General Information

University Organization

Texas State University is organized into the College of Applied Arts, the Emmett and Miriam McCoy College of Business Administration, the College of Education, the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the College of Health Professions, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and Engineering, Honors College, University College, and The Graduate College.

Overview of Graduate Studies


The establishment of The Graduate College at Texas State was authorized by the Board of Regents at its meeting on June 15, 1935. Graduate courses were first offered during the summer of 1936, and the first master of arts degree was conferred at the 1937 spring commencement. The first doctoral programs were authorized by the Board of Regents in 1996 in geographic education and environmental geography. The first doctorates were awarded in 2000.

Objectives of The Graduate College

The purpose of The Graduate College is to provide the means for continued intellectual growth through advanced and specialized education. The ultimate aim is to develop leaders who will make significant professional contributions to their fields of specialization. More explicitly, The Graduate College has adopted the following objectives that will add both breadth and depth to the academic and professional preparation received at the undergraduate and master’s degree levels:

  • To reinforce and extend students’ academic and professional experience as a means of improving professional competence;
  • To afford students with the opportunity to undertake original research in their areas of specialization, both independently and in collaboration with the faculty;
  • To provide students with the ability and resources to integrate their research into the community of scholars and professionals in a particular academic discipline;
  • To challenge students intellectually, to develop their powers of independent thought, and to direct them toward positions of intellectual leadership in their personal and professional lives.

Characteristics of Graduate Study

Graduate study affords students of exceptional academic ability many opportunities to continue their intellectual growth and development. Doctoral study in particular seeks to integrate students into the professional community of scholars in a manner that emphasizes the completion, presentation, and publication of original research.

Graduate education differs from study at the undergraduate level in at least the following respects:

  • Graduate students are expected to assume greater responsibility and demonstrate more self-initiative in meeting their academic goals;
  • Graduate students are expected to engage in more extensive reading, emphasizing primary source material in a specialized field;
  • Graduate students are expected to become familiar with the current literature in their fields, with emphasis on recently published developments in research methods and results;
  • Doctoral students are expected to assume responsibility for the planning, completion, and presentation of original scholarly research;
  • Doctoral programs utilize seminar courses that stress active participation by students in intellectual exchange with both faculty and peers and in the critique of published research;
  • Doctoral course-work emphasizes integrating student research into the norms of an academic discipline; and:
  • Master's courses differ from undergraduate courses, and doctoral courses differ from master's courses in their learning outcomes and in the breadth and depth of readings and assignments.