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About Texas State


Authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1899, Southwest Texas State Normal opened its doors in 1903. Over the years, the Legislature broadened the institution's scope and changed its name, in succession, to Normal College, Teachers College, College, University, and in 2003 to Texas State University-San Marcos. Each name reflects the university's growth from a small teacher preparation institution to a major, multipurpose university. Texas State's original mission was to prepare Texas public school teachers.

Today, Texas State's 29,105 students choose from 101 bachelor’s, 88 master’s and eight doctoral degree programs offered by the following colleges: Applied Arts, McCoy College of Business Administration, Education, Fine Arts and Communication, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, Science, University College and the Graduate College.

Texas State students come from around the globe, and our student body is diverse. Thirty-two percent of Texas State students are ethnic minorities. In fact, Texas State is ranked 16th in the nation for the number of degrees we grant to Hispanic undergraduates. See the University Factbook for more information on our student body.

Texas State's main campus is in San Marcos, a growing community of 50,000 people about halfway between Austin and San Antonio. Located on the edge of the Texas Hill Country, where black land prairies roll into beautiful hills, Texas State enjoys a setting that is unique among Texas universities.



The beauty of the crystal-clear San Marcos River and the stately cypress and pecan trees on the campus adds to the charm of the university’s picturesque setting. Our location on the banks of the San Marcos River provides recreational activities for students throughout the year.
As the university's student population has grown — from 303 in 1903 to 29,125 in 2008 — our San Marcos campus, too, has expanded. Today it consists of a 457-acre main campus and 4,777 additional acres in recreational, instructional, farm and ranch land.
 The Texas State campus is as diverse as the students who live and learn here. Our hilly campus is home to 225 buildings. Some, like Old Main, are as old as the university itself. Others, such as the brand-new McCoy Hall, with flat screen monitors rather than bulletin boards, and the Mitte Complex, which contains a high-tech clean room and microchip fabrication lab, are cutting-edge facilities.


At Texas State's Aquarena Center you can see the second-largest springs in Texas through the floor of a glass-bottom boat. These springs feed the San Marcos River and are home to eight endangered species, including the Texas blind salamander. In fact, as the site of the Aquarena Center, River Systems Institute and Edwards Aquifer Research and Data Center, our campus is one of the best places in the world to study aquatic ecosystems and species.

Since 2005, Texas State has also offered bachelor’s and graduate-level courses in Round Rock, Texas, at our Round Rock Higher Education Center (RRHEC) campus, located north of Austin. More than 1,500 students are enrolled at the RRHEC.