College of Arts and Sciences Academic Programs

Brief Overview

The College of Arts and Sciences offers Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology, Biology with minors in pre-medicine and urban ecology, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice with options in juvenile justice and policing, Mathematics, Joint Math/Engineering with St. Louis University with options in computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and interdisciplinary engineering, Professional Interdisciplinary Studies, Political Science with options in urban policy, pre-law, and international relations, Sociology with concentrations in social justice, law/justice/society, and urban sociology, Sustainability in Urban Ecology with concentrations in science, computation and physical science, and urban agriculture, and Urban Affairs with options in public administration and urban studies. The curriculum for each of these degree programs includes general education courses, professional courses and internships (where applicable) in a student’s area of interest.

The College of Arts and Sciences at Harris-Stowe State University is committed to providing all students an accessible and affordable quality liberal arts education in mathematics, physical and life sciences, humanities, and social and behavioral sciences. The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is twofold: (1) to train and educate graduates who will demonstrate effective written and oral communication skills and are able to think critically and make decisions for the common good and (2) to produce graduates who are equipped with strong academic and practical knowledge to pursue careers in mathematics, life science, law enforcement, government, education, and business.

The College of Arts and Sciences also provides course offerings in general education. In this role, the college is the gateway to all degree programs at the University. In addition, the College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the College of Education, provides course offerings in many areas of content knowledge concentrations, including fine art, computer education/instructional technology, English, mathematics, music and natural sciences, leading to Bachelor of Science degrees in Early Childhood, Elementary School, Middle School and Secondary School Education.


The College of Arts and Sciences, through its Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, currently offers the following baccalaureate degree programs:

  • B.S. in Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice with Juvenile Justice or Policing Options
  • B.S. in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies
  • B.S. in Sociology in Social Justice, Law/Justice/Society, and Urban Sociology
  • B.S. in Urban Affairs Options in Urban Studies and Public Administration
  • B.S. in Political Science with concentrations in Public Policy and Administration, International Relations, and Pre-Law
  • B.S. in History
  • B.S. in Psychology

Each of these degree programs is designed to prepare a specialist who will assist in identifying, formulating, and solving urban problems.

B.S. in Criminal Justice

This degree provides its students with the information and skills needed for entry-level employment in a variety of public and private agencies that are related to juvenile justice and policing. In addition, this degree program prepares students to continue their education in graduate school or law school. The areas of concentration in the program include:

  • Juvenile Justice
  • Policing

B.S. in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies

This degree provides students, whose career goals call for an interdisciplinary background, the opportunity to select from a combination of disciplines that address the student’s expected career needs in terms of content knowledge and skills. Students may choose from a variety of disciplines to develop a unique course of study which is tailored to their interests and specific career and educational goals.

B.S. in Urban Affairs

This program provides both course work and experiences that will enable the student to conduct research, gather and analyze data and use the results to find solutions to various problems that face urban communities. The concentrations in public administration and urban studies are ideal for students who wish to study urban life as well as those who wish to find careers in the urban arena. The areas of concentration in this program include:

  • Urban Studies
  • Public Administration

B.S. in Sociology

Sociology is the study of people in groups. The sociological perspective is crucial for working in today's multiethnic and multinational business environment. The sociology major at Harris-Stowe State University provides an opportunity for students gain valuable insights and explore social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class that affect work and how organizations operate. Students can select one of three program areas of emphasis:

  • Law, Justice and Society
  • Urban Sociology
  • Social Justice

B.S. in Political Science

The degree in Political Science is specifically designed to educate students in the functioning of society and its institutions with concentrations in:

  • Public Policy and Administration
  • International Relations 
  • Pre-Law 

The concentration in Public Policy Administration will provide training for any student who wishes to pursue a career in municipal politics or in policy research and analysis. Finally, the concentration in International Relations will allow students to develop an understanding of how the politics of states and economies intersect and collide between competing interests and institutions in a globalized world.

B.S. in History

The goal of the History Program is to provide Harris-Stowe State University students with content knowledge of History, in preparation for careers in the fields of history, public history, archives, museum studies, pre-law, civil service, international affairs, State and federal and local government, municipal leadership, civic engagement, and advanced studies or historical scholarship. These goals will be met through student mastery of curriculum at grade of C or better, as well as service learning, internships, research methods courses, introductory research experiments and capstone or senior research projects.

B.S. in Psychology

Pondering this question is the purview of the study of psychology. Conventionally, we learn about the mind by experimentation, observation, and analyzing the workings of human and some animal minds. Advances in technology have moved the study of psychology in ways unimaginable by the pioneers of the science of psychology. However, we still place a premium on learning about the mind by studying behavior.

The College of Arts and Sciences, through its Department of Humanities, currently offers one baccalaureate degree program:

B.A. in Communication Studies

Program Plan of Study

The Communication Studies program functions as a professional training ground within the educational framework of the Department of Humanities, as well as the University. Through a well-planned program, the department aims to develop among its students a broad understanding of the basic principles, utilization of contemporary technology, and values in the performing arts.

The College of Arts and Sciences, through its Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, currently offers the following baccalaureate degree programs:

  • B.S. in Mathematics
  • B.S. in Biology
  • B.S. in Biology with concentration in Pre-Medicine
  • B.S. in Biology with concentration in Urban Ecology
  • B.S. in Sustainability and Urban Ecology with concentrations in:
    • Science (Biology/Chemistry)
    • Urban Agriculture
    • Computational and Physical Science

In addition, the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, currently offers the following certificates (See below):

  • Certificate in Documentary Videography
  • Certificate in Audio Production Technology
  • Certificate in Crime Intelligence Analysis

B.S. in Mathematics

The B.S. degree program in Mathematics is designed to provide students with substantial grounding in the theory and applications of mathematics, providing them with the breadth and depth necessary to pursue careers in areas such as actuarial science, insurance, financial investment, computer science, statistics as well as a wide variety of other industrial and government employment. Graduates may also proceed to graduate school to earn higher degrees that will qualify them to seek careers in academia. In our increasingly technological society, persons with quantitative ability and training are in high demand. The program has significant built-in flexibility to allow students to focus their coursework to their desired field of interest.

Joint Degree Math/Engineering Program with St. Louis University

In addition, students at Harris-Stowe have the opportunity to pursue a dual degree program in mathematics and engineering with St. Louis University. Various types of engineering are possible, including computer, mechanical, and civil engineering. Students completing the degree program on schedule can expect to spend three years at Harris-Stowe followed by either two or three years at St. Louis University. Upon completion, students will receive a B.S. in Mathematics from Harris-Stowe and a B.S. in Engineering from St. Louis University.

Students interested in the dual degree program should consult with mathematics faculty to ensure that they select courses so as to progress through the program in an efficient manner. Students will also want to consult with parties at St. Louis University to inquire about financial aid arrangements for the dual degree program.

Note: The Mathematics Degree is designed to be very flexible. Students are strongly encouraged to seek out the advice of a faculty member in mathematics to customize their degree program. As a starting point, potential SLU Engineering students are encouraged to consider the Computational and Applied Mathematics Concentration.

B.S. in Biology

The goal of the Bachelor of Science degree in Biology is to provide students with a broad educational grounding in the biological sciences, allowing them to pursue graduate and professional studies and to enter into health and science careers.

Harris-Stowe biology majors are eligible to apply for several special collaborative professional programs, including with St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College in St. Louis, the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. These programs require special coursework and the requirements are subject to change. Generally, students should plan to take the Biology (No Concentration) - please see advisors for more details.

B.S. in Biology with Pre-Medicine Concentration

The Pre-Medicine concentration is for students interested in biomedical careers. Students should note that competitive programs such as Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, or Medical School require a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 to 3.5. Students completing the concentration in Pre-Medicine must take 36 additional credit hours including 26 hrs of additional required courses and at least an additional 6 hours of Pre-Med electives, and any free electives needed to complete the 120 hour requirement. 

Note: Students interested in Nursing must take BIO 0203, MATH 0250, PSY 0100, and PSY 0308 to qualify for most nursing schools. Students should consult with advisors to be sure the electives they choose will best meet their career needs.

