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College of Arts and Letters - Columbus State University

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College of Arts and Letters

The College of Arts and Letters is comprised of the departments of Art, Criminal Justice, History, Language and Literature, Music, Political Science, and Theatre Arts, and Communication. The dean’s office is located in 209 Faculty Office building.

Department of Art

The Department of Art provides a broad curriculum of all aspects of the visual arts including drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, art education, art history, art criticism, graphic design and computer graphics. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in art is designed for students discovering their own creative talents or those desiring continued study in a graduate school while the Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) in art prepares graduates for graduate school or for teaching art in the public schools. The graduate programs section of the catalog has information on the Master of Education in art education.

Undergraduate Programs


Expected Outcomes

BFA graduates will demonstrate competence in:

  • Media/technology
  • Historical concerns
  • Diverse cultures
  • Art theory
  • Criticism/aesthetics
  • Portfolio
  • Critiques

BSED Art Education

Expected Outcomes

BSED graduates will demonstrate competence in:

  • Media/technology
  • Historical concerns
  • Diverse cultures
  • Art theory
  • Criticism/aesthetics
  • Art education foundations
  • Curriculum development
  • Teaching administration

Graduate Programs

MED Art Education

The Master of Education (MED) in Art Education provides graduate-level education for students seeking further training in the field of art education. Students are required to submit undergraduate transcripts and a portfolio for review and complete an interview with the department chair and program director. Graduate students wishing to enroll in 6000-level art studio courses must have successfully completed undergraduate course work in that area.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate competence in:

  • Studio concentration
  • Art history and analysis
  • Technical processes
  • Teaching competencies
  • Critical analysis
  • Aesthetic inquiry
  • Research in art
  • Art education concepts
  • Curriculum development in art
  • Education foundations

Department of Communication

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in communication offers a broad background in theory and skills applicable to all communication contexts. Based on the premise that communication is a foundational aspect of society, the communication program is designed for students to acquire knowledge about effective interaction with others in a variety of environments.

The general communication concentration may be used as a basis for continued study in graduate school, or for management, sales, the ministry, marketing and other professional fields relying on strong presentation skills. The public relations concentration prepares students for entry-level positions in a variety of settings including business, non-profit agencies, government, military, professional and trade associations, and sports information.

Expected Outcomes

  • Communication graduates will have:
  • Communication skills (e.g., writing, speaking and listening).
  • Production skills (e.g., computer graphics, Internet sites, public relations).
  • Research skills (e.g., library, surveys).
  • Adaptability in responding to persons (e.g., age, gender, cultural differences) and situations.
  • Knowledge of communication history, theory and career opportunity.

Department of Criminal Justice

The Department of Criminal Justice offers a one-year professional certificate, which is tailored to meet the needs of in-service criminal justice personnel, the Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice (AASCJ) degree, designed for students who are seeking a degree that will meet the minimum educational requirements of various law enforcement agencies for entry and/or promotion, and the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, which enables students to demonstrate a general knowledge of law enforcement, legal research, corrections, and criminology. The graduate program section of this catalog has information on the Master of Public Administration degree with the justice administration option.

Graduates of the criminal justice program find secure jobs with local, state, and federal government agencies such as: city and state police, sheriffs' departments, probation and parole departments, Georgia and Federal Bureaus of Investigation, drug enforcement agencies, the Secret Service, correctional institutions, juvenile justice agencies, and private industrial security.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of:

  • the principles of criminal justice systems
  • concepts of punishment and rehabilitation in the context of correctional systems
  • skills of legal research and analysis
  • major theories of criminal behavior

BS graduates also will be able to demonstrate and apply knowledge about each of their three option groups, chosen from: behavioral, corrections, juvenile, law (adult), and law enforcement.

Department of History


The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in history is designed for students with a variety of personal, professional, and career goals. It equips the student for admission to professional and graduate schools leading to careers in teaching, law, journalism, the religious ministry, and administration.

As a program of study, history provides the student with a way of thinking about the human experience in time. History helps the student to reason systematically, to examine critically the relationships among people and events, and to reach thoughtful judgments about human affairs.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate:

  • A general knowledge of American and world history
  • An awareness of varied historical interpretations
  • The ability to conduct historical research
  • The ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing

General Studies

The Associate in Science (AS) in general studies is designed for those students who wish to aspire to a 2-year general education degree. The Bachelor of Science (BS) in general studies is a four-year program of broad education in the arts and sciences.

