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2011-2012 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

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College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences


Dean: Sue Ott Rowlands
Associate Dean for Academic Policies and Procedures:
Debra Stoudt
Associate Dean for Administration and Finance: Brian Shabanowitz
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research: Thomas Ewing
Associate Dean for Professional Education and Director of the School of Education: Susan Magliaro
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs: Rachel Holloway
Director of Student Development: Diana Ridgwell
Director of the Pre-Education Advising Program: Joan Watson
Director of Academic Support: Karen Watson

Wallace Hall

The college offers minors in many of the departments listed. Students are encouraged to include a minor in their program and should consult an advisor for help in choosing one that will advance their career goals.


    The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offers baccalaureate degrees encompassing the humanities, performing arts, and human and social sciences. The College emphasizes the importance of mastering the intellectual skills a liberal arts education develops as well as job skills by encouraging students to apply knowledge from one field to another and to think creatively.

    Outstanding faculty members conduct research and teach courses in 16 departments leading to baccalaureate and advanced degrees. Coursework from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences also provides a foundation of knowledge of a number of fundamental subjects for students in all colleges in the Curriculum for Liberal Education.

General Requirements for Graduation

    A student in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences must complete at least 120 hours for an undergraduate degree as well as satisfy the following requirements:

    • achieve a minimum overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 for all hours attempted (some majors may require a higher GPA)
    • achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.0 for all hours attempted in all work applied to the major (some majors may require a higher GPA)
    • complete all other requirements established for their degree by the major department
    • complete all college and university Curriculum for Liberal Education requirements

    No course required for graduation or in the major/minor may be elected to be taken on a pass/fail basis (i.e., pass/fail may be used for free electives only). This excludes courses that are offered pass/fail only.

College Curriculum for Liberal Education

    A description of the Curriculum for Liberal Education may be found in the Academics chapter of this catalog. For requirements specific to departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, please contact the individual department.

The Honors Program

    The University Honors Program is available to students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. These programs provide an enriched environment for qualified students who are highly motivated and possess outstanding scholastic ability. Specific requirements for the three possible honors degrees are available from the University Honors Program, participating departments and the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Dean's List

    A student enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences for 12 hours or more for grade (A-F) who earns a GPA of 3.4 or higher during the fall or spring semesters is awarded a Dean's List certificate.

Pre-Professional Advising

    The University provides pre-professional career advisors for all disciplines and the college provides career advisors in areas related to the College.

      • Pre-law advisors are based in the College but advise students from any discipline. In addition they advise a pre-law student organization that any Virginia Tech student interested in the law can join. In addition, several majors in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences offer pre-law concentrations which students may take if they are interested in pursing a graduate program in law.
      • Health professions advisor is located in Career Services and provides advising on entering professional programs such as medical, occupational therapy, nursing and dental school to all students
      • Pre-Education Advising - The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences provides pre-education advising for potential elementary education students. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences' School of Education provides preparation of educational professionals through programs at the graduate level. These graduate programs meet state and national accreditation standards and are designed to promote teaching, research, and service.


Undergraduate Research

    Undergraduate research is a commitment of the college. The Undergraduate Research Institute aims to expose undergraduates to investigation, inquiry, and creative expression in the liberal arts and human and social sciences, enhancing the opportunities for advanced research initiatives, elevating the visibility of that research, and providing access to a variety of resources for student development and faculty mentorship. The College offers first-year students a 3-credit course, LAHS 1004 Introduction to a Research University, which introduces students to the concept of undergraduate research while preparing them to be successful college students at Virginia Tech. Departments within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences have a variety of research opportunities in which students may choose to participate. Students interested in undergraduate research should contact the department where they wish to conduct research or the Undergraduate Research Institute for assistance.

Internships, Co-Op Opportunities and Study Abroad

    Students are encouraged to participate in Internship and Co-op opportunities to gain relevant work experience prior to graduation. Department career advisors can help students identify opportunities. In some cases students can receive credit for qualifying work experience. Study abroad experiences are highly encouraged for students in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and students should meet with their academic advisor or contact the Office of Undergraduate Academic Affairs for information.

Career Advising

    Career advising is available from a number of sources. The university offers centralized career services and on-campus interviewing. The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences works with employers interested in hiring students with degrees from the college and organizes employer panels and information sessions specifically tailored to majors in the college. The college also co-hosts two career fairs each year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. The college offers a 1-credit course, LAHS 3004, Professional Seminar designed specifically for liberal arts and human sciences majors as they prepare for careers and/or graduate and professional school. Additionally, every major has a departmental career advisor who specializes in guiding students from their field towards career success.

Graduate Programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

    Many of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences departments offer graduate degrees at the Master's and Ph.D. levels. Complete information on these programs including descriptions of graduate courses can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Undergraduate Courses (LAHS)

Introduces first-year Liberal Arts and Human Sciences majors to the university's research mission and the scope and nature of research within the disciplines in the college. Prepares students to participate in the university's research mission through undergraduate research. Focuses on building problem-solving, inquiry, and integration skills as foundational to academic success. Topics include an introduction to academic support resources, academic planning, career exploration, and e-portfolio. (3H,3C)

Introduction to the heritage and professional characteristics of the programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Emphasis on assisting new students in the college with academic goals, strategies, and academic plans of study. (1H,1C)

Characteristics of the people of Central and Southern Appalachia are emphasized: past and present, including family relationships, food practices, clothing, and housing constraints. (3H,3C)

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Designed specifically for liberal arts and human sciences majors, this course prepares students for careers and/or graduate school. Interviewing, resume writing, the graduate school application process, writing personal statements, electronic job searching, and diversity issues in the workplace are examples of topics covered. Pre: Junior or Senior standing. Major within the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Junior standing preferred. (1H,1C)

Survey of research methods and technologies used in the Liberal Arts and Human Sciences disciplines. Disciplinary and cross disciplinary research methods including quantitative, qualitative, mixed and creative approaches, research proposals, computer based research applications, interpretation of research articles, identification of funding sources and preparation for conference presentations are some of the topics to be covered. Designed to complement discipline based research methods courses and foster development of research skills and interest. Pre: Junior or Senior standing required. (3H,3C)

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.

Variable credit course.