Florida State University College of Arts and Sciences

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College of Arts and Sciences
Florida State University Psychology Courtyard.jpg
Type Public
Established 1905
Dean Quinn Huckaba[1]
Students 10,959[2]
Location Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.
Website www.artsandsciences.fsu.edu

The College of Arts and Sciences, the largest of the 16 colleges at Florida State University, contains the majors of nearly 11,000 students and is made up of 18 departments, nine interdisciplinary programs and 11 centers and institutes.[3] Nearly 2,000 degrees are issued to graduates each academic year. The college encompasses the fields of social sciences, liberal arts, mathematics, sciences and interdisciplinary studies.


Longmire Building

The College of Arts and Sciences is the oldest college at the university, having existed since 1905. Though it has awarded bachelor's degrees since its founding, the first master's degree was not offered until 1908. The next year, the university, then called the Florida Female College, was renamed Florida State College for Women and issued its first master's degree under that name in 1909. Doctorates were given out by the College of Arts and Sciences beginning in 1952.

The college is housed in several buildings including Dodd Hall, the Bellamy Building, the Psychology Building and the Williams Building. The dean of the College of Arts and Sciences is located in the Longmire Building.

In July 2011, Quinn Huckaba, previously associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, became interim dean. He then was formally named dean in October 2012.[4]

National rankings[edit]

The James E. King Life Sciences Building

U.S. News & World Report (2015 Edition)[5]

  • Overall - 95th among national universities
  • Clinical Psychology - 47th overall
  • Physics - 44th overall
  • Chemistry - 49th overall
  • Psychology - 60th overall
  • Math - 73rd overall
  • Earth Sciences - 77th overall
  • English - 82nd overall
  • Biological Sciences - 93rd overall

In 2015, the online computer science bachelor's degree program was ranked 1st among both public and private universities by BestColleges.com[6]

Department of History[edit]

The first master's degree was awarded in 1927 and the first PhD in 1962.

The Department of History includes faculty in Napoleonic history, Eastern European history, war and society, history of science, Latin American/Caribbean history, and Atlantic world history. Faculty members include Robert Gellately, the Earl Ray Beck Professor of History.[7]

Biological sciences[edit]

The Department of Biological Science includes faculty in cellular and molecular biology, computational biology, evolution and ecology, and neuroscience. In 2008, the James E. King Life Sciences Building opened, giving the Department of Biological Science a new home.

Chemistry and biochemistry[edit]

Pacific Yew tree — original source of Taxol. As Pacific yew trees were harvested for the drug tamoxifen faster than they could grow back, a crisis emerged in the supply of a beneficial anti-cancer medication. FSU's semisynthetic Taxol greatly improved the supply of this anti-cancer drug.

Research in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry ranges from analytical through organic.

A five-story 168,000-square-foot (15,600 m2) Chemistry Building opened on May 2, 2008.

Also having worked in the field of materials science and nanoscience at FSU is the Nobel laureate Sir Harry Kroto, the co-discoverer of the C60 "buckyball", who retired from FSU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2015.[8]

Taxol — anti-cancer drug
A significant achievement at the university was chemistry professor and synthetic organic chemist Robert A. Holton's synthesizing of tamoxifen on Dec. 9, 1993. The synthezized version, Taxol, has been used as an effective breast cancer and ovarian cancer treatment.[citation needed]

Holton and his organic chemistry team won a race to develop a cheaper semisynthetic version (Holton Taxol total synthesis). In 1993, Bristol-Myers Squibb began marketing Taxol, ultimately earning more than $1.6 billion by the year 2000.

Before the drug company's exclusive license expired, Florida State earned $351 million in royalties. In addition, polymer chemist and professor, Joseph Schlenoff, holds 30 patents relating to his research into multilayers and hydrogels.[9]

This is an image of the FSU Williams Building, which houses the majority of the English major classes.


The Department of English at FSU is a nationally ranked program[10] that encompasses many majors and produces a number of journals such as the Kudzu Review, The Southeast Review, and The Journal of Early Modern Studies.[11] Comprising a wide range of topics, the faculty include winners of Guggenheim, National Endowment for the Arts, Fulbright, and Newberry Library fellowships.[12][13]

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science[edit]


Founded in 1949, the FSU meteorology program is the largest and most complete meteorology program in the southeastern United States, with 17 faculty members, over 85 graduate students and approximately 200 undergraduate students.[14]


Diagram of the 45 tesla hybrid magnet at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory

The Department of Physics, comprising more than 60 faculty and over 100 graduate students, is a major research department, offering graduate programs that have been ranked amongst the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.[15]

In terms of major facilities, the department has its own superconducting linear particle accelerator at which experiments ranging from precision atomic measurements to analysis of rare-isotope collisions are performed. The department maintains active groups working on experiments at Fermilab, CERN, Brookhaven National Laboratory, TJNAF, Argonne National Laboratory, and several others. Indirectly, through current director Dr. Gregory Boebinger as well as his predecessor, laboratory founder Dr. Jack Crow, the department operates the main complex of the multi discipline National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, located near campus at FSU's Innovation Park.


The Psychology Building at FSU opened in 2008.

FSU's Psychology Department has served as an education and research institution in the university for more than 100 years and has the distinction of being the first psychological laboratory in Florida.[citation needed] Founded in 1902, the program now offers over one hundred courses each semester and has nearly 70 faculty members.[16][17] The department chair is Jeanette Taylor, Ph.D.[18]

The department is the center of research in many areas with more than 30 research laboratories and $2 million in new grants being awarded in 2015.[19][20] In 2015, PhD program in clinical psychology was ranked 47th by U.S. News & World Report[21] and the department itself was ranked 60th.[22]


  1. ^ "Dean and Associate Deans". Archived from the original on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.ir.fsu.edu/Factbooks/2014-2015/Enrollments_College.pdf[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-02-21. Retrieved 2016-03-03. 
  4. ^ Elish, Jill. "News Archive". Huckaba named dean of College of Arts and Sciences. Florida State University. Retrieved 17 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Florida State University Rankings U.S. News & World Report, accessed May, 2015
  6. ^ https://www.fsu.edu/highlights/rankings.html
  7. ^ "Robert Gellately". Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  8. ^ "Sir Harold W. Kroto". Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "Joseph Schlenoff, the Leo Mandelkern Professor of Polymer Science at Florida State, has received the 2013 Florida Award". Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "English Department News". NRC Ranks FSU Among Nation's Top English Departments. Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  11. ^ "English Department". Faculty Index. Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "David Kirby". Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  13. ^ "Elizabeth Spiller". Florida State University. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2007-07-06.  Florida State University Meteorology Department, Academic Programs webpage Retrieved on 5-03-2007.
  15. ^ [1] Florida State University - College Highlights and Selected National Rankings Retrieved on 5-01-2007.
  16. ^ Scarborough, Baron. "PSYCHOLOGY: 1900 - 1989". A Brief History. Florida State University. Archived from the original on 27 March 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Faculty Index". Florida State University. Retrieved 11 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Administration". The Florida State University Psychology. Florida State University. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  19. ^ "Laboratories". The Florida State University Psychology. Florida State University Psychology Department. Archived from the original on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  20. ^ Taylor, Jeanette. "Psychology News" (PDF). Florida State University Psychology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 December 2015. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  21. ^ "US News & World Report". Grad Schools: Florida State University. US News & World Report. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 
  22. ^ "U.S. News Best Colleges Rankings". US News & World Report. US News & World Report. Retrieved 11 December 2015. 

External links[edit]