College of Arts and Sciences 2011-2012

11. College of Arts and Sciences

Departments: Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Physics, Computer Science, English and Modern Languages, Earth and Space Sciences, History, Mathematics, Nursing, Psychology, Political Science, and Sociology, Social Work and Criminal Justice.

Other programs: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, Bachelor of General Studies, Air Force ROTC.

Brenda S. Nichols, Dean 203 Parker Building 409.880.8508
Cruse Melvin, Associate Dean 409.880.8244
Joe Nordgren, Associate Dean 409.880.7852

Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences. We want to help you reach your goals. The College has three principal missions:

  • to provide an excellent learning environment for all undergraduates to develop and refine knowledge and skills essential in cultivating the individual’s ability to critically think, communicate, utilize information technology, and participate in a global society;
  • to provide a 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 of Arts and Sciences provides most of the academic components of the core curriculum. Each department in the College offers at least one major as well as courses that can be used to create a minor for any degree.

In addition to the traditional areas of study for each department, the College also provides study in the fields of Anthropology, Philosophy, Space Science, and US Air Force ROTC. The College also houses many successful programs that cross several disciplines. Environmental science is one example in addition to the many preprofessional programs. Pre-professional programs prepare students for a professional school to launch careers in fields such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, optometry and veterinary medicine.

Degrees Offered:

Associate of Applied Science – Nursing Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

Bachelor of General Studies
Bachelor of Arts with majors in the following fields:

Criminal Justice
Political Science

Bachelor of Science with majors in the following fields:

Medical Technology
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Earth Science
Political Science
Environmental Science
Forensic Chemistry

Bachelor of Social Work

Minors are available in anthropology, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, earth science, English, French, geology, history, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, social work, sociology, space science, Spanish and writing. Students may also consider minors outside the college, such as Business, Communication or a performing art.

Graduate Programs

Graduate programs are offered in biology, chemistry, English, history, nursing, psychology, public administration and applied criminology. The Department of Earth and Space Sciences, the Physics Department and the Sociology program offer graduate courses in support of other advanced degree programs. Further information may be obtained from the Graduate Information section of this catalog, in departmental entries of this catalog, or by contacting the appropriate academic department.

Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Majors in the College of Arts and Sciences

A student enrolled as a major in the College of Arts and Sciences 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 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.

Students majoring in one of the programs in the College of Arts and Sciences who accumulate a grade point deficiency of 25 or more grade points by the beginning of a Fall or Spring semester may be suspended for that semester. Students returning from an academic suspension must reduce their grade point deficiency every semester of enrollment until the deficiency is eliminated. Failure to reduce the deficiency in any one semester may result in a second suspension of two long semesters. A third suspension may result in exclusion as a major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Students suspended from Fall and/or Spring semesters may attend a Summer session. If the grade point deficiency is less than 25 at the close of the Summer session, the student may enroll for the following Fall semester but may be charged with a suspension.

Upon recommendation of the Department Chair and approval of the Dean of the College, exceptions to the above policy will be considered for:

  1. A student who compiles exactly a 2.0 GPA after returning from a suspension.
  2. A student in good standing (2.0 or greater GPA) who accumulates a grade point deficiency of 25 or more grade points in one semester.
  3. A student in college for the first time at the end of the first semester of attendance.

Minimum Standards for Undergraduate Minors in the College of Arts and Sciences

  1. Complete all requirements of a major degree plan.
  2. Complete all course requirements in their minor with at least a grade of “C.”

Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

Academic Director: Joe Nordgren Parker 203-B, 409.880.7852 College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center: Parker 106, 409.880.8534

The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program is most appealing to students who have earned academic credit hours and are seeking a flexible degree plan to complete their bachelor's degree. 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 B.A.A.S. degree.

The minimum requirements for obtaining this degree include but are not limited to completing the core curriculum, taking 36 hours at the 3000/4000 level (18 of which must be from Lamar University), having at least 120 hours applied to the degree plan, and completing an Education Outcome Portfolio. Students are encouraged to contact one of the B.A.A.S. academic advisors in order to discuss the program's entrance requirements. This program is also offered online.

Pre-Professional Programs

The College of Arts and Sciences offers 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, or veterinary medicine. Students seeking admission to a professional school (medical, pharmacy, dental, etc.) should follow a pre-professional program. Other programs associated with the health-related professions (i.e., the allied health sciences) are administered through the Lamar Institute of Technology.


Advisor: Terri B. Davis, 201D Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, 409.880.8533

For admission to law school, a student needs a baccalaureate degree, a high grade point average and a good score on the Law School Aptitude 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. The pre-law programs are administered by pre-law advisors within the student’s major department. Pre-law students should work closely with the appropriate advisor in planning an undergraduate curriculum and in eventually making application to law schools. One aspect of the application process is the Law School Aptitude 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

Advisor: Matthew Hoch, 101 Hayes Building, 409.880.8256 The pre-clinical programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician’s assistant are administered by the Department of Biology. The specific programs of study are listed in that department. Further information may be obtained by contacting the departmental advisor.

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

Academic Advisor: Katie Caillavet, 104-C Parker, 409.880.7972. 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, pharmacy 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 competitive 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 has also 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.


The admission requirements to pharmacy schools vary greatly between programs; therefore, it is strongly recommended that pre-pharmacy students consult with preprofessional advisors on a regular basis and develop a course of study that will best prepare them to meet their career goals.

Professional Programs

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

The Department of Nursing offers the Associate of Science and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees to prepare professional nurse practitioners. Each degree recipient is eligible to make application to write the national licensing examination (NCLEX-RN) given by each state’s Board of Nurse Examiners to become a registered nurse (RN).

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.

Center for Global Studies and Study Abroad

Lamar University offers a wide diversity of courses that enable students to study in foreign cities through faculty-sponsored programs, consortia, or other institutions. Course offerings are from diverse fields of study—including language, anthropology, criminal justice, health care, geology, political science and art. Lamar University faculty offerings are available for undergraduate or graduate credit or occasionally as a non-credit option. Options to study abroad for a semester or a year are also available.

International short courses have been offered 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 opportunities

Certificate in Global Studies

Director: Ken Rivers, Maes 25, 409.880.8595 The certificate in Global and International 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 has successfully completed four elective courses with a grade of C (or higher) 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. If three of the four courses come from the same field outside the student’s major, the student would be awarded a “concentration,” not a certificate. More information is available by calling the global studies director.

English Courses for Non-Native Students (ESL)

Students for whom English is a second language are required to demonstrate English proficiency by scoring an average of 80 on the objective portions and a minimum of 3.0 on the writing section of the English proficiency/placement test required of entering students as part of the orientation. Those students whose scores fall below the minimum scores required are referred to the Lamar Language Institute for placement in appropriate college readiness courses. Registration and fees for these courses are separate from those for degree credit-bearing courses taken in the University. A student placed in college readiness courses may not drop the courses.

After the satisfactory level of proficiency is attained, students who must satisfy degree requirements in English may do so by completing the following courses:

Freshman Composition: ENGL 1301 and 1302 ENGL 2310 or 2320 or 2322 or 2326 or 2331 or 2376

Cooperative Education Program

A cooperative (Co-op) Education Program in which the student spends alternate terms at work and at study is offered to qualified students in the Department of Chemistry and the Department of Physics. This program is coordinated by the department chair, and students may contact that office or 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 criminology, biology, chemistry, nursing and psychology; 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.

Persons seeking admission to these programs must meet the requirements specified by the individual department.

Air Force ROTC

Lamar University offers the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) through written agreement with the University of Houston. All Lamar University Air Force ROTC courses and physical training sessions take place on the University of Houston campus.

The University of Houston will provide AFROTC instruction in the General Military Course and/or the Professional Office Course to qualified and selected applicants who are Lamar University Students; enroll qualified students of Lamar University who are selected for the General Military Course and/or the Professional Officer Course as members of teh Air Force detachment of the University of Houston and provide uniforms, in accordance with the existing agreement between the University of Houston and the Secretary of the Air Force, to Lamar University for all Air Force ROTC cadets who are enrolled as members for the Air Force ROTC detachment at the University of Houston. The courses required for this program carry Lamar University numbers and students pay all 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 degree plan at Lamar University or as a minor for some programs. Classes are open to all students. No military obligation is incurred as a result of enrollment in these courses. ROTC scholarship students do incur a military obligation.

The freshman and sophomore level courses (the General Military Course) consist of one hour of classroom instruction as well as a Leadership Laboratory each week. Each semester of the junior and senior courses (Professional Officer Corps) consists of three classroom hours of instruction as well as a Leadership Laboratory each week. As a junior, the student will study the core values, leadership, teamwork, and management tools required to become an effective Air Force officer. During the senior year students study the national security policy process, regional and cultural studies, and complete final requirements for commissioning as second lieutenants. Enrollment in the Professional Officer Corps (POC) is open to graduate students if they have four semesters of school remaining. Graduate student enrollment is based on needs of the Air Force. Each semester of the POC (traditionally junior and senior year) consists of three classroom hours of instruction as well as Leadership Laboratory each week.

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 level (3000 or 4000 level). Nine semester hours of these must be completed in residence, of which six must be advanced. Students must attend Field Training in order to be commissioned.

Leadership Laboratory

As an Air Force ROTC cadet, each student is required to attend an additional two-hour class known as Leadership Laboratory. Although not part of the academic class requirement, it is an essential element of officer training. Leadership Laboratory is an intensive military training program in which students gain invaluable leadership and managerial experience while learning about the Air Force way of life. Students have numerous opportunities to hear guest speakers and panel discussions, participate in field trips, and experience practical leadership exercises.

AFROTC Scholarship Opportunities

Air Force ROTC offers various scholarship opportunities for students at Lamar University. 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 at or call 1.800.4AFROTC.

Additional Training

All cadets are required to complete a summer Field Training (FT) program. This rigorous program of leadership training, physical conditioning and academics assesses the cadet's potential to be an Air Force officer. Cadets also receive survival and firearms training and career information. Cadets receive travel pay and daily pay for FT. This training occurs the summer prior to entry into the Professional Officer Corps (traditionally summer prior to Junior year.)

Cadets meet two times per week at the University of Houston Alumni Center to perform physical fitness training. The training is mandatory and emphasizes push-ups, sit-ups, and running in order to pass the USAF physical fitness test. 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