May 26, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 
Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts & Sciences

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts & Sciences

Jeff W. Coker, Dean
Henkel Hall, Room 205
(540) 665-4587,

Explore the College of Arts and Sciences on our university website.

Statement of Purpose

The College of Arts & Sciences supports the university’s mission to prepare individuals to be critical, reflective thinkers; lifelong learners; and ethical, compassionate citizens who are committed to making responsible contributions within a community, a nation and the world. In order to accomplish this mission, the college has adopted the following learning objectives.

  1. Knowledge: Students will acquire in-depth knowledge in a major field of study and knowledge in one field outside their major area of study.
  2. Critical Thinking: Students will be able to pose, assess, and solve complex and diverse problems using a variety of approaches and methods.
  3. Information Literacy: Students will be able to obtain, and assess the veracity of, information pertaining to any topic of interest. Furthermore, students will have the ability to synthesize information from multiple sources and perspectives.
  4. Communication Skills: Students will be able to communicate in writing and orally in a manner and at a level commensurate with their field of study and undergraduate education. Students will be able to communicate in a second language.
  5. Technology: Students will be able to work effectively with current technology as it pertains to their particular field of study.

Degree Requirements

  1. The minimum number of credit hours required for an Arts & Sciences baccalaureate degree is 120, with 30 of those hours at or above the 300 level. No more than 8 one-hour activities credits or 52 hours in a single prefix may count toward the 120-hour graduation requirement.
  2. A student must complete at least 12 credit hours of 300-400 level major course requirements while in residence at Shenandoah University.

   3. A student must complete the requirements for a major. Students must also complete a second major, a minor or the Teacher Education Professional Studies Certificate program. A               grade of “C-” or better is required of each course counted toward a major, minor or certificate.

   4. A student must demonstrate competency in a second language at the intermediate level or above. This competency can be demonstrated in a                 variety of ways:

a. completion of the fourth-semester of university language study or its equivalent (i.e. SPAN 202, GER 202, etc.)

b. intermediate-level or above scores on standardized tests

  • language placement exam of 475 in French; 550 in German; or 450 in Spanish (exam administered during orientation or via appointment with the Office of Advising and Student Success)
  • CLEP score of 59 in French; 60 in German; or 63 in Spanish
  • AP score of 3 or above
  • IB score of 5 or above
  • CIE score of A-E
  • SAT II score of 650 in French; 650 in German; or 600 in Spanish
  • Scores must be submitted by the end of the fourth semester for traditional students or the second semester for transfer students.

c. native fluency in a language other than English

  • Fluent speakers of languages not offered at SU, or languages not covered by the standardized tests listed above, should make an appointment to be interviewed by an educational professional in that language and submit the results of the assessment to the chair of the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies.
  • Another option for fluent speakers of languages not offered at SU is the NYU 12-Point Foreign Language Proficiency Exam. Students are responsible for arranging to take the exam and submitting the score to SU. See
  • Demonstration of fluency must be completed and submitted by the end of the fourth semester for traditional students or the second semester for transfer students.

d. completion of a full semester of study abroad in a non-English speaking country, including at least one three-credit course taught in the second language

e. intermediate-level language instruction indicated on a military transcript

  • Students with language instruction noted on a military transcript should submit the transcript to the Office of the Registrar’s Transfer Evaluation Coordinator and the chair of the Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, who will determine which courses (if any) may be waived. Submission must be completed by the end of the fourth semester for traditional students or the second semester for transfer students.

f. learning disability waivers

  • It is extremely rare for students to have the language requirement waived due to a learning disability. Students with a documented disability, who think that they might qualify for a waiver, should make an appointment to have their case evaluated by the Director of Learning Resources & Services in the Academic Enrichment Center. 


It is the policy of the College of Arts & Sciences that if a student misses more than 20 percent of the contact hours in a course, for any reason, the student will have to withdraw from the course before the withdrawal deadline or receive an “F” as a final grade. The instructor may modify this policy according to the nature of the course.

Academic Programs

Core Studies Program

Students are not required to declare a major but may choose to enter the Core Studies Program. This program has three main thrusts: to help students identify their academic strengths and interests through coursework in different disciplines; to help students identify the careers for which their strengths and interests best suit them; and to guide them toward completion of the general education and College of Arts & Sciences degree requirements.

Core Studies students will remain in close contact with an academic advisor who is familiar with the range of academic programs and support services available at Shenandoah University. These students will be encouraged to take courses from a wide range of disciplines. They will be encouraged to take advantage of the help provided by Career Services and the Academic Enrichment Center. Core Studies students are invited to special events designed to stimulate exploration of various areas of study and work and to create a sense of community among those weighing their options.

Students in the Core Studies Program may declare a major at any time but must do so by the end of the sophomore year.

Pre-Health Professions Programs

Students wishing to qualify for admissions to health professions such as medicine, physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, physician assistant, etc., generally complete an undergraduate major that includes strong preparation in the basic sciences or psychology. Typical majors for such fields are biology, chemistry, kinesiology and psychology.

Students planning on applying for admission to professional-level programs should work closely with the appropriate academic advisor to plan a sequence of courses that will meet the prerequisites of the institutions in which they are interested. Information concerning alternatives is available in the dean’s office, College of Arts & Sciences.

Pre-Law Study

The College of Arts & Sciences offers a pre-law program for students considering law school admissions and a career in the law. No separate curriculum is prescribed, but pre-law students major in the field of their choice and take electives in those areas that develop communication skills, reasoning ability and an understanding of the social context of American law and legal practice. As its philosophy, the Shenandoah University pre-law program holds that the best preparation for the study and practice of law lies in mastering the skills of writing, critical thinking and cultural understanding inherent in a liberal arts education.

The pre-law program is administered through a pre-law advisor, who counsels students on appropriate courses, law school admissions procedures and preparation for law school admissions tests.

Degree Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences

Through the College of Arts & Sciences, Shenandoah offers 20 baccalaureate majors, 21 minors and 8 certificates. In addition, courses leading to Virginia teacher certification in elementary and secondary education are offered. The majors and minors in the degree programs have been developed to serve the needs of students with immediate career objectives as well as those who plan to go on to professional and graduate schools. Unless a specific degree program is highly structured, students are given considerable latitude to select specific elective courses. Those students who wish to design their own multidisciplinary major may do so through the University Interdisciplinary Studies (B.A.) program.

Students planning to continue their education after graduation should consult graduate or professional school catalogs to determine admissions requirements at those institutions. They should also discuss these requirements with their advisors at Shenandoah University.

Degree programs available within the College of Arts & Sciences are listed under their appropriate divisions.

College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program

Laurel Rodgers, Honors Director
HLSB 349, (540) 665-5503

Mission Statement

The College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program fosters the continued intellectual and personal growth of students who excel academically and creatively by providing them with rigorous and engaging learning experiences within a cohesive multidisciplinary community.

Program Purpose

The Honors Program is designed to enhance and build on the general education and major requirements of a student’s chosen undergraduate degree while providing a
supportive campus community of motivated and high-achieving students. Honors classes are tailored to help students develop advanced communication and critical
thinking skills, life-long reflective practices and the ability to use components of different disciplines to complete their goals. Students can participate in Honors courses both within their required General Education and major curricula. Opportunities will be provided for each student to reflect on their goals, as a student and as an adult, to
determine the skills, tools and experiences needed to reach those goals. Students will also explore and reflect on their roles within the global, local and academic community. Finally, students participating in the program will be tasked with assisting in the development of co-curricular events that will support their academic and social needs. Through this process, students will learn valuable leadership and organizational skills while also allowing the program to be flexible and adaptive to the needs of each cohort of Honors students.

For more information on the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, please click here.    


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceCertificate

    Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: College of Arts & Sciences