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University of Houston–Clear Lake

University of Houston–Clear Lake
University of Houston-Clear Lake seal.svg
TypeState university
EndowmentUS$22.6 million[1]
PresidentIra K. Blake
ProvostSteven J. Berberich
Academic staff
Location, ,
CampusSuburban, 524 acres (2.12 km2)
ColorsBlue and green[3]
AffiliationsUH System
MascotHunter the Hawk
University of Houston-Clear Lake logo.svg

The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is a four-year state university and one of four distinct institutions in the University of Houston System. Its campus spans 524 acres (2.12 km2) in the cities of Pasadena and Houston, Texas, with branch campuses in Pearland and Texas Medical Center. Founded in 1971, UHCL has an enrollment of nearly 9,000 students for fall 2018.[4] The U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 61 in its 2019 Regional Universities (West) rankings.[5]

The university serves students in four academic colleges. UHCL offers 97 degree programs: 46 bachelors, 48 masters, and three doctoral.[2] Awarding more than 2,100 degrees annually, the university's alumni base exceeds 66,000.[6][7]


In 1961 NASA announced that the Manned Spacecraft Center would be located in Houston just off the shores of Clear Lake. Early in the development of the Manned Spacecraft Center, a demand for graduate studies grew within NASA and the nearby space-related industries.

In 1964 the University of Houston (UH) began offering courses in physics, math, and various engineering programs to NASA employees at the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC). On Sept. 10, 1965, MSC Director Robert R. Gilruth formally requested that the University of Houston give immediate consideration to the establishment of a permanent graduate and undergraduate educational facility in the Clear Lake area. UH President Philip G. Hoffman replied that "… it would be difficult for us to be unresponsive to vital needs of the MSC and its staff," but indicated that "the acquisition of appropriate land in the Clear Lake City area would be of crucial importance to this project."

Humble Oil responded by donating 50 acres (200,000 m2) of land in the Clear Lake City development to the University of Houston for the establishment of a permanent undergraduate and graduate facility. A total of 487 acres (1.97 km2) would be donated from the Friendswood Development Corp. to become the University of Houston at Clear Lake City.[8]

In 1968 the Coordinating Board of Texas College and University System authorized the University of Houston to build the Clear Lake Graduate Center (CLGC) on the original 50-acre (200,000 m2). In addition, the Coordinating Board called for the creation of a stand-alone university in Clear Lake to offer upper-division and graduate-level programs adjacent to CLGC.[9] Four years later in 1971, the 62nd Texas Legislature passed House Bill 199 authorizing the creation of the University of Houston at Clear Lake City as a separate and distinct degree-granting institution.[10][11]

Bayou Building

The Clear Lake Graduate Center opened in January 1972. The first phase construction of the Bayou Building for the University of Houston at Clear Lake City (UH/CLC) began early in 1974. On June 1, 1974, the Clear Lake Graduate Center facility became part of UH/CLC and took on the name "Arbor Building". The Bayou Building opened in September 1974 and classes began at UH/CLC under the leadership of the institution's founding president, Alfred R. Neumann. The first-class day enrollment was 1,069 students with 60 professors comprised the charter faculty.[12]

In 1977 the 65th Texas Legislature established the University of Houston System that included UH/CLC as a component institution. The University of Houston at Clear Lake City was renamed University of Houston–Clear Lake on April 26, 1983.[13] During the 73rd Texas Legislature in 1993, an unsuccessful attempt was made by the City of Pasadena to change the institution's name to the University of Houston at Pasadena.[14][15]

In January 2011, Senate Bill 324 was filed in the 82nd Texas Legislature for the institution's downward expansion by adding freshman and sophomore course offerings.[16] The bill was passed and signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on June 17, 2011. The university began offering freshman and sophomore classes in fall 2014.[17][16]

Institutional structure

Coat of arms of University of Houston–Clear Lake

The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is one of four separate and distinct institutions in the University of Houston System. The institution is separately accredited, offers its own academic programs and confers its own degrees, and has its own administration. UHCL is a stand-alone university; it is not a branch campus of the University of Houston (UH). Although UHCL and UH are both component institutions of the University of Houston System, they are separate degree-granting universities.

