Ohio University College of Arts and Sciences

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The College of Arts and Sciences of Ohio University is one of eleven colleges at Ohio University, centrally located in Wilson Hall on the College Green in Athens, Ohio.[1] The college is often referred to as Ohio University's oldest college, but that reference is not entirely precise. Whether or not the college can claim to be the university's oldest, it does remain at the institution's core.[2][3][4][5] The college currently features eighteen organized academic departments.[6]


The first diplomas awarded by the university, two in all, were Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees. The university's first course offerings included Latin, Greek, rhetoric, English grammar, geography, logic, philosophy, literature, classics, astronomy, and various branches of mathematics, all of which still are offered in the College of Arts and Sciences. But since a liberal arts curriculum was all the university offered, the College of Arts and Sciences did not exist as a discrete entity until the university grew to include other colleges; it became a truly separate college—the College of Liberal Arts—in 1902.[2 1]

In the autumn term of 1902, the State Normal College of Ohio University was established and enrolled its first students, and the liberal arts curriculum provided its academic foundation. Normal college students attended the same classes and functions as liberal arts college students. In 1906, a state legislator, Edwin Lybarger, introduced a bill that threatened to fund only the normal schools at Ohio and Miami Universities. The pitched battle that ensued included accusations that Ohio State University professors had posed as Ohio University alumni in support of the measure. In the end, President Alston Ellis won the day, and state support was restored for the liberal arts missions at both Ohio and Miami Universities. In 1911 a science hall was dedicated, supporting an increasingly important focus on scientific endeavor.

Charles W. Super, the first dean of the College of Liberal Arts, was succeeded in 1907 by Edwin Chubb, who served in that capacity until his retirement in 1936. During Professor Chubb's thirty-six-year career with the university, he was head of the English department and served as acting president on two occasions, once in 1920 on the death of Alston Ellis and again in 1934 on the death of E.B. Bryan. Professor Chubb, described as “urbane and witty,” was cited in the 1928 Athena as an advocate of high standards of scholarship. The yearbook article says, “His loyalty to the University is coupled with a secret silent devotion to his students, who remember him long afterward for the length of his service and the breadth of his sympathy.”

President Herman Gerlach James created the College of Arts and Sciences in 1936 when he organized the university into five degree-granting entities to eliminate duplication of efforts. The College of Arts and Sciences was under the leadership of Dean Leslie A. Flemming from 1996 until about 2004. At the bicentennial, the college possessed nineteen departments offering students a choice of twenty-six majors, twenty-eight minors, seven certificate programs, and fifty-seven career related programs. The college has twenty programs that lead to master's degrees and eight that lead to doctoral degrees. To help meet the needs of students living in an interconnected world, the college has offered thirty-eight-plus education abroad programs in twenty-eight-plus countries.


All Ohio University students depend on the College of Arts and Sciences for a range of courses in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences as the foundation for any degree they pursue within the university. Faculty in this central College contribute substantial amounts of literature through Ohio University Press and imprint Swallow Press. The College features:

  • African American Studies
  • Anthropology and Sociology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Classics and World Religions
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature
  • Environmental and Plant Biology
  • Geography
  • Geological Sciences
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Languages
  • Philosophy[7]
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology


  1. ^ "Wilson Hall, College Green, Ohio University". Ohio University. 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "American Collegiate Populations: A Test of the Traditional View. Colin B. Burke". New York University Press. 1982. 
  3. ^ "…Schools and the Means of Education Shall Forever Be Encouraged: A History of Education in the Old Northwest, 1787-1880. Paul H. Mattingly and Edward W. Stevens". Ohio University Libraries. 1987. 
  4. ^ "The History of Ohio University. Thomas N. Hoover". Ohio University Press Magazine. 1954. 
  5. ^ "The Genesis of a University, the Ohio University, Athens. By Willis Broughton". Magazine of American History. 1893. 
  6. ^ "Ohio University College of Arts & Sciences". Ohio University. 2013. Retrieved 2013.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ "Philosophy Master of Arts Programs". The Philosophical Gourmet. 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2013. 
  1. ^ Ohio University 1804-2004: Spirit of a Singular Place. Betty Hollow. 2004.

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