Curriculum Administration

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs works with faculty committees and key staff to ensure that academic policies and requirements for Liberal Arts degrees continue to meet the College's commitment to academic and intellectual excellence.

Academic Affairs is responsible for the interpretation and enforcement of current degree requirements, as listed in the Undergraduate Catalog. Petitions for the modification of degree requirements are submitted to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The Office of Academic Affairs also oversees the development and implementation of new degree programs, majors and minors, concentrations, certificate programs, and general curriculum and degree-related criteria. 

About Majors and Degrees


The College of Liberal Arts offers four degree programs: the Bachelor of Arts, Plan I; the Bachelor of Arts, Plan II; the Bachelor of Science in Psychology; and the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science.

Bachelor of Arts, Plan I

The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree include courses in the natural sciences, the social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. The degree is designed to give each student flexibility in the selection of courses to meet individual goals and interests by allowing non-prescribed electives in virtually every program offered in the college. Students must select a major and, in most cases, a minor, in any of the departments of the College of Liberal Arts. A current list of majors offered through the College of Liberal Arts is available on the website. For more information, see the section on Majors below.

Bachelor of Arts, Plan II

The Plan II Honors Program is designed to provide a broad, liberal, and challenging education for a limited number of students whose high school class standing and admission test scores indicate strong academic potential and motivation. The Plan II Honors Program includes the basic coursework required of Plan I students, but much of this work is done in small sections that are restricted to Plan II students and taught by professors selected for their excellent teaching records. Additional required courses explore the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences and provide considerable opportunity for individual research, writing, and speaking. The remainder of the student’s program is made up of approved electives. 

Bachelor of Science in Psychology

As an alternative to the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, the Bachelor of Science in Psychology is designed to offer students a more extensive scientific program that may better prepare them for graduate study or employment in research fields. Students interested in mathematics-based or physiology-based areas of psychology have the opportunity to develop more breadth and depth in the fields that complement their area of interest within psychology. To accomplish this goal, the curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Psychology puts more emphasis on natural sciences and less on language arts.

Bachelor of Science In Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program is designed for students interested in an interdisciplinary scientific perspective on environmental and sustainability issues, analysis, and management. The degree program provides the broad foundation in physical, life, and social sciences needed for a career or graduate study in environmental science and related fields such as climate change, ecology, and conservation. Students who complete the program successfully will be able to assess environmental issues critically from multiple perspectives; to perform field, laboratory, and computer analyses; and to conduct original research. The program is designed to prepare graduates for careers in local, state, and federal government laboratories and nonprofit agencies, environmental consulting firms, environmental education and out- reach agencies, and universities and other research settings. The degree is offered by the College of Liberal Arts with a major in geographical sciences, by the College of Natural Sciences with a major in biological sciences, and by the Jackson School of Geosciences with a major in geological sciences. The degree programs share common prescribed work, but each major has its own specific requirements. Students may earn only one Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree from the University.

Degree-Related Restrictions

  • University requirements state that 1) a student may not receive the same degree title twice, and 2) no second bachelor's level degree will be conferred until the candidate has completed at least twenty-four semester hours in addition to those counted toward the bachelor's degree that requires the higher number of hours of credit.
  • A student may not earn more than one Bachelor of Arts degree from the University. Therefore, a student who completes the Bachelor of Arts, Plan II and the Bachelor of Arts requirements for another major offered through the College of Liberal Arts or the College of Natural Sciences earns only one degree. 
  • A student may not earn both the Bachelor of Arts with a major in psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
  • A student may not earn both the Bachelor of Arts with an intercollege major in kinesiology and health and the Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology.
  • For the Bachelor of Arts degree, the major subject is not shown on the diploma. This includes the major in Plan II.


The Bachelor of Arts, Plan I, requires the completion of all requirements for one major offered through the college. If the major requires a concentration or specialization, a student may officially complete only one within the major. An example: A major in Asian Cultures and Languages must specialize in either Chinese, Japanese, Hindi/Urdu, Malayalam, or Sanskrit; a student may officially declare only one specialization.

The number of semester hours required in the major varies with the field selected. Unless the requirements of the major state otherwise, a major in Liberal Arts consists of at least twenty-four but no more than forty-two semester hours.  Students in most majors must also fulfill the requirements of a minor. The minor consists of a specific number of semester hours of coursework completed outside the student’s major field. The requirements of the minor are established by the major department, but additional restrictions may be imposed by the academic department(s) in which the student takes the minor courses. The same courses may not be used to fulfill the requirements for both a major and a minor.  

In addition to the minimum requirements for a major, interdisciplinary degree plans should require three courses in the major field of study:  introductory, intermediate or foundational, and a capstone course, for a minimum of nine hours.  Interdisciplinary degree plans should also require a fourth course, in methods, that may be satisfied by courses offered by other academic units, for a minimum of three hours. 

Students should consult with their academic advisor to determine the course of study best suited to their academic goals and interests.

A current list of majors offered through the College of Liberal Arts is available on the website.  

Catalog Instructions

Dear COLA faculty,

The following are proposed legislative changes for the College of Liberal Arts chapter of The Undergraduate Catalog. If you have any questions or comments, please contact John St Lawrence (, 512-232-5922).

The College of Liberal Arts will post proposed curriculum changes for online review for ten business days, notifying faculty via email and inviting them to submit a rationale for any objections they might have to  The faculty Curriculum Design & Assessment Committee will review all objections, making recommendations to the Dean concerning both how to address them and in what forum. The dean will make final decisions on proposed curriculum changes and forward the recommendation to the Office of the General Faculty.