University of Houston - Clear Lake

2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog


University of Houston-Clear Lake is an upper-level educational institution with a distinct identity, whose primary role is to provide fair and equitable learning opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students. The university serves a diverse student population from the state, the nation and abroad, particularly from the Houston-Galveston metropolitan area, by offering programs on and off campus.

UHCL offers a variety of programs in business, education, human sciences and humanities, and science and computer engineering. The university emphasizes high standards for teaching and learning in its bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, as well as in its professional plans and collaboration in doctoral plans. All offerings are designed to develop creative, quantitative, communication and critical thinking skills of students.

The university's faculty, staff and administrators are committed to providing a humane, responsive and intellectually stimulating environment for productive learning and working. UHCL emphasizes (a) learning through teaching, research, scholarship and professional and community service; (b) the advancement of knowledge; (c) delivery of educational opportunities through new instructional technologies and through distance learning; (d) a commitment to high academic standards; (e) sensitivity to the needs of the students and communities served by the institution; and (f) above all, integrity in all institutional functions.

A Metropolitan University

Located adjacent to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Johnson Space Center, UHCL is situated in the heart of Clear Lake's high-technology community. The campus is located between downtown Houston and Galveston Island. Its neighbors to the east are Armand Bayou Nature Center and Bayport Industrial Complex. As one of the leading higher education institutions serving the Texas upper Gulf Coast, UHCL is a vital component of the surrounding region. The university is committed to enhancing the educational, economic, cultural, scientific, business and professional environment of the region. Because a strong university is essential to the success of the area's industries, UHCL is dedicated to developing and strengthening programs supporting the region's various commercial, engineering, human services and trade sectors, especially in the computing, medical, petrochemical and space industries.

Academic theories are applied and research is conducted through UHCL's centers, institutes, clinics and laboratories. These entities include:

  • Art School for Children and Young Adults
  • Center for Advanced Management Programs
  • Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Center for Behavioral Neuroscience Research
  • Center for Economic Development and Research
  • Center for Educational Programs
  • Center for Professional Development of Teachers
  • Counseling Clinic
  • Diagnostic Reading Clinic
  • Environmental Institute of Houston
  • Human Performance Institute
  • Learning Resources Review Center
  • Mathematics Center
  • Psychological Services Clinic
  • Research Center for Language and Culture
  • Small Business Development Institute

Looking Back: Establishment of UHCL

The establishment of UHCL was authorized by the 62nd Texas Legislature in 1971. The measure was the result of a 1968 report by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System (now the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board) calling for a second University of Houston campus to provide upper-level and graduate programs. In 1973, the Texas Senate authorized construction of a permanent campus at Clear Lake.

Construction began early in 1974 with the first phase of the Bayou Building, the largest of the university's five principal buildings. September 1974 marked the beginning of regularly scheduled classes on the UHCL campus under the leadership of UHCL's founding chancellor, Alfred R. Neumann. Opening day enrollment totaled 1,069 students and 60 professors comprised the charter faculty. Today, the university has approximately 8,000 students and more than 600 full-time and adjunct faculty.

Reaching Out: Creation of UHCL Pearland Campus

In 2007, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved creation of UHCL Pearland Campus. The new campus was developed as a partnership between UHCL and the City of Pearland to improve access to higher education for Pearland-area residents. During spring 2009, construction began on a 30,659-square-foot building, with 22,616 square feet to house the university and the remaining 8,043 square feet for the Pearland Economic Development Corporation. UHCL Pearland Campus, located at 1200 Pearland Parkway, Pearland, Texas, 77581, features eight media-equipped classrooms, two teaching labs, a computer lab, a library and a variety of student resources. Classes at the satellite campus began fall 2010, with more than 600 students enrolling in degree programs such as accounting, business, criminology, education and psychology.


The University of Houston-Clear Lake is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters', and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The School of Business maintains accreditation on its graduate and undergraduate business and accounting programs by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).

The School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), 2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20036, phone 202-466-7496. This accreditation covers all of the institution's initial teacher preparation and advanced educator preparation programs. The School of Education is also accredited by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification.

The School of Human Sciences and Humanities' family therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The school psychology program is accredited by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). The Bachelor of Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

The School of Science and Computer Engineering's undergraduate degree plan in computer engineering is accredited by the Engineering Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Inc. The undergraduate degree plans in computer science and computer information systems are accredited by the Computer Accreditation Commission of the ABET. The program in chemistry is accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The undergraduate Environmental Science-Industrial Hygiene and Safety plans are accredited by the Applied Science Commission of ABET.

The Office of Career and Counseling Services is accredited by the International Association of Counseling Services.


UHCL is one of four institutions with distinct identities and missions that make up the University of Houston System. The universities are governed by the UHS Board of Regents and Chancellor Renu Khator. Administrative responsibility for UHCL is vested in its president, William A. Staples. UHCL's shared governance process includes the Faculty Senate, Professional and Administrative Staff Association, Support Staff Association and Student Government Association, working with the university's administration through various committees and councils including University Council, which is chaired by the university's president. Members of the UHCL Community Partners Council serve as business, education, government and nonprofit organization advisers on current issues impacting the advancement of the university and as volunteers in helping UHCL acquire resources.

The Campus

UHCL's buildings, which comprise more than three-quarter million square feet of space, are surrounded by a 524-acre natural environment. The campus features picturesque park-like settings with Horsepen Bayou winding through heavily wooded areas abundant with wildlife.

The Arbor Building houses painting, ceramics, weaving and photography studios, as well as educational centers, teaching methods labs and the psychology facilities.

The Bayou Building houses the majority of classrooms, administrative and faculty offices, the library, alumni relations, bookstore, cafeteria, computing services and laboratories, copy services, mail room, university police and the theater.

The Central Services Building is headquarters for building maintenance, grounds and custodial services, scheduling and space planning, vehicle maintenance, printing and graphic services and the animal care facility.

The Delta Building houses student computer laboratories and computing faculty offices.

The Student Services and Classroom Building accommodates five categories of functions including academic; enrollment; health, wellness and academic support; programming and general space. The one-stop Student Assistance Center provides enrollment, registration, fee payment, financial aid and scholarship services.

University Forest Apartments is a privately owned and managed apartment complex built in 1995 on the campus of the university. This 136-unit student housing facility is a two-story complex that includes a central courtyard with clubhouse, laundry facility, swimming pool, jacuzzi, sand volleyball court, barbecue grills and picnic and lounge areas.