of Houston is to discover and disseminate knowledge through the education of a diverse population of traditional and non-traditional students, through research, artistic, and scholarly endeavors, as it becomes the nation's premier public university in an urban setting. In this role, the University of Houston applies its expertise to the challenges facing the local, state, national, and international communities, and it establishes and nurtures relationships with community organizations, government agencies, public schools, and the private sector to enhance the educational, economic, and cultural vitality of Houston and Texas.

Introduction to the University of Houston

Welcome, and congratulations on becoming a Cougar! You're now part of one of the great educational and research traditions in Texas.

The University of Houston was founded in 1927. In its first year, the university's enrollment was 232 students, with just 12 faculty. The university has grown to become one of the state's greatest assets. Our campus now has more than 40,000 of the finest students, faculty, and staff in the country, its own award-winning art museum, stunning music and theatre venues, 264,000-square-foot fitness facility, massive modern library, two fine dining restaurants, and winning athletics programs.

Our campus is home to several nationally ranked top-five programs including Creative Writing, Health Law, and Intellectual Property Law. UH also is home to the world's only graduate space architecture program.

UH is the most ethnically diverse research university in the nation. Take a walk on our beautiful, 551-acre tree-lined campus and you'll see a microcosm of the world. More than 60 percent of our top-quality students are minority or international students. Last fall, 2,505 international students enrolled from more than 137 countries.

Faculty

Students in any of our 278 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs learn from the best. Our faculty includes Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winners, a Nobel Peace laureate, a National Medal of Science recipient, MacArthur “genius” grant winners, Guggenheim Fellows, and internationally respected scholars in the sciences, business, law, education, the humanities, and the environment.

Research

With nearly $90 million in annual research expenditures and 36 research institutes, we've become one of the nation's top urban research universities. Our faculty members and students conduct vital research in superconductivity, space commercialization, biomedical engineering, economics, education, petroleum exploration, virtual technology, and much more. The university has completed an $81 million Science and Engineering Research and Classroom Complex, designed by renowned architect Cesar Pelli. The new facility will provide facilities for the many interdisciplinary research programs including BioNano Technology.

Alumni

A University of Houston degree is a valuable and respected achievement. Our alumni base—more than 180,000 strong and growing by 6,000 every year— includes members of congress, judges, CEOs of major corporations, and many other national leaders in education, entertainment, health, media, the arts, and space exploration. More than 84 percent of UH students secure career-level jobs within three months of graduation. UH has awarded more than 200,000 degrees, and roughly 80 percent of alumni remain in the Houston metropolitan area.

Community

The University of Houston is not only a leader in education and contributions to the arts, but also a valued member and leader in the Houston community. UH provides ongoing public service to the Houston community through more than 300 creative partnerships with government, industry, and non-profit groups. Our faculty, staff, and students volunteer in the surrounding communities every day. In fact, our students donate more than 920,000 volunteer hours each year. UH also is the home of KUHT, the country's first educational television station, and KUHF, Houston's public radio station.

Statement of Nondiscrimination

The University of Houston is the largest and most comprehensive university in the University of Houston System, a public system of higher education that also includes: UH–Clear Lake, UH–Downtown, and UH–Victoria. The University of Houston is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity institution. The university provides equal treatment and opportunity to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status except where such distinction is required by law. Additionally, the System prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.