College of Arts and Humanities Catalog

Department of English, Communication, Great Texts, and Modern Languages
Undergraduate Programs
Graduate Programs
Department of History, Philosophy, Law and Society
Undergraduate Programs
Graduate Programs
School of Humanities
Undergraduate Programs
Graduate Programs
The Honors College
The Academy

The Mission of the College of Arts and Humanities is to provide for all university students robust, cross-disciplinary curricula that cultivate intellectual, moral, and aesthetic virtues within a Christian community.

The college offers academic programs in the School of Fine Arts; the Department of English, Communication, Great Texts, and Modern Languages; the Department of Philosophy, History, Law and Society; the HBU Honors College; and the Academy at Houston Baptist University.

Department of English, Communication, Great Texts, and Modern Languages

Undergraduate Programs

English Language and Literature

The most powerful tool we have is language. English majors at Houston Baptist University focus on exploring the artistry of words as well as developing the tools for critical thinking and writing. Whether reading a Shakespearean tragedy or a corporate report, those studying English can learn to 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 professional and personal endeavors. English majors investigate a variety and range of authors, works, genres, movements, periods, and places of origin, all while honing their skills in oral and written communication.  Our English B.A. degree is a flexible 30-hour major.

Information about internships, teacher certification, and departmental honors for English majors is available from the department.

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English Major Requirements
[PDF]English 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 considered 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 English, Communication, Great Texts, and Modern Languages 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.

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Speech Communication Minor Requirements

Great Texts

The Great Texts program integrates 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 allows students to explore the works of Shakespeare, Classical Mythology, and other Great Texts. In addition to the degree requirements, students will be able to choose from a wide selection of courses in which to continue their studies. The optional capstone oral exam provides Great Texts Majors with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to consider great ideas and influential texts from an interdisciplinary perspective and to defend a written argument before a faculty panel. Please contact the program coordinator for further information.

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Great Texts Major Requirements
[PDF]Great Texts Minor Requirements

Spanish

The Spanish program offers courses for complete beginners as well as native speakers, so all students may deepen their appreciation for and fluency in the Spanish language. Students learn to speak with confidence, read with comprehension, and write in a professional manner. This proficiency allows them to partner and communicate with multiple communities, both locally and internationally.

Spanish majors and minors can choose from courses covering a wide variety of linguistic, literary, cultural, and professional topics, including (for example) Business Spanish, Medical Spanish, Hispanic Literature, The Art of Translation, Spanish Film Studies, Hispanic Popular Music, and Advanced Spanish Grammar. From Don Quixote to the writing of Gabriel García Márquez, exposure to the variety of literature from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America in the original language develops reading comprehension and broadens the student’s appreciation of the beauty of the Hispanic contributions to the Western Tradition. Present throughout all Spanish courses is the emphasis on the role that culture plays in our understanding of the world, enabling students from all backgrounds to gain an appreciation for the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world, found in literature, music, film, and beyond.

Information about internships, teacher certification, and departmental honors for Spanish majors is available from the department.  For information regarding Spanish placement exams and for Heritage Spanish Credit by Examination see https://hbu.edu/academics/academic-resources/testing/spanish-placement-exam/.

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Spanish Major Requirements
[PDF]Spanish Minor Requirements

Graduate Programs

Masters of Liberal Arts

The Master of Liberal Arts (MLA) offers students an interdisciplinary panorama of knowledge in art, literature, history, culture, and science. The MLA is designed for those who have completed their undergraduate education but who wish to continue intellectual enrichment in a formal academic environment. A thesis option is available.

The Master of Liberal Arts program at HBU is dedicated to training students in the classical model of education, preparing them to serve in a variety of professions and vocations. The degree is designed for students desiring a broad and deep course of study in the Liberal Arts with an emphasis on the Great Books of the Western Tradition.

Students in the MLA program represent a variety of educational backgrounds and ages. The degree is of particular interest to those in areas such as education, business, law, medicine, and engineering who desire a high-level inquiry into the liberal arts. Classes meet once each week in the evening. A selection of courses from the various liberal arts is offered each semester.

