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University of Houston. College of Arts and Sciences | University of Houston Libraries

Name: University of Houston. College of Arts and Sciences

Historical Note:

From its inception as a four-year institution in 1934 until the 1942-1943 academic year, the University of Houston consisted of the General College and the Junior College. All areas of academic study at the upper levels were pursued within the General College, while the Junior College provided more vocational and technical training. With the 1942-44 catalog, a new organizational plan was announced. This plan divided the General College into seven schools, based primarily on different academic disciplines.

The College of Arts and Sciences, created in 1942, consisted of three divisions: the Division of Cultural Arts, the Division of Sciences, and the Division of Social Sciences. The departments within the College of Arts and Sciences were as varied as the divisions, with students able to pursue both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in areas ranging from drama and music to mathematics and physics.

The College of Arts and Sciences continued as the central instructional unit of the University of Houston through the mid-1970s. The curricula encouraged students to explore many fields of intellectual interest, while examining one field in depth. In late 1972, President Philip Hoffman appointed a committee to investigate a possible reorganization of the university's administration. One area of investigation was the possible division of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The study found that the areas of responsibility of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences were "too broad," making the "offering of dynamic leadership to the college almost impossible because of the numerous departments and special programs, which report to this office." With the recommendations of the study group and President Hoffman, the Board of Regents authorized the reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1975 the College of Arts and Sciences was divided into three colleges: the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the College of Social Sciences.

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