College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Administrative Officers
Dean Abbey Zink, Ph.D. (936) 294-2200
Associate Dean Rhonda Callaway, Ph.D. (936) 294-2203
Associate Dean Ken Hendrickson, Ph.D. (936) 294-2455
Associate Dean Jerry Bruce, Ph.D. (936) 294-2202
Department of Communication Studies James D. Ragsdale, Jr., Ph.D., Chair
Department of English Bill Bridges, Ph.D., Interim Chair
Department of Foreign Languages Rhonda Callaway, Ph.D., Interim Chair
Department of History Brian F. Domitrovic, Ph.D., Chair
Department of Political Science Tamara Waggener, Ph.D., Chair
Department of Psychology and Philosophy Chris Wilson, Ph.D., Chair
Department of Sociology Doug Constance, Ph.D., Chair

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; and 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

Academic Programs - College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Major Degree(s)
Communication Studies B.A., B.S.
English B.A.
History B.A., B.S.
Philosophy B.A.
Political Science B.A., B.S.
Psychology B.S.
Sociology B.A., B.S.
Spanish B.A.


  • 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 hosts an annual Medicine and the Humanities and Social Science Conference that invites social and behavioral scientists, medical humanities scholars, healthcare professionals, and students interested in careers in healthcare to present their research on topics that examine how cultural factors facilitate the health and wellbeing of children and adults across the global community. The aims of the conference are 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.
  • The Working Group 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.
  • 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 students review traditional texts in the subject, 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. 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 at the undergraduate level two degrees, 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 hours of which must come from the student’s major field of study
  • 30 hours (typically) residency credit1 (25% of credit hours required of degree), 24 must be advanced, 12 in major, 6 in minor

Notes: 1Residency credit is given to courses taken at Sam Houston State University. This includes campus courses, courses taken at the Woodlands Center or University Park, 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.

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