The University of Houston (UH) is a public research university in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1927, UH is a member of the University of Houston System and the third-largest university in Texas with over 47,000 students. Its campus, which is primarily in southeast Houston, spans 894 acres (3.62 km2), with the inclusion of its Sugar Land and Katy sites. The university is classified as an “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity.”
The university offers more than 276 degree programs through its 16 academic colleges and schools and an interdisciplinary Honors College – including programs leading to professional degrees in architecture, law, optometry, medicine and pharmacy. The institution spends $203 million annually in research, and operates more than 35 research centers and institutes on campus. Interdisciplinary research includes superconductivity, space commercialization and exploration, biomedical sciences and engineering, energy and natural resources, and artificial intelligence. Awarding nearly 11,000 degrees annually, UH’s alumni base exceeds 300,000. The economic impact of the university contributes over $6.4 billion annually to the Texas economy, while generating about 62,000 jobs. The Shell Energy Transition Institute was created in 2022, with a $10 million gift from Shell. In 2020, the university launched its College of Medicine to improve the overall health and health care resources of its city and state. In 2022, the College of Medicine received a $50 million donation from entrepreneur and University of Houston System Chairman, Tilman Fertitta, and was renamed the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine.
The University of Houston hosts a variety of theatrical performances, concerts, lectures, and events. It has more than 500 student organizations and 17 intercollegiate sports teams. Annual UH events and traditions include The Cat’s Back, Homecoming, and Frontier Fiesta. The university’s varsity athletic teams, known as the Houston Cougars, are members of the American Athletic Conference and compete in the NCAA Division I in all sports. In 2021, the university received and accepted an invitation to join the Big 12 Conference. The football team regularly makes bowl game appearances, and the men’s basketball team has made 23 appearances in the NCAA Division I Tournament—including six Elite Eight and Final Four appearances. The men’s golf team has won 16 national championships—the most in NCAA history. In 2022, UH’s men’s track and field team earned its seventh Indoor Conference Championship title, and its swimming and diving team defended its American Athletic Conference title for the sixth straight season.