The organization and control of the University of Houston–Clear Lake is vested in the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System. The Board has all the rights, powers, and duties that it has with respect to the organization and control of other institutions in the System; however, UHCL is maintained as a separate and distinct institution.


The president is the chief executive officer of the University of Houston–Clear Lake, and the position reports to the chancellor of the University of Houston System. The president is appointed by the chancellor and confirmed by the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System. The president of the university is Ira K. Blake, who came on board just before Hurricane Harvey in 2017. She succeeded William A. Staples, who was president from 1995 to 2017. UHCL administration is located in the Bayou Building.


Main campus

The main campus is located on a 524-acre (2.12 km2) nature habitat adjacent to the Houston community of Clear Lake. The majority of the campus lies within the corporate limits of Pasadena, while only the part of campus south of Horsepen Bayou lies within the city of Houston. The campus sits in a bottomland hardwood forest adjacent to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and the Armand Bayou Nature Center and is home to a wide range of wildlife including alligators, wild turkeys, bobcats, and whitetail deer.

The Clear Lake campus consists of six classroom buildings: the Bayou Building, Arbor Building, Delta Building, Student Services and Classroom Building, and two new facilities opened in fall 2018: the STEM and Classroom Building and Recreation and Wellness Center. Additionally, the campus includes a physical plant maintenance facility, the headquarters building of the Environmental Institute of Houston,[18] and the University Forest Apartments. Construction on a traditional residence hall began in 2018, and is scheduled to open in fall 2019.

Besides administrative offices, labs and classrooms, the Bayou Building also houses Patio Cafe, the campus book store and the 500-seat Bayou Theater, which was renovated in 2018. The Bayou Building is also home to the Alfred R. Neumann Library,[19] a 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) space containing over 480,000 volumes and over 1,000 journal and periodical subscriptions. The library has online access to over 100 subscription-only research databases and the Texshare interlibrary loan service which allows students to check out items from any academic or public library in Texas. Additionally, the library houses the University Archives, which includes the NASA Johnson Space Center History Collection.

Delta Building houses computer science and computer engineering programs, including the Cyber Security Institute[20] and Center for Robotics Software.[21] The STEM and Classroom Building houses UHCL's mechanical engineering, physics, astronomy, chemistry, environmental science and other engineering programs, including many labs and classrooms.

The Recreation and Wellness Center offers seven fitness zones, personal training, small group training, group fitness classes, workshops, an elevated indoor track and other amenities. It is also home of the Exercise and Nutritional Health Institute.[22]

The Arbor Building was constructed in 1971 and was the first building on campus.[23] It is home to UHCL's acclaimed studio art programs. It is also home to the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities[24] (CADD), which supports research, trains current and future professionals and provides outreach services to families via confidential face-to-face and telehealth sessions.

The Student Services and Classroom Building houses business and education classrooms. A large part of the facility is dedicated to student-service functions, including the Dean of Students' office, the registrar, cashier, veterans services and financial aid offices.

UH-Clear Lake Pearland Campus

UHCL Pearland Campus

UHCL operates a branch campus situated on 40 acres of land in Pearland.[25] City of Pearland officials and UHCL administrators began discussing opportunities to work together in 2004. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the addition of the campus in 2007 and construction began in 2009. The 30,659 square foot building opened for classes in August 2010.[26] Before the campus opened, a scholarship endowment was established to benefit Pearland residents who attend classes at the center.[27]

The Pearland Economic Development Corporation leased some of the campus space for its new headquarters.[26] The campus includes a library and a student lounge in addition to classroom and laboratory space.[27] During its first semester, the campus enrolled over 500 students.[28] A new addition, the Health Sciences and Classroom Building, is scheduled to open in spring 2019, featuring simulation labs to support UHCL's Registered Nurse-Bachelor of Science (RN-to-BSN) degree program, as well as Pearland offices for UHCL's Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

Upon its opening, the Pearland campus offered undergraduate and graduate courses in education and several social science disciplines.[26] Currently, the Pearland campus offers seven undergraduate degrees, six graduate degrees and one doctoral degree. Degree options include business, behavioral science, education and nursing. Since 2017, UHCL Pearland Campus has hosted Alvin Community College's core classes, which are transferrable to UHCL.[29]

Texas Medical Center

Located at 2151 West Holcombe in Houston,[30] Texas, UHCL's campus[31] in the Texas Medical Center offers three business-oriented graduate degrees in health care administration—including a dual MHA/MBA program. Specialized trainings and certification programs are offered year-round for health care administrators and medical doctors in private practice.


