Arts and Sciences College Overview

Academic Departments

Chemistry and Biochemistry
Computer Science
Earth and Space Sciences    
English and Modern Languages
JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing
Political Science
Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice 

Lamar University is a comprehensive public institution that "prepares students for leadership and lifelong learning in a multicultural world." In support of this mission, the College of Arts and Sciences has three principal objectives:

  • To provide an excellent learning environment for all students to develop and refine knowledge and skills essential in cultivating the individual's ability to think critically, communicate effectively, utilize information technology, and participate in a global society;
  • To provide a current and relevant education for undergraduate and graduate majors in a diverse range of arts and sciences disciplines; and
  • To develop and refine knowledge and understanding through community outreach, service, research, and creative activities.

Organization and Function

The College provides many of the academic components that comprise the university's General Education Core Curriculum. Each department within the College offers at least one major as well as courses that can be combined to create a minor for any degree. Beyond traditional areas of study, the College also provides opportunities to explore the fields of Anthropology, Philosophy, Space Science, and US Air Force ROTC. Unique to Arts and Sciences, the College houses many successful cross-disciplinary programs such as Environmental Science and several pre-professional programs for students interested in careers in law and the health sciences.

Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Majors

A student enrolled as a major in the College must fulfill all university degree requirements, including those for general education, as well as the particular requirements set forth by the department for an area of academic specialization. In addition, majors in the College must:

  1. Complete the Freshman English composition requirements (6 credit hours) with a grade of “C” or better in each course.
  2. Complete all department courses required for the major with at least a grade of “C” or better.

Students are expected to make acceptable progress toward their degree objectives and are expected to work closely and carefully with their academic advisors. Any student whose cumulative grade point average (GPA) falls below satisfactory academic progress (2.00 or higher cumulative grade point average) will be placed on academic probation. Academic advisement is mandatory for any student on probation, and enrollment efforts will be blocked until permission to register is granted by the College. The student on probation must contact the College Advising Center for counseling. During this counseling session, an academic action plan will be developed and will serve as a contract between the student and the College. As a requirement of this contract, the student will be directed to the Student Advising and Retention Services (STARS) office for additional consultation and support. A student on probation who demonstrates academic improvement (i.e., a 2.00 or higher semester/term GPA) and complies with all other conditions of the academic action plan during the next semester/term of enrollment, but whose cumulative grade point average does not return to satisfactory academic progress (2.00 cumulative GPA) will remain on probation.

Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Minors

  1. Complete all requirements of a major degree plan.
  2. Complete all course requirements for the chosen minor with at least a grade of “C” or better.

Degrees and Minors

Bachelor of Arts with majors in: Biochemistry, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, English, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Bachelor of Science with majors in: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Earth Science, Environmental Science, Forensic Chemistry, Geology, Mathematics, Nursing, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology.

Minors in: Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, Earth Science, English, French, Geology, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Space Science, Spanish, and Writing.

Programs unique to Arts and Sciences: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of General Studies, and Bachelor of Social Work.

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) program is most appealing to students who have earned academic credit hours and are seeking a flexible option to complete their baccalaureate degrees. In addition, students with technical credits and/or vocational training also consider this degree because it offers the possibility of converting these experiences into academic credit, known as Prior Experiential Learning Credit. Up to 24 hours of such credit can be used toward the BAAS degree.

The minimum requirements for obtaining this degree include but are not limited to completing the core curriculum, completing 45 semester hours at the 3000/4000 level (18 of which must be from Lamar University) with a grade of "C" or better, and earning at least 120 semester hours that apply to the degree plan. This program also can be completed fully online. Students are encouraged to contact the BAAS academic advisor in order to discuss both the program's entrance requirements and a future plan of study.

Pre-Professional Programs

The College offers several pre-professional programs for students planning careers in law or in one of the primary health care delivery areas—dentistry, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, physical or occupational therapy, physician’s assistant, podiatry, and veterinary medicine. Students seeking admission to a professional school should follow a pre-professional program of study while completing their undergraduate degree. Since admission to professional schools is highly competitive, students should strive to maintain an overall 3.5+ grade point average.    


For admission to law school, a student needs a baccalaureate degree, a high grade point average and a good score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). According to the Association of American Law Schools, skills appropriate to the legal profession that can be acquired in undergraduate education are these: comprehension and expression in words, critical understanding of human institutions and values with which the law deals, and creative power of thinking. Therefore, a broad education obtainable in a liberal arts program is excellent preparation for admission to law schools. Within the College, the pre-law program is administered by the Department of Political Science, and pre-law students should work closely with the department chair in planning an undergraduate curriculum and in eventually making application to law schools. One aspect of the application process is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), which law schools require to be taken prior to consideration for admission.

