May 13, 2021  
2016-2017 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Programs

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Department of Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences offers four master’s degrees and two doctorates. The Ph.D. in Zoology will be consolidated in 2018 with the Ph.D. in Biology.

The department has no general requirement of a foreign language. However, it may be necessary for a student to demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language in certain programs if necessary for research purposes. The student’s advisory committee will make recommendations concerning language options, statistics, and basic work in other sciences.

Professional Science Master’s Degree

The Professional Science Master’s (P.S.M.) degree is a two-year graduate degree designed to allow students to pursue advanced training and excel in science while simultaneously developing valued business skills. The PSM degree qualifies students for employment in the public or private sector and offers two tracks: (1) Ecology and Environmental Sustainability taught through the Department of Biological Sciences and (2) Natural Resource Management offered in the Department of Natural Resources Management within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Management.

The degree consists of 15 to 19 hours of required courses (including either a 6-hour internship or a 3-hour capstone course) plus 15 hours of elective courses. In addition, students will be required to complete a series of online workplace skills modules (e.g., economics, ethics, interviewing skills, human resource management, conflict management, team building). Students accepted to the program but found to be deficient in preparation for taking graduate courses will be required to take leveling courses. The P.S.M. degree differs from a conventional M.S. degree in requiring an internship or capstone experience in lieu of a research-based thesis. Capstone courses will be taken by those already employed.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Students seeking advanced degrees must take the diagnostic examination in their area of specialization and in two other non-specialty areas after arrival in early spring or fall. These examinations are based on the undergraduate curriculum and are also offered in late spring. Students who fail the diagnostic examination in their specialty area will be given a second and final opportunity to pass this examination. Those students whose academic background emphasizes biochemistry may opt for a series of three biological chemistry examinations rather than taking exams in two non-specialty areas.

Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures

Before beginning a graduate program in this department, students should consult the graduate advisor of the particular program concerning departmental admission procedures and degree requirements. Admission to the Graduate School requires departmental recommendation as well as approval by the graduate dean.

Department of Economics

Students seeking a degree in economics should consult with the graduate advisor or the chairperson of the department.

Department of English

Before beginning a graduate program in English or technical communication, students must consult the Director of Graduate Studies concerning departmental admission procedures and degree requirements. Admission to the Graduate School requires departmental recommendation as well as approval by the Graduate Dean. Information on the requirements is available at

Department of Environmental Toxicology

Environmental toxicology offers a graduate program within the College of Arts and Sciences as well as fixed and variable credit courses for undergraduates. The courses are designed to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about and conduct scientific research in environmental toxicology at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health. Generally, a background in the natural, physical, or health sciences will provide the necessary preparation for completion of these courses. Interested students should contact faculty within the department.

The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) integrates the efforts of Texas Tech University, the School of Law, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in a joint venture to assess the impacts of toxic chemicals and other stressors on the natural environment. Attracting graduate students at both the master’s and doctoral level, TIEHH includes faculty with backgrounds in biological sciences, medicine, epidemiology, biostatistics, engineering, chemistry, computer science, law, mathematics, pharmacology, physiology, and wildlife biology.

Because of the multidisciplinary nature of environmental toxicology, prospective students should contact the graduate advisor to discuss prerequisites and prior training. Generally, a strong background in the natural, physical, or health sciences will provide the necessary preparation. Students interested in pursuing a degree must complete online applications to the Graduate School ( and to the Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program (

The M.S. program (36 hours) and the Ph.D. program (72 hours) are composed of coursework emphasizing the principles of toxicology, the environmental fate of chemicals, statistical approaches to study design, data handling, and data analysis, and seminars in environmental toxicology. Supplemental coursework, research, and thesis or dissertation hours are chosen by the student with the guidance of their committee, allowing for focus on the student’s particular research emphasis. Students pursuing either degree must perform an original research project, prepare a written thesis or dissertation, and defend the work in a public defense.

