Introduction to the University

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University Purpose

Our History

Texas A&M University-Commerce began as East Texas Normal College in 1889 when founder William Leonidas Mayo opened the doors to a one-building campus in Cooper. After the original campus was destroyed by fire in 1894, Mayo moved the college 16 miles to Commerce, Texas to take advantage of westward railroad lines to Dallas and other parts of the state. His creed, which continues today, was “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish service to others." The State of Texas took over the campus in 1917 and the name was changed to East Texas State Normal College. In 1923, the school was renamed East Texas State Teachers College. The graduate program was added in 1935, and in 1957 the Legislature, recognizing that the purpose of the institution had broadened from teacher education, changed the name to East Texas State College. Following the inauguration of the first doctoral program in 1962, the name was changed once more to East Texas State University in 1965. The name changed to Texas A&M University-Commerce in 1996, when the university joined the Texas A&M system.  Today, the University meets the undergraduate, graduate, and professional needs of the citizens of Northeast Texas and beyond through its main campus in Commerce, various off-campus instructional sites, and state-of-the-art distance learning. Its mission is achieved through teaching, scholarship and service activities on its campuses, and in the community and region.

For the past 20 years the University has grown both in stature and student population, expanding its foundations to include agriculture, engineering, music, nursing, and competency based education programs.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is a partner, resource, and advocate to higher education institutions across the state.

Texas students and families have access to the tools needed to choose a postsecondary pathway to financial resources and transition from high school, to universities of higher learning, and on to the workforce.

Agency Mission

The mission of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is to build a Talent Strong Texas, acting in partnership with Texas institutions of higher education to equitably support Texans graduating with postsecondary credentials of value and fostering the skills necessary to spur the innovation vital to the Texas economy.

Our Vision

Texas A&M University-Commerce strives to:


by providing an excellent, relevant and personalized education to diverse learners


and pursue impactful research


where all are valued


to solve contemporary problems

Our Mission

Educate. Discover. Achieve.

Our Programs

Texas A&M University-Commerce offers graduate programs in 24 academic departments with more than 40 major areas of study. Six departments offer six doctoral degrees.

Graduate degrees now offered by A&M-Commerce are:

  • Master of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Education
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Social Work
  • Specialist
  • Doctor of Education
  • Doctor of Philosophy

The Graduate School is a component of the Academic Affairs division of the University. The other components are the College of Science and Engineering, the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, the College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts, the College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, and the College of Innovation and Design.

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources includes the department of Agricultural Sciences.

The College of Science and Engineering includes the departments of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science and Information Systems, Engineering and Technology, Mathematics, and Physics and Astronomy.

The College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts includes the departments of Art, History, Literature and Languages, School of Music, Sociology and Criminal Justice, and Theatre.

The College of Business includes the departments of Accounting and Finance, Management and Economics, and Marketing and Business Analytics.

The College of Education and Human Services includes the departments of Counseling, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Higher Education and Learning Technologies, Psychology and Special Education, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the School of Social Work.

Cooperative Alliance - Among Universities

Academic Common Market

The Academic Common Market (ACM) is an interstate agreement for sharing academic programs through an exchange of students across state lines. Students have access to selected programs not offered in their home states without having to pay nonresident tuition charges. Each of the participating states has designated a state coordinator for the program. In addition, each institution that has one or more academic programs in the ACM has named an institutional coordinator as contact person for that institution. The application can be found online at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board website.  Contact the Office of Academic Technology for additional information.

Federation of North Texas Area Universities

The Federation of North Texas Area Universities, created by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, is a consortium composed of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of North Texas. The Federation is designed to strengthen the resources of higher education in north central Texas through inter-institutional cooperation in graduate research and instruction. To this end, the Federation universities offer joint educational opportunities to their students in numerous program areas with some universities authorized to grant degrees and others authorized to provide support services for the degree programs. The following degrees are awarded through the Federation of North Texas Area Universities:

  • MFA in art
  • MS in computer science
  • MA, MS, MEd in reading
  • MS, MEd in early childhood education

A student who wishes to enroll in one of the above programs should submit an application to the Graduate School of A&M Commerce.

The Texas A&M University System and The University of Texas System

A cooperative arrangement between The University of Texas System and The Texas A&M University System allows graduate students at one institution to use unique facilities or courses at other institutions with little paperwork. The graduate student registers and pays tuition and fees at the home institution and may retain any fellowship or financial assistance awarded by it. Space must be readily available, and the instructor or laboratory director of the proposed work must consent to the arrangement. In addition, approval must be given by the graduate dean of each institution.

Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad opens doors to personal growth and discovery. When you study abroad, you will become an informed global citizen and gain skills that you can apply to your professional and personal life. As you learn to say “hello” or “thank you” in a foreign language, you will build friendships. As you visit different cultures, you will experience sensational food. Studying abroad will boost your self-confidence and draw you out of your comfort zone. In other words, it’s a life-changing experience. Texas A&M University-Commerce promotes several studies abroad programs as part of its globalization strategy. Students can participate in Faculty-led and or independent study abroad programs in diverse countries such as Spain, Italy, South Korean, Mexico, England, Ireland, Poland, Costa Rica and others. If you have any inquiries, please email Office of International Programs at 903-886-5097 or email us at

Campus Facilities

Texas A&M University-Commerce Libraries

Velma K. Waters Library

Velma K. Waters Library’s mission is to provide an accessible and collaborative environment for research, learning, and innovation. The library provides learning resources, services, and collections to all students, faculty and staff regardless of location.

The library website serves as the access point for all of the library’s electronic resources. Students gain access to library resources on the first class day and access will continue between semesters if they are enrolled for the next semester. To access to the electronic resources when off-campus students will be asked to enter their MyLeo (CWID and password) information.

Velma K. Waters Library on the Commerce campus provides access to print materials, a computer lab, study rooms, and multi-media (cameras, camcorders, projectors etc.) equipment. There are two Knowledge Imaging Centers (KIC) scanners with the ability to email documents or save to a USB drive and two multi-function printers. Printing is available wirelessly through an email to print program. There are laptop kiosks located on A&M-Commerce main campus in Velma K. Waters Library, The Rayburn Student Center, Phase 2 and Phase 3 Student Housing.

Off-campus students have access to all of the library electronic resources and can request print materials from the Commerce location. All students have access to interlibrary loan which will borrow items that Velma K. Waters does not have access to from another library. Off-campus students can have print materials and interlibrary loan items shipped to their homes with return postage included. All students can apply for a TexShare card which allows students to access print collection at public and academic libraries in Texas, as supplementary resources to the Library collection.

Research assistance is provided to all students via email, chat, text, and in-person. Students can utilize the ASK-A-Librarian feature to email or text a librarian. Students can also schedule virtual or in-person research appointments with a librarian. Additional research services include: Research Guides, which are collections of materials and information curated by a librarian that provide assistance on a topic or library resource, video tutorials and in-person and virtual workshops.   

Additional information is available at the department's website: or by calling 903-886-5718. 

A&M-Commerce IT - Support Services

The A&M-Commerce IT (TAMUC-IT) Support Center is located in the Business Administration Building in room number 156.  TAMUC-IT Support Center provides end-user support for hardware and software issues for computers, Macs, network printer setups, telecommunications; ethernet, on-campus wireless access, myLeo portal, LEOmail, and access account management. TAMUC-IT also provides software information/opportunities for personal devices (limited).

The mission of TAMUC-IT Support Services is to become a value-centric organization that provides the highest level of service while focusing on continuous process improvement and knowledge transfer.  TAMUC-IT seeks to establish trust with customers through professionalism, high quality customer service and a commitment to partnership and collaboration.  The TAMUC-IT Support Center may be reached via email at and by calling the 24/7 helpdesk at 903-468-6000.  The helpdesk observes University holidays.

The Office of Alumni Engagement

Alumni Engagement provides administrative support for the Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Association, as well as special services to alumni and student groups. The Alumni Center serves as the focal point of alumni activities on campus.  The brick garden located at the Alumni Center provides alumni and friends with an opportunity to leave a visual lasting legacy for themselves and loved ones.

Alumni Engagement plans and executes a variety of alumni events such as tailgating, alumni awards and recognition, alumni-funded scholarships, social and networking and other programs partnered with campus organizations. Additionally, the department works to keep alumni informed with the latest university updates via social media and monthly e-newsletters.  For membership information, to update your personal information, or further assistance please call Alumni Engagement at 903-886-5765.

The Campus: Administration Building

The Offices of the President, Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance & Administration, Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, are housed on the second floor of the McDowell Administration Building. The Offices of the Graduate School, Center for IT Excellence, Chief Information Officer, Procurement Services, Contract Administration, Bursar, and Financial Services are located on the ground floor. The Office of Philanthropy Operations is on the third floor. The College of Business is located in the eastern portion of the building.

The Campus: Student Services Building

Built in 1970, the three-story D. Whitney Halladay Student Services Building houses the Auxiliary Services and Mane Card Office, the Offices of Student Rights and Responsibilities, Counseling Center, Residential Living & Learning, and TRIO Programs.

Recreational and Cultural Facilities

Morris Recreation Center (MRC)

All students who have paid the Recreation Center fee in their tuition have access to the Morris Recreation Center (MRC) by showing their ID card at the front desk. The MRC includes two multi-purpose basketball courts, a 45-foot climbing and bouldering wall, three lane jogging track, four multi-purpose racquetball courts, a three-tiered space dedicated to cardiovascular & weight equipment and functional training, fitness activity room, classroom, lounge, and men's and women's locker rooms.  Also located at the MRC is an outdoor heated leisure pool, two-tier spa, two outdoor basketball courts, covered pavilion, and a sunbathing area.  There is also an artificial turf field located at the MRC.  The MRC provides full services including equipment checkout, lockers, workout towels, and even hammocks to use at the outdoor hammock grove. The MRC is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online: Campus Rec or by calling 903-468-3181.