The degree program is not major--or career--specific. Students should consult carefully with academic advisors and with career counselors in the Career Center and the Counseling Center to discover areas of interest, aptitude and possible future employment. Faculty in the Department of History provide academic advising for this program.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively by means of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the diverse situations encountered as educated citizens; and be able to effectively communicate using appropriate symbolic technological systems.
  • Think with a deliberate awareness of the process of critical thinking, employ the process, and strive to augment its effectiveness.
  • Interpret aesthetic significance in an object, work, performance or experience through study or participation.
  • Apply appropriate knowledge to the interpretation of current problems and related issues concerning environment, health, society, culture, religion, economics, politics, science, and technology.
  • Develop informed judgments about the past by gathering relevant information, by placing it in context, by interpreting it and by using it to draw inferences about contemporary events.
  • Use mathematical skills to solve problems and to interpret quantitative information.
  • Observe and interpret phenomena in a systematic fashion consistent with recognized principles of scientific inquiry.
  • Investigate ethics and personal values and those of others; be able to analyze interactions between value systems and cultural systems; and be able to distinguish prejudices, stereotypes, opinions, facts and cross-cultural contributions.
  • Participate in extra-curricular, service, or leadership activity during the course of completing an undergraduate education.

Department of Language and Literature

Students can choose either the traditional English major or the English major with an emphasis in professional writing. The English major is a course of study that cultivates in students an appreciation for literature, while it sharpens their reading, research, writing, and analytical skills. In all cultures people tell stories. To study literature is to take up the age-old avocation of learning, interpreting—even discovering and creating—the stories that are important to us.

Students who major in English engage in the study of British and American writers, and may follow their interests into such areas as literary criticism, linguistics, world literature, African-American literature, women writers, and film. English majors study one foreign language through the 2000 level and pass an exit exam to complete their degree. Some students choose the option of obtaining teacher certification while majoring in English. The department also offers courses to satisfy Georgia requirements for an endorsement to teach English as a second language.

The Professional Writing track prepares students for writing careers in industry. The track offers courses in technical writing, news writing, desktop publishing, and business writing. Internships with Columbus-area organizations provide students with valuable hands-on experience. The program develops strong electronic research, writing, and editing skills.

The English program provides groundwork for students planning to go on to graduate or professional school in the humanities, education, law, or any other field that requires the skills and thoughtfulness that the study of literature confers. In addition, the writing skills that English majors acquire are particularly valuable to any occupation a college graduate might take up.

Expected Outcomes

Graduates will demonstrate:

  • The ability to express ideas in writing
  • The ability to read critically
  • An awareness of the interrelations between literature and other disciplines
  • Knowledge of the principal genres and periods of literature
  • The ability to apply research skills
  • An understanding of the history and structure of language and its role in the human experience

Schwob Department of Music

Undergraduate Programs

The baccalaureate program in music provides students a broad range of programs in music and music education with experiences that relate to the needs of the community, state, and region.

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in music is a liberal arts degree program with a broad curriculum that includes the standard music history and theory courses but encourages diversification through many electives both within and outside of music. This program provides preparation for further study toward careers other than professional performance or public school teaching.

The Bachelor of Music (BM) with a concentration in piano pedagogy or performance in piano, organ, voice, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, horn, euphonium, trombone, tuba, violin, viola, cello, string bass, guitar, harp or percussion. The performance program is designed for the student who plans to teach at the university level or perform professionally. The performance program with a concentration in piano pedagogy offers a comprehensive program that includes supervised teaching experience at all levels and the study of teaching theories.

The Bachelor of Music (BM) in music education with a concentration in either choral or instrumental music leads to teacher certification by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

Expected Outcomes

  • Applied music major proficiency, including sight-reading
  • Knowledge of literature appropriate to the applied music major
  • Rehearsal and conducting skills
  • Proficiency in a secondary area, such as keyboard, vocal or guitar/recorder
  • Understanding of music theory and aural/visual/verbal analysis
  • Ability to apply knowledge of form and composition in all areas of music study
  • Knowledge of various styles, cultures, and media, and ability to place music in historical/cultural/ stylistic contexts
  • Ability to compose in original and historical styles
  • Ability to improvise
  • Knowledge of current technology related to all areas of music study
  • Understanding of the interrelatedness of all areas of music study and the music professions
  • Ability to form and defend value judgments about music
  • Knowledge of capabilities (range, transposing characteristics, and normal use) of the voice and the major band and orchestral instruments and their normal function in homogeneous and heterogeneous ensembles
  • Ability to sing at sight tonal and atonal melodies
  • Knowledge of the basic principles of singing
  • Ability to apply knowledge of pedagogical skills in vocal and/or instrumental idioms
  • Ability to articulate, in oral and written form, the role and importance of music in society
  • Ability to detect errors in music performance
  • Knowledge of school music curricula (music education only)
  • Knowledge of instrumental and vocal teaching methods and literature (music education only)
  • Knowledge of curriculum/lesson planning (music education only)
  • Knowledge of developmental theory, evaluation of learning, and program organization and administration

Requirements for Admission to the Major

Each prospective music major must demonstrate basic aptitude in a performance medium through a placement audition and interview with a member of the music faculty before being classified as a music major. All prospective majors will take placement examinations in piano and music theory.

