Feb 24, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

About the University

Return to: Texas Tech at a Glance  


Texas Tech University is the largest institution of the Texas Tech University System. More than 38,000 students attend classes in Lubbock on the 1,839-acre campus. The university also operates the Research Center-East Campus (Lubbock); Texas Tech University Farm at Pantex in the Texas Panhandle; research facilities at Reese Technology Center (west of Lubbock); agricultural field laboratories at New Deal; Texas Tech University Center at Junction (411-acre educational facility in the Texas Hill Country); and off-campus educational sites at El Paso, Fredericksburg, Highland Lakes, Waco, Collin County, and Johnson County.


With a population of more than 240,000, Lubbock is located in the heart of the vast Southern Plains of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. It is a major medical center for an area within a 300-mile radius of Lubbock and a major regional center for business and industry. The climate is excellent, with more than 3,550 hours of sunshine every year and average annual rainfall of 18 inches. Winters are dry and moderate, while the summer heat is tempered by very little humidity. Several airlines and an interstate bus line serve the city, as well as an interstate highway and three additional U.S. highways.


Texas Tech University was created by legislative action in 1923 and has the distinction of being the largest comprehensive higher education institution in the western two-thirds of the state of Texas. The university is the major institution of higher education in a region larger than 46 of the nation’s 50 states and is the only campus in Texas that is home to a major university, law school, and medical school.

Originally named Texas Technological College, the college opened in 1925 with six buildings and an enrollment of 914. Graduate instruction began in 1927 within the School of Liberal Arts. A “Division of Graduate Studies” was established in 1935 and eventually became known as the Graduate School in 1954.

By action of the Texas State Legislature, Texas Technological College formally became Texas Tech University on September 1, 1969. At that time the schools of Agricultural Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, and Home Economics also became known as “colleges.” Architecture became a college in 1986. Two colleges changed their names in 1993 to reflect the broadening fields each serves: the College of Agricultural Sciences became the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, and the College of Home Economics became the College of Human Sciences. The Honors College was established in 1998, and the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts opened in 2002. Media & Communication became a college in 2004.

The Texas State Legislature authorized funds in 1965 for establishing the Texas Tech University School of Law, and the Law School’s first dean was appointed in 1966. The first class of 72 students enrolled in 1967. The Law School was approved by the American Bar Association in 1970 and is fully accredited by the Supreme Court of Texas (1968) and the Association of American Law Schools (1969).

As a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Texas Tech began competing in the Big 12 Conference in 1996 after a 35-year membership in the former Southwest Conference.

Texas Tech was first accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1928 and has been accredited continuously since that time. Texas Tech University was selected to shelter a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 2006.

The presidents of Texas Tech have been Paul Whitfield Horn (1925-1932), Bradford Knapp (1932-1938), Clifford Bartlett Jones (1938-1944), William Marvin Whyburn (1944-1948), Dossie Marion Wiggins (1948-1952), Edward Newlon Jones (1952-1959), Robert Cabaniss Goodwin (1960-1966), Grover Elmer Murray (1966-1976), Maurice Cecil Mackey Jr., (1976-1979), Lauro Fred Cavazos (1980-1988), Robert W. Lawless (1989-1996), Donald R. Haragan (1996-2000), David J. Schmidly (2000-2002), Jon Whitmore (2003-2008), Guy Bailey (2008-2012), M. Duane Nellis (2013-2016), and Lawrence E. Schovanec (2016-present).

The Texas Tech University School of Medicine was created by the 61st Legislature in 1969 as a multi-campus institution with Lubbock as the administrative center and with regional campuses in Amarillo, El Paso, and the Permian Basin. In 1979, the charter was expanded, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center was created with the addition of the School of Nursing, the School of Health Professions, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

With the creation of the Texas Tech University System in 1996, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center became a separate university. Today, it consists of Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Allied Health, and Pharmacy, and a Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

In 2007, Angelo State University in San Angelo joined the Texas Tech University System. The school was founded in 1928 as a two-year college and began offering four-year degrees in 1965.

In 2013, the Texas Legislature approved the creation of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso as the System’s fourth institution. TTUHSC at El Paso hosts the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing.

Financial Support

The university is a public institution that receives a portion of its operating funds from the Texas State Legislature as well as student paid tuition. For the construction and renovation of academic and general buildings, state-appropriated funds are made available from the Higher Education Assistance Fund and Tuition Revenue Bonds. State-appropriated funds are not used to support residence halls, intercollegiate athletics, student publications, health services, or the Student Union.

Student fees, along with gifts and grants from private individuals and organizations, provide critical additional funds to support scholarships and fellowships, faculty research, student services, student activities, and campus facilities.

Organizational Structure

A nine-member Board of Regents governs Texas Tech University, Angelo State University, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Centers in Lubbock and El Paso. The Governor of the State of Texas appoints the Regents to six-year terms. The terms of office of three Regents expire every two years. The governance, control, and direction of the university are vested in the Regents who in turn appoint a Chancellor to carry out the policies of the system as determined by the Regents. The Chancellor appoints a president of each institution in the system. The presidents are chief executive officers of their respective institutions and are responsible for the strategic operation of each institution. The President of Texas Tech University is supported by a Provost and Senior Vice President who oversees the educational programs of the university; a Vice President for Administration and Finance who is responsible for the fiscal operations of the university and the physical plant; a Vice President for Research who directs the research efforts of the university; and a Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion who supports the institution’s strategic diversity goals by providing programs, services, and resources.

Texas Tech University consists of the Graduate School ; School of Law; Honors College ; and the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources , Architecture , Arts & Sciences , Business , Education , Engineering , Human Sciences , Media & Communication , and Visual & Performing Arts . Each college is administered by a dean and consists of a number of instructional departments or areas.