Skip to Content

College Distinctions

Dr. Kent Reilly holds a Mississippian artifactDepartment of Anthropology
Uncovering remarkable civilizations

The Department of Anthropology has one of the state's largest and most respected undergraduate programs in anthropology, offering training in socio-cultural and biological anthropology, archaeology, and forensics. The MA in Anthropology offers specializations in primatology and forensic anthropology, archaeology and iconography, and cultural anthropology. Both undergraduate and graduate students can work with faculty on local research projects and participate in field schools in Texas, Mexico, and Belize. Ancient Maya artifacts uncovered by students excavating in Belize are on display in the Belize National Museum. The Center for Archaeological Studies' primary goal is to provide training and research opportunities to Texas State University students who wish to pursue a career in applied anthropology. The Center for the Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America offers students the opportunity to conduct archaeology projects for Texas businesses and government. sponsors art exhibits and annual conferences on Maya hieroglyphics and Native American art and symbolism. The Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State (FACTS) provides graduate-level training and forensic anthropological recovery and identification services and workshops to Texas law enforcement agencies.

Award-winning poet Cyrus CassellsDepartment of English
Creative writing program is one of the nation's "rising stars"

By almost every measure, the Department of English is the largest academic department at Texas State, and its faculty include winners of many prestigious literary and teaching prizes. Undergraduates can earn degrees emphasizing literature, teaching, creative writing, and professional writing, and the department offers master's degrees in literature, technical communication, and creative writing. The MFA Program in Creative Writing, recognized by the Associated Writing Programs as a "rising star" among the nation's elite creative writing programs, oversees a writer-in-residence at the Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, a National Literary Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The MFA program also hosts the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing, held by well-known American poets and novelists.


Elementary school students learn about geography from a Texas State instructorDepartment of Geography
Nationally recognized program; award-winning faculty 

The Department of Geography is home to the nation’s largest undergraduate and graduate geography programs. Many faculty have been recognized as the best in the nation by professional geography associations. The department supports a number of research centers and offers certificate programs in geographic information systems and water resource policy. The department offers bachelor's and master's degrees in such specialties as geographic education, resource and environmental studies, and urban and regional planning. The PhD program, which awards degrees in environmental geography, geographic education, and geographic information science, is highly ranked by the National Academy of Sciences. The department has the nation's only endowed chair in geography education—the Jesse H. Jones Chair.


Taylor-Murphy Hall, home of the Department of HistoryDepartment of History
National recognition for excellence in graduate education

The Department of History offers programs leading to BA, MA and MEd degrees. The highly successful graduate program—which offers studies in United States, Latin American, European, and Public History—is ranked by the American Historical Association in the top 15 percent of American universities in the number and quality of master's students that it prepares for doctoral programs at prestigious schools. The department's flourishing Center for Texas Music History, which published the Journal of Texas Music History and the compact-disk series Travelin' Texas, is dedicated to the scholarly study and preservation of Texas' popular music. The Public History Program has successfully worked with federal, state, and local government agencies and private institutions to find students internship and employment opportunities. The department is the institutional sponsor for the World History Association of Texas.


Dr. Sharon Ugalde displays art inspired by Spanish poetryDepartment of Modern Languages
International leadership in teaching with technology

The Department of Modern Languages offers undergraduate degrees in Spanish, French, and German, an MA in Spanish, plus courses in Arabic, American Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Latin, and Portuguese. Intensive study-abroad experiences are available in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Spain. The department also offers internship opportunities for international business students in France under the auspices of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and in Monterrey, Mexico in conjunction with the Latin American Business Certificate Program in Texas State's McCoy College of Business. Students of French are selected annually by the French Ministry of Education to be among the 1,500 American students teaching English in French primary and secondary schools. The department is also known as the home of CALICO, the international organization devoted to the use of technology in foreign-language teaching.


Dr. Rebecca Raphael, Department of PhilosophyDepartment of Philosophy
Unique approach to teaching critical thinking

The Department of Philosophy teaches the important philosophical ideas and critical methods of inquiry that lead to the BA in Philosophy. The department has inaugurated a Dialogue Series to enhance instruction in critical thinking in the introductory course. Each semester, the Dialogue Room hosts more than 60 dialogues presented by experts from around the country and by faculty from all colleges at Texas State. The department offers undergraduate minors in philosophy and in value studies and contributes six courses in religion to the interdisciplinary Minor in Religious Studies, which the department supervises.


Political Science Professor Dr. Bill Stouffer at the Texas CapitolDepartment of Political Science
Prize-winning MPA students;
Texas' only MA program in Legal Studies

The Department of Political Science, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees in political science and public administration, is dedicated to helping students develop the decision-making skills necessary in government and other social and economic institutions. The department offers a graduate-level Mediation Certificate, a graduate-level Paralegal Studies Certificate, and Texas' only master's degree in Legal Studies—one of only seven in the nation. Students in the department's Master of Public Adminstration program consistently win national prizes for their research papers. The department houses the prestigious William P. Hobby Center for Public Service, which trains public and non-profit managers for outstanding public service.


Dr. Randall Osborne and students discuss a collaborative research projectDepartment of Psychology
Strong commitment to mentoring students

The Department of Psychology, with more than 1,000 majors, offers a bachelor's degree with minors in psychology, forensic psychology, and sports psychology. The department is also building a successful master's degree program in health psychology. The faculty has a strong reputation for undergraduate mentoring and collaborative research with students. Students and faculty conduct research and present papers at the regional and national meetings of prestigious professional groups such as the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. Students in the program learn with professionals through internships in hospitals and rehabilitation centers in Central Texas.


Student wins award for research in Department of SociologyDepartment of Sociology
National distinction in teaching

The Department of Sociology is one of the few departments nationwide to have won the American Sociological Association's Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award. The department offers bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology and applied sociology. Award-winning faculty conduct research in fields such as gender and the workplace, child/adolescent health, racism, industrial organization, sports and leisure, teaching strategies, and assessment. The innovative Master's degree in Applied Sociology trains graduates to apply skills in program evaluation, data analysis, policy development, organizational needs assessment, and grant writing to problems in business, government, and non-profit agencies. Each semester, the department provides more than 30 undergraduate students in applied sociology with outstanding internship experiences in Texas, other states, and overseas.


Sacre Coeur, ParisCenter for International Studies
Outstanding interdisciplinary training for international careers

The Center for International Studies has been called—by both business and government leaders—“the best education in international studies in the Southwest.” The interdisciplinary academic program, which offers bachelor's and master's degrees, draws from courses in 31 departments across campus and prepares students for internationally focused careers in the U.S. and abroad. The center offers a variety of co-curricular activities including foreign films, fine arts exhibits, and workshops, and it receives foreign grants to host lecturers and workshops on international affairs. Students also participate in internships in several European cities.


Center Director Dr. Sandra Mayo with studentsCenter for Diversity and Gender Studies
Exploring new perspectives in higher education

The Center for Diversity and Gender Studies administers both the U.S. Ethnic Studies minor at the undergraduate level and the Women's Studies minor at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The minor in Ethnic studies provides the framework for exploring the history, creative expressions, and voices previously excluded by the traditional approaches to higher education. Students can choose to concentrate in African American, Native American and/or Latino Studies. The minor in Women's Studies draws on recent scholarship on women and gender, enabling students to consider the significance of gender. The center also helps prepare students to work and live in a pluralistic society by providing faculty with the resources for offering an interdisciplinary curriculum that addresses race, class, gender and ethnicity. The Center collaborates with other departments, student and community organizations sponsoring multicultural and gender-based initiatives and offers lecture series on gender and racial issues.


Nuestra senora de las iguanas, photo by Graciela IturbideThe Center for the Study of the Southwest
Promoting the cultural legacy of the American Southwest

The Center for the Study of the Southwest is known as the premier program promoting understanding of the cultural legacy of the American Southwest through teaching, research, historic preservation, and public programming. The Center offers an 18-hour minor in Southwestern Studies, focusing on the richness and diversity of the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico through intercultural studies that examine the region's people, institutions, history, and physical and cultural ecology. In 2001, the Center was named the National Endowment for the Humanities Southwest Regional Humanities Center – one of only eight such centers in the U.S. charged with transmitting a region’s cultural heritage to future generations.