B.S. in Biology with Urban Ecology Concentration

The Urban Ecology Concentration is for students interested in green jobs including the fields of environmental conservation, restoration ecology, urban health, energy management, urban agriculture and other “green” jobs. Students completing a minor in Urban Ecology must take 36 additional credit hours including 24 hrs of additional required courses and choose at least an additional 8 hours of Urban Ecology electives, and any free electives needed to complete the 120 hour requirement.

Note: A Bachelor of Science degree is offered in the related field of Sustainability and Urban Ecology, as well as a Certificate in Urban Agriculture. Students should discuss with their advisors which degree track is most suitable for their needs.

B.S. in Sustainability and Urban Ecology (SUE)

The goal of the Bachelor of Science degree in SUE is to provide students the knowledge, tools, and skills in the contemporary and growing field of sustainability and urban ecology, allowing them to enter careers in environmental or green jobs, as well as to pursue graduate studies in the field or related technical fields. The students have to choose one of three areas of concentration namely:

  • Science (Biology/Chemistry) 
  • Urban Agriculture 
  • Computational and Physical Science

Graduates can pursue further studies in environmental science, horticulture ecology, botany, wildlife management, nutrition, environmental technology, statistics, sustainability, etc. Additionally the students will acquire computational and/or statistical skills through the program that will prepare them for technical jobs involving data analysis.


Applicants for admission to any of the degree programs listed above must:

  • Have completed a minimum of 42 semester credit hours which comprise the University’s general education curriculum or its acceptable equivalent
  • Be in good academic standing, have a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale for all courses to be counted toward his or her degree. (This grade point average is based upon all credits counted toward the degree earned at Harris-Stowe or at another accredited institution and transferred to Harris-Stowe)
  • In addition to meeting all of the above requirements, students majoring in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies (PRIS) must have their individual program of study plan approved by the faculty of the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences


To be conferred the Bachelor of Science degree, a candidate must:

  • Have completed a minimum of 120 semester credit hours in a specified degree program
  • Have minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Achieve a minimum grade of “C” in all professional courses of the degree program
  • Complete the last 30 semester credit hours of course work at Harris-Stowe State University
  • Pass the senior exit assessment

Certificate Programs

All students enrolled in the certificate program must meet the admission requirements of HSSU at the time of enrollment. Students must also have successfully completed English Composition 1 (Eng. 0110I) and 2 (Eng. 0110II) or its equivalency with a grade of “C” or higher. Applicants who meet the requirements listed above will be reviewed by the Academic Affairs Division of HSSU. Deviations from the admissions requirements are uncommon, but may be granted with good cause and upon approval of the Academic Affairs.

Students must earn a grade of “B” or higher in each Certificate course in order to remain enrolled in the Certificate Program. Students’ effort and success will be tracked in real-time to identify Harris-Stowe State University students at risk of not successfully completing the program due to underperformance.

In order to remain enrolled in the Certificate Program, students must earn a final grade of at least a “B” in each course, complete all required credits/coursework through HSSU—no transfer coursework will be accepted and all required coursework must be completed within 2 years. Deviations from the two-year time period are uncommon but may be granted with good cause and upon approval of Academic Affairs.

Documentary Videography Certificate

Documentary Videography exemplifies the recording of the real, historical world. Documentary Videographers learn to become specialists at forecasting consequences of events, finding enlightening details in scenes and noticing the intricacies of human interactions during their investigation of a documentary subject. The primary objective of the Documentary Videographer is to record real world events, then form recorded fragments into a comprehensible story for an audience.

Audio Production Technology Certificate

Audio Production Technology provides a general grasp of the theory and practice of audio production. Students will acquire an understanding of the scientific and artistic features of sound, as well as a broad range of audio production techniques applicable to music, theater, and electronic media.

Crime Intelligence Analysis Certificate

Ciminal Intelligence Analysis utilizes layers of sophisticated techniques as investigative tools in tactical and operational inquires of crime data. This actionable research reveals trends and patterns in illicit activity to inform law enforcement, correctional, and judicial constituents in the intervention and prevention of an array of criminal acts. Those who successfully complete the program will be skilled in the conversion of criminal intelligence data into meaningful written reports and charts of high instructional value for combating crime and informing interdisciplinary policing and policy across the fields of law enforcement, business, technology, and others.


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