Jun 23, 2024  

College of Arts & Sciences

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Dr. Gary Emmert, Interim Dean
Room 107, Scates Hall
(901) 678-3067


The College of Arts & Sciences has three distinct functions within the framework of the University.

  1. Its primary function is to offer a strong liberal arts program designed to help the students prepare themselves for life in their own cultural setting by acquiring the means and desire to continue the processes of intellectual development and character formation throughout their lives. “The purpose of education,” wrote John Stuart Mill, “is to make capable and cultivated human beings.” “Education has for its object the formation of character,” wrote Herbert Spencer. We believe that people are people, no matter what their careers, and that if we can help people to become more capable and sensible, they will have better careers and lives. It is our belief that the best preparation for any profession or vocation is a thorough foundation in those major fields of human interest, which are included in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. A program of liberal studies at the University of Memphis aims to provide the students with a store of factual knowledge, to introduce them to varying sets of principles, to stimulate them to think about and evaluate facts and principles, and to encourage them to order their own affairs and those of their society with the talent, insight, and discrimination they develop.
  2. The College of Arts & Sciences offers this kind of education to the candidates for its own degrees, and to the students of other colleges of the University, all of whose degree plans call for courses in the arts and sciences.
  3. The college offers preparatory courses for students interested in careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing, teaching, law and other professions; specific pre-professional programs, designed to prepare students to qualify for admission to professional schools, are available.

Organization of the College

The College of Arts & Sciences comprises the following departments and divisions: Aerospace Studies, Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, English, History, Mathematical Sciences, Military Science, Naval Science, Philosophy, Physics and Materials Science, Political Science, Psychology, the School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy (including City and Regional Planning, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Public and Nonprofit Administration, School of Social Work), Sociology, and World Languages and Literatures.

The various offerings of the departments and divisions of The College of Arts and Sciences are organized into four groups:

  • Humanities: English, history, philosophy, world languages and literatures
  • Natural Sciences: biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, mathematics, physics
  • Social Sciences: anthropology, city and regional planning, criminal justice, economics, geography, political science, psychology, public administration, social work, sociology
  • Interdisciplinary Programs: African and African American Studies, Classics, Cognitive Science, Emergency Management, Environmental Studies, Healthcare and Society, International and Global Studies, Judaic Studies, Legal Thought and Liberal Arts, Nonprofit Management, Pre-Health Professions, Public Administration, Religious Studies, ROTC programs (AerospaceStudies, Military Science, Naval Science), Social Justice, Women’s and Gender Studies



Academic Advising

Students with declared majors in the College of Arts & Sciences receive advising from faculty or professional advisors in the department of their major. Through required advising appointments, the advisor assists students in selecting courses and fulfilling requirements in a timely and organized manner with attention to their prior skills. The advisor may also serve as a resource for discovering and pursuing academic and career goals, and for information about university support services available to students. This assistance, however, does not in any way relieve the student of the primary responsibility for studying the Catalog and fulfilling all the requirements for the degree.

Pre-Professional Training

Pre-Health - The Pre-Professional Advisor located in Scates Hall, provides career and academic planning advisement to students pursuing admission to professional school in a healthcare field. Completion of prerequisite coursework, gaining clinical experience, preparation for entrance exams, and establishing a timeline to apply are among the topics covered. Pre-Health students should still meet with their assigned academic advisor to discuss major and degree planning.

Pre-Law - In general, accredited law schools have not adopted specific requirements for pre-law education; they do emphasize, however, certain courses as being conducive to the development of the broad cultural background necessary for the successful study of law. Students interested in applying to law school should request to meet with a pre-law advisor through the College of Arts & Sciences in Scates Hall (901-678-5454).

Teacher Preparation - Students who wish to prepare for teaching careers in the secondary schools (grades 7-12) of Tennessee will be expected to complete a baccalaureate degree with a major in the intended teaching area, followed by earning licensure through the College of Education or other licensure programs. Additional information on licensure requirements may be obtained from the Office of Teacher Education in the College of Education.

Individual program requirements described in the University of Memphis Undergraduate Catalog are subject to change. Please consult the college level advisor for changes that may occur before the publication of the next issue of the catalog.

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