Delta Building

The University of Houston–Clear Lake (UHCL) is separately accredited, offers its own academic programs, and confers its own degrees. Students who graduate from UHCL will have diplomas under the name University of Houston–Clear Lake.

The university is organized into four academic colleges: the College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Human Sciences and Humanities, and the College of Science and Engineering. The College of Business has the largest undergraduate enrollment and awards the most bachelor's degrees annually.

UHCL awards the undergraduate degrees Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Business Administration and Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). At the graduate level it awards the degrees Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA), and Doctor of Education (EdD). The EdD program in Educational Leadership, initiated in January 2007, is the first doctoral degree program offered by the university.

UHCL is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.[32] Many of the university's Schools and academic programs have individual accreditation through other governing bodies such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


The U.S. News & World Report ranks the university No. 74 in its Regional Universities (West) rankings, and No. 24 among public universities in the same category.[5][33]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "University of Houston–Clear Lake Progress Card" (PDF). University of Houston System. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  2. ^ a b "404 Error - Page Not Found- University of Houston-Clear Lake". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  3. ^ "404 Error - Page Not Found- University of Houston-Clear Lake" (PDF). Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ "UHCL Snapshot Fall 2018" (PDF).
  5. ^ a b "Regional Universities West Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  6. ^ "University of Houston System: Fall 2010 Statistical Profile" (PDF). University of Houston System. University of Houston System. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-24. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  7. ^ "University of Houston–Clear Lake at a Glance". University of Houston–Clear Lake. University of Houston–Clear Lake. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  8. ^ "Content Not Moved". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  9. ^ []
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "EDUCATION CODE CHAPTER 111. THE UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON". Retrieved 2010-08-13.
  12. ^ "404 Error – Page Not Found – University of Houston–Clear Lake". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  13. ^ Adair, Wendy (2001). The University of Houston: Our Time: Celebrating 75 Years of Learning and Leading. Donning Company Publishers. ISBN 978-1-57864-143-7.
  14. ^ "Senate Bill No. 547 - 73(R): Relating to the name of the University of Houston–Clear Lake". Texas Legislature. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  15. ^ "House Bill No. 1104 - 73(R): Relating to the name of the University of Houston–Clear Lake". Texas Legislature. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
  16. ^ a b "82(R) Senate Bill No. 324: Relating to the course levels offered by the University of Houston–Clear Lake" (PDF). Texas Legislature Online History. Texas Legislature. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  17. ^ Smith, Ashley (September 12, 2011). "Downward expansion may bring freshman by 2014". The Signal. Houston, Texas. University of Houston–Clear Lake. Retrieved September 15, 2011.
  18. ^ "Environmental Institute of Houston". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Alfred R. Neumann Library". Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Cyber Security Institute".
  21. ^ "Center for Robotics Software".
  22. ^ "Exercise and Nutritional Health Institute".
  23. ^ "In addition, this project will renovate and expand UHCL's first building, the Arbor Building, constructed in 1971". Archived from the original on 2011-02-02. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  24. ^ "Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities".
  25. ^ "University of Houston Clear Lake - Pearland Campus". City of Pearland, Texas. Archived from the original on 2014-02-11. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  26. ^ a b c Nix, Kristi. "Grand opening: UHCL Pearland open for business". Pearland Journal. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  27. ^ a b "About UHCL Pearland Campus". University of Houston-Clear Lake. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  28. ^ "University of Houston-Clear Lake Pearland Campus". Pearland Economic Development Corporation. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  29. ^ "UHCL Pearland Campus". University of Houston-Clear Lake.
  30. ^ "2151 West Holcombe in Houston".
  31. ^ "UHCL Texas Medical Center Campus".
  32. ^ ""The University of Houston Clear Lake is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools"". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Top Public Schools: Regional Universities (West)". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  34. ^ {ALUMNI ASSOCIATION} Portraits of Success Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine The magazine of University of Houston-Clear Lake fall 2005 | volume 12 | number 1

External links