Dec 02, 2022  
2017 - 2019 UTPB Undergraduate Catalog 
2017 - 2019 UTPB Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences

Michael Zavada, Ph.D., Dean
Linda Gail Ward, Ph.D., Associate Dean

For Information Contact (432) 552-2220


Michael S. Zavada, Ph.D. (University of Connecticut) has been Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since July, 2015. Dr. Zavada has previous served as a Dean for three years and as a department chair for 16 years in departments of Biological Sciences. He has been on the faculties of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg South Africa, University of Louisiana - Lafayette, Providence College, Rhode Island, East Tennessee State University Johnson City, and Seton Hall University, South orange, NJ. As a faculty member he has taught undergraduate and graduate levels courses in Biology, Botany, Evolution, Plant Taxonomy, Palynology, and Paleobotany. He has received about 4.5 million dollars in grants and has consistently published throughout his academic career.

Linda Gail Ward, Ph.D. (University of North Texas) has been Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since September of 2015. She holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration and has served as an executive administrator at Howard Payne University and Odessa College. Linda’s teaching field is Communication and has taught at the University of New Mexico, San Antonio College, HPU, OC and UTPB. She also has an enriching background as an Educational Consultant. Her consulting involvement has allowed her to travel across 4 Continents and 17 Countries. She has used her communication degree in jobs related to Teaching, Public Relations, Fund-raising, Ministry, and Non-Profit Executive Director duties. She continues her passion for teaching at UTPB and frequently presents at international, national, and state conferences. Dr. Ward is the Director of the Texas Science Scholars program at UTPB-CAS.

General Overview

The College of Arts and Sciences was formed in 1994 by combining the divisions of Behavioral Sciences, Humanities, Fine Arts, Science and Mathematics into distinct departments. In January 2007, the College was restructured into nine academic departments: Biology, History, Kinesiology, Literature and Languages, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Visual and Performing Arts. CAS offers 33 different academic programs leading toward both Undergraduate and Graduate degrees. It currently serves as the most comprehensive academic unit at UTPB which provides a liberal arts and sciences foundation for all undergraduate students as well as specialized degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The Departments, Chairs, Coordinators are listed below.

Departments and Chairs Disciplines and Coordinators

Dr. Gae Kovalick, Chair

Biology - Dr. Doug Spence
Pre-Med - Dr. Doug Spence

Literature and Languages
Dr. Rebecca Babcock, Chair

English - Dr. Rebecca Babcock
Spanish - Dr. Perla Abrego

Dr. Roland Spickermann, Chair

History - Dr. Roland Spickermann
Humanities - Dr. Roland Spickermann

Dr. James Eldridge, Chair

Kinesiology - Dr. James Eldridge

Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Dr. Paul Feit, Chair

Computer Science - Dr. Ilhyun Lee
Information Systems -  Dr. Ilhyun Lee
Mathematics - Dr. Paul Feit

Physical Sciences
Dr. Kyle Beran, Chair

Chemistry - Dr. Kyle Beran
Geology - Dr. Sumit Verma

Dr. Linda Montgomery, Chair

Psychology -Dr. Linda Montgomery


Social Sciences
Dr. Robert Perry, Chair

Criminology - Dr. Diana Bruns
Leadership - Dr. Robert Perry
Political Science - Dr. Taylor McMichael
Social Work - Dr. Kay Ketzenberger
Sociology - Dr. Joanna Hadjicostandi

Visual and Performing Arts
Dr. Rachel Harlow, Chair

Art - Mario Kiran
Communication - Dr. Michelle Pence
Drama - Dr. Shawn Watson
Music - Dr. Dan Keast


The mission of the College of Arts and Sciences is to offer academic programs that teach students the following: to know the importance of a Liberal Art’s Education in a diverse and complex world; to better understand the meaning of the student’s life; to become more sensitive to the meaning of other people’s lives; to increase the student’s range and complexity of information and data that make sense to the student by developing critical thinking skills; to teach the student to write and speak well enough to convey the special quality of their mind to others; to teach the student to explore the boundaries of their intellect; to seek truth, knowledge and wisdom; and to develop a good work ethic as productive adults.

Undergraduate Major Disciplines

The College of Arts and Sciences offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the following disciplines: Art, Communication, Criminology, English, History, Humanities, Leadership Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Spanish. The College offers the Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in the following disciplines: Athletic Training, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Geology, Information Systems, Kinesiology and Mathematics. The Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) is offered in applied arts and sciences disciplines. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is offered in Art. The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is offered in Social Work. the Bachelor of Music (BM) is offered in Music.

