Houston Baptist University Catalog
School of Humanities
School of Humanities
The Humanities consists of subjects like history, government, literature, law, languages, communications, and the study of cultures and society. These subjects teach more than just dates, terminology, and theory. These courses are designed to get you thinking about how we live our lives, the ethical and moral dilemmas we face, and the importance of good decision-making.
The study of history, for example, allows you to examine why some leaders and nations flourish while others do not. The study of law allows you, in a safe environment, to tempt others with legal and ethical dilemmas. The study of government confronts you with fundamental questions about freedom, equality, and order. Literature invites you to consider the human experience through stories and poetry, tragedies and comedies. Family Studies allows you to understand the changing dynamics of the modern family. Communications gives you the skills to be an advocate and agent of change. Throughout all of these courses, you’ll read from the greatest thinkers and writers on the subjects, from ancient times to modern.
Majoring in the Humanities gives you a great education, a transforming experience, and will prepare you for a career in a variety of fields. Your critical thinking skills will be sharpened. Your writing and speaking skills will be enhanced. You will learn to articulate complex theories and ideas, debate them in class, and discuss them with classmates. You will learn how to confront, discuss, and resolve difficult ethical, moral, and social dilemmas. Learning a second language like Spanish broadens your ability to work with others and makes you a more attractive job candidate. All of these are skills that are highly valued by employers.
In short, our Humanities programs are a great way to make the most of your College experience while also preparing for success after graduation.
Department of English and Modern Languages
English Language and Literature
The most powerful tool we have is language. English majors at Houston Baptist University focus on exploring both the artistry of words as well as developing the tools for critical thinking and writing. Whether it be a Shakespearean tragedy or a corporate report, those studying English can interpret the world around them and translate their thoughts into clear language, preparing them for the workplace, graduate study, and a trajectory of lifelong learning. Our graduates enter the fields of teaching, law, professional writing, creative writing, and business as they take their ability to interpret language with them into artistic, professional, and personal endeavors. Beginning with a concentration on poetry, drama and prose, and including courses in the Great Texts as well as American and British literature, English majors master both the classics and contemporary works while developing their skills in oral and written communication.
English Major Requirements
English Minor Requirements
Honors Program in English
Completing the honors program in English permits English majors to enrich their educational experience and to receive academic recognition for electing the additional challenging course work. To qualify for the honors program in English, students must have completed 64 semester hours for credit (at least 32 hours at HBU); have completed ENGL 1313, 1323, 2353, 3313, 3323, 3331, and 3332; have at least a cumulative 3.25 GPA and a 3.5 GPA for English classes; have a desire to deepen knowledge and appreciation of literature; and have good study and research skills and the ability to complete self-directed work and be accepted by the department honors committee. To complete the program, students must maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA and a 3.5 GPA for English classes; complete contract work at HBU in two of the following courses: ENGL 3373, 4311, 4313-4319, 4323-4325, 4392 and 4393; and complete HONR 4399 Honors Thesis and the oral thesis defense. Upon successful completion of the program, the student’s bound Honors Thesis will be placed in the HBU library and the honors program will be noted on the student’s transcript.
The course offerings in Spanish are designed to enable students to develop proficiency in understanding, speaking, reading, writing, and culture; to appreciate literature written in Spanish; and to use Spanish in their professional and leisure activities.
To be certified to teach Spanish, candidates must achieve proficiency to pass the Texas TExES Exam (reading, writing and culture) and the TOPT (speaking) with a rating of Advanced.
Spanish Major Requirements
Spanish Minor Requirements
Internship in Spanish
The internship, SPAN 4385, 4386, 4387 Work Internship in Spanish, offers outstanding majors in Spanish the opportunity to use their oral and written proficiency in a supervised setting in (a) business or consulates, (b) health care, or (c) education or church work for 40 hours per credit hour for one semester. Pre-requisites: SPAN 3314 and 3324 or the equivalent. Admission to the program will be determined by the Department Intern Selection Committee. Each applicant must be of good academic standing, be classified as a junior or senior, and be working toward a degree in Spanish at Houston Baptist University and have at least a 3.0 QPA in Spanish. Interested students must take an oral proficiency test with a member of the Spanish faculty and receive a score of Intermediate High or higher. Students must also submit an application to the Department Intern Selection Committee at least one semester in advance of the scheduled internship. If accepted by the committee, the applicant must also be interviewed and accepted by the supervisor in the internship setting.
Honors Program in Spanish
Completing the honors program in Spanish permits Spanish majors to enrich their educational experience and to receive academic recognition for electing the additional challenging course work. To qualify for the honors program in Spanish, students must have completed 64 semester hours for credit (at least 32 hours at HBU); have completed SPAN 1314, 1324, 2314, 2324, 3314, and 3324; have at least a cumulative 3.25 GPA and a 3.5 GPA for Spanish classes; have a desire to deepen knowledge and appreciation of literature; have good study and research skills and the ability to complete self-directed work; and be accepted by the department honors committee. To complete the program, students must maintain a cumulative 3.25 GPA and a 3.5 GPA for Spanish classes; complete contract work at HBU in two of the following courses: SPAN 4305, 4306, 4307, 4313, 4343, 4344, 4392 and 4393; and complete HONR 4399 Honors Thesis and oral thesis defense. Upon successful completion of the program, the student’s bound Honors Thesis will be placed in the HBU library and the honors program will be noted on the student’s transcript.