While the MLA at HBU is flexible enough to satisfy the particular interests of each student, we do not subscribe to the common “grab bag” approach to Liberal Arts. Instead, we provide a core of twelve elective courses in the Western Tradition that is both chronologically progressive and cohesive to enable students to grasp the flow and development of ideas that have shaped the modern world. Other elective courses are focused on essential figures (e.g., St. Augustine), periods (e.g., Tudor England), and topics (e.g., democracy, logic, church/state relations). Also, the MLA encourages students to craft their degree around one of three optional areas of emphasis (Classical Learning, Research, and General Liberal Arts).

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Master of Liberal Arts Program Requirements

The Accelerated Masters of Liberal Arts

The Accelerated Master of Liberal Arts (AMLA) degree provides the opportunity for students to earn a graduate degree in five years from their matriculation as an undergraduate freshman. The AMLA is a track of study within the existing MLA program, built upon the current purpose and vision of the traditional MLA degree—to train students in classical education and prepare them for careers with a deep understanding of the liberal arts.  The AMLA is a 155-credit hour degree including the 125-credit hour undergraduate degree.

Students would begin graduate coursework toward an MLA degree during their senior year by completing up to nine MLA hours.

The AMLA has some additional requirements not found in the traditional MLA:

  1. Admission to the AMLA degree program in the second semester of their junior year (having earned at least 82 undergraduate hours upon application and 96 before beginning the AMLA). Students must also:
    1. have at least a 3.0 CGPA upon admission;
    2. submit two written pieces of work for consideration by the director of the MLA; and
    3. pass an entrance interview with a panel of two MLA faculty.
  2. Completion of at least three (3) hours of graduate work during their undergraduate degree with a CGPA of at least 3.0.
  3. Completion of a six (6) hour MLA thesis as part of graduate coursework;
  4. Completion of a total of 30 graduate hours for the degree.

Sample Student Schedule for AMLA #1

*Requires student to transfer or earn 90 hours by spring of sophomore year.
Fall Spring Summer Hours
Junior Year – Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

– Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

(optional at graduate tuition cost) 6
Senior Year – Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

– Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

(optional at graduate tuition cost) 6
MLA Year – 9 hours MLA

 

– 9 hours MLA

 

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Sample Student Schedule for AMLA #2

*Requires student to transfer or earn 90 hours by spring of sophomore year.
Fall Spring Summer Hours
Junior Year – Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

– Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

(optional at graduate tuition cost) 6
Senior Year – Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

– Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

(optional at graduate tuition cost) 6
MLA Year – 9 hours MLA

 

– 9 hours MLA

 

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Sample Student Schedule for AMLA #3

Fall Spring Summer Hours
Senior Year – Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

– Undergraduate Coursework

– 3 hour MLA course

6
MLA Year – 9 hours MLA

 

– 9 hours MLA

 

– 6 hours MLA 24

Undergraduate = 120 hours

AMLA = 150 hours including undergraduate

[PDF]Accelerated Master of Liberal Arts Degree Requirements

Masters of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education

The Master of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education degrees offer students interested in a career in classical/Christian/public education an opportunity to prepare for Texas teacher certification for 4-8 or 7-12, EC-6 Generalist, EC-12 Art, Music, Physical Education or Spanish.

A student will take 18 credit hours of MLA coursework and will register for the Alternative Certification Program to earn 18 credit hours of defined Education coursework.  Students are required to adhere to the admissions standards for both programs.  Any MLA scholarships would be applied to coursework in the Alternative Certification Program.

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Master of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education (4-8 or 7-12)
[PDF]Master of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education (EC-6 Core)
[PDF]Master of Liberal Arts with Specialization in Education (EC-12) (Art, Music, PE, or Spanish)

Department of History, Philosophy, Law and Society

Undergraduate Programs

History

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. History students develop skills in research and analysis, while developing proficiency in written and oral communication. The History major prepares students for graduate work in History and also prepares students for careers in law, education, business, Christian ministry, government, and archival and museum vocations.

Information about internships, teacher certification, and departmental honors for History majors is available from the department.

