College of Humanities and Social Sciences

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Administrative Officers 

DeanAbbey Zink, Ph.D.; (936) 294-2200
Associate DeanJerry Bruce, Ph.D.; (936) 294-2202
Associate DeanRhonda Callaway, Ph.D.; (936) 294-2203
Interim Associate DeanCarroll Nardone, Ph.D.; (936) 294-2455
Department of Communication StudiesTerry Thibodeaux, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294-1356
Department of EnglishJacob Blevins, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294-1402
Department of World Languages and CulturesLeif French, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294-1442
Department of HistoryBrian F. Domitrovic, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294-1474
Department of Political ScienceTamara Waggener, Ph.D., Chair; 936) 294-1466
Department of Psychology and PhilosophyChris Wilson, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294- 3052
Department of SociologyFurjen Deng, Ph.D., Chair; (936) 294-1515

About the College

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences consists of seven academic units:

  • Communication Studies
  • English
  • Foreign Languages
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Psychology and Philosophy
  • Sociology


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) provides an essential component to a liberal arts education: understanding human beings in their diversity as expressed in their literatures, histories, ideas, values, oral and written expressions, and behavior. By promoting analytic, interpretive, interpersonal research and communication skills, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences facilitates personal growth and educates competent professionals, and responsible citizens.

Academic Programs

Communication StudiesB.A., B.S.
HistoryB.A., B.S.
Political ScienceB.A., B.S.
SociologyB.A., B.S.


  • Faculty in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have been recognized for their teaching excellence and scholarly achievements at local, regional, state, national, and international levels.
  • Courses in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences exceed the national norms in teacher effectiveness and course excellence.
  • CHSS has an active presence in supporting the relationship between medicine and the humanities and social science. Guest speakers, workshops, and conferences that include social and behavioral scientists, medical humanities scholars, healthcare professionals, and students interested in careers in healthcare present research on a broad range of topics.  The aim of the sessions is to promote interdisciplinary discussion around historic and contemporary health challenges, and to develop networks for future research.
  • The mission of the Center for Rural Studies at Sam Houston State University is to assist in the building, strengthening, and maintaining of rural Texas communities. It is comprised of an interdisciplinary faculty and staff who serve rural Texans by providing research services, as well as educational and outreach programs, public policy analyses, and rural community-based planning services. Through the Center, fellows work to advance the state of knowledge regarding the social, demographic, economic, political, and cultural aspects of rural life in Texas and beyond.  Internships for students are available through the Center.
  • The Center on Disasters and Emergency Management is an interdisciplinary group of more than a dozen scholars, spanning a number of departments and colleges, whose research and teaching focus on the study of disasters and emergency management. The goal of the group is to conduct and promote interdisciplinary research on topics and technologies that touch on important topics such as resilience, vulnerability, and the politics and economics of disaster policy-making.
  • Ethics, Western Civilization, and Traditional Values (EWCAT) is an undergraduate curriculum designed to enhance critical thinking and research skills. Through an emphasis on reading whole, original works and researching primary sources, students develop a better understanding of intellectual work and scholarship. EWCAT classes differ from a traditional classes in three ways:
    • they employ small group learning and peer-led learning techniques;
    • they cultivate peer teaching assistants who work from within a current course or return as veterans of a previous course to lead active small groups; and
    • they incorporate traditional texts in the subjects, while dedicating equal time to other documentary sources to empower other voices.
  • The American Studies Minor explores aspects of the American experience locally, nationally, and within the global community from various perspectives and disciplines, including literature, history, political science, psychology, sociology, communication studies, and criminal justice. Minors will complete 18 semester credit hours of study, to include one required sophomore-level course, "Introduction to American Studies," and five elective courses. The elective courses will be drawn from three categories of concentration:
    • Regional and Borderland Studies (studies of Texas, the Southwest, and border culture);
    • Ethnicity and Race in America (racial and ethnic minority experiences, history, and cultural expression); and
    • Gender in America (women’s and masculinity studies).


The College of Humanities and Social Sciences and its member departments are committed to supporting undergraduate students through scholarships. Please see the SHSU website under Financial Aid and Scholarships . General scholarships are distributed through the Scholarships4kats system. Application deadlines are posted on this website. Please also refer to individual department websites for information on any additional scholarship opportunities in specific disciplines.

College Requirements

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) offers two degrees at the undergraduate level: Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). The standard for the two degrees are given below. Both the BA and the BS degrees require:

  • 42 hours of the Core Curriculum
  • 120 hours minimum requirement for a degree
  • 42 advanced hours
  • at least six writing-enhanced courses accumulating to a minimum of 18 semester hours (six of these hours advanced), six hours of which must come from the student’s major field of study (three of these hours advanced)
  • 30 hours (typically) residency credit1 (25% of credit hours required of degree), 24 must be advanced, 12 in major, 6 in minor

 Residency credit is given to courses taken at Sam Houston State University. This includes campus courses, courses taken at the Woodlands Center, courses abroad taught by SHSU faculty, and online courses. Correspondence courses are not considered residency credit courses

The BA and the BS degrees differ in their emphases on liberal arts versus natural science and mathematics.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is one that focuses on the traditional liberal arts. The BA degree develops graduates with broad knowledge of language, humanities, fine arts, and social sciences. The requirements for this degree include:

  • 30-36 hours in a major area
  • 18-24 hours in minor (Most majors require a minor—check with specific departments)
  • Beyond the courses in the Core Curriculum, an additional course in Philosophy, Fine Arts, or Communication Studies, 3 hours
  • 14 hours in one Foreign Language

Bachelor of Science

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree focuses on scientific investigation; therefore, courses that emphasize the scientific methods are included. The requirements for this degree include:

  • 30-42 hours in a major area
  • 18-24 hours in minor (Most majors require a minor—check with specific departments)
  • Beyond the science courses in the Core Curriculum, two additional courses in Natural Science, 8 hours
  • Beyond the math course in the Core Curriculum, an additional course in Mathematics, Computer Science, or Logic, 3 hours

It should be noted that these requirements are minimum requirements and specific departments may require additional courses.