2018-19 Catalogs

CAHS Overview

Dean: Adam Tuchinsky; Associate Dean: Julien Murphy; Financial Manager: Pamela Roy; Administrative Manager: Elaine Lohrman; Administrative Specialists: Penny Glover, Stephanie McLeod

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is dedicated to the ideal of a liberal arts education and serves as the intellectual core of the University by offering general education courses to all undergraduate students. The College houses graduate programs in music and creative writing and offers thirty undergraduate majors in the areas of fine and performing arts, humanities, and social sciences. Our nationally recognized faculty are engaged with our students typically in small classes and work one-on-one to enhance their knowledge through creative expression, scholarly interpretation, and research. Study abroad programs, internships, student research opportunities, service learning, and capstone courses enrich the undergraduate experience. Our classes are taught on the Portland, Gorham, Lewiston campuses, and online. Our College instills in our students the attributes of creative critical thinking, effective oral and written communication skills, and social values. By demanding teaching excellence and through a dynamic student-centered education, we prepare our students for responsible citizenship, participants in the creative economy, graduate studies, and challenging careers.

Departmental Organization

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences has the following undergraduate schools and departments:

  • Art
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Criminology
  • Economics, and Sociology
  • English
  • History and Political Science
  • Music
  • Philosophy and Liberal Studies-Humanities 
  • Theatre

Baccalaureate Degree Programs

Programs of study leading to a bachelor of arts (BA) degree are available in the areas listed below. In addition, bachelor of fine arts (BFA) is offered by the Art Department, bachelor of science (BS) is offered by the Department of Economics, and bachelor of music (BM) in performance and a bachelor in music education are offered by the School of Music.

Teacher education tracks are also available in Art, English, History, Liberal Studies-Humanities and Music.

  • Art
  • Communication
  • Criminology
  • Economics
  • English
  • History
  • Liberal Studies-Humanities
  • Media Studies
  • Music
  • Musical Theatre
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Theatre

Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Candidates

To be eligible for a baccalaureate degree from the University, a student must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Core curriculum requirements
  • Departmental or program requirements
  • Minimum of 120 credits of accepted courses
  • Minimum of 2.0 cumulative grade point average

Core Curriculum Requirements

Every baccalaureate degree student who is admitted to the University is required to meet the Core curriculum requirements, including college readiness courses if necessary. These are listed in the section on Core curriculum.

Departmental or Program Requirements

The College requires that every baccalaureate degree student fulfill the requirements of a major program as noted in the catalog section devoted to each department's majors. These requirements may be greater than the college minimum requirements.

Declaration or Change of Major

Students normally declare a major program prior to completing 53 credits. Students who wish to declare or change their major within the College must obtain a Change of Major form from the Registration & Scheduling Services Office. Students must have a USM GPA in good standing prior to declaring or changing a major within the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Fine arts students, especially in the Department of Art and the School of Music, usually must begin their program earlier, owing to portfolio and audition requirements.

Selecting a major is an important and often difficult decision. Students who are undecided about a major should take courses in programs that interest them before making a final decision. It is recommended that students meet with a faculty member in the Department to request admission to the major and/or to ask questions about the appropriateness of the new major to their long-term goals. Students may also benefit from consulting Academic Advising for information.

Individual departmental or program requirements are described in the sections that follow. Students should note that not all courses listed and described in the following sections are offered each academic year. Consult the particular department or program for further information about the year and semester a specific course will be offered.

Other Educational Opportunities

Independent Study

Students who have an academic project that they feel would contribute significantly to their program may, with the approval of a faculty sponsor, the appropriate department, and the dean, apply for a semester of independent study. General guidelines for the independent study term may be obtained from departments.

Double Majors

Students interested in a double major should consult the appropriate departments and obtain a Declaration of Major form from the Registration & Scheduling Services Office.

College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Minors

Students interested in one or more minors should consult the appropriate departments and obtain a Declaration of Minor form from the Registration & Scheduling Services Office.

  • Art History
  • Audio and Video Production
  • Book Arts
  • Cinema Studies
  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Criminology
  • Dance
  • Economics
  • English
  • Food Studies
  • Game Design
  • History
  • Labor Studies
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Public and Professional Writing
  • Public Relations
  • Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Social Media Activism
  • Sociology
  • Studio Art
  • Theatre
  • Writing

Teacher Certification

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences offers an undergraduate pathway to teacher education.

Students who wish to prepare for a career in teaching at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels work with both the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the School of Education and Human Development in approved pathways that offer coursework and experiences at the undergraduate and post-baccalaureate levels.

Undergraduates who seek teacher certification in English, History, or Liberal Studies-Humanities follow these steps:

  1. Undergraduate Level
    1. College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences students complete a major in approved pathway programs (English, History, Liberal Studies-Humanities).
    2. In addition to a major in one of the above programs, students complete course work through the core requirements (including an educational themed cluster) and complete a professional year experience which includes methods courses, seminar, and internship.
  2. Post-Baccalaureate Level
    School of Education and Human Development students must
    1. Complete the one-year certification program (approximately 33 graduate credits), and
    2. Complete the master of science in education degree (optional—an additional 18 credits taken over two years during the summer and on weekends).

Additional information on the Extended Teacher Education Program can be found in the School of Education and Human Development section of this catalog.

Graduate Programs in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences offers two graduate programs leading to the master's degree and two graduate certificate programs. These are the master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing, the master of music (MM), and a certificate of graduate study in Composing Together. Consult the University's graduate catalog for further information.