[PDF]History Major Requirements
[PDF]History Minor Requirements

Philosophy

Philosophy is an underlying element of every field of study and permeates all aspects of culture and society, including matters of faith. As a result, the history of philosophy is a necessary context for understanding contemporary problems and issues. HBU’s philosophy courses are designed to help students explore the contribution of philosophy to Christian thought, and to consider Christian perspectives on philosophy. In addition, the study of philosophy helps students develop critical skills for use in all areas of life. HBU is committed to enhancing student’s abilities as they aim toward excellence. Whether one engages in Christian ministry or seeks some other professional vocation, a well-developed mind and the capacity for clear and cogent expression are essential components for effective service. The study of philosophy, tempered by a Christian worldview, aids in this goal.

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Philosophy Major Requirements
[PDF]Philosophy Minor Requirements

Criminal Justice

The HBU Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare students for vocations in the criminal justice field (local, state and federal government, police, penal system, the court system, etc.). To improve students’ understanding of crime and the criminal justice systems and familiarize them with the key concepts and terminology utilized in the field, this degree focuses on three core elements: police, courts, and corrections. The program allows students to examine 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.

[PDF]Criminal Justice Major Requirements
[PDF]Criminal Justice Minor Requirements

Family Studies

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. This field of study will help prepare students who are planning careers in fields such as marketing, counseling, ministry, social work, public administration and community service.

[PDF]Family Studies Major Requirements
[PDF]Family 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 programs by providing a solid background in politics, philosophy, economics, and history. The program draws from several disciplines in the Humanities (Government, History, and Speech Communication) 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.

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Legal Studies Major Requirements

Medical Humanities

A major or minor in Medical Humanities will help prepare students for any number of careers in the growing healthcare field. These undergraduate courses will introduce students to healthcare as a practice and profession from a liberal arts perspective. Students will take courses that not only provide them with a number of essential skills necessary for success help them to think and interact on a professional level in a variety of health-related environments.

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Medical Humanities Major Requirements
[PDF]Medical Humanities Minor Requirements

Political Science

The study of political science assists students in developing reasoning and analytic skills and builds competencies in written and oral communication. The Political Science program at HBU 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 Political Science 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.

Political Science 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.

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Political Science Major Requirements
[PDF]Political Science Minor 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, the major philosophies of psychological movements throughout history, 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.

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Sociology Minor Requirements

Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies Major

The Interdisciplinary Studies program is designed to offer students the opportunity to form a course of study across several disciplines.  There is a long and fruitful history of scholars exploring multiple areas in support of their projects.  The interdisciplinary degree is suited for students whose academic or personal goals require that they take courses from a number of different disciplines across the university and who are best served by not majoring in any particular field.  The classes taken are ones that are offered by the existing academic units on campus.  Students should work closely with their advisor in determining whether or not this degree is right for them and for determining what classes will best suit their goals.

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Bachelor of Arts, Interdisciplinary Studies Requirements

Graduate Programs

Master of Arts in History

The mission of the Master of Arts in History (MAH) is to develop students who are equipped to learn, teach, and write about history in the light of the Christian faith. The MAH degree is ideal for current teachers who want to enhance their classroom expertise in history as well as budding scholars who aim to pursue doctoral studies and a career in higher education. The course of study consists of 30 credit hours of classes on scholarly research, the philosophy of history, European and American history, and a variety of more specialized topics. A 30-hour thesis track option is available on a case-by-case basis, at the discretion of the Department of History and Great Texts.

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Master of Arts in History (Thesis Track) Requirements
[PDF]Master of Arts in History (Non-Thesis Track Requirements)

The Accelerated Master of Arts in History
The Accelerated Master of Arts in History (AMAH) degree provides the opportunity for an HBU student to earn a master’s degree in five years from the time of their enrollment as an undergraduate freshman. The AMAH is a course of study within the MAH program and fulfills the MAH’s purpose and vision – to equip students to learn, teach, and write about history in light of the Christian faith. The AMAH is a 150-credit hour program including the 120-hour undergraduate degree and the 30-credit hour graduate degree.

Students may apply to the AMAH when they have earned at least 45 undergraduate hours. If admitted, they may begin taking graduate courses when they have earned at least 60 undergraduate hours.

