Mar 26, 2023  
2013-2014 Undergradate & Graduate Bulletin 
2013-2014 Undergradate & Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED PUBLICATION]

College of Liberal Arts


Michael K. Aakhus, M.F.A., Dean

Thomas D. Bordelon, Ed. D., Assistant Dean

Michael Dixon, Ph.D., Assistant Dean

Joan A. deJong, M.F.A., Chair, Art Department

J. Wayne Rinks, Ph.D., Chair, Communications Department

Stephen G. Spencer, Ph.D., Chair, English Department

Jason D. Hardgrave, Ph.D., Chair, History Department

Ellen C. Topper, M.A., Interim  Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies

Silvia A. Rode, Ph.D., Chair, Modern and Classical Languages Department

Elliot H. Wasserman, M.F.A., Chair, Performing Arts Department

Rocco J. Gennaro, Ph.D., Chair, Philosophy Department

Mary Hallock Morris Ph.D.,Chair,  Political Science and Public Administration Department

Julie A. Evey-Johnson, Ph.D., Chair, Psychology Department

Iris Phillips, Ph.D., Chair, Social Work Department

Ronda L. Priest, Ph.D., Chair, Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Studies Department


The College of Liberal Arts offers students the opportunities, first, to develop the fundamentals of a liberal education upon which to base a lifetime of learning and, second, to concentrate in studies that form the foundation for professional pursuits.


The College includes the departments of Art; Communications; English; History; Modern and Classical Languages; Performing Arts; Philosophy; Political Science and Public Administration; Psychology; Social Work; Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice Studies; and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Through these departments and this center, the College offers more than 30 majors and emphases and a similar number of minors. Students interested in teaching careers may seek secondary education licensing in Art, Journalism, Theatre, English, French, German, Spanish, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Economics.


The Liberal Arts and a Liberal Education

A liberal education, in the words of Martha Nussbaum, is the “cultivation of the whole human being for the functions of citizenry and life.” At USI this cultivation is the goal of the University Core Curriculum, many of the courses for which are offered in Liberal Arts. Complete details of the core are available at Students should consult with their advisors in developing a specific plan for completing these requirements. Those students majoring in Liberal Arts disciplines, except those seeking teacher certification in secondary education, typically fulfill the Synthesis requirement of the University Core by taking LIBA 497 - Capstone Studies . Students seeking a major or minor in Liberal Arts must have a 2.0 GPA or better in their major or minor coursework, unless otherwise stated.


Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees

Four-year degree programs in the College of Liberal Arts lead to either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The Bachelor of Arts degree at USI requires a minimum of 12 hours of instruction in non-English modern or classical languages or the demonstration of competence at the intermediate level through an appropriate language examination.

The Bachelor of Arts, with its emphasis upon the study of a non-English language and a broad knowledge base, is especially valuable for students who hope to go on to graduate studies. Those considering graduate school should consult with their advisors about the Bachelor of Arts option.


Teacher Licensing Policy

Many students majoring in disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts prepare themselves to teach in secondary schools (high schools, junior high schools, or middle schools). Although these candidates for licensing may take some education courses in their freshman and sophomore years, formal application for admission to the secondary education program (under the direction of the Department of Teacher Education) does not occur until they have completed their 45th credit hour.

A student may apply for admission to the teacher education program and secondary licensure program minor after completion of EDUC 221, 283, 284, successfully completes the Praxis I test, or has an SAT score of 1100 or better or an ACT score of 24 or better, and meets other course and GPA requirements as established for the major. As part of the application process, the student will be interviewed by both the major and minor departments. A student should ask his or her advisor for information on arranging the interview.

The structure of the interview may vary according to department, but in general, it will be conducted by a committee consisting of two to three faculty members from the major field(s). This committee will interview the student according to the procedures established in the department, review his or her record, and decide on its recommendation.

The committee may decide as follows: (1) to recommend the student unconditionally for admission to the teacher education program; (2) to recommend with specific conditions; (3) to reject the student. The chair of the committee will record the committee’s decision on the student’s application form and return the form to the student. One copy of the recommendation will be placed in the student’s advising folder. The committee will send a copy of the recommendation to the Teacher Education Department and a copy to the student.

Among factors the committee will consider in making its decision are the student’s academic record, performance in classes, course work completed, ability to organize and present material orally, and general promise. In particular, University regulations require that a student admitted unconditionally to the teacher education program must carry a grade point average of at least 2.75 in his/her major, any supporting area or minor, and overall.  A student may appeal the decision of the interview committee to the Dean.