Arts & Sciences Academic Programs

We offer 10 select graduate programs and dozens of undergraduate majors and minors, connecting the breadth and depth of knowledge across the arts and sciences.

Africana Studies (major, minor)

Africana Studies incorporates courses from several other departments

Africana Studies Program

Major | Minor

Africana Studies is an interdisciplinary major with a global focus that explores scholarship on the history, cultural traditions, and political and economic circumstances that together define more than 1.2 billion people of African descent. Majors may select one of three tracks: African Studies, African-American Studies, or African-Diaspora Studies.

American Studies (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

The American Studies Program connects many disciplines

Department of American Studies

Major | Minor | M.A. | Ph.D.

The American Studies Program explores the histories of cultural, racial, and national encounters that have come to shape the past and present of the United States and the Americas. Working with a wide array of methods, themes, and materials, students discover first-hand our society's rich and often conflicted history of cultural, racial, and sexual diversity.

Anthropology (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

Anthropology informs the teaching of many other fields

Department of Anthropology

Major | Minor | M.A. | Ph.D.

Anthropology is the study of human culture – all humans, at all times and places. Anthropological study places markets, representative governments, legal and religious belief systems, social inequalities, sexual orientations, families, and general human capacities in a broad comparative framework. Students gain a broad background in all four subfields: Socio-cultural Anthropology, Archaeology, Biological Anthropology, and Linguistics. We offer minors in Anthropology and Native Studies.

Applied Science (minor) (Ph.D.)

Applied Science connects knowledge from many disciplines.

Applied Science Program

Minor | M.S. | Ph.D.

Applied Science uses the tools, the techniques, and the understanding involved in a wide range of scientific disciplines in order to solve complex scientific and technical problems. Faculty are active in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, Psychology, and nearby research facilities.

Art & Art History (major, minor)

Art & Art History connects knowledge from several fields

Department of Art & Art History

Major | Minor

The Art & Art History program offers two tracks: 

Studio Art introduces and cultivates proficiency in the practices of the artist and the creative process. The program offers training in drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, and architecture within the context of a liberal arts education. 

Art History focuses on how to look at works of art and develop methods of critical inquiry and analysis. 

Art & Art History website

Undergraduate Catalog: Art & Art History listing

Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies (minor)
Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies

Minor

Asian & Pacific Islander American Studies is a formalized minor within the Interdisciplinary Studies program. The program of study explores the societies and cultures of indigenous peoples of the Asian and  Pacific Islands and their experience of and influence on the United States.

Biology (major, minor) (Master's)

Biology connects knowledge from several fields

Department of Biology

Major | Minor | M.S.

The Biology program provides a sound introduction to the principles of biology. Students gain an understanding of the diversity and complexity of living things, studied through behavioral, developmental, ecology and evolutionary, and molecular and cell biology. 

Biochemistry (minor)
Biochemistry

Minor

Biochemistry is a formalized minor within the Interdisciplinary Studies program. A Biochemistry minor is especially appropriate for those interested in advanced studies in Biology, Chemistry, or Neuroscience.

Chemistry (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

Chemistry connects knowledge from several fields

Department of Chemistry

Major | Minor | M.S. | Ph.D.

The Chemistry program begins with the general principles of chemistry and then elaborates these principles with courses in organic, physical, inorganic, and analytical chemistry.

Classical Studies (major, minor)

Classical Studies connects knowledge across many disciplines

Department of Classical Studies

Major | Minor

The Department of Classical Studies provides language instruction in Ancient Greek, Latin, and Biblical Hebrew; and courses in all aspects of Greek and Roman civilization, including literature, history, religion, society, art, and archaeology. Choose among four concentrations: Greek, Latin, Classical Civilization, or Classical Archaeology.

Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

CAMS connects knowledge from several fields

Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics Program (CAMS)

Major | Minor

The Computational & Applied Mathematics & Statistics (CAMS) program is an interdisciplinary program that teaches skills in mathematical modeling, data analysis, and computer simulation. Two tracks are offered: Applied Statistics and Mathematical Biology.

Computer Science (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

Computer Science is a part of many degree programs.

Department of Computer Science

Major | Minor | M.S. | Ph.D.

The Department of Computer Science explores the fundamental question: What can be (efficiently) automated? Students explore the development of algorithms and data structures for representing and processing information, as well as the logical organization of computers themselves.

Data Science (minor)
Data Science

Minor

Data Science is a formalized minor within the Interdisciplinary Studies program. Data Science is the study and discovery of methods that extract knowledge from frequently large, diverse sets of data.

Economics (major, minor)

Economics is part of many degree programs

Department of Economics

Major | Minor

Economics students explore how consumers and firms respond to incentives, how they interact through trade in markets, and how the whole economy works, in terms of productivity, unemployment, and growth. Students focus their studies by choosing from a large, diverse set of electives.

