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 $6.3 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 153,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $996 million in FY 2017 and helped drive the state’s economy.

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 and seven state agencies. 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 system-wide planning, coordination and execution of the policies of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

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 members has a president, CEO or director.

What is the mission of the A&M 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 and state agencies.

UniversityEst.Joined A&M System
Texas A&M University 18761876
Prairie View A&M University 18761973
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 AgriLife Research 1888
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 Transportation Institute1950
Texas Division of Emergency Management1951
Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory1967

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 is an upper-level institution.

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 $17.9 billion as of Aug. 31, 2016. 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 a percentage 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 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 University

Texas A&M AgriLife Research

Texas A&M University at Galveston

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Prairie View A&M University

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

Tarleton State University

Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service

Texas A&M Health Science Center

Texas A&M Transportation Institute

Texas A&M University – Central Texas

Texas A&M Forest Service

Texas A&M University – San Antonio

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?

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.