About the College

Interim Dean Joe NordgrenAs the largest and most inclusive academic unit within the university, the College of Arts and Sciences contributes significantly to the cultural and academic characteristics that distinguishes Lamar as a Member of the Texas State University System. Our programs perform at the highest levels with constant enthusiasm for excellence.

The College is comprised of twelve academic departments, many of which house multiple programs and disciplines that offer our students a combined thirty-four undergraduate and graduate degree choices. In addition, the College includes a variety of interdisciplinary, pre-professional, and teacher preparation programs that cross educational boundaries. While providing a majority of the courses included within the university’s Core Curriculum, the College likewise offers hundreds of specialized courses to support its baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. Despite its breadth and diversity, the College collectively involves students in an academic experience of the highest quality based on the following principles:

  • To provide an excellent learning environment wherein all students may refine the knowledge and skills essential to cultivate their ability to think critically, communicate effectively, and advance their appreciation of artistic and scientific inquiry;
  • To provide a contemporary education through the integration of information technology into the study of disciplines traditionally associated with the arts and sciences; and
  • To stress the importance of lifelong learning through community outreach, service, research and creative endeavors.

The success of every major academic enterprise depends greatly upon the quality of its faculty. The College faculty are highly accomplished researchers and scholars who are widely recognized as specialists in their respective disciplines. Foremost, however, the they are exemplary teachers who foster intellectual growth and maturity at all levels of instruction, ranging from incoming first-generation freshmen to highly talented and highly motivated graduate students. The College faculty ensure that Lamar graduates are fully prepared to be leaders in their communities and in their chosen careers.

Organization and Function

The College of Arts and Sciences provides most of the academic components fundamental to a traditional liberal arts college and contains humanities, social sciences, and the natural sciences. Programs in the humanities include English, history, philosophy and modern languages with graduate degrees in English. Programs in the social sciences include anthropology, criminology, political science, psychology and sociology with graduate degrees in public administration, applied criminal justice and community/counseling or industrial/organizational psychology. Programs in the natural sciences include nursing plus the traditional sciences of biology, chemistry, computer science, forensic chemistry, geology, space science, physics and mathematics with graduate programs in biology, chemistry, computer science and nursing.

The College also houses many successful programs that cross disciplines. Environmental science is one example in addition to pre-professional programs that prepare students for careers in fields such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry and veterinary medicine. The College also is home for two interdisciplinary degrees designed for adult learners.

Research is a fundamental component of the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences. Faculty members actively engage in research related to their respective disciplines. To this end, the College maintains several centers and laboratories that are devoted almost exclusively to research activities, and these include: the Space Exploration Center, the Center for Public Policy Studies, the Environmental Sciences Laboratory, the Center for Justice Research and Education, and the Center for Philosophical Studies.

The Liberal Arts and Sciences

Like other areas of study, the disciplines represented by the arts and sciences prepare students for advanced study and research; for a career in business, industry, government service or teaching; or for study in a professional field. In addition, however, the very nature of the arts and sciences disciplines not only trains the mind and sharpens the intellect but also provides an experience designed to encourage life-long learning. It is a “liberating” experience that enables one to acquire the skills and knowledge to think critically, examine values and principles, broaden perspectives and to understand the individual and the relationships among the individual, our natural environment and our society. Thus, specialization in one or more of the arts and sciences disciplines provides the opportunity for this experience and the prelude to a personally and professionally rewarding career.