Educational Studies (minor)
Educational Studies

Minor

The minor in Educational Studies is an interdisciplinary program focusing on domestic or global educational issues. Students may choose from two distinct concentrations within the minor: Global Education concentration, Policy and Equity concentration

The program is jointly offered by the School of Education and Arts & Sciences. 

English (major, minor)

A course or two in English is a part of many degree programs

Department of English

Major | Minor

Students of English explore the aesthetic, rhetorical, historical, philosophical, cultural, and ideological dimensions of the ways in which men and women have represented their worlds, real or imagined, in literature. Minors are offered in English and Creative Writing.

Environmental Science & Policy (secondary major, minor)

ENSP connects knowledge from many disciplines

Environmental Science & Policy (ENSP)

Secondary Major | Minor

The major in Environmental Science & Policy is a secondary major, intended to supplement and complement the primary major. Students integrate knowledge and skills from the natural, physical, and social sciences and the humanities to solve current environmental problems within ethical and realistic frameworks. Students choose from two tracks: Environmental Science or Environmental Policy.

Film & Media Studies (major, minor)

FMST connects knowledge from several fields

Film & Media Studies (FMST) Program

Major | Minor

Most of us approach human communications as content seen through a window. Film & Media Studies insists on looking at - describing, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating - the window.

Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies (major, minor)

GSWS connects knowledge across many disciplines

Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies (GSWS) Program

Major | Minor

Students of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies enroll in an organized series of courses, starting with small seminars that introduce gender, sexuality, and women's studies issues in disciplines that span the humanities and social sciences. Many courses are discussion-centered, and all are interdisciplinary, so that students become agile thinkers who can move beyond static thinking and restrictive boundaries.

Geology (major, minor)

A course or two in Geology is a part of many degree programs

Department of Geology

Major | Minor

The Geology department takes a broad view on the Earth, offering courses that focus on the workings and history of the Earth's interior, surface, and atmosphere. The geology curriculum is designed to be flexible enough to allow students to explore their own interests. Two concentrations are offered: Geology and Environmental Geology.

Global Studies (major, minor)

Global Studies connects knowledge from many fields

Global Studies Program

Major | Minor

Through coursework on the culture, history, languages, literature, politics, and religions of major world regions, students of Global Studies explore the ways in which global forces are realized in and through local contexts, and the interconnections between global regions. Concentrations are offered in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, European Studies, Latin American Studies, and Russian and Post-Soviet Studies.

Government (major)

A course or two in Government is a part of many degree programs

Department of Government

Major

Government is the study of politics and governance, including the moral and ethical implications of political action. Courses fall into one of political science's four broad subfields: American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Politics, or Political Theory. Non-majors are welcome to take courses as part of their electives or to inform other majors.

History (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

A course or two in History is a part of many degree programs

Department of History

Major | Minor | M.A. | Ph.D.

The diverse History curriculum explores the human experience across the globe, from the end of the ancient world to the dawn of the twenty-first century. Students of history read intelligently, think critically, and write effectively.

International Relations (major, minor)

INRL connects knowledge from many fields

International Relations Program

Major | Minor

The International Relations program promotes the systematic study of political, economic, and historic relations among states and other actors in the international system. Students address the interactions among states, markets, and non-state actors.

Judaic Studies (minor)
Judaic Studies

Minor

Judaic Studies affords students an exceptional and unusual educational opportunity to cultivate an appreciation of the historic role played by Jewish culture and the Jewish religion in the development of human civilization.

Kinesiology & Health Sciences (major, minor)

A course or two in Kinesiology is a part of many degree programs

Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences

Major | Minor

The Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences explores human health and movement at the cellular level, the human level, and the population level. The department offers multiple paths of study in health sciences, pre-medicine, and public health.

Linguistics (major, minor)

Linguistics connects knowledge across several disciplines

Linguistics Program

Major | Minor

Linguistics is the study of language both as a faculty of mind and as a social institution. Courses approach language from a variety of perspectives, including in the subfields of history, grammar, syntax, phonology, phonetics, sociolinguistics, culture, and geography.

Marine Science (minor)
Marine Science

Minor

The program in Marine Science introduces students to the global importance of marine ecosystems and their significance to society as a source of food and energy and in regulating climate. The minor is jointly offered and administered by Arts & Sciences and the W&M School of Marine Science/Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.

Mathematics (major, minor)

A course or two in Math is a part of many degree programs

Department of Mathematics

Major | Minor

The study of mathematics is motivated by its wide applicability and its intrinsic beauty. Students may concentrate in Standard Mathematics, Applied Mathematics, or Pre-College Mathematics Teaching. 

Medieval & Renaissance Studies (major, minor)

Med-Ren connects knowledge from many disciplines

Medieval & Renaissance Studies (Med-Ren) Program

Major | Minor

The Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program encourages the interdisciplinary study of Europe between 300 CE and 1700 CE - what Francesco Petrarca (d. 1374) called "the gap of time."

