Mar 27, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences

Paul B. Semmes, Dean

Departments and Programs

Mission and Scope

The College of Arts & Sciences provides a liberal arts education for all TTU students, strong major programs in more than thirty areas of study, high-quality foundational courses for students in programs outside the College, and new knowledge through faculty and student research. In pursuing this mission, the College emphasizes the skills and perspectives vital to lifelong education and decision-making in a democracy. These include critical and contextual thinking, effective communication, active learning, and proficiency with technology. Across the ten departments, many courses address one or more of the following major issues: environmental problems, the complex relations of science and society, and the coexistence of differing cultural or ethnic groups within the U.S. and around the globe.

General Requirements for a Baccalaureate Degree in the College of Arts and Sciences

A student must satisfy the general university requirements for a baccalaureate degree. The departmental chairperson, or a faculty member designated by the chairperson, serves as the student’s academic advisor.

Minor in Arts and Sciences

A minor for Arts and Sciences students requires the completion of 15 semester hours, including 6 upper-division hours, in a coherent program of study. The criterion of coherence may be met in either of two ways: (1) by following the minor curriculum prescribed by any department or college at TTU, so long as it includes at least 6 upper-division hours; (2) if such a  minor curriculum is not available in the chosen department or college, by taking the 15 semester hours, including 6 at the upper division, in a single discipline—i.e., normally, courses with the same course prefix, but students should check with the department offering the minor before assuming this. Exception: A minor in physics will consist of at least 15 hours of coursework including PHYS 2110 , PHYS 2120 , PHYS 2420 , PHYS 2920  and one upper division physics course. Approved interdisciplinary minors in the College of Arts and Sciences are:

Interdepartmental Programs and Activities

All College of Arts and Sciences programs cross over departmental lines to bring in appropriate experiences from other disciplines. Some programs, however, require an unusually broad set of activities to accomplish their goals. The B.S. in International Business and Cultures uses the resources of two colleges in preparing students to solve complex problems in international commerce. The pre-professional programs draw from a wide spectrum of sciences, humanities, and social sciences as they prepare students for careers in medicine, law, and the allied health sciences. In addition to department-based minor programs, students can choose from several interdisciplinary minors: Women and Gender Studies, Environmental Studies, Education or Business. Finally, the Internship in Technology and Community Development adds an applied technology credential to the student’s major.

Career Tracks

The College prepares students for professional training in law, medicine, dentistry, and other health sciences. Students with the goal of attending professional school are encouraged to declare a health professional Career Track  as a supplement to their major (as well as, if applicable, concentration and/or minor) in order to receive additional advising and support, including but not limited to guidance on meeting the pre-requisites of their desired professional program. The courses required or recommended for certain professional programs are annually revised and updated to  make certain students are well-prepared and are competitive on required aptitude tests (for example, DAT, LSAT, MCAT, OAT, PCAT,and GRE). Among the many opportunities for active learning related to pre-professional studies are: the mock-trial team, speech and debate teams, internships and work experiences, and pre-professional student groups, such as the Chem-Med Club, which provide trips to professional schools and interactions with other health-professional Career Track  students and with prominent practitioners in the various fields. 

Available Career Tracks  include Pre-Law and the professional health sciences Career Tracks  of Dental Hygiene; Dentistry; Health Information Management; Medical Technology; Medicine; Occupational Therapy; Optometry; Pharmacy; Physical Therapy; and Physician Assistant. (The Career Tracks  of Pre-Athletic Training, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Physical Therapy, and Pre-Physician Assistant are also available to students in the College of Education. The pre-veterinary Career Track  is available to students in the School of Agriculture, and the Lower-Level Nursing career track is through the School of Nursing and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies)

Students in the Professional Health Sciences Career Tracks  must take certain courses required by the professional school while at TTU, but they can do so while pursuing almost any major. However, it is suggested that students in the Dentistry, Medicine, Optometry, Physician Assistant and Pharmacy career tracks either major in Biology or Chemistry, to ensure that they complete the pre-requisite courses for admission to professional school. To further assist these students, a concentration in Health Sciences is available within the Biology major, and concentrations in Applied Chemistry – Health Science Chemistry and Biochemistry are available with the Chemistry major.

Students in the Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Optometry, Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Dental Hygiene, Medical Technology and Health Information Management Career Tracks  are advised in the Professional Health Science Career Track Advising Office in Foster Hall 205 led by Ann Marie Carrick ( and other faculty associated with the program.

Students in the pre-law Career Track  have no fixed curricular requirements, but law schools recommend they major in a discipline known for its rigor in analytical thinking and communication. Pre-law students are advised by a team of professors–in Business, English, History, Political Science, and Sociology–led by Associate Professor Lori Maxwell ( of the Sociology and Political Science Department.

Internship in Technology and Community Development

This internship program is designed for the student who is completing a bachelor’s degree program that does not include a significant application of current computer technologies to “real-world” problems and needs. During three of the student’s last four semesters in a major program in the College of Arts and Sciences at Tennessee Tech, he or she will register for CAS 4910 , CAS 4920 , and CAS 4930 , in that order, for one semester each, and not simultaneously. A certificate is awarded upon completion of all three courses, each with a passing grade.

Graduate Programs

Graduate curricula lead to the Master of Science degree in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, the Master of Arts degree in English, and the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Environmental Sciences. For details, consult the TTU Graduate Studies office.

Teacher Licensure

Students may major in the College of Arts and Sciences and work towards teacher licensure, although in some cases they may be required to earn more than 120 hours.

For more information consult the College of Arts and Sciences web page: