Welcome to the College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences is the beating heart of Washburn University.

Through 19 academic departments and the Mulvane Art Museum, we work diligently to ensure that each student is prepared to successfully engage in an increasingly diverse, technological, and innovative world.

Our strong personal engagement between faculty and students, as well as our varied educational options, make the College the ideal place to gain the skills that will make you highly competitive in the marketplace:

  • Strong oral communication
  • Strong written communication
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Adaptability and teamwork

Our graduates are employed in exciting careers, gain acceptance into graduate and professional schools, and speak highly of their educational experience and the zeal for lifelong learning that they gain here at Washburn. Are you ready to be an Ichabod?


The chief concern of Anthropology is to understand culture, a peoples' total way of life. At Washburn, Anthropology is part of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Both anthropology and sociology emphasize the external causes of human behavior.


Studying Art involves both the history and making of visual artworks. Cultural background, design, technique, form and content are investigated as aspects of the creative expression.


Astronomy studies the contents of the universe and those contents' distinguishing features, composition, motion, radiation, past and future. Astronomy courses are found within the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


Biology studies living things: their origin, evolution, diversity in structure and functions as well as interactions with each other and the environment. 


Chemistry scientifically studies matter--both animate and inanimate, its structure, reactions, and associated energy changes. Synthesis of matter, molecular modeling, and prediction of chemical properties derive from observational based theory. 

Communication Studies

Communications are vehicle which enables us to recall the past, think in the present, plan for the future, manage our relationships, and interact with our environment.

Computer Information Sciences

Computer studies the interrelationships of procedures, hardware, software, data, and people that allow the computer to be used as a tool. The discipline emphasizes the development of the analytical skills needed to apply technological solutions to complex problems. 


The Department of Education works closely with other disciplines to assure that those preparing to become teachers have expertise in general education, the content areas they will teach, and instructional skills.  The master’s program includes courses in curriculum instruction, education administration, reading education and special education.


Engineering is a broad applied field which is concerned with ways to use mathematics and natural science for the benefit of mankind. The university's pre-engineering program is part of the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Forensic Sciences

The forensic sciences use scientific applications to collect, examine, and analyze evidence. At Washburn, which is home to the Kansas Bureau of Investigations Forensic Science Center, programs are offered by the College in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Sciences, and Sociology and Anthropology.


Courses in English foster habits of creative and effective self-expression and the analytical skills appropriate to a thoughtful appreciation for the ways others have expressed themselves, creatively and effectively, through poetry, story, essay, and film.


Geography is the science that describes the interactions between human life, the planet surface, natural features and resources, and non-human living systems. There are a limited number of geography courses in the Department of History.


The study of rock formation, landform, and mountain-making movements, natural resources, geologic time, and mankind's impact on the environment. There are some geology courses within the Department of Physics and Astronomy.


History is the interpretation of the record of human experience. It is the discipline for imagining the past.

Integrated Studies

Integrated Studies is designed to encourage and facilitate the integration of knowledge and skills from diverse disciplines. These courses are developed between disciplines and will be administered by different departments. You can search the course schedule for interdisciplinary courses to see a complete listing of interdisciplinary courses in a given semester.


Kinesiology is an academic discipline which involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society, and quality of life. It includes, but is not limited to, such areas of study as exercise science, sports management, athletic training and sports medicine, socio-cultural analyses of sports, sport and exercise psychology, fitness leadership, physical education-teacher education, and pre-professional training for physical therapy, occupational therapy, medicine and other health related fields.

Mass Media

Mass Media messages for communication between one person or groups of persons and a large audience through a medium (radio, television, newspapers, magazines, on-line) for the purpose of educating, informing, entertaining or persuading. 

Mathematics and Statistics

Mathematics studies numbers, their form, arrangement, and associated relationships using rigorously defined literal, numerical and operational symbols. Statistics deals with the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. 

Modern Languages

Languages open the world.  Studying another language provides insight into another culture and other ways of thinking, a perspective on your own culture, and insights into the functions of language.


Music has been both a shaping force and a reflection of culture since the beginning of recorded history. Studies in music include perceptive listening, surveys of major works, aesthetic appreciation, structure and the materials of music, and performance.



Philosophy is the quest for wisdom. It is, simultaneously, the seeking of wisdom, the wisdom sought, and the wisdom so far attained. At Washburn, Philosophy is part of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.


Physics treats the principles governing the inanimate world of matter and energy, force and motion, heat, electricity, light, atomic and nuclear structure.

Political Science

Aristotle called Political Science "the queen of the sciences". It describes policies, power and life at all levels of human organization from families to terrorist groups, nations, empires and modern international organizations.


Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind using observation and experimentation to understand how we perceive, learn, remember, feel and act.

Public Administration

Public administration is a career field of employment in governments and non-profit agencies.  It involves the statistical and scientific study of management, implementation and evaluation of public programs and policies. Courses in public administration are part of the Department of Political Science.

Religious Studies

The academic study of religion seeks to understand religion through multiple academic disciplines and analytical methods. At Washburn, Religious Studies is part of the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies.


Sociology is the study of social life and social change, especially in industrial and postindustrial societies. At Washburn, Sociology is part of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Both anthropology and sociology emphasize the external causes of human behavior.


The study of Theatre Arts involves the analysis of dramatic texts and the understanding of the elements and process necessary to create crafted performances. Theatre informs, entertains, is a forum for ideas and a window through which we recognize comedy and tragedy.

Women's and Gender Studies

Women’s and Gender Studies explores the connections between race and ethnicity, class, sexual identity and gender as they impact women’s and men’s lives in a variety of cultural contexts. A minor is available.

Interdisciplinary Degrees

Sometimes the degree you want just doesn't live in a single department, An interdisciplinary studies degree program lets you choose a major or concentration in more than one area and study the subjects and topics that interest you. There are several at Washburn which you may want to explore.

Degree Requirements:

  • Completion of an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree from one of the partner community colleges. Non-partner community college students and other associate degrees are reviewed on an individual basis for eligibility.
  • A minimum of 60 credit hours from a four year college or university.
  • A minimum of 45 credit hours of upper division courses.
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours from Washburn University.
  • A minimum of 124 total semester credit hours to complete the BIS degree.
  • Completion of all General Education, University Requirements and Prerequisite coursework.

General Education Requirements (42 credit hours)

  • 15 hours in Arts and Humanities* with at least 3 hours selected from Art, Music, or Theatre, and recommend 3 hours of CN 101 Principles & Practices of Human Communication.
  • 12 hours in Natural Sciences and Mathematics*, including courses in at least two disciplines other than Mathematics.
  • 15 hours in Social Sciences* including the following recommended course, 3 hours in Introduction to Psychology.
  • In any of the three General Education distribution areas, no more than 6 hours in any one discipline may be counted toward the General Education requirement.

University Requirements (11 credit hours)

  • Freshman Composition* (equivalent to EN 101 at Washburn)
  • College Algebra* (equivalent to MA 116 at Washburn or completion of MA 110 Exploring Mathematics)
  • Advanced Composition (must be completed with Washburn).

*Denotes those courses that will most likely be transfer credits from another institution. To ensure compatibility with Washburn’s program, contact the BIS advisor.

Specific Degree Requirements

Courses are three credits unless indicated

1)   Communication Courses (12 hours)

CN 300- Organizational Communication
CN 301 - Advanced Organizational Communication
CN 330 - Conflict & Negotiation
CN 350 - Persuasion

2)   Psychology Courses (12 hours)

Any 300 level and above courses offered in the Psychology discipline

3)   Emphasis Courses (12 hours) – choose only one emphasis

Liberal Arts Emphasis
Any 300 level and above courses from the College of Arts & Sciences plus,
MS 310 – American Experience at War
MS 340 – America’s First Battles

Administrative Communication Emphasis
PO 310 – Community Development
PO 391 – Public Personnel Administration
PO 393 – Public Budgeting
PO 401 – Program Evaluation – or – SO 314 Organizations
BU 342 – Organization & Management
BU 345 – Human Resources Management
BU 360 – Marketing
BU 381 – Finance

4)   Capstone Courses (3 credit hours)

IS 389 – Capstone Project Development (1 credit hour)
IS 390 – Capstone Project (2 credit hours)

Washburn courses will be offered in a four semester sequence that will allow students to complete the degree in two years of full time enrollment. Students may enter any semester to begin their four semester sequence.