Department of History and Great Texts
Studying the past provides students with a better understanding of the present. Examining the major events, movements, and personalities that have helped shape the modern era enriches a student’s worldview, promotes cultural literacy, and produces enlightened citizenship. Probing and interacting with history also assists students in developing analytic and reasoning skills and in building their written and oral communication competencies. The History major prepares students for careers in law, education, business, Christian ministry, government, and archival and museum vocations.
Before enrolling in HIST 4392 Independent Research Projects and Directed Reading history majors must have successfully completed at least five upper level history courses (15 hours, HIST 3000 or 4000 level), or receive special permission from the instructor.
Information about student membership in Phi Alpha Theta (the Alpha Lambda Zeta chapter), a professional history honor society, and the criteria used for the history Honors Program is available from the department.
History majors interested in pursuing internship credit for work related to their field of study should contact the department chair. A maximum of three (3) internship credit hours will be counted toward the major.
Students interested in teaching certification programs related to history should see the School of Education section of this catalog.
History Major Requirements
History Minor Requirements
The Great Texts program is designed for students who enjoy learning within a variety of disciplines in the humanities, and it is an ideal option for those preparing for teaching or graduate studies in the humanities. The program emphasizes critical thinking and analysis of significant literary, historical, and classical texts. Each major or minor in Great Texts completes the Shakespeare, Classical Mythology, and Great Texts in History courses. Students may also choose from a wide selection of courses in English, History, Classics, Government, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, Art, and Sociology, and have the option of choosing a concentration in Classical Studies, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, or Modern & Contemporary Studies. Please contact the program coordinator for further information.
Great Texts Major Requirements
Department of Law and Society
Criminal Justice (Minor Only)
A Criminal Justice minor is designed to prepare students for vocations in the criminal justice field (local, state and federal government, police, penal system, the court system, etc.). This minor will improve your basic understanding of crime and the criminal justice systems and familiarize you with the key concepts and terminology utilized in the field by focusing on three core elements: police, courts, and corrections. The program will require students to exam individual rights protected by the Constitution and balance them against a community's need for public safety and public order. The program highlights the complexities of the criminal justice discipline and encourages students to think critically and employ ethical reasoning by presenting real-life examples faced by criminal justice practitioners and asking the student to balance values, criminal procedures, and the law when coming up with solutions.
Criminal Justice Minor Requirements
Family Studies (Minor only)
The Family Studies program is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of the essential dimensions of family life. Students will study the theories, contexts, and processes used to understand the dynamics of family interaction related to communication, sexuality, childhood, economics, and family roles. The Family Studies minor will help prepare students who are planning careers in fields such as marketing, counseling, ministry, social work, public administration and community service.
Family Studies Minor Requirements
The Government program focuses on theories of government, political institutions, government processes, and political behavior. Students are offered courses in political theory, U.S. foreign policy, national politics, American government, public policy, international relations, and law.
The study of government assists students in developing reasoning and analytic skills and builds competencies in written and oral communication. The Government major prepares students for careers in law, business, public service, education, journalism, or any other field that requires strong analytic and communication skills. The major also increases political awareness and promotes active citizenship and political participation.
Government majors interested in pursuing internship credit for work related to their field of study should contact the department chair. Only three (3) hours of internship credit will be counted toward the major.
Government Major Requirements
Government Minor Requirements
Latin American Studies (minor only)
The minor in Latin American Studies is designed for students who have interests in the Latin American region, to better prepare them for graduate studies, for careers in international business with operations in Latin America, in politics, for work in ministries that serve individuals from the region, and other vocations. The Latin American Studies minor provides experience in interdisciplinary inquiry through a curriculum that emphasizes area-specific knowledge of political, economic, and historical movements, as well as linguistic understanding of the language of these movements.
Latin American Studies Minor Requirements
Legal Studies/Pre-Law (Major only)
The Legal Studies program is designed to prepare students for law school or other similar graduate education by providing a solid background in politics, philosophy, economics, and history. The program draws from several disciplines in the Humanities (Government, History, and Speech Communications) and other areas as well (Economics, Business, and Philosophy). Students in this major are introduced to topics that will help them plan for careers in law, such as business law, criminal law, and trial law. The program emphasizes our nation's founding principles, a reliance of the rule of law, and a belief in natural law as the foundation for American jurisprudence. The Legal Studies major presents a rigorous educational program that provides the fundamentals for success in graduate or law school and the practice of law while upholding ethics and values consistent with the mission of the School of Humanities and the University.
Legal Studies Major Requirements
Sociology (Minor only)
The Sociology Minor is a course of study in the field of sociology that provides a background in culture, social interaction, and social institutions. Students will learn the context of social change and theoretical explanations for social experience. Sociology is a valuable liberal arts minor for students planning careers in criminology, social psychology, public administration, gerontology, ministry and market research.
Sociology Minor Requirements
Speech Communication (Minor only)
The focus of the curriculum of the Speech Communication minor is to develop the argumentation and advocacy skills that are necessary for participation in a democratic society. Since ancient Greek and Roman times, public speaking has been taught both as the foundation of a liberal arts education and as an essential skill of democratic citizenship.
The speech minor is designed for students interested in argumentation and advocacy. The Department of Law and Society features a competitive mock trial team which provides students the opportunity to hone critical thinking and persuasive skills in a competitive atmosphere. Weekly practices prepare the team for local, state, and national competition.
Speech Communication Minor Requirements