Cain Sports Complex

Located west of Highway 11, off of Hubbell Drive, the Cain Sports Complex features two lighted multi-purpose softball fields, three multipurpose Intramural/Club Sports fields, multipurpose green space, four tennis courts, and four lighted sand volleyball courts.   During open hours, staff are available to check out equipment. The Cain Sports Complex is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online: Campus Rec.

Outdoor Adventure Center

Located west of Highway 11, off of Culver Street, the Outdoor Adventure Center offers bike rentals, a bike repair shop, disc golf course, and outdoor gear rental.  The Outdoor Adventure center also features a challenge course which offers adventure-based learning opportunities to enhance leadership, decision-making and communication skills through an interactive process for groups to develop as a team.  The course offers 13 low challenge course elements and 18 high element challenges.  Across the street from the OA Center, there is a 5 mile biking and hiking trail comprised of four different loops.   The Outdoor Adventure Center is managed by Campus Recreation, and hours can be found online: Campus Rec.

Other Recreational Facilities

A&M-Commerce’s Memorial Stadium, which seats nearly 10,000, is used for football, track and field and other special events. The Field House, which seats approximately 2,500, is used for athletic and other special events, including concerts and various commencement exercises for the University and local high schools. In intercollegiate athletics, the A&M-Commerce Lions competes in football, basketball, track and field, cross country, golf, soccer, and volleyball. Texas A&M University-Commerce is a member of the Southland Conference of Texas and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I.

Imagine learning in the state-of-the-art Keith D. McFarland Science Building, with one of the most technologically sophisticated planetariums in the southwest or playing in the $29 million Music Building, completed in the fall of 2010. The Music Building includes the Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall, recital hall, four rehearsal halls, classrooms, piano and electronic music labs, studios and practice rooms. The Department of Music sponsors 21 musical groups, including the award-winning A&M-Commerce "Pride" Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Concert Chorale.

The Performing Arts Center has two modern theaters, a 300 seat Mainstage Theater, a variable capacity Studio Theater, a computerized lighting system, scene shop, dressing rooms, makeup rooms, and studios for KKOM radio station and ManeMedia Television cable Channel 3. The University Playhouse produces several plays during the school year.

The University’s 100,000 watt public radio station, 88.9 KETR, is an NPR member station providing locally and nationally-produced programming. KETR-FM, heard within 75 miles of Commerce and online at, is the radio home for A&M-Commerce Lions football and basketball broadcasts each fall and spring. The mission of the station, which operates from historic Binnion Hall, is to provide Northeast Texas citizens and the A&M-Commerce community with entertaining, educational, and informative programming, and to serve as a learning environment for students to pursue excellence in broadcasting and journalism. The station is supported by listener contributions, corporate sponsorships, foundation gifts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The 1,200-seat University Auditorium is housed in the Ferguson Social Sciences Building.

More than 140 social, departmental, special interest, and religious organizations offer many opportunities for students to participate in campus life.

University Police Department

Emergency:  911 (cell phone) or x5111 (on campus telephone); Non-Emergency:  (903) 886-5868

UPD provides police services and all security functions for the university and its faculty, staff, students, and visitors. The department is responsible for the enforcement of Texas criminal and motor vehicle law, the investigation of criminal activity, crime prevention programs, safety awareness, public service assistance for motorists, event security, and parking enforcement.  All motor vehicles parking on the A&M Commerce campus must be registered at the cashier and the parking permit must be properly displayed.

Officers of the department are certified by the State of Texas as commissioned Peace Officers and have full law enforcement authority.

The University Police Department is open 24 hours a day for assistance. The office is located on the first floor of Henderson Hall at 1901 Monroe Street. For emergencies using a university telephone, dial x5111; persons calling from a cell phone should dial (903) 886-5111 or 911.  For all other inquiries, please dial (903) 886-5868. 

The A&M-Commerce Annual Security Report can be obtained, in person, from the University Police Department, or you may visit us online at

Emergency alerts are automatically sent to all A&M-Commerce email addresses.  Those students, faculty, and staff who have an A&M-Commerce Single Sign-On (SSO) and password can register to receive text message alerts.  The system also pushes the emergency notification message to LionSafe, Twitter, and RSS.  To register, visit:  “MyLeo”, select “Apps”, and select “Alert System Settings”.

Campus Concealed Carry

Texas Senate Bill - 11 (Government Code 411.2031, et al.) authorizes the carrying of a concealed handgun in A&M-Commerce buildings only by persons who have been issued and are in possession of a Texas License to Carry a Handgun.  Qualified law enforcement officers or those who are otherwise authorized to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Texas are also permitted to do so.  Pursuant to Penal Code (PC) 43.035 and A&M-Commerce Rule 34.06.02.R1, license holders may not carry a concealed handgun in restricted locations.  For a list of locations, please refer to ( and/or consult your event organizer.  Pursuant to PC 43.035, the open carrying of handguns is prohibited on all A&M-Commerce campuses.  Report violation to the University Police Department at 903-886-5868 or 911/x5111.

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