Military Science (ROTC)

Military Science

Courses in Military Science also serve as the cornerstone of the United States Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), the fundamental training program for the nation's future military officers.

Modern Languages & Literatures (major, minor)

A course or two in Modern Languages & Literatures is a part of many degree programs

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures

Major | Minor

The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures teaches eight languages encompassing cultural activities across the globe: Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, French and Francophone Studies, German Studies, Hispanic Studies, Italian Studies, Japanese Studies, and Russian Studies. Students may also minor in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language.

Music (major, minor)

A course or two in Music is a part of several degree programs

Department of Music

Major | Minor

The faculty of scholars, composers, and performers in the Department of Music teach interrelated subdisciplines: music history, ethnomusicology, music theory, composition, and performance. The department collectively values the contributions of all musical cultures and styles, and in any given semester offers courses that reflect this diversity.

Neuroscience (major)

Neuroscience connects knowledge from several disciplines

Neuroscience Program

Major

Neuroscience is a rigorous interdisciplinary study of the nervous system. It integrates the function of molecules, cells, and networks as they give rise to fully formed behavioral and cognitive processes. 

Philosophy (major, minor)

A course or two in Philosophy is a part of many degree programs

Department of Philosophy

Major | Minor

Students of Philosophy learn to think critically and reflectively about fundamental questions of knowledge and value. Students explore topics including moral psychology, social justice, practical rationality, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of art, free will, moral responsibility, and ethics.

Physics (major, minor) (Master's, Ph.D.)

A course or two in Physics is a part of many degrees

Department of Physics

Major | Minor | Ph.D.

Physicis is the study the physical nature of the universe and how it works. Research areas in the department include atomic, molecular, and optical physics, computational physics, condensed matter physics, nuclear and hadronic physics, high energy physics, and plasma and non-linear physics. Majors may choose from several tracks: Standard Physics, Pre-Med Physics, and Engineering Physics and Applied Design.

Psychological Sciences (major, minor) (Master's)

A course or two in Psychological Sciences is a part of many degrees

Department of Psychological Sciences

Major | Minor | M.S.

Psychological Sciences describes the connected disciplines that study mental processes and behaviors: Why and how do people act, think, and feel as they do? Students take classes that cover topics such as human development, psychopathology, learning, personality and motivation, physiology, social behavior, community and health psychology, statistics, and research methods.

Public Health (minor)
Public Health

Minor

Public Health minors seek an understanding of the interdisciplinary relationships between disease processes and the social and biological environment of the community.

Public Policy (major, minor) (Master's)

Public Policy connects knowledge from several fields

Department of Public Policy

Major | Minor | M.P.P.

Public Policy is an interdisciplinary program that focuses on analytical decision-making. It emphasizes quantitative and economic analysis, the study of political institutions that produce policy, and the examination of specific policy areas such as environment and health.

Religious Studies (major, minor)

A course or two in Religious Studies is a part of many degrees

Department of Religious Studies

Major | Minor

Religious Studies faculty feel that religion forms a basic and essential element of all cultures, including our own. If one is to understand a society, it is vital to study its religious writings and beliefs. Students of religious studies gain an understanding of religious traditions across the globe.

Self-Designed (major)
Self-designed Interdisciplinary

The curriculum of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences provides for interdisciplinary majors whereby a student, working in consultation with a faculty advisor, may formulate an interdisciplinary major that is uniquely tailored to his or her interest. 

Sociology (major, minor)

A course or two in Sociology is a part of many degree programs

Department of Sociology

Major | Minor

Sociologists study many of the major issues of the day: crime, immigration, globalization, sexuality, families. Students of sociology gain the empirical and theoretical tools to make sense of these topics. Majors choose from five concentrations: Generalist Sociology, Globalization, Health, Medicine, & Well-Being, Criminology, Law, & Society, Social Problems, Policy, & Justice.

Theatre, Speech & Dance (major, minor)

A course or two in Theatre, Speech or Dance is a part of many degree programs

Department of Theatre, Speech & Dance

Major | Minor

The Department of Theatre, Speech, and Dance is committed to preserving, transmitting, and expanding our understanding of these disciplines within the larger context of a liberal arts education. Students participate in extensive original work in the form of direction, design, production, playwriting, dramaturgy, choreography, and performing as well as research and publication.

All Majors and Minors

Though 90% of all undergraduate degrees are in Arts & Sciences, the School of Education and the School of Business also offer undergraduate degrees. Complete list.

Africana Studies American Studies Anthropology Applied Science Art and Art History Biology Computational and Applied Mathematics and Statistics Chemistry Classical Studies Computer Science Economics English Environmental Science and Policy Geology Global Studies Government Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies History International Relations Kinesiology and Health Sciences Film and Media Studies Linguistics Mathematics Medieval and Renaissance Studies Military Science Modern Languages and Literatures Music Neuroscience Philosophy Physics Psychological Sciences Public Policy Religious Studies Sociology Theatre, Speech, and Dance