To be admitted into the AMAH program, the student must:

  1. have at least a 3.0 GPA at the time of admission;
  2. submit two written pieces of work to the program coordinator of the MAH; and
  3. receive the approval of the program coordinator and at least one additional member of the MAH faculty.

Once admitted to the AMAH, the student must complete at least three (3) graduate hours while still an undergraduate, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. The student may take up to twelve (12) graduate hours while still an undergraduate. Upon completion of the undergraduate degree, AMAH students transition to graduate status for the remainder of their graduate coursework. The student must complete a total of 30 graduate hours for the MAH degree.

[PDF]Accelerated Master of Arts in History (Thesis Track) Requirements
[PDF]Accelerated Master of Arts in History (Non-Thesis Track Requirements)

Master of Arts in Philosophy

The mission of the Master of Arts in Philosophy (MAPhil) is to develop students who are capable of serving their community and the Church successfully in a variety of vocations, including academic, parachurch, and ecclesiastical professions. The MAPhil degree is intended to offer students training in the critical and philosophical skills that are useful for their further academic study and also for their growth as followers of God. MAPhil graduates may continue their education at the doctoral level.

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Master of Arts in Philosophy (with Thesis) Requirements
[PDF]Master of Arts in Philosophy (without Thesis) Requirements

Humanities Graduate Certificates

The School of Humanities Graduate Certificates provide graduate-level instruction in specific areas of interest through certificate programs. A certificate can be sought in conjunction with any Master’s degree or pursued and awarded on its own. The following Graduate Certificates are offered by the School of Humanities:

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Certificate in Philosophy of Religion Requirements

School of Fine Arts

The School of Fine Arts is founded on the belief that our God is the great Artist. We worship God when we create art from the patterns He created. Whether these artistic expressions are literary, dramatic, musical, visual, or even in the field of New Media, we understand that we were made to create in imitation of our creator.

The School of Fine Arts believes that Art is integral to the living of a full life. Towards that end, we offer courses and degrees in visual arts, music, creative writing, digital arts, cinema, and mass media.

Undergraduate Programs

Department of Visual Arts

HBU offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (BFA) and a Bachelor of Art (BA) degree in Studio Art. Both BFA and BA degrees prepare an individual for studio art though the BFA is a more intensive program, which thoroughly prepares one for the possibility of further graduate studies. The BA requires less studio hours, which is best for students who would like to double major.

The Visual art program is designed to help the student develop a personal, critical attitude toward his/her life situation through creative involvement. The beginner is offered a variety of courses that provide technical training, historical background and professional competence while maintaining the dignity of individual opinion and direction. These studies are designed to generate interest and promote the understanding of art, which comes in part through analysis of creative works of past and present. A Senior Seminar provides an opportunity for the student’s area of specialization to be the central theme in a final project.

The Department of Visual Arts offers instruction in five basic studio areas:  Drawing, Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Printmaking.  The members of the art faculty bring a wealth of professional experience to their studios and their students.  Students in the studio areas have the unique opportunity of receiving feedback in both individual and group critique sessions.  The goal of the art faculty is to nurture and encourage students of all levels of experience in finding their visual voices and developing their own visual language.

The Visual Arts program also offers an All Level Art with Teacher Certification degree in conjunction with the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Advanced Placement

Advanced Placement (AP) in Art may be awarded for incoming students provided that the following criteria are met:

  1. The student arranges for official AP scores to be sent from their high school to the HBU Office of Academic Records.
  2. The student presents the AP portfolio compiled through the high school art program to the HBU Art faculty for evaluation.
  3. The student receives written approval from the chair of the Department of Visual Arts to accept the scores and portfolio in lieu of a lower level art course(s).

Each evaluation will be made on a case-by-case basis. No more than six (6) semester hours may be awarded for AP credit.

Special Requirements

Art majors are required to participate in annual student exhibitions and other exhibits, programs, and lectures. The University reserves the right to permanently retain one (1) work from each student in each class. The art faculty will decide the disposition of these works. Other works may be held temporarily for use in specific exhibitions. These will be available to owners no later than two (2) years after the lending date.

