Dr. James T. LaPlant, Dean
1060 Nevins Hall

Dr. R. Mark Smith, Associate Dean
1060 Nevins Hall

Mission Statement

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is dedicated to serving students, faculty, the institution, and the region. All programs and services are governed by a commitment to excellence that is the hallmark of the College.

To Serve Students

The College serves students through the Core Curriculum and through various programs of study in pre-professional, transfer, and degree programs. The Core Curriculum provides all students of the University a foundation grounded in the liberal arts disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. Learning outcomes of the Core are designed to develop critical thinking, written and oral communication skills. Beyond the Core, the College’s mission is to provide quality minors and associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees in these traditional disciplines and in interdisciplinary programs, and to serve students in programs in other colleges. All programs are characterized by clearly-defined goals, coherent structure, currency, relevance, and rigor.

To Serve Faculty

The College cultivates an environment that supports and values instructional excellence, service to the university and community, and scholarly and creative activity and research.  The College also sustains a congenial work environment that supports its faculty intellectually and professionally.

To Serve the Institution

Beyond program contributions, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences seeks to serve the university community at large by its participation in the various activities that make up the life of the institution outside the classroom. Students and faculty from Humanities and Social Sciences participate in academic and non-academic extracurricular activities, including governance organizations, and serve on departmental, college, and university committees that contribute to the effective functioning of the institution. Moreover, an integral part of the mission of Humanities and Social Sciences is to seek out and support opportunities for collaboration with other units of the University outside of the College.

To Serve the Region and Beyond

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences plays a major role in helping the University meet its service mission to the intellectual, cultural, and economic life of the region. Through teaching, research, creative endeavors, and the spectrum of outreach and support activities provided by the students and faculty of the College, Humanities and Social Sciences contributes to an improved quality of life for all citizens of the region.

Six academic departments comprise the College of Humanities and Social Sciences: English; History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies; Modern and Classical Languages; Psychological Science; Political Science; and Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.

The Associate of Arts degree may be earned upon satisfactory completion of 60 semester hours of academic credit, to include completion of Areas A through F of the Core Curriculum. Any single Area F may be selected from among departmental listings.

Degree Programs Offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Associate of Arts

Bachelor of Arts

  • English
  • French
  • History
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Legal Assistant Studies
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies
  • Psychological Science
  • Political Science
  • Sociology/Anthropology
  • Spanish

Bachelor of Science

  • Criminal Justice
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Psychological Science


  • Africana Studies
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Women’s and Gender Studies

Experiential Learning

In support of the VSU Strategic Plan, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences recognizes the value of Experiential Learning as defined by the American Association of Colleges and Universities as "a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills." Each department in the college has identified courses in its curricula that embed components of Experiential Learning as defined by the AACU. Embedded Experiential Learning components include internships, study abroad experiences, mentoring, service learning, tutoring, and publicly-presented undergraduate research. Beginning Fall 2021, all new students in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences must earn at least three hours of college-specific Experiential Learning credits prior to graduation. Students who accumulate twelve or more hours may earn a Certificate of Excellence in Experiential Learning.