Office of the Dean:
Dr. Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D., University of Missouri
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Academic and Student Affairs:
Sarah Fishman, Ph.D., Harvard University
Associate Dean, Graduate Affairs and Technology:
Catherine Patterson, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Associate Dean, Faculty and Research:
Anadeli Bencomo, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh
Director of Communications:
Toni Mooney Smith, MS, Northwestern University
402 Agnes Arnold Hall
Objectives and Mission
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is a dynamic academic environment dedicated to the study of human creativity and society, as well as our mental and physical capabilities and conditions.
The largest and most diverse of the 12 colleges at the University of Houston, CLASS is home to 13 schools and departments, encompassing the creative arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Undergraduate and graduate majors cover the full-range of the human experience - from Anthropology to Human Space Exploration Sciences. The College also offers social and cultural analysis in African American, Mexican American, Women’s, Gender & Sexuality and other interdisciplinary studies programs.
CLASS extends its scholarship to the university, City of Houston and nation through its policy, research and cultural centers, which include the Hobby School of Public Affairs, and the University Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic.
The College’s goal is to stimulate and expand students’ cultural, mental and physical explorations through rich course offerings, learning abroad programs and campus events. We encourage students to delve into the questions of life while building critical and analytical skills that animate professions and launch successful careers.
Our 345 permanent faculty members educate nearly 10,000 undergraduate majors and minors and 1,200 graduate students, preparing them for future studies and professional achievements.
By accessing and using new communication and research tools, CLASS students increase their reasoning skills, cultural awareness, aesthetic appreciation and ethical judgement. That foundation gives them the capacity to pursue their passions.
CLASS graduates are tomorrow’s economists, journalists, diplomats, business leaders, professors, lawyers, nurses, and doctors. Whatever they choose to do in life, CLASS graduates are prepared to make meaningful contributions to multi-cultural societies and global economies.
CLASS offers several scholarships at the college and department level. Contact the Office of the Dean for more information or visit the CLASS Web site www.class.uh.edu. For departmental scholarships contact the individual departments.
Scholastic and Honorary Societies
Alpha Epsilon Rho
Alpha Epsilon Rho, the National Honorary Broadcasting Society with chapters on more than 100 major campuses in the United States, is open to all broadcasting and film students with a minimum 3.00 cumulative grade point average. Alumni are accepted for membership, and professional memberships are offered to faculty and interested people in the business community.
The objectives of this society are to encourage and reward scholarship and accomplishments among broadcasting students, and high-level accomplishments in the art and science of broadcasting, by both students and industry professionals, to promote the advancement of broadcasting education to establish meaningful communication between students and professional broadcasters, and to foster integrity in the use of the powerful instruments of radio, television, and film.
Alpha Kappa Delta
Alpha Kappa Delta, an international honorary society, exists to promote interest in the study of sociology, research of social problems, and other social and intellectual activities that will lead to improvement in the human condition. Qualified undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for membership.
The Anthropology Forum
The Anthropology Forum is a club open to all undergraduates majoring in anthropology at the University of Houston. It is designed to stimulate discussion of various issues in anthropology, to sponsor guest speakers from the field of anthropology and “brown bag lunch” discussion groups, to organize attendance at various anthropology seminars, and to encourage peer mentoring among club members. Leadership of the club is on a “rotating” basis, with various members in turn taking the minutes of the meeting, then assuming organization and leadership of the subsequent meeting.
The Communication Honors Union
The Communication Honors Union is open to majors in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication who are enrolled in the university’s Honors College. The union holds one major debate each term in which outstanding professionals discuss issues of importance to the world of journalism and mass communication.
Delta Phi Alpha
Delta Phi Alpha, an honorary scholastic organization designed to disseminate and extend knowledge of German culture, heritage, and literature, is open to all students. For additional information, interested students should call the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
National Society of Scabbard and Blade
The purpose of the National Society of Scabbard and Blade, an honorary society founded at the University of Wisconsin during the school year 1904-05, is to raise the standard of military education in American colleges and universities. Students selected from outstanding cadet officers in the Advanced Course of ROTC are elected to lifetime membership.
Omicron Delta Epsilon
Membership in Omicron Delta Epsilon, an international honorary society, is open to qualified, interested students majoring in economics. In addition to social activities, the chapter sponsors programs and discussions on topics in economics.
Phi Alpha Theta
Phi Alpha Theta, an international honor society in history, is represented in the Department of History by the Zeta Kappa Chapter.
Phi Beta Kappa
Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the nation. To be eligible for membership, students major in one of the arts and sciences disciplines (or complete substantial coursework in the arts and sciences), achieve a high grade point average so as to rank in the top 10% of the class, and demonstrate competency in a foreign language, among other requirements. For more information on membership and programming, contact Keri Myrick (email@example.com) in the Honors College.
Pi Delta Phi
Pi Delta Phi, national honor society for French and member of the Association of College Honor Societies, recognizes excellence in the study of French regardless of major. For further information, contact the Department of Modern and Classical Languages.
Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for the academic discipline of political science. In conjunction with the American Political Science Association, the society works to foster excellence in the study of politics and government, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The requirements for membership are completion of at least 15 hours of advanced political science courses at the University of Houston with a GPA of 3.50 in these courses. In addition, a 3.00 overall GPA must be maintained.