Student Exhibition Experiences

Art majors must participate in at least one (1) approved exhibition during both junior and senior years. These opportunities must be approved by the department chair and mentored by a member of the Art faculty. Art majors are also expected to participate in the organization and presentation of the annual Student Art Exhibition (Spring Semester).

Thesis Exhibition and Exit Exam in Art

Every art major is required to hold a Thesis exhibition, which professionally displays art works produced by the student during his/her undergraduate studies.  The exit exam in Art is presented in the form of a formal portfolio review juried by a committee of Art faculty. The review is offered in the final week of Fall and Spring Semesters, and should be scheduled by the student in the semester of graduation.

Bachelor of Arts Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art degree allows the student to pursue a major or minor in art and another unrelated discipline.

Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art is considered a professional degree according to the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The BFA, Bachelor of Fine Arts, is an excellent choice of degrees for those wishing to attend graduate school for a Master of Fine Arts degree.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Art Major Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Art Major Requirements
[PDF]All Level Art Teacher Certification Requirements
[PDF]Pre-Professional Art Therapy Major Requirements*
[PDF]Studio Art Minor Requirements
[PDF]Art History Minor Requirements

* The closure of the Art Therapy program has been approved by SACSCOC and is currently in teach-out.  No new students are being admitted. 

Online Art History Certificate

This certificate allows those interested in art history to expand their knowledge in this area.  There are a variety of target audiences including continuing education students, prospective art majors, history enthusiasts, and lovers of art wishing to expand their understanding and appreciation for the discipline.  The online offering extends the possibility to acquire this knowledge to a larger audience not confined to HBU’s residential campus.

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Certificate in Art History Requirements

Please refer to the current Department of Visual Arts Handbook for further details.

Department of Narrative Arts

The Department of Narrative Arts provides a challenging creative environment for students to develop their artistic abilities and prepare for future work in broad array of narrative mediums, from fiction to film to video games. Leveraging developing technologies, the curriculum is uniquely focused on new opportunities available to storytellers, filmmakers, and media creators in the twenty-first century. The program offers students ample opportunities for practical, hands-on experience coupled with mentorship from experienced faculty members. All of this is designed to prepare students for a variety of pursuits, including novel writing, filmmaking, animation, video game development, graphic design, and emerging opportunities in new media and technology.

Creative Writing

The BFA in Creative Writing is a rigorous pre-professional degree that prepares students to flourish in the crafting and publication of literary and narrative writing. All students take courses in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction writing, before specializing in a particular genre. Courses in professional and technical writing, as well as advanced grammar, supplement the degree, while classes in English, history, and foreign languages enrich the breadth of each students’ mastery in language and narrative. Students also take a series of courses to develop a professional portfolio of work, preparing for both a required internship and a career in writing following graduation.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Requirements

Cinematic Arts

The BFA in Cinematic Arts provides students a comprehensive education in filmmaking and media production. In addition to the foundational classes in storytelling, communication, and professional skills, Cinematic Arts students develop specialized skills, such as screenwriting, directing, editing, or cinematography, through a series of collaborative media productions. This degree includes classes in film history and theory designed to provide students important foundations for their artistic work. Students also take a series of courses to develop a professional portfolio of work, preparing for both a required internship and career in media production following graduation.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinematic Arts Requirements

Animation

The BFA in Animation provides a broad array of experience and training in 3D digital animation, supported by traditional art and animation principles. Grounded in a strong foundation of narrative arts training and courses in film history and theory, graduates of this program are uniquely equipped to flourish in both the technical and creative aspects of animation production. Students also take a series of courses to develop a professional portfolio of work, preparing for both a required internship and a career in animation following graduation.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation Requirements

Video Game Design

The BFA in Video Game Design offers immersive, hands-on opportunities in computer game development, supported by traditional art and design principles, training in narrative and game theory, and courses in animation. With this broad foundation and many opportunities for specialization, graduates of this program are uniquely prepared for both the aesthetic and technical aspects of video game development. Students also take a series of courses to develop a professional portfolio of work, preparing for both a required internship and a career in game development or interactive media following graduation.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Video Game Design Requirements