Pre-Clinical Programs in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physician’s Assistant

The pre-clinical programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician’s assistant are administered by the Department of Biology, and further information may be obtained by contacting either the University Undergraduate Advising Center or the Department of Biology.

Pre-Dental, Pre-Medical, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Veterinary Medicine Programs

The Pre-Professional Advisory Committee for the Health Professions was created as a service to all students preparing for and seeking admission to professional schools of dentistry, medicine, optometry, podiatry, and veterinary medicine. The services provided include basic advising and counseling in pre-professional matters, academic advising, information on professional school application procedures, and providing composite evaluative information on the student to professional schools. It is extremely important that pre-professional students work closely with the program advisor from the time they initiate their studies at the university. The College maintains a formal agreement with the University of Houston College of Pharmacy for a Coop program. A second agreement for Coop is with the Texas Chiropractic College.

Admission to health professional schools is highly competitive, and, in general, the most successful applicants will have credentials which significantly exceed the stated minimum admissions requirements. For example, while many dental and medical schools may have stated requirements of three years of college preparation, greater than 95 percent of the students actually accepted will have had four years of college. Thus, since “pre-programs” do not lead to a degree, such students should pursue a degree-granting program. The student is then not only a more competitive professional school applicant but also has prepared for an alternate career should admission to a professional school not be possible. Any degree-granting program at the university may be chosen; however, programs within the sciences are generally the most appropriate as their required curricula contain many of the courses also required for professional school admission. In addition, careful use of elective hours in the curricula will allow for the selection of other appropriate pre-professional courses.

Students considering courses at junior colleges should contact the professional school(s) they plan to attend because many professional schools are reluctant to accept transfer hours from junior colleges.

Standardized examinations are required as a part of the admissions process to professional schools (dentistry—DAT; medicine and podiatry—MCAT; optometry—OAT; veterinary medicine—MCAT or GRE; pharmacy—PCAT). Students should consult with the pre-professional advisor concerning preparation for a particular examination and the appropriate time at which the examination should be taken. Lastly, students should familiarize themselves with both state and national application services such as the Texas Medical and Dental School Application Service (TMDSAS) and the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS).

Professional Programs

The Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Criminal Justice offers approved programs to prepare students for public service in the areas of criminal justice and social work. Students may pursue either a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Social Work degree.

The Department of Nursing offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to prepare students to become professional nurses. Each degree recipient is eligible to apply for the National Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) administered by each state’s Board of Nurse Examiners.

Teacher Certification: The College of Arts and Sciences provides academic disciplines for teacher preparation. Catalog entries for each department identify the areas of certification available. Students are encouraged to meet with the advisor for teacher certification in the College of Education and Human Development as well as the academic department chair regarding courses required, progression and graduation.

Global Studies and Study Abroad

Lamar offers a variety of opportunities for students to study in foreign countries, primarily through faculty-led programs. Course offerings range among diverse fields of study such as anthropology, art, biology, criminal justice, fashion design, health care, history, languages, and political science; in many instances, these courses are available for upper-level undergraduate or graduate credit. Students may likewise explore options for semester and year-long study abroad programs, being careful that the courses in which they enroll will transfer for credit to Lamar and apply to their respective degree plans.

International short courses have been scheduled in Paris, France; Madrid, Spain; Heidelberg, Germany; Florence and Rome, Italy, and Tokyo, Japan. A student-approved fee allows the university to provide some scholarship assistance for students wishing to pursue study abroad.

Certificate in Global Studies: The Certificate in Global Studies will be awarded in conjunction with any departmental major to any B.A. or B.S. student who has demonstrated foreign language proficiency (equivalent to four semesters of one foreign language by examination, higher education course work) and who has successfully completed four elective courses with a grade of C (or better) with substantial international content. No more than three of the four courses can come from any one discipline, and at least three courses must come from outside the student’s major discipline. Further details are available through the Department of English and Modern Languages. 

Cooperative Education Program

Qualified students in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Physics may seek approval to participate in a Cooperative (Coop) Education Program in which the student spends alternate terms at work and at study. Students may contact the individual departments for further information.

Air Force ROTC

Lamar University offers the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) through written agreement with the University of Houston. In support of this agreement, the College provides academic guidance for students wishing to enroll in this program. All Lamar Air Force ROTC courses and physical training sessions take place on the University of Houston campus.

By agreement, the University of Houston will (1) provide AFROTC instruction in the General Military Course and/or the Professional Office Course to qualified and selected Lamar students; (2) enroll Lamar students who are selected for the General Military Course and/or the Professional Officer Course as members of the Air Force detachment of the University of Houston; and (3) provide uniforms to Lamar participants in accordance with the existing arrangement between the University of Houston and the Secretary of the Air Force. The courses required for this program carry Lamar University numbers, and students pay applicable tuition and fees to Lamar University. For more information on the Air Force Science program, contact the Air Force Science Department at the University of Houston by calling 713.743.4932 or online at

Course Credit

ROTC classes may be taken for elective credit toward any Lamar degree plan or as a minor for some programs. Classes are open to all students, and no military obligation is incurred as a result of enrollment. ROTC scholarship students do incur a military obligation.

Air Force Science Minor

Students considering using Air Force ROTC classes as a minor should consult an advisor in their major field. The minor must consist of a minimum of 18 semester hours, of which 12 must be at the junior or senior (3000/4000) level. Nine of these semester hours must be completed in residence, of which six must be advanced. Students are required to attend Field Training in order to be commissioned.

Leadership Laboratory

In addition to required courses within the Air Force ROTC curriculum, cadets must attend a two-hour intensive military training program known as Leadership Laboratory. By way of field trips, discussion panels, and interaction with guest speakers, students gain invaluable leadership and managerial experience while also learning about the Air Force way of life.

AFROTC Scholarship Opportunities

Air Force ROTC offers various scholarship opportunities for Lamar students. All AFROTC scholarship recipients receive a nontaxable monthly stipend; this is in addition to the tuition and book scholarship monies. The annual stipend amount ranges from $2,500 per year to $4,500 per year depending on the recipient's enrollment year. For additional information on AFROTC scholarship opportunities, please visit the AFROTC website or call 1.800.4AFROTC.

Additional Training

All cadets are required to complete a rigorous summer Field Training (FT) program in order to assess their potential as future Air Force officers. Participants in the FT program take part in survival and firearms training while learning additional career information. Cadets receive both travel pay and daily pay while attending the program, which occurs during the summer prior to entry into the Professional Officer Corps (traditionally the summer prior to the Junior year). 

Cadets meet two times per week at the University of Houston Alumni Center to perform mandatory physical fitness training. Lamar students combine their academics, leadership laboratory, and Physical Fitness into 1 day at U of H. Other physical fitness training is conducted on an honor system set up directly between the Cadets and Detachment 003.

Cadets are eligible to compete to attend Professional Development Training during the summer months. These programs are strictly voluntary. This training includes activities such as tours of nearby active duty Air Force bases, soaring and free-fall parachuting at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), Cultural and Foreign Language Immersion abroad, hands-on research at Air Force laboratories, shadowing an Air Force officer in Operation Air Force, and internships at NASA and other government organizations. Cadets receive travel pay and daily pay for the majority of these programs. For more information contact the Unit Admissions Officer at 713.743.4932 or visit the University of Houston Air Force website at

 Graduate Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers programs of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in the fields of English and History; the Master of Science degree in the fields of Applied Psychology, Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, and Nursing; and the Master of Public Administration degree. In addition, graduate study is available in Geology and Sociology as areas of support or specialization in other advanced degree programs.

Applicants seeking admission to these programs must meet the requirements set forth by the individual department. Additional specific requirements can be found on department web pages.

College Contact Directory

College of Arts and Sciences Administrative Office
Parker 203: phone (409) 880-8508

Dean, Dr. Brenda Nichols
Associate Dean, Dr. Cruse Melvin
Associate Dean, Dr. Joe Nordgren
Administrative Executive, Ms. Kathy Pierce

College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center
Parker 106: phone (409) 880-8534

Advising Coordinator, Ms. Lara Jagneaux
BAAS Academic Advisor Senior, Ms. Eileen Burch
Pre-professional Health Sciences Advisor for Juniors and Seniors: Ms. Lara Jagneaux (880-8534)
Pre-professional Health Sciences Advisor for Freshmen and Sophomores: Ms. Leslie Sherwood (880-8822)
Administrative Assistant, Ms. Yolanda Monroe 
All Freshman and Sophomore students are advised through the Undergraduate Advising Center. Please contact them at (409) 880-8822.