Jun 13, 2024  

University of Houston-Downtown: Houston’s Downtown University

Mission Statement

The University of Houston-Downtown is a comprehensive four-year university offering bachelor’s and selected master’s degree programs and providing strong academic and career preparation as well as lifelong learning opportunities. Located in the heart of the city, UHD reflects the diversity of the greater Houston metropolitan area and, through its academic programs, engages with the community to address the needs and advance the development of the region. UHD is an inclusive community dedicated to integrating teaching, service and scholarly research to develop students’ talents and prepare them for success in a dynamic global society.


The University of Houston-Downtown will be a premier city university where all students engage in high-impact educational experiences and graduate with 21st-century skills.

University of Houston-Downtown: Houston’s Downtown University

Located in the heart of Houston, the University of Houston-Downtown is a public four-year university that offers exceptional educational opportunities through its colleges: Humanities and Social Sciences, Public Service, Sciences and Technology, University College, and the Marilyn Davies College of Business.

UHD offers six bachelor’s degrees (Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Engineering Technology, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Social Work) with majors in 43 disciplines, and five master’s degrees (Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science and Master of Security Management) with programs in eight disciplines.

UHD is recognized nationally for its outstanding academic opportunities and its connectivity to the communities, agencies and people in the greater Houston metropolitan area. Students range in age from 20 to 65, with an average student age of 27.5 years, and represent 74 countries. UHD ranks 33rd nationally for graduating Hispanic students and 37th nationally for graduating African-American students with bachelor’s degrees, as reported in Hispanic Outlook. With more than 14,000 students, UHD is the second largest public university in Houston. More than 2,500 students graduate each year from UHD; its alumni number more than 41,000.

Students enjoy the flexible degree options UHD provides. Classes are available online, in traditional classrooms at satellite locations, and through hybrid sections that blend online and traditional classroom instruction. UHD offers classes at Lone Star College-CyFair, Lone Star College-Kingwood and UHD Northwest at Lone Star College-University Park. Weekend and evening classes also are available.

The nature of the UHD student population prepares individuals to thrive in the multicultural workplace of the 21st century. UHD students are diverse in every sense of the word: ethnicity, age, financial background and life situation.

UHD’s campus has grown considerably since the institution was founded in 1974. The campus is composed of the historic One Main Building, the Academic Building, the Girard Street Building, the Commerce Street Building, the Shea Street Building, the Jesse H. Jones Student Life Center and the restored Willow Street Pump Station.

UHD’s History and Future on the Bayou

The University of Houston-Downtown was founded in 1974, when the assets of the private South Texas Junior College were transferred to the University of Houston. By 1979, the Texas Legislature approved the new institution as a separate entity within the University of Houston System. In 1983, the name was changed to the University of Houston-Downtown.

Today, UHD is the second largest institution in the University of Houston System, which includes four distinct universities: University of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake, University of Houston-Downtown and University of Houston-Victoria. All four institutions are governed by the University of Houston System Board of Regents. Each university’s president serves as its chief administrative officer.

The history of the University’s campus begins even earlier. The campus’ One Main Building was constructed in 1929 on the banks of White Oak Bayou and Buffalo Bayou. Then known as the Merchants and Manufacturers Building, the building served the city for decades as a center for commerce and manufacturing. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

UHD’s facilities have continued to change since the University’s inception. In the late 1990s, UHD added the Academic Building, with more than 40 classrooms and lecture halls; the Technology Teaching and Learning Center; the Wilhelmina Cullen Robertson Auditorium; and a food court. While the Academic Building was taking shape, so was the Jesse H. Jones Student Life Center, a state-of-the-art facility devoted to student health, recreation and fitness.

In 2004, the University opened the Commerce Street Building, which houses the College of Public Service, classrooms, academic labs, computer labs, meeting spaces and faculty offices.

In 2007, the University opened yet another showcase facility, the Shea Street Building, which houses the Marilyn Davies College of Business. The building features a glass-enclosed entrance that provides stunning views of Houston’s downtown skyline. Adjoining this award-winning building is a multistory parking facility.

