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Baylor University got its start when, in 1941, the Union Baptist Association agreed with a proposal from Reverend William Milton Tryon and District Judge R.E.B. Baylor that a Baptist University should be established in Texas. The Texas Baptist Education Society petitioned the Congress of the Republic of Texas to charter the university in 1844 and Baylor was officially established when Republic President Anson Jones signed the act in 1845.
When Baylor was created, the original choice for the name of the university was San Jacinto in order to recognize Texas’ struggle to become an independent nation or in honor of revolutionary hero, Ben Milam. Just before the Texas Congress voted to establish the university, a request was made to name it in honor of Judge R.E.B. Baylor, and the request was granted.
Four communities were considered as the location of the university – Travis, Huntsville, Shannon’s Prairie and Independence. The university chose Independence with prep classes beginning in 1846 and college courses in 1847. Daily chapel was a required part of the Baylor educational experience when the college first opened. The tradition exists today, although students are now only required to attend two chapel sessions per week for two semesters. Cost to attend Baylor during its early years was between $8 and $15 per term.
The university’s namesake, Judge Baylor, along with Abner S. Lipscomb of the Texas Supreme Court, began teaching law at Baylor in 1849, making Baylor the first college in Texas and only the second west of the Mississippi to teach law.
In 1855, a future partner was born when Trinity River Baptist Association began Trinity River Male High School. This school eventually became Waco Classical School and then Waco University. In 1866, Baylor Female College was established, later becoming the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. In 1869, there was a move to relocate Baylor, but the Baptist State Convention voted to keep the school in Independence.
The Baptist General Convention took control of Waco University, which was then located on a lot bordered by Clay Avenue, Webster Avenue, 5th Street and 6th Street. In 1886, the University of Mary-Hardin-Baylor relocated to Belton. That same year, Baylor and Waco University merged, creating Baylor University in Waco. Main Building was completed in 1887 and a female dormitory, Georgia Burleson Hall, was completed in 1888.
Today, Baylor sits on more than 1,000 acres in Waco, educating more than 15,000 students each year. Baylor continues to fulfill their original mission which was to be a Christian University that met the higher education needs of all who entered.
Baylor University Accreditation Details
Baylor University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation indicates that the school meets or exceeds criteria set forth by the accrediting agency demonstrating excellence in education. In addition, programs are accredited by organizations specific to the industry related to those programs, including:
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- American Association of University Women
- American Council of Learned Societies
- American Council on Education
- American Society of Allied Health Professions
- Association of American Colleges and Universities
- Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools
- Association of Texas Colleges and Universities
- Association of Texas Graduate Schools
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Conference of Southern Graduate Schools
- Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation
- Council of Graduate Schools
- Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Lilly Fellows National Network of Church-Related Colleges and Universities
- Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools
- Southern University Conference
- Texas Council of Church-Related Colleges
Baylor University Application Requirements
Freshmen who wish to attend Baylor should complete the application for admission and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide official high school transcripts that show grades received through the end of the junior year and class rank or reflect the issuance of a high school diploma. Students must provide official SAT or ACT test scores as well. Although they are not required, the following items may enhance a student’s chance of admission:
- Letters of Recommendation
- Short answers to one or both of the following questions:
-What are you looking for in a university?
-Why do you want to attend Baylor University and how do you see yourself contributing to the Baylor community?
Transfer students must have 24 credit hours in order to enter as a transfer. Students must have a GPA range of between 3.1 to 3.6 and they must be in good standing at any college or university they have attended. Students must transfer no later than the end of their sophomore year because at least 60 hours must be earned in residence at Baylor, including the last 30.
Graduate students must complete an application for admission and the applicable fee. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities must be provided and one transcript must reflect the issuance of a bachelor’s degree or higher. Students may be required to submit GRE or GMAT test scores depending on the program they choose.
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Baylor University Tuition and Financial Aid
Undergraduate and graduate tuition at Baylor University is $1,515 per credit hour. Baylor is committed to helping students from all backgrounds to achieve their higher education goals. Approximately 92 percent of students who attend Baylor receive some form of financial aid. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial aid at the school. Aid is available in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study programs.
Baylor University Counseling Degree Program(s) Available
The Psychology and Neuroscience Department at Baylor offers the following degrees:
- B.A. or B.S. in Psychology
- B.S. in Neuroscience
- Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology
The programs are designed for those who wish to improve human functioning by helping them effectively problem-solve, make better decisions and cope with stress found in life every day. Students are provided the skills and knowledge to work with people individually or in groups who are normal or moderately maladjusted. Students are provided skills in behavior modification, interpersonal approaches, as well as systematic, research-based approaches to help clients understand their difficulties and develop solutions for them.
Baylor University offers students a strong, rigorous curriculum combined with Christian values in any program they choose to enter. Students may choose a wide range of programs, some of which are offered in flexible formats that allow students who have work, family or social obligations to achieve their higher education goals.