Jul 16, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Matthew J. Smith, Dean
3401 HH, (540) 831-5149

Dr. Kim Gainer, Associate Dean
3401 HH, (540) 831-5149

Ms. Kristina Contreras, Lead Advisor
YG 305C (Highlander Success Center), (540) 831-6495

The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences offers a variety of majors and minors designed to prepare students for success in life after graduation. The College supports programs that develop a broad range of discipline specific and professional competencies, and the College contributes to the larger liberal arts and general education goals at Radford University. Through traditional course work and a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, students learn to think critically, to write effectively, to speak compellingly, and to explore issues and problems from a variety of well-informed perspectives, for academic and professional success, as well as active and productive citizenship.  Students are offered opportunities to serve their communities while being prepared for jobs after graduation in such diverse professions as law enforcement, national security, public relations, creative media, legislative affairs, professional writing, research and data analysis, counseling and teaching. The curriculum is innovative and continually developing to meet the evolving needs of students.

Faculty members are dedicated teachers and scholars. Many have been recognized at the highest levels for their dedicated and highly successful work with students. Members of the College have won the prestigious Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award, the Radford University Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Donald N. Dedmon Distinguished Teaching Professor Award, the Radford University Foundation Distinguished Creative Scholar Award, and the Radford University Distinguished Service Award.

Students in the college are themselves highly successful with many continuing on for graduate degrees at highly rated and nationally recognized programs. Students regularly present their research at a variety of state, regional, national, and international conferences in conjunction with faculty members, including the American Society of Criminology, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, The Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium, the Virginia Association of Teachers of English, the Phi Alpha Theta Conference, Southeastern Psychological Association, The Industrial/Organizational Psychology Graduate Student Conference, the American Mental Health Counseling Association, the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association, the Virginia Psychological Association, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship, and Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Southern Sociological Society, the National Communication Association, and many others. They are also recipients of a variety of honors and awards.

Undergraduates in the college may earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. The college offers bachelor’s degrees in 12 undergraduate majors, the master’s degree in four areas, and the Educational Specialist degree in School Psychology. Many of the majors offer several concentrations from which the student may choose. (These degrees are listed below.)

The School of Communication emphasizes the role of communication as central to the health and well-being of our nation, its media, institutions, organizations, groups, cultures, and individuals. The School supports students majoring in Communication who wish to concentrate in Public Relations or Communication Studies, or in Media Studies, for students, who wish to concentrate in Advertising, Journalism, or Production Technology.

The College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences includes eight academic departments, the Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts (non-teaching) major, and one school:

Criminal Justice
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Political Science
School of Communication

In addition to the programs listed above, there are fourteen specialized areas supported by the college, often in collaboration with other colleges:

The Health Humanities Minor allows students to engage in the interdisciplinary study of the lived aspects of health in all its forms—illness, medicine, public health, disability, caretaking—from a non-biomedical perspective. (See here .)

The Religious-Cultural Literacy for Healthcare Professions Minor prepares future healthcare workers with cultural competence in religious diversity and provides all students the opportunity to apply cultural knowledge about religions in practical professional settings.

The Interdisciplinary Minor in Forensic Studies is designed to provide a background in criminal investigation, criminal evidence, and criminalistics, allowing students to explore these fields as they relate to the criminal justice system. (See here .)

The Interdisciplinary Cinema and Screen Studies Minor, jointly supported by the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts, provides students with a solid foundation in the historical, critical, and aesthetic aspects found in the area of cinema. (See here .)

Students who desire to complement their foreign language skills with a cultural focus may obtain an Intercultural Studies minor. (See here .)

The minor in Leadership is an interdisciplinary course of study meant to complement any major on campus by introducing perspectives and competencies to empower students to practice leadership, exercise authority, and manage change in their roles as professionals and active citizens. (See here .)

The International Studies minor prepares students to participate in an increasingly interdependent world. The program emphasizes understanding other countries through studies of their arts, language, history, and geography, as well as their political and economic systems. (See here .)

The ROTC Program, staffed by Army commissioned and noncommissioned officers, offers students an opportunity for scholarships and a career in the regular Army, the Army Reserve, or the National Guard. This program offers a minor in Leadership and Military Science that is available to all university students. (See here .)

The Women’s and Gender Studies Minor is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on women, gender, and issues of diversity and (in)equality both locally and globally. (See here .)

The interdisciplinary minor in African American Studies explores and critically examines the unique cultural, political, economic, and historical experiences of African Americans.

In the Classical Humanities minor, students study language, literature, art, history, archaeology, and philosophy.

The Conservation Law Enforcement Minor educates students on the wildlife conservation principles relevant to crime and law enforcement, including American and international wildlife crime issues and the law enforcement response.

The Applied History Minor introduces students to the skills required for a variety of professions related to the practice of history – including Digital History which is a growing field that taps rapid advances in computing, software, and telecommunications.

The Legal Studies Minor provides students with the foundational writing and reasoning skills necessary to be successful in law school or in law-related careers while allowing students the flexibility to explore their interests. 

Both undergraduate and graduate programs within the college provide close student-faculty relationships designed to meet the needs of individual students.


Each student in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences is assigned an advisor. Students meet with that person for registration advising during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students are assigned a professional advisor, in the Advising Center or Academic Success Center, or a faculty advisor within their respective departments.

In addition, the Academic Success Center provides professional assistance for all students in the College and across the University. The Center’s staff provides support and guidance to those who have questions or concerns about such things as curricula, academic procedures, grade point calculations, referrals to other academic and student support services, or graduation requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to verify that all graduation requirements are met as specified by his or her program and the staff help support that process through a dynamic relationship.

Degree Requirements

All students majoring in fields of study in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences must meet university general education REAL requirements. (See here .)

Requirements of individual academic majors are listed under department headings.