General Requirements

All music majors are required to attend all master classes in their major instrument and must perform at least once each semester in a recital or master class. All students enrolled in applied music must be concurrently enrolled in a major music ensemble activity (orchestral, vocal or wind).

Graduate Programs

MM Music Education

The Master of Music in music education is designed to provide teachers of music with in-depth training and experience in one of two areas of concentration: general music or conducting. The course of study in each of these areas aims to improve student expertise in handling instructional challenges and musical demands. Course content includes curriculum planning, lesson design, student motivation, use of technology and research, application of learning theory, techniques of recruitment, styles of administration, application of music theory and history, instructional and conducting techniques appropriate to various educational levels, score reading and analysis, and music literature. The degree leads to certification in Georgia and is accredited by both NASM and NCATE.

Admission Requirements

Regular admission - Students must satisfy the following four requirements:

  • For the one-year program: either (1) hold a bachelor's degree in music education from an accredited college or university or (2) hold a bachelor's degree in some other music area from an accredited college or university (such as BM, BA, etc.) along with a Georgia teaching certificate or its equivalent from another state. For the two-year program: hold a bachelor's degree in some music area other than music education without a Georgia teaching certificate or its equivalent from another state.
  • Present a minimum score of 800 on the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examination or a minimum score of 44 on the Miller Analogies Test.
  • Present transcript(s) of all the student's undergraduate work that reveal at least a 2.75 grade point average on all work attempted for which a letter grade was awarded.
  • Perform, either on videocassette or before an authorized Schwob Department of Music faculty member, an audition revealing basic skills in the student's chosen area of concentration: general music or conducting.

Non-degree admission - Students who undertake graduate work at the university without meeting all the requirements for regular or provisional admission are placed in non-degree status. Such students who subsequently satisfy all the regular admission requirements may apply a maximum of nine semester hours of this course work toward degree requirements.

Proficiency Requirements

Students pursuing the Master of Music Education degree must satisfy three proficiency requirements, two in music and one in education. The two music proficiencies must be passed before enrolling for the final semester of study. The education proficiency must be passed before a teaching certificate can be issued. Students may receive assistance in preparation for examination or re-examination or any of these proficiencies by enrolling in appropriate courses at the undergraduate level without credit toward the master's degree.

Music proficiency requirements - (1) pass a keyboard examination (administered immediately prior to the beginning of each semester) demonstrating facility at the keyboard, and (2) pass an aural skills examination (administered immediately prior to the beginning of each semester) demonstrating proficiency in sight singing and rhythm.

Education proficiency requirement - pass the PRAXIS II examination.

Independent Study

No more than six semester hours of independent study or special topics may be applied toward meeting requirements for the Master of Music in Music Education degree.

Credit by Transfer

A maximum of nine semester hours of applicable graduate work from an accredited graduate music program may be accepted toward the Master of Music in Music Education degree, provided the credit was earned not more than seven years prior to the date of completion of this degree. Any number of semester hours of applicable undergraduate work transferred from an accredited undergraduate music program may be accepted toward the first year of the two-year program for this degree. The Schwob Department of Music will accept or reject proposed transfer credits based on the applicability of the credit to this degree program.

Course Load

The maximum course load for a student pursuing the Master of Music in Music Education degree is 12 semester hours. The maximum for the full summer term is 10 semester hours.


Students seeking the Master of Music in Music Education degree must satisfactorily complete a prescribed course of studies of at least 36 semester hours numbered 5000 or above: 20 semester hours of professional core courses, 14 semester hours of area of concentration courses, and two semester hours of electives. Students who desire a teaching certificate and who have not taken SPED 3255 or its equivalent, must take SPED 5205 as their two semester hours of electives.

Students with an undergraduate music major in an area other than music education must enroll in the two-year program and complete the following 31 semester hours of course work prior to enrolling in courses at the 5000 level or above:

  • EDUF 2215 The American Educational Experience
  • EDUF 2216 Human Development, Motivation and Learning
  • EDUF 4115 Classroom Management
  • MUSE 3202 Intermediate Conducting
  • MUSE 4205 Elementary School Music Methods
  • MUSE 4485 Student Teaching
  • MUSE 4795 Seminar in Music Education
  • SPED 4255 Instructional Strategies for Children and Youth with Disabilities, Gifts, and Talents
  • Select one of the following courses:
    • MUSE 4206 Secondary School Choral Methods
    • MUSE 4207 Secondary School Instrumental Methods

Department of Political Science

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Political Science offers courses in all major parts of the discipline (American politics, political theory, comparative politics, international relations, public administration) and offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree and political behavior/policy and pre-law options in the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree. The graduate program section of this catalog has information on the Master of Public Administration degree.

A political science degree is a pathway to law school, graduate school, or employment with government agencies or private sector organizations (businesses, interest groups, research organizations). While no specific undergraduate major is required for law school, the political science program addresses the communication skills, critical understanding of institutions, behaviors and values, and analytical thinking recommended for the study of law.

Expected Outcomes

Political Science graduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the discipline of political science in terms of its history, content, purpose and methodologies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the sub-fields of political science (American politics, political theory, comparative politics, international relations, public administration), specific to their selected option (BA; BS political behavior/policy; BS pre-law)
  • Demonstrate the ability to analyze materials (e.g. data, texts), and to think critically.
  • Demonstrate the effective ability to communicate orally
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in writing
  • Be prepared to achieve their personal goals with regard to intellectual and social skills
  • Be prepared to achieve their personal goals with regard to governmental employment, private employment, graduate and/or professional school

Graduate Program

Master of Public Administration Degree

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) program is designed to promote achievement of students' professional objectives with regard to government agencies and health organizations. It is suitable also for non-for-profit organizations. The program offers curriculum options in:

  • general government, which is applicable to government agencies of all types and levels.
  • health services administration, designed for students who wish to be better-prepared for management in complex health organizations and programs; it is especially suited to students whose health careers move from providing direct services to supervisory and programmatic responsibilities.
  • justice administration, which is designed to promote professional achievement in law enforcement, corrections, and related fields.

The program is appropriate for mid-career students with undergraduate degrees in liberal arts or technical/professional areas. To provide access to in-service as well as pre-service students, classes are scheduled for evenings and Saturdays; selected justice administration courses are taught in a week-long format.

Expected Outcomes
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of core and option subjects on the comprehensive examination.
  • Graduates will express satisfaction with the contribution of the degree to their professional goals.

An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution is required. Regular admission requires a minimum 2.75 undergraduate grade point average and either a minimum score of 800 on the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (total of verbal and quantitative scores) or a minimum score of 44 on the Miller Analogies Test. Applicants not meeting these criteria may be admitted as provisional students, if the department offering the option finds other indicators of probable success, such as professional achievement or upward trend of undergraduate grades.


In addition to the courses listed below, each option is subject to the following requirements:

  • All students must complete the common core for the degree.
  • A minimum B average in core courses, with no more than two Cs, and a minimum grade of B in option courses is required for degree completion.
  • No more than 17 semester credit hours in Abbott Turner College of Business courses, including transferred credit, may be credited toward the MPA degree.
  • Satisfactory completion of the Comprehensive Examination (MPAC 7000) is required for graduation. The examination is based on courses taken and normally is completed in the last semester of enrollment. It is the responsibility of the student to register for MPAC 7000 in the appropriate semester. The examination is drawn up and graded by a committee appointed by the program director, which includes core and option faculty. The director is eligible to serve on the examination committee. A candidate who fails the examination will be eligible for re-examination during the next semester. Students in the general government and justice administration options may substitute MPAC 7999 (Thesis) for MPAC 7000.

Department of Theatre

The Department of Theatre offers comprehensive undergraduate programs, with courses covering the basic areas of the discipline and a variety of program electives to meet students' curricular needs. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in theatre provides a broad theatrical background for students planning careers in professional, higher educational or community theatre. The Bachelor of Science in Education (BSEd) in theatre education provides certification to teach drama from preschool through secondary grades.

BFA graduates may pursue employment in the entertainment and related fields in a number of areas: arts management, technical theatre, public relations, acting, directing, play writing and design. Teacher certification qualifies students to teach in public and private schools in Georgia and other states.

Expected Outcomes

Theatre graduates will be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of the theatre history and appreciation for dramatic literature of western civilization
  • Knowledge of and proficiency in theatre design and technology
  • Knowledge of and proficiency in acting and directing
  • BSED graduates also will be able to demonstrate knowledge of and proficiency in the methods of teaching theatre.

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