The activities of the society include invited speakers, conferences, paper competitions and a periodic newsletter. A membership drive is held in the spring term. For more information please contact the Political Science Department.
Psi Chi is the national honor society of psychology in America. Operating in cooperation with the American Psychological Association, Psi Chi members include students nominated and elected either as undergraduates or graduates. Membership in the University of Houston chapter requires completion of at least nine semester hours, enrollment (registration) for major or minor standing in psychology, ranking in at least the top 30 percent of one’s class, having a cumulative GPA of 3.00, maintaining a GPA of 3.50 in all psychology courses attempted at the University of Houston, exhibiting high standards of personal behavior, and the endorsement of three-fourths of the members attending a regular chapter meeting.
Sigma Delta Pi
Sigma Delta Pi, an honor society in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, is an organization designed for exceptional students in upper and graduate level Spanish. The society also elects honorary faculty members.
Sigma Tau Delta
Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honor Society, is open to English majors and minors who have a 3.2 overall GPA and a 3.4 English GPA, who have completed at least three advanced hours of English, who have completed or are in the process of completing at least six additional hours of English, and who have the willingness to be an active member. The purposes of the organization are to confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate or graduate studies, to promote interest in literature and the English language, and to foster the discipline of English in all its aspects including creative and critical writing. For further information, contact the Department of English.
The Student Association for the Social Sciences
The purpose of the Student Association for the Social Sciences is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholastic excellence of individuals in all the subfields and disciplines of the social sciences, as well as to advance the science itself. SASS is designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum, to afford opportunities for the members to utilize their talents in roles that are meaningful, and to promote interaction among fellow members of SASS, members of the college, the faculty of the departments, and other social scientists.
The Houston Advertising Federation at UH
The Houston Advertising Federation at UH received its charter in 1983. Membership in the club is open to all university students. Dues are $12 per year. Members receive the AAF Newsletter and are eligible to participate in various workshops and the AAF National Student Competition.
The African American Honors Students’ Association (AAHSA)
The African American Honors Students’ Association (AAHSA) promotes unity and provides a voice for African American honors students, while seeking a better understanding among all students in the Honors College. AAHSA also seeks to improve retention rates of African American students in the Honors College. AAHSA continues to develop successful, goal oriented, community minded African American honors graduates and provides a strong support network for its members. Our organization encourages participation, by its membership, in all Honors College activities. We seek these goals while benefiting the entire Honors College body and membership in AAHSA is open to all.
The American Center for Design (ACD)
The American Center for Design (ACD), a national professional graphic design organization with university student chapters across the country, provides funding for campus design programs, maintains a speaker’s bureau, and offers contact with the professional design community. Membership information is available from the ACD faculty advisor.
The Houston Student Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators
The Houston Student Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators is open to students at all major colleges and universities in the city. The organization has close ties to IABCHouston, one of the largest professional chapters in the country. Students may attend professional chapter meetings and seminars as well as student chapter events held on campus.
IABC offers students an opportunity to learn more about the fast-growing fields of public relations and business communications. Additionally, members receive IABC professional publications, attend IABC workshops, and utilize IABC’s job referral service, which offered 250 positions last year.
The National Association of Black Journalists
The National Association of Black Journalists sponsors student chapters at many universities including the University of Houston. The organization provides a variety of programs aimed at professional and social development of student members.
The National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSHLA)
The National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association (NSSHLA) is the national organization for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication behavior. It is the only national student association recognized by the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). National and local chapters sponsor conferences, seminars, a professional publication, scholarship programs and social activities. Membership also entitles students to benefits when applying for final professional certification in speech-language pathology or audiology. Further information is available through student advisors in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) consists of a national organization and chapters at colleges and universities dedicated to supporting educational and professional opportunities for students interested in the field of public relations. Members participate in seminars, national case study competitions, approved internships, and a variety of other programs sponsored by the Houston professional chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
The society also fosters students’ understanding of contemporary public relations theories and procedures, and encourages adherence to the highest ideals and principles of the practice of public relations. Membership in the University of Houston chapter of PRSSA is open to both undergraduate and graduate students of any major. Further information is available from the faculty advisor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is a national professional organization with student chapters at universities across the country. It provides scholarships, sponsors various programs designed to enhance the education of prospective journalists, and brings prospective journalists in contact with working journalists. Further information is available from the faculty advisor in the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE)
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) maintains a student section open to all undergraduate and graduate students interested in the activities of this international organization. The aim of the society is to gather pertinent information on motion pictures, sound and video technology and production, and share that information with its members.
SMPTE is the representative of the United States to international standards organizations and is responsible for setting standards in this country. SMPTE publishes a monthly journal. The Houston section holds monthly meetings, which include tutorials, seminars, and lectures on technology and techniques developed in television and motion pictures. Further information is available from the director’s office of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.
The International Television Association (ITVA)
The Houston Chapter of the International Television Association (ITVA) maintains a strong relationship with the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication and other units of the university. Workshops, tutorials, and seminars are held on a monthly and yearly basis on and off campus. The sessions cover key topics on the management and production aspects of industrial media production. Further information is available from the director’s office of the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication.