Arts and Sciences

Graduate Programs in Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the following graduate degrees:

The Master of Arts in Art

The Master of Arts in English

The Master of Arts in History

The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts

The Master Arts of in Political Science

The Master of Arts in Public Administration

The Master of Science in Biology

The Master of Science in Geology


Admission to Candidacy Form.  Graduate students are required to file the form after completing twelve graduate hours.  Please check with your major advisor for forms and signatures.  The form must be filed in the Office of the College of Arts and Sciences (Ferguson Hall 108).

Applying to Graduate.   Applications for graduation are obtained in the Office of the College of Arts and Sciences (Ferguson Hall 108).  Prior to coming to the Arts and Sciences office the student is asked to pay the graduation fee at the casher's office and then to bring the receipt to the Arts and Sciences office.  The student is encouraged to apply for graduation the semester before the anticpated graduation so that the student's degree plan may be audited to ensure all course requirements have been met.  

Theses.   A graduate student who is writing a thesis as part of the degree requirements must follow the style of the College of Arts and Sciences Thesis Guidelines in addition to the style requirements of the department.  The chair of the thesis committee will work with the graduate student to select the style manual most suitable for the thesis, e.g., The Chicago Style Manual, The American Psychological Association Publication Manual, Scientific Style and Format, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Turabian), Modern Language Association Handbook.

Thesis Deadlines.  The College of Arts and Sciences adheres to a  schedule of thesis submission.  For the schedule contact Carol Greer [432-837-8368 or] in Ferguson Hall 108.



Bachelor of Arts in General Studies

The Bachelor of Arts in General Studies is an individualized program of study designed for the student who is seeking an interdisciplinary degree allowing the student to take courses across the curriculum without regard to subject designation.  The degree gives the student the opportunity to craft a curriculum of study for academic degrees the University does not offer.  For example, the student interested in Southwestern studies might use the degree to incorporate courses in Southwestern literature, history of the American West, comparative politics, and and anthropology into a coherent course of study, or the student could use the degree to craft a curriculum in political studies or music. There is no minor field in the General Studies major.

The General Studies student must fulfill the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree.  The general studies common core gives all students fundamental knowledge of skills necessary to competently express themselves, think creatively, solve problems, and understand the nature and function of people and the environment.  In addition to the core requirements for the B. A. degree, General Study majors are required to take Communication 3304 (Critical Reasoning), English 3312 (Advanced Composition), and General Studies 4100 (Senior Assessment). 

Other requirements for the degree are:  (1)  a minimum of 120 semester credit hours; (2) a cumulative grade point average of 2.0; (3) a minimum of thirty-six advanced semester credit hours must be completed, including at least fifteen semester credit hours in residence at Sul Ross State University; (4) a minimum of thirty semester credit hours must be completed in residence; and (5) at least twenty-four semester credit hours of the last thirty presented for a degree must be in residence.

For further information regarding the Bachelor of Arts degree in General Studies, please contact Ms. Carol Greer in the Office of the College of Arts and Sciences at 432-837-8368 or at

Master of Arts in Liberal Arts

The Master of Arts in Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary curriculum structured to allow the student to design a graduate degree to meet the student's unique and individual interests.  The student chooses three academic disciplines to incorporate into the course of study.   Two of the academic disciplines must be in the College of Arts and Sciences.  One of the academic disciplines may be in a department not in the College of Arts and Sciences.  The student may take no more than eighteen semester-credit-hours in any one discipline and may have no fewer hours than six semester-credit-hours in any of the three disciplines.  The academic discipline with the greatest number of semester-credit-hours must be a discipline from within the College of Arts and Sciences. The semester credit hours in the degree must total thirty-seven.  Academic disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences which may be used in the degree are Art, Biology, Communication, English, Geology, History, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Political Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Sociology, Spanish, and Theater. The student must have the consent of the department chair to include an academic discipline in the student's curriculum.

Although the degree is a non-thesis degree, the student must complete a capstone project integrating the three disciplines.   The capstone project is designed to meet the student's particular interests, and, therefore, the range of projects is considerable.  Liberal Arts 5101 (Prospectus for Master's Project) and Liberal Art 5301 (Master's Project) are also required as part of the project process.  