Learn more about the pre-approved degree plans:

You can earn a Bachelor of Science in General Science if you take at least eight hours of course work in each of the subject areas:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Information Sciences
  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Physics/Astronomy

These hours must be in courses that would count toward a major in each of the respective departments. Also, an additional 20 hours of course work that would be appropriate for majors in the listed departments must be completed, at least 12 hours of which must be in upper division courses.

Students desiring middle school teaching certification in General Science should contact the certification office in the Department of Education for specific requirements relative to that certification.

The general requirements for an Associate of Arts in Natural Science and Mathematics are listed in the catalog. For a field of concentration in mathematics, the twelve required hours are satisfied by Mathematics courses numbered 151 or above (excluding MA 206 and MA 228).

Degree Requirements

Core Requirements

  • 3 credits of mathematics (MA 112/116)
  • 3 credits of English writing (EN 101)
  • 3 credits of Washburn Experience (WU 101)
  • 6 hours from the Arts and Humanities (from a minimum of two disciplines)
  • 6 hours in Natural Sciences and Mathematics (from a minimum of two disciplines) 
  • 6 hours in the Social Sciences (from a minimum of two disciplines) 

Individualized Plan Requirements

Plan A:

  • 12 credits in one discipline within the College of Arts and Sciences

Plan B:

  • 12 credits selected from general education disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences

Electives Requirements

  • Additional coursework to reach a minimum of 60 credit hours (21-24)

For more information, please contact the program coordinator at 785.670.2233 or email cas@washburn.edu


Interdisciplinary Minors

Add one of the interdisciplinary minors to any major at Washburn. Expand your mind and your worldview.


The foundation of the African American & African Diaspora Studies (AAADS) minor is critical race theory, in particular the premise that the construction of race and ethnicity is linked to systems of power and privilege influenced by social, historical and cultural processes.

Upon completion of the AAADS minor, you will be prepared to contribute to the creation of a more socially just world through your professional and civic efforts.

Student Learning Outcomes

 Once you've finished the program, you will have the ability to:
• Describe the history of the African diaspora and the impact of colonialism, global slave trade and segregation/apartheid on African Americans and other African diasporic communities.
• Analyze the social construction of race and ethnicity and how their intersections with class, gender and other factors affect the aforementioned groups.
• Apply interdisciplinary methods and theories appropriate to AAADS.
• Demonstrate social justice practices informed by critical race theory.

Study Plan

To earn this minor, you'll complete 15 hours of designated AAADS work, including required and elective courses, the latter of which must be taken in at least two disciplines and include six hours of upper-division classes.

Required Courses:

  • AD 200: Introduction to Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Select one:
    • AN 317: Peoples and Cultures of Africa
    • HI 328: African American History
    • HI 329: The Civil Rights Movement or
    • HI 370: Modern Africa.

*Courses which may be applied to the minor:

  • AN 317: Peoples and Cultures of Africa
  • AR 309: Arts of Africa
  • HI 328: African American History
  • HI 329: The Civil Rights Movement
  • HI 370: Modern Africa
  • HS 450/HS650: Multicultural Issues
  • MM 360: Minorities and the Media
  • PY 395: Psychology of Social Power
  • SO 207: Race and Ethnic Relations
  • Approved directed readings or independent studies
*This list is not exhaustive.

Engage with the program

On social media:

Create your study plan:

AAADS director, Mary Sundal

Mary Sundal, Professor and Chair of Sociology/Anthropology
Director, African American & African Diaspora Studies
Henderson 218A, (785) 670-1608


This minor is built around the idea that broader understanding of the issues that face Latin America, the Caribbean and the Latino/a population today is crucial in the global community.

