Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Texas A&M University System?

The A&M System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center. A&M System members educate more than 120,000 students and reach another 22 million people through service each year. With more than 28,000 faculty and staff, the A&M System has a physical presence in 250 of the state’s 254 counties and a programmatic presence in every one. In 2011, externally funded research expenditures exceeded $780 million to help drive the state’s economy.

What does “A” and “M” stand for?

Texas A&M, the state’s first public institution of higher education, was opened on Oct. 4, 1876, as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. Both Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M owe their origin to the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890, which established the nation’s land-grant college system.

What is the mission statement for The Texas A&M University System?

Coordinate and facilitate aligning the strategic planning framework across The Texas A&M University System to improve synergy and enhance short-term and long-term decision making.  The strategic planning framework includes the System Strategic Plan, System Member Strategic Plans, System Offices Strategic Plan, and Enterprise Risk Management.

The A&M System is the state’s land-grant system. What does that mean?

A land-grant college or university is an institution that has been designated by its state legislature or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The original mission of these institutions, as set forth in the first Morrill Act, was to teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanic arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a practical education. The A&M System’s agencies, which conduct research and bring practical applications of research findings to the people of Texas, also came out of the land-grant system. There is now at least one land-grant institution in every state and territory of the United States, as well as the District of Columbia. More information can be found here (from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities).

How is the A&M System governed?

The A&M System is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents, who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate for six-year terms. A non-voting student member was added in 2006. The A&M System chancellor oversees the day-to-day administration, and each of the A&M System’s 17 members has a president, CEO or director. Each university is independent; only Texas A&M at Galveston and Texas A&M at Qatar are branch campuses of the oldest and largest member of the System, Texas A&M.

When was the A&M System established?

The Texas A&M University System was officially recognized in 1948. The original members were Texas A&M, Prairie View A&M University, Tarleton State University, Texas A&M Forest Service, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

UniversitiesEstablishedJoined A&M System
Texas A&M University 18761876
Prairie View A&M University 18761876
Texas A&M University-Commerce18891996
Tarleton State University 18991917
West Texas A&M University 19101990
Texas A&M University-Kingsville19251989
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi19471989
Texas A&M International University19701989
Texas A&M University-Texarkana19711996
Texas A&M University-Central Texas20091999
Texas A&M University-San Antonio20092000
Texas A&M Health Science Center19991999
Texas A&M AgriLife Research 1887
Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station1914
Texas A&M Forest Service1915
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 1915
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service1948
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory1967
Texas A&M Transportation Institute1950
Texas A&M University System Service UnitsEstablished
Texas A&M System Sponsored Research Services
Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization

What is the mission of the A&M System?

The A&M System strives for the highest quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional educational programs, outreach and community enhancement services that meet the needs of individuals and organizations, and research and knowledge generation that meets our creative needs and provides the foundation for economic development in Texas.

What does “upper-level institution” mean?

This means that the university offers courses only for junior and senior students (and perhaps graduate students). Students transfer to these institutions after completing their freshmen and sophomore years elsewhere. Texas A&M University-Central Texas and Texas A&M University-San Antonio are upper-level institutions.

What are the Permanent University Fund and Available University Fund?

The Permanent University Fund (PUF) is a public endowment contributing to the support of certain universities and agencies in the A&M System and certain universities in the University of Texas System. The PUF was established in the Texas Constitution of 1876. Today, the PUF includes over 2.1 million acres in 19 West Texas counties. Mineral income from this land has accumulated over several decades and the PUF was valued at approximately $9.4 billion as of Aug. 31, 2005. All mineral income and all increases in the value of equity investments from PUF capital gains become and remain an inviolate part of the endowment. The PUF’s 2.1 million acres of West Texas land produce two streams of income.  Mineral income remains forever part of the PUF endowment and cannot be expended, but surface income (primarily grazing and surface leasing) flows directly into the Available University Fund (AUF). In addition, financial investments held in the PUF are utilized to provide a payout stream into the AUF. The annual distribution to the AUF is based on 4.75 percent of the market value for the last 12 quarters ended each February. The A&M System may sell debt equal to 10 percent of the book value of the PUF.  The indebtedness is secured by AUF income and among other factors is rated on the stability of the PUF, the quality of its investment management and other commitments of the AUF. The Texas constitution specifies allowable uses of the AUF to include debt service on PUF debt, and support and maintenance for the A&M System Administrative and General Offices, Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. The following members of the A&M System benefit from PUF bond proceeds:

Texas A&M Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Texas A&M at Galveston Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
Prairie View A&M Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
Tarleton Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M Health Science Center
(excluding Baylor College of Dentistry)
Texas A&M Forest Service
Texas A&M AgriLife Research System Offices
Does the “top 10” rule for admission apply to all A&M System universities?

Yes. Those who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class from a Texas high school will gain admission into any of the A&M System’s nine universities.

Does the A&M System have a central admissions office?

No. Students must contact directly the preferred A&M System institution’s admission office.

Where can I find out about jobs in the A&M System?

The System HR Office maintains links to all the job opportunities with the A&M System.

Where can I find enrollment and other information for each A&M System member?

About the System contains enrollment figures.