Department of Geosciences

Master’s degree candidates may specialize in areas within geology, atmospheric science, geography, and geophysics. At the doctoral level, research concentrations for the major in geosciences are available in the following:

  • Sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, petroleum geology
  • Low temperature geochemistry, igneous petrology, high temperature geochemistry, and stable-isotope geochemistry
  • Paleobiology and biostratigraphy
  • Geophysics, structural geology, tectonics
  • Integrated studies in earth and atmospheric sciences

Details concerning the specific makeup of these groups are available from the department.

General degree requirements are those of the Graduate School. Admitted students are strongly encouraged to associate themselves with a faculty member or members by the end of their first semester in residence. The instructor(s) will serve as the student’s principal advisor and will be responsible for the student’s degree program.

The department encourages students with bachelor’s degrees from other sciences to enter the geosciences graduate program. Required leveling work will be determined on an individual basis, primarily by the staff member(s) in the student’s field of interest. A graduate minor may be taken either inside or outside this department.

Department of History

Information about departmental admission standards, prerequisites, and other matters dealing with graduate study in history may be acquired by consulting the departmental website ( or by contacting the department’s director of graduate studes or graduate studies coordinator.

Department of Kinesiology and Sport Management

The department offers a Master of Science in Kinesiology, a Master of Science in Sport Management.

Students interested in exercise physiology may obtain a Ph.D. with a concentration or specialization in exercise physiology in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Students interested in a program in rehabilitation sciences may obtain a Ph.D. with a concentration or specialization in rehabilitation sciences at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Allied Health Sciences. Students interested in exercise and sport psychology may obtain a Ph.D. with a concentration or specialization in exercise and sport psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership within the College of Education.

Dual J.D./M.S. Program (pending THECB approval). In collaboration with the TTU School of Law, a student may complete a dual degree program comprised of 114 credit hours (with 12 hours shared between each degree for an actual total of 90 credit hours) and graduate with a J.D. and M.S. in Sport Management. This year-round, full-time program can be completed in six academic semesters and two summers.

Master of Business Administration and Other Master’s Degrees. Rawls College, in association with other colleges and schools, offers programs that enable students to obtain selected master’s degrees and the 42-hour M.B.A. Applications should be made through and approved by the respective colleges involved in these programs. These dual programs require 12 to 24 fewer hours than if both degrees were pursued separately.

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Students seeking an advanced degree in mathematics or statistics should consult with the graduate director of the department before enrolling in any courses. The department offers a number of graduate courses that are suitable for students who wish to complete a minor in mathematics or statistics.  

Department of Philosophy

The master’s degree program is aimed at providing a broad background in philosophy while encouraging complementary work in an approved minor field of study.

The student may choose to complete 24 hours of graduate coursework plus 6 hours of thesis research. Alternatively, the student may complete 33 hours of graduate coursework and then take an oral exit examination over a significant research paper. Up to one third (but no more than 9 hours) of the student’s coursework may consist of graduate courses in disciplines other than philosophy, subject to the approval of the departmental graduate advisor.

For specific information on admission to the program, prospective students should contact the Department of Philosophy and the Graduate School. Students from fields other than philosophy are encouraged to apply, although they may be required to complete a certain amount of philosophy leveling work during their first year of enrollment.

The department also offers a Graduate Certificate in Ethics. This requires four courses in ethics on the graduate level.

Department of Physics and Astronomy

A core curriculum consisting of PHYS 5301 , PHYS 5303 , PHYS 5305 , and  PHYS 5306  forms the nucleus of the master’s and Ph.D. programs and is the basis for the master’s examination and the Ph.D. preliminary examination. A student selecting any of the degree options may designate a minor consisting of a minimum of 6 hours of course credit in a related area and satisfy any additional requirements of the minor department. These 6 hours may be taken in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Full-time study towards the master’s degree should be completed in about two years.

