Planning for the Future of Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University

In a state known for big things, Texas A&M University at College Station just keeps getting bigger!

College Station Enrollment Grows to 62,678 Students

At the start of the Spring 2022 semester, Texas A&M University at College Station reported 62,678 students at its flagship campus. The addition of over 800 students on-campus compared to Spring 2021 reflected a 1.3% increase in the number of students calling College Station home. 

That number is slightly below the university’s overall growth of 2.0%, due in part to a 25.4% increase in enrollment at the Galveston campus, but still reflects continued demand for on-campus education at one of Texas’s premier public universities. 

University-student-working-after-school

Texas A&M University’s West Campus has offered room for the university to grow but posed challenges trying to foster accessible connections with the rest of campus.

Accommodating Enrollment Growth

To support a growing population of on-campus students – and the housing, dining, study spaces, lecture halls, and laboratories needed to accommodate them – Texas A&M University relies on the Office of the University Architect. The University Architect is responsible for the development and implementation of long-term campus planning, in the form of a University Campus Master Plan.

Work on the most recent plan started in the Fall of 2015 and built on the work of the 2004 Campus Master Plan. The current iteration, completed in early 2017, focused on three key objectives to foster a thriving campus community: (1) Enhance the Student Experience, (2) Improve Campus Connectivity, and (3) Integrate the Built Environment. 

Enhance the Student Experience

Texas A&M’s efforts to enhance the student experience starts with creating a vibrant campus that offers attractive places for students to live, learn, and socialize. The Office of the University Architect plays a major role here to ensure that the growth of the university’s physical footprint is both incremental – building what’s needed before it’s needed – and holistic, thereby ensuring that the small projects undertaken each year fit into the broader goals of the university. To accomplish this, Texas A&M University has developed both Character Zones and District Plans within the College Station campus. 

Character Zones represent the architecture and aesthetics of the buildings on campus to ensure a cohesive look and feel between existing structures, those under construction, and those in the planning phases. District Plans reflect the expected growth of academic or social programs, to ensure the campus of the future meets the needs of its diverse student population.

These District Plans include the Health Sciences campus, A&M Athletics facilities, and even Corps of Cadets, all of which are intended to provide a growing population of students with the physical spaces needed to foster personal growth and academic success. 

tamu students

Campus planning at Texas A&M University in College Station involves accommodating the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles accessing campus.

Improve Campus Connectivity

As the physical footprint of the university grows, so too do considerations about how students, faculty, and visitors access and travel across a sprawling campus landscape. But Texas A&M’s efforts to improve campus connectivity also consider the university’s academic connectivity and how its university offices can work to foster intellectual exchanges and social interactions across departments. 

As part of its physical planning efforts, Texas A&M University has made pedestrian safety and accessibility a guiding principle in the campus master plan. Planning for pedestrians means limiting vehicular access wherever possible, to minimize the physical distance between residential, academic, athletic, and recreational spaces on campus. Limiting roadways through campus has the added benefit of providing safer spaces for walking and biking by limiting spaces in which people and cars interact in a dense campus environment. 

To foster interdisciplinary academic connectivity, Texas A&M University has identified Campus Forms as the means by which they can best achieve the goals of creating a campus that functions as a living laboratory. The university believes that only through interactions across disciplines can it create a thriving research environment that promotes new ideas, discovery, and personal growth among its students. These forums are as much about the subject matter as the physical spaces in which the students, faculty, and staff interact. Hosting forums in buildings that are unfamiliar to some students – like philosophy forums in the engineering quad – provides students a glimpse at university life beyond their individual disciplines. 

The-Century-Tree-in-the-Academic-Plaza

The Century Tree in the Academic Plaza is a prime example of the University’s effort to integrate the built environment of the campus into the natural environment of the central Texas landscape.

Integrate the Built Environment

The third and final key objective of Texas A&M University’s master plan is to integrate the built environment through thoughtful, cohesive landscaping. These efforts go beyond greenery and landscaping. Enhancing the built environment in which students live, study, and relax is aimed at creating a sense of place and familiarity to its students. Given the diversity of the A&M student body, which hails from all 50 states and 192 different counties in Texas, creating a physical environment that feels both familiar and dynamic is key to maintaining and growing its student population.

Efforts to integrate the built environment into the university’s long-term planning efforts involve preserving what already exists while incorporating what’s to come. Texas A&M University has identified its brand – logo, colors, and common phrases – as a means of helping tie the various physical spaces of campus together under a single A&M banner. The addition of flags, branded signage, directional signage using the university colors, and interesting trees and landscaping are all efforts to promote a sense of community while keeping its residents and visitors intrigued to explore the campus as it would a theme park – albeit one focused on studies as much as fun. 

nortpoint-crossing

Residents of Northpoint Crossing, located at the intersection of University Drive and Texas Avenue, have convenient access to campus. The community is within walking and biking distance of the engineering quad.

Housing a Growing Population

While thorough in its plans to support a thriving, supportive academic campus, the Texas A&M University campus master plan is short on details regarding on-campus housing and how it plans to house its growing undergraduate and graduate student populations. It’s no surprise then that College Station is one of the largest off-campus housing markets in the United States, with over 30 off-campus apartment communities operating to house Texas A&M students.

Among the more desirable offerings is Northpoint Crossing, a six-building community housing over 1,400 students in a prime location adjacent to campus. Located at the intersection of University Drive and Texas Avenue, Northpoint Crossing is situated on the northeast corner of campus and is within walking distance of the Engineering Quad, Architecture Quad, and Chemistry laboratories. Northpoint Crossing offers residents a full suite of amenities – all of which were renovated in the winter of 2021 and 2022 – and a range of floor plan options, from studios to four-bedroom, four-bath units.

For photos, videos, floor plans, and availability visit our homepage to see yourself as a future Northpoint resident and A&M student.