In 2016, the Girard Street Building officially opened. This addition to UHD features a spectacular view of the city and hosts event spaces and the spacious Welcome Center. It also is the home of several UHD offices including the Office of Admissions and Testing Services.

UHD students enjoy the excitement of the nation’s fourth largest city, including being just minutes away from Minute Maid Park, BBVA Compass Stadium, the Toyota Center, world-class museums and art galleries, and a wide assortment of restaurants and cafes. Getting to and around campus is easy for students with UHD’s free shuttle bus, the city’s light rail line that stops at the University’s front door and easy access from two interstate highways.

UHD’s wireless campus provides students, faculty and staff with optimum service and flexibility. In addition to applying for admission and registering for classes online, students can handle much of the “business” of going to college from laptops or desktops while at home or at school. And connectivity makes it easy to meet online with other students for group projects and classes.

Since its founding, UHD has continued to grow and provide degrees, programs and facilities to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff. It is all part of the University’s commitment to providing access and opportunity to higher education.

Campus Safety and Security

The University of Houston-Downtown Police Department is committed to assuring your safety and security on campus. The Police Department provides comprehensive police services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Offices are located on the first floor of the One Main Building, Suite 118-North.

Information on campus safety and security, including services such as vehicle jump starts and unlocks and five-year crime statistics, is provided on the UHD Police Department website at www.uhd.edu/campus/pd/. Safety and crime prevention information; crime alerts; and campus policies on alcohol, firearms and sexual assault are also available.


The University of Houston-Downtown is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Contact SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, call 404-679-4500 or check www.sacscoc.org with questions about the accreditation of the University of Houston-Downtown.

The Marilyn Davies College of Business’ Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Business Administration degree programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International, 777 South Harbour Island Boulevard, Suite 750, Tampa, FL 33602-5730; 813-769-6500; www.aacsb.edu). Accreditation documentation is available in the Marilyn Davies College of Business, Room B400, Shea Street Building.

The Computer Science and Engineering Technology Department’s Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology degree programs in Control and Instrumentation Engineering Technology, as well as Structural Analysis/Design Option in Engineering Technology, are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org).

The Urban Education Department’s programs that lead to teacher certification are accredited by the Texas Education Agency (1701 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, 78701; 512-463-9734; tea.texas.gov).

The Natural Science Department’s Bachelor of Science program in Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society (1155 Sixteenth Street, NW Washington, DC 20036; Telephone: 800-227-5558; Internet: www.acs.org).

The Criminal Justice and Social Work Department’s Bachelor of Social Work degree program is accredited by the Council for Social Work Education (1701 Duke Street, Suite 200, Alexandria, VA 22314; 703-683-8080; www.cswe.org).

Intellectual Property

The UH System Board of Regents Policy Section III, 21.08 outlines rules for intellectual property ownership for all UHS faculty, staff,and students. In accordance with this BOR policy, UH System policy, SAM 01.E.01 establishes the System’s Office of Intellectual Property Management, which oversees issues of intellectual property for the entire UH System. Board of Regents Policy 21.08.4.A specifies that “the University will not assert ownership of copyright developed by faculty, staff or students, unless separately contracted for, in any:

  1. Books, journal articles, texts, glossaries, bibliographies, study guides, laboratory manuals, syllabi, tests, and survey instruments;
  2. Lectures and unpublished lecture notes;
  3. Musical works;
  4. Dramatic works;
  5. Works of visual art, such as sculptures and drawings;
  6. Architectural works.”

For the majority of UHD students and faculty, then, the University will not dispute the ownership of their intellectual products. However, Board Policy 21.08.4.B specifies that “the University will assert ownership of copyright developed by faculty, staff or students, with regard to other types of works subject to copyright, namely,

  1. Films, audiovisual works, slide programs, film strips;
  2. Sound recordings and video recordings containing original performances;
  3. Programmed instruction materials;
  4. Computer programs, software, and documentation.”

The policy enumerates the circumstances under which the University or UHS may claim copyrights for and ownership of such intellectual products. Students with questions or concerns about their intellectual property rights should consult the respective College Undergraduate Associate Dean and the UH Office of Intellectual Property Management.