To obtain this minor, you will complete at least 18 credit hours of coursework. In addition to six credit hours of required coursework, you must complete at least 12 credit hours of elective courses from at least two disciplines. You will not be able to take more than six elective credits in a single discipline. Some courses require completion of prerequisites. The advisor will serve in the role of department chair to certify that you have successfully met the requirements for this minor.

The requirements are as follows:

  • Spanish fluency at the intermediate level
  • Basic understanding of the history of the relationships between nations in the American hemisphere
  • Knowledge of cultural and ethnic relationships, economics, literature, and environmental issues pertinent to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a peoples in the Americas. 
  • Required courses include: SP201/202 Intermediate Spanish I / II; and one of the following: HI 100, HI 101, HI 102, AN 112.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Kim Morse (History department)


Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Studies is an interdisciplinary program of study, building on existing course offerings in a range of departments, that incorporates both international peace and justice issues and, through internship opportunities with community-based agencies, local dimensions of conflict resolution. Students will combine core courses in Peace Studies with elective courses from departments across campus that share a common theme of peace, justice, and conflict resolution.


To earn this minor, you will complete at least 18 hours of course work, comprised of 15 hours of designated core courses and 3 hours of electives. Some of these courses require prerequisites.

Core courses:

  • IS 110 - Special Topics (6)
  • CN 330 - Communication in Conflict and Negotiation (3)
  • CN 363 - Intercultural Communication (3)
  • HI 397 - Intership in Historical Agencies (3)

Elective courses:

  • Elective Course (3)

Elective Courses Courses which may be counted as elective credit for Peace Studies include, but are not limited to:

  • AN 336 Globalization (3)
  • BI 203 Human Impact on the Environment (3)
  • BI 310 Ecology (4)
  • BI 343 Human Genetics (3)
  • CN 350 Persuasion (3)
  • CN 361 Communication in Social Movements (3)
  • EC 201 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
  • EN 133 Stories Around the World (3)
  • EN 399 Special Topics - Writing/Reading 1 (1-3)
  • GG 102 World Regional Geography (3)
  • GG 302 Natural Resources Conservation (3)
  • HI 329 Civil Rights Movement (3)
  • HI 300 Topics in History (or other special topics courses) 1 (1-3)
  • HI 311 Cold-War America, 1945-1990 3 HI 398 Directed Readings 1 (1-6)
  • HS 201 Victimology (3)
  • HS 202 Victim/Survivor Services (3)
  • HS 302 Social Change & Advocacy/Human Services (3)
  • HS 390 Special Topics (1-6)
  • MS 330 International Conflict (3)
  • NU 306 Health Assessment & Promotion (4)
  • PH 102 Ethics: Introduction to Moral Problems (3)
  • PH 312 Social-Political Philosophy (3)
  • PO 225 Introduction to International Politics (3)
  • PO 346 Problems in Public Administration 1 (3)
  • RG 102 World Religions (3)
  • SO 207 Race and Ethnic Relations (3)
  • SO 301 Population and Society (3)
  • SO 306 Law and Society (3)
  • SO 310 Social Class in the U.S. (3)
  • SO 338 Strategies for Social Change (3)
  • SW 250 General Social Work Perspectives (3)
  • SW 350 Social Policy and Programs (3)

To develop your plan of study or learn more, contact:

Rachel Goossen, professor, Department of History
Henderson Learning Resource Center, 311D




Museum and Curatorial Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the practices associated with the collection, analysis, and exhibition of art, artifacts, specimens, and interpretive displays for the purpose of preservation, interpretation, and public engagement.

It also considers the practices associated with the governance, administration, and responsible fiscal management within the professional world of museums and other collection and exhibition spaces. Finally, the field of museum studies seeks to understand the dynamic role museums,
galleries, and collecting play in history and culture.

Student Learning Outcomes

 Once you’ve finished the program, you will have the ability to:
1. Demonstrate understanding of approaches to work performed in museums and galleries including operations, collections management, interpretation, exhibition, and museum education.
2. Analyze the role of public exhibitions in culture, for example, as institutions embedded in historical contexts and as sites of cultural production.
3. Apply interdisciplinary methods and theories appropriate to the various aspects of museum and curatorial studies to an aspect of museum work that could include operation, collections management, interpretation, exhibition, or museum education.

Study Plan

To obtain the optional minor in Museum and Curatorial Studies, a student must complete at least 18 hours of designated Museum and Curatorial Studies coursework, including both required and elective courses.

In addition to required courses, students will work with the director of the Museum and Curatorial Studies to create a study plan of 9 additional credit hours in elective courses that satisfy the program's learning outcomes and complement a student's major area and interests.

These electives must be taken in at least two disciplines, and at least 6 hours of electives must be at the upper-division level. This study plan must be approved before a student completes coursework in the minor program.

Required Courses:

  • MC 200 Introduction to Museum and Curatorial Studies
  • MC 313/AR 313 Museums and Materials
  • MC 400 Capstone in Museum and Curatorial Studies

Create your study plan:

Connie Gibbons, Director, Mulvane Art Museum
Garvey 113 (785) 670-2423


The Washburn University Women’s and Gender Studies minor is an interdisciplinary program devoted to encouraging research on women and gender, sponsoring events focused on issues relevant to women and gender, and promoting outreach across the campus and to the larger community.  Women’s and Gender Studies explores the connections between race and ethnicity, class, sexual identity and gender as they impact women’s and men’s lives in a variety of cultural contexts. Courses critically examine the social, historical, psychological, literary, artistic, philosophic and biological roles of women and gender. It seeks to provide a fuller understanding of the multidimensional nature of personhood, emphasizing the connections between theory and practice. Women’s and Gender Studies encourages applied learning through internships, community involvement projects, research and service learning courses.

Student Learning Outcomes

 Upon completion of the Women’s and Gender Studies minor, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the multiple types of feminisms that currently exist in the U.S. and internationally, as well as their histories and development;
  • Critically analyze and make connections between feminist theories and feminist practices;
  • Explicate the basic debates or areas of contention within contemporary feminist thought;
  • Describe the multiple ways in which gender is intersected by other social relations like race, ethnicity, sexuality, class and nation;
  • Identify the basic components that distinguish feminist methodologies from other approaches to inquiry, and the ways in which women’s studies approaches have transformed traditional disciplines; and
  • Design and implement a project demonstrating in-depth knowledge of one aspect of women’s experience learned through (for example) a literary genre, a time period, a geographic region or another equally narrow topic.
Study Plan

To obtain the optional minor in Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS) , a student must complete at least 18 hours of designated WGS course work, with at least 6 of the hours at the upper division level, also including: IS 175 - Introduction to Women’s Studies and IS 400 - Women’s and Gender Studies Capstone. The minor will be supervised by a WGS Advisory Committee member. Students may complete the minor in two ways, they may (a) submit a study plan consisting of coursework formally identified as counting towards the WGS minor or (b) they may develop a study plan to request that alternate coursework be accepted toward the minor. The minor plans will be reviewed to ensure the program learning outcomes are met. Students wishing to complete the minor must submit their study plan for approval before completing coursework in the minor.

Required Courses:

WG 175 Introduction to Women's Studies

WG 400 Women and Gender Studies Capstone 

Courses which may be applied to the minor:
AN 321 Anthropology of Women
CJ 314 Women in Criminal Justice: Offenders, Employees and Victims
CN 364 Gender Communication
CN 361 Communication in Social Movements
EN 214 Women and Literature
EN 396 Topics in Women and Literature
HI 315 Women in US History
HI 300 Women and Gender in Early America (Special Topics)
HI 380 Women in World History
WG 375 Women and Popular Culture
NU 382 Women’s Health Issues
PY 339 History and Psychology of Sex and Gender 

For additional information or to begin developing the minor in WGS study plan contact:

Women's and Gender Studies, Sharon Sullivan Picture

Sharon L. Sullivan, Professor and Chair of Theatre
Women's and Gender Studies
Garvey 122, (785) 670-2246

GET IN TOUCH WITH College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences
Morgan Hall, Room 209
1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

Phone & Email
Phone: 785.670.1636
Fax: 785.670.1297

Dean's Office Staff
Deans and Staff Information

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