Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Texas A&M University System?
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $4.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, seven state agencies and a comprehensive health science center, the Texas A&M System educates more than 140,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $946 million in FY 2015 and helped 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. When Texas A&M gained university status in 1963, the “A&M” was incorporated into the official name in deference to the institution’s history and traditions, but the individual letters no longer explicitly stand for anything.
What is the mission of The Texas A&M University System?
The mission of The Texas A&M University System is to provide education, conduct research, commercialize technology, offer training, and deliver services for the people of Texas and beyond through its universities, state agencies and health science center.
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 mechanical 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 in the District of Columbia
How is the A&M System governed?
The A&M System is governed by a nine-member Board of Regents, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Texas Senate for six-year terms. A nonvoting 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 19 members has a president, CEO or director.
When was the A&M System established?
The Texas A&M University System was officially established in 1948. The original members were Texas A&M University, 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 Extension Service (formerly Texas Cooperative Extension) and Texas A&M AgriLife Research (formerly Texas Agricultural Experiment Station).
Today, the Texas A&M System provides oversight and leadership for 11 universities, seven state agencies, two service units and a health science center. Its role is governed by the state’s education code (Title 3, chiefly Ch. 51, Sec. 51.353 and Ch. 85, Sec. 85.17). Responsibilities include systemwide planning, coordination and execution of the policies of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
|Universities||Established||Joined A&M System|
|Texas A&M University||1876||1876|
|Prairie View A&M University||1876||1973|
|Texas A&M University-Commerce||1889||1996|
|Tarleton State University||1899||1917|
|West Texas A&M University||1910||1990|
|Texas A&M University-Kingsville||1925||1989|
|Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi||1947||1989|
|Texas A&M International University||1970||1989|
|Texas A&M University-Texarkana||1971||1996|
|Texas A&M University-Central Texas||2009||1999|
|Texas A&M University-San Antonio||2009||2000|
|Texas A&M Health Science Center||1999||1999|
|Texas A&M University System Service Units||Established|
| Texas A&M System Sponsored Research Services ||2012|
|Texas A&M System Technology Commercialization ||2013|
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. Information about these institutions can be found on the system’s website, www.tamus.edu.
Where can I find out about jobs in the A&M System?
Where can I find enrollment and other information for each A&M System member?
About the System contains enrollment figures.