All graduate students must enroll in PHYS 5101   for the first three semesters. All students must enroll in PHYS 5274 if this course has not already been completed. PHYS 5307  and PHYS 5322  are tools courses that develop necessary skills for use in other courses and in research. They should be taken early.

Department of Political Science

For the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, the department emphasizes and encourages specialization in the following areas of political science: American institutions and behavior, international relations, comparative politics, and public administration. In addition, the department offers graduate courses in methodology, public policy, and strategic studies

To be admitted to the M.A. or Ph.D. program, the student must submit a department application form along with three letters of reference, a curriculum vitae, and a statement of purpose. In addition, the student must complete the Graduate School admission process, including the Graduate School application form, submission of GRE scores, and submission of official transcripts showing prior graduate and undergraduate work. International students also must submit evidence of English language proficiency. Students applying to any of these programs should have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in undergraduate and graduate work. M.A. and Ph.D. students must develop their courses of study in consultation with the department’s director of political science graduate programs.

Department of Psychological Sciences

The Department of Psychological Sciences admits students to and provides instruction in three Ph.D. programs and a Graduate Certificate in Psychological Methods and Analysis (pending THECB approval).

Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work

The department offers graduate degrees in all three programs: Master of Arts in Sociology, Master of Arts in Anthropology and Master of Social Work (M.S.W.). In sociology and anthropology, the master of arts (M.A.) degree programs are designed to provide broad training for students who wish to enter a Ph.D. program, prepare for undergraduate or community college teaching, or pursue a nonteaching career for which master’s-level training is appropriate and useful. Both programs emphasize training in basic theory and methods. The M.S.W. is a professional degree program that prepares students for advanced social work practice.

Admission. General admission requirements are those established by the Graduate School. The best preparation is an undergraduate major in the same field or equivalent. However, students from other fields are also encouraged to apply. More specific information regarding admission procedures or other aspects of the graduate programs may be obtained from the sociology, anthropology, or social work graduate advisor and the department website.

Program Offerings & Course Descriptions


    Intra-institutional Dual DegreeMaster’sDoctoralGraduate MinorGraduate Certificates

    The director of each certificate, in consultation with the director of graduate studies, will develop and specify a program of study appropriate for each student. If students decide to pursue studies beyond the certificate level, course credit earned toward the certificate can be considered toward a graduate degree.

    Graduate certificates are intended to meet the supplemental post-baccalaureate education needs of professionals. A graduate certificate program is a set of courses that provides in-depth knowledge in a subject matter. The set of courses provides a coherent knowledge base.

    A student applying for a graduate certificate program will be admitted with a “GCRT” designation. Some certificate programs require the GRE or GMAT, and some do not. To take any graduate course, all prerequisite courses (including undergraduate courses) must be taken and necessary background obtained before attempting the course. A student will be required to have a baccalaureate degree to start a graduate certificate program. There is only one exception to having a baccalaureate degree. If an undergraduate student from Texas Tech University has a 3.0 GPA or better and is within 12 hours of completion of a baccalaureate degree, the student may start taking graduate courses toward a graduate certificate. The student must have a baccalaureate degree to receive a graduate certificate.

    Graduate credits earned while the student is enrolled in a graduate certificate program may not be applied toward a graduate degree unless the student completes the GRE or GMA T and enrolls as a fully accredited graduate student. After taking the GRE or GMA T and fulfilling all other admission requirements, a student may use the courses taken for a graduate certificate degree if the courses fulfill the requirements of the program of study for the degree.

    Graduate students may pursue a graduate certificate that is outside their graduate program of study. No more than one transfer course (if approved by the advisor of the graduate certificate program and the Graduate School) will be allowed for a graduate certificate program. If a graduate student is in good standing and dropping out of the graduate program, the student may receive a graduate certificate if the necessary courses have been taken. To receive a graduate certificate, a student must have a GPA of 3.0 or better. No grade lower than a C will be accepted.

    Graduate ConcentrationDoctoral Track


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