Some former Masters Projects include:

Permian Pulse by Grant Griffin of Gonzales.  Grant integrated Art, Geology, and Natural Resource Management into a public art project that transformed pumpjacks in an oil field into a spectacular display of light.  For Grant, this was an opportunity " bring beauty to a blighted place and draw attention to new technology."

Teaching ePortfolio by Kristen Malabayabas of Fort Worth.  Kristen developed a teaching portfolio to be used in a community college setting by integrating Political Science, History, and Education.

Analysis of Emergency Contact Procedures for Brewster County  by Spenser Smith of Marfa.  Motivated by the 2011catastophic wildfires in Brewster County, Spenser analyzed the state of emergency contact procedures in Brewster County by integrating Communication, Public Administration, and Education into his research.  

Under the Stasi by Marilyne Crill-Dieckert of College Station.  Marilyn integrated English, Theater, and Music into an original musical composition bringing to our social consciousness the "...pervasiveness of the dehumanization demonstrated by the Soviets during their occupation of East Germany following the Second World War." 

Communicative Language Teaching Approach for Spanish by Dacil Gutierrez from Ojinaga, Mexico.  Dacil initegrated Spanish, Linguistics, and English to develop a communicative approach for the teaching of a second language.  Dacil demonstrated "...that the communicative approach is an efficacious technique to use with students for the positive development of a second language."

Conversation and Sustainable Use of Water Resources of the Rio Grande Basin:  Community Outreach and Education by Christopher P. Hillen of  San Marcos.   Chris integrated Communication, Geology, and Natural Resource Management into the development of a two-part rainwater harvesting workshop held in the spring of 2012 in anticipation of summer rains.  The project was " effort to draw attention to the water issues facing the Big Bend region of Texas [through] a multi-faceted social marketing campaign aimed at promoting water conservation in [the Big Bend] area."

Petra's Sueno by Olivia Gallegos of Alpine.  Olivia integrated History, Art, and Theatre to develop the costuming for Tia Cuca, a curandera, in Rupert Reyes's Petra's Sueno.  Olivia based the costuming upon her research of renown Mexican curandera, Teresa Urrea.  Olivia noted that she researched "...some actual pictures of the actual Teresa Urrea" and  based "...Tia Cuca's costume...on the actual Teresa Urrea." 

For more information about the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts, contact Carol Greer in the offices of the College of Arts and Sciences at 432-837-8368 or



McNair-Tafoya Symposium

Sixth Annual McNair-Tafoya  Symposium To Be Held Wednesday, October 23 at 3:00 P. M.

In Espino Conference Rooms A&B, Morgan University Center

The McNair-Tafoya Symposium is held annually to recognize excellence in undergraduate research.  The symposium, a joint endeavor of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, provides undergraduate students an opportunity to present original research to a convocation of the College of Arts and Sciences and the university community.  Symposium participants are not limited to participants in the McNair program.   The student research is blind-juried, and selected students are asked to present their research formally to the convocation.   Afterwards, all the student researchers present their work in a poster session.  Dr. David Watson (Behavioral and Social Sciences),  Dr. Angela Brown (Computer Science and Mathematics), Dr. Theron Francis (Languages and Literature), Dr.  Ryan Luna (College of Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences), Dr. Rebecca Schlosser (College of Professional Studies), Dr. Martin Terry (Biology, Geology, and Physical Sciences), and Dr. Joseph Velasco (Fine Arts and Communication) served on this year's committee;  Dr. Watson chaired the committee.

The symposium is named in honor and memory of Dr. Jesus Tafoya, Associate Professor of Spanish, who passed away October 6, 2008.  Dr. Tafoya devotedly served as a McNair mentor from the beginning of the McNair Scholars Program at the university.  Dr. Tafoya, who was from Juarez and El Paso, received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico.  His poetry and his research fully manifested his love of the Spanish language, the Southwest Borderlands, Mexico, his family, and his students.   

The following research has been chosen for oral presentation in the 2013 symposium:

Use of Camera Traps to Determine Big Game Utilization at Nine Points Mesa Ranch by Jose Etchart, Animal Science.  Dr. Louis Harveson, Professor of Natural Resource Management, Faculty Mentor.

Bawdy Language in the Bard's Body:  A Study of Shakespeare's Use of Sexual Imagery by Matthew Hall, English.  Dr. Sharon Hileman, Professor of English, Faculty Mentor.

The Relationship Between Perceived Self-Efficacy and Stress Levels Among College Students With Disabilities by KayLee Kocian, Education.  Dr. Christopher Estepp, Assistant Professor of Agriculture, Faculty Mentor.

Wolf Spiders Associate Foods With Predator Cues in a T-Maze by Robert LeBlanc, Psychology.  Dr. Christopher Ritzi, Associate Professor of Biology, Faculty Mentor.

Utilization of Fence Modifications by Pronghorn (antilocapra americana) in the Marathon Basin by Jim Wyche, Natural Resource Management.  Dr. Bonnie Warnock, Professor of Natural Resource Management, Faculty Mentor.

Poster Session Participants

Fernanda Arroyo (Dr. Pat Seawell and Dr. Barbara Tucker, Faculty Mentors)

Rebecca Blomquist (Prof. Chris Dobbins, Faculty Mentor)

Megan Downing (Dr. Jay Downing, Faculty Mentor)

Jose Etchard (Dr. Louis Harveson, Faculty Mentor)

Michael Gallardo (Prof. Greg Schwab, Faculty Mentor)

Annabel Gallegos (Dr. Scott Ericcson, Faculty Mentor)

Angela Greenroy (Dr. Sharon Hileman, Faculty Mentor)

Matthew Hall (Dr. Sharon Hileman, Faculty Mentor)

Kassandra Hernandez (Dr. Chet Sample, Faculty Mentor)

KayLee Kocian (Dr. Christopher Estepp, Faculty Mentor)

Robert LeBlanc (Dr. Christopher Ritzi, Faculty Mentor)

Catherine Smietana (Dr. Esther Rumsey, Faculty Mentor)

Daniel Tidwell (Dr. Louis Harveson, Faculty Mentor)

Emily Urbanosky (Dr. Jay Downing, Faculty Mentor)

Jim Wyche (Dr. Bonnie Warnock, Faculty Mentor)



Dr. Jesus Tafoya...                                                                                                                                                                                                                         










Arts and Sciences Spring Lecture


Dr. Jay Downing, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences...



From a Burr Under the Saddle to a Flower in the Desert:

Anti-Authoritarianism in Political Psychology and Higher Education     

Dr. Jay Downing, Professor of Psychology        

                In Spring, 2007, the Dean of the College initiated the Arts and Sciences Spring Lecture to recognize and honor the professional contributions of a senior faculty member  to the academic and intellectual life and vitality of the university and to recognize the academic performance and research accomplishments during the past year of all the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.   The honored faculty member addresses a convocation of faculty, students, and staff from the college on a topic of the faculty member’s choosing.  

                On April 17, Dr. Jay Downing, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences presented the 2013 lecture.  Dr. Downing joined the Sul Ross faculty in 1992.   Dr. Downing holds bachelor of science degrees in Psychology and Marketing from Indiana State University and the Master of Arts  and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Social Psychology from the University of Colorado.  Dr. Downing received a Fulbright Scholarship for the 2002-2003 academic year and received an appointment to the University of Rijeka in Croatia.  He returned to Rijeka to teach each summer from 2004 through 2008.

               Dr. Kevein Urbanczyk, Professor of Geology, is scheduled to present the 2014 lecture.  Dr. Urbanczyk earned the Ph. D. degree in Geology from Washington State and the B. S. and M. S. degrees from Sul Ross State Universsity.  Dr. Urbanczyk also is the Director of the Rio Grande Research Center at Sul Ross State University.

Previous Lectures


Dr. Wayne Sheehan, Professor of History

The Boosters Go To War



Dr. David Rohr, Professor of Geology

A Snail’s Eye View of Alaska



Dr. Nelson Sager, Professor of English

Frankly, Mr. Poet, I Don’t Give A Rhyme!



Dr. James Zech, Professor of Biology

A Michigan Yankee in Sul Ross’s Court



Prof. Carol Fairlie, Professor of Art

Painting Myself in a Corner



Dr. Kristofer Jorgenson, Professor of Math

Mathematics:  The Crown of Creation-Folding to the Sun


Dr. Jay Downing, Professor of Psychology

From a Burr Under the Saddle to a Flower in the Desert:

Anti-Authoritarianism in Political Psychology and Higher Education




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