Graphic Design

The BFA in Graphic Design, in coordination with HBU’s Visual Arts program, provides students with a comprehensive pre-professional degree in graphic design, preparing them for new opportunities in a wide variety of design-related media fields. The BFA degree prepares students in traditional artistic principles through 33 hours of Studio Art courses, then follows this foundation with an additional 34 hours in digital media. The degree program also includes key courses in career preparation, including a professional internship and portfolio development.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design Requirements

Narrative Arts

The BFA in Narrative Arts begins with foundational classes in storytelling, communication theory, and professional skills before offering students the opportunity to specialize in one of three narrative concentrations: Creative Writing, Cinema Production, Digital Media. Students take nine hours of introductory courses in one of these concentrations and then are able to focus the remainder of their degree on specific aspects of their chosen discipline through a series of specialized electives. Each graduate of the Narrative Arts degree also completes a professional portfolio showcasing their best creative work from the program.

[PDF]Bachelor of Fine Arts in Narrative Arts Requirements

Narrative Arts Minors

The following Narrative Arts Minors are also available:

[PDF]Creative Writing Minor Requirements
[PDF]Cinema Production Minor Requirements
[PDF]Digital Media Minor Requirements

These programs are currently in a teach-out and are not currently admitting new students. Current students may reference the department’s Course Crosswalk for suitable class equivalencies.

[PDF]BFA in Interactive Media & Digital Design
[PDF]BA in Mass Media Arts
[PDF]BA in Creative Writing
[PDF]Minor in Cinema & New Media Arts
[PDF]Minor in Writing

Department of Music

Houston Baptist University’s Department of Music is committed to offering a world class music education where student artists expand their creative gifts, and ultimately contribute their talents to the Western classical music heritage. Designed to provide a broad aesthetic experience for both the music major and the general student, the program introduces undergraduates to the fine arts along with the theories that underlie them, and offers opportunities for creative involvement and enrichment in various ensembles. With the campus’ location so near Houston’s cultural center, students also regularly enjoy outstanding artists, lecturers, theater, and other renowned musical performances.

The music curricula provide the specialization and depth of study necessary for performance (voice, piano, and organ), or teacher certification (vocal/keyboard or instrumental). Qualified non-majors may participate in one of the performing ensembles. Students who wish to major in music must apply for acceptance to a degree program that leads to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music, a Bachelor of Music (BM) (performance—voice, piano, or organ), or a Bachelor of Music Education (BME) (teacher certification – vocal/keyboard or instrumental).

Freshmen and Transfer Students

Incoming freshman, transfer students, and other currently enrolled students who wish to major or minor in music must audition (demonstrate their talent for performance) for the faculty in their major applied area before being admitted to the Department. Three or four auditions are held each year between January and August.  A prospective student may register for an audition at HBU.edu/MusicAudition.

Incoming students who wish to major or minor in music and have limited music theory experience must familiarize themselves with the rudiments of music theory at www.musictheory.net.  Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Applied Music

Individual instruction is offered for majors and minors in voice, piano, organ, brass, woodwinds, percussion, strings, and composition. All students enrolled in applied music for credit will be required to take a jury examination at the end of each semester. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for more specific information.

Music majors must be registered for applied music in their area of concentration until they pass the Sophomore Review (MUSI 0003) and meet any recital requirements (MUSI 3090 Performance Recital and / or MUSI 4090 Senior Recital).

All lower level applied music courses (lessons) will carry an MUSI 11XX or 12XX number and all upper level applied music courses (lessons) will carry an MUSI 31XX or 32XX number. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Husky Band

The Husky Band is a prominent and visible representative of the University, with engagements at home football and basketball games, and collaborates with various student organizations on campus.  As an academic initiative and group, the Husky Band and its auxiliary group, the Color Guard, are not student organizations, but reside within the Department of Music.  The Color Guard adds color and visual display through the choreography of flags, rifles, and sabers at HBU’s football games.  All band members, including Color Guard members, must register for MUSI 1111 (Husky Band) to participate in the ensemble.

Music Ensembles

Any approved student who meets the audition requirements may participate in an ensemble. Music majors must participate in Schola Cantorum (MUSