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 
University Studies

Lamar University is a comprehensive public institution that "engages and empowers students with the skills and knowledge to thrive in their personal lives and chosen fields of endeavor." In support of this strategic initiative 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 and Space Science. 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 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 Tutoring and Retention (STAR) Services 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 Social Work, Bachelor of Science in University Studies

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—chiropractic, 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 the 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-Professional Programs in Health Sciences

The Pre-professional Programs office provides in pre-professional matters, academic advising, information on professional school application procedures for students seeking admission to chiropractic, dental, medical, occupational therapy, optometry, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant, podiatry, or veterinary 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 co-operative program.

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 Pre-professional Advisor Committee offers qualifying students the opportunity to participate in a mock interview as well as provides letters of evaluation for their application to dental, medical, optometry, or podiatry school.

Admission to health professional schools is highly competitive, and, in general, the most successful applicants will have credentials that significantly exceed the stated minimum admissions requirements. For example, while many dental and medical schools may have stated requirements of ninety semester hours of college preparation, greater than 95 percent of the students actually accepted will have a bachelor’s degree. 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, such as the DAT, GRE, MCAT, OAT, PA-CAT, and PCAT, are required as a part of the admissions process to professional schools. 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 the application services that their chosen profession utilizes


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 a 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.

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.

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

Carl Parker 203: phone (409) 880-8508

Dean:  Dr. Lynn Maurer Sr. Associate Dean:  Dr. Xiangyang "Sunny" Lei Associate Dean: Dr. Jeremy Alm Sr. Administrative Coordinator:  Michelle Lansdale Business Manager: Garry Richards-Foster

College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center

Parker 106: phone (409) 880-8534

Coordinator Pre-professional Programs:   Eileen Burch Administrative Coordinator:  Noemi Hinojosa