The College also provides a Pre-Professional Health Curriculum for students planning to enter medical, dental, optometry, pharmacy or veterinary schools. Students planning careers in these and other allied health fields are referred to the Biology section on pre-professional health programs in this catalog, and to faculty in Biology and Chemistry for advising. Students planning to attend law school are referred to the Pre-Law section of the catalog.

In addition to the University’s minimum general education core requirements for the BA and BS degrees, students must complete the specific major discipline’s degree requirements. The specific additional requirements for these disciplines and various options may be found in the academic discipline sections of this catalog.

For the BA, BFA, BS, and BSW degrees, a minimum of 120 semester credit hours is required. The degrees in all majors require that at least 48 hours must be taken at the upper division (junior and senior) level except the BA in Communication and the BAAS, both of which require only 42 upper level hours. Depending on the major, at least 18-30 credit hours must be taken within the major at the upper level. Individual disciplines may set additional and more specific requirements for their respective degrees. This information can be found in the academic discipline sections of this catalog. Enrollment in upper level courses in the major is permitted only after the student has completed all lower-division (freshman and sophomore) prerequisites in the major.


Students majoring in a discipline within the College must complete a minor with the exception of those seeking the following: the double major, a second bachelor’s degree, or a concurrent second bachelor’s degree; the BA in Humanities; the BA in Art (the all level teaching certification program only); the BFA in Art, and BSW in Social Work. A minor consists of a minimum of 18 credit hours, at least nine of which must be upper division. No courses may be counted simultaneously toward the major and minor. Each discipline specifies the requirements for the minor, and there are interdisciplinary minors in Leadership Studies, Bilingual/ESL, Energy Studies, Latin American Studies, Multicultural Studies, Special Populations and Women’s Studies. Although a student may not major in non-degree programs such as Fine Arts, Geography and Drama, students may minor in these fields. The specific requirements for these minors may be found in the academic discipline sections of this catalog.


All freshman and sophomore students in the College of Arts and Sciences will be advised by professional advisors in the Academic Advising Center. Juniors and seniors will be assigned a faculty advisor in their chosen major and will be advised by that advisor for their last two years at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

All incoming transfer students in the College of Arts and Sciences will be initially advised by professional advisors in the Academic Advising Center. If the incoming transfer student is a freshman or sophomore, the student will be advised by the professional advisors until the student is a junior at which time a faculty advisor in the student’s chosen major will be assigned. If the incoming transfer student is a junior or senior, after initial advising by a professional advisor in the Academic Advising Center, a faculty advisor will be assigned.

All students should meet their advisor once during each semester. At that meeting the advisor will update the student’s degree plan and discuss the courses the student should take during the subsequent semester. In this way, the student can complete his or her degree in a timely and efficient manner.

A student who enters the University and decides to defer declaring a major will be advised by the Academic Advising Office. Once the student declares a major and is a junior or senior, the Academic Advising Office will assign a faculty advisor in that major field.

Prospective high school and community college students are encouraged to contact the Academic Advising Office for assistance in planning high school and lower division transfer programs or to learn more information about specific major programs and career opportunities.

Freshman or sophomore students in online programs will be advised online by professional advisors in the Academic Advising Center. The student must initiate advising by emailing

Teacher Certification and TExES Requirements

Students who seek teaching certification are subject to additional course requirements and procedures that are described in the College of Education section of this catalog. The Teacher Certification Officer in the College of Education should be consulted for the purpose of generating a separate teacher certification plan.

Graduate Programs

At the graduate level, master’s degrees are offered in eleven Arts & Science fields. The Master of Arts (MA) degree is offered in English, History, Mathematics, Psychology, and Spanish; the Master of Science (MS) is offered in Biology, Computer Science, Criminal Justice Administration, Geology and Kinesiology; and the Master of Public Administration (MPA) is offered in Public Administration under Leadership Studies. The specific admissions and course requirements for these Master’s Degrees may be found in The University of Texas of the Permian Basin’s Graduate Studies Catalog.

Department of Biology

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Department of History and Humanities

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Department of Kinesiology

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Department of Literature and Languages

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Department of Mathematical and Computing Sciences

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Department of Physical Sciences

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Department of Psychology

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Department of Social Sciences

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Department of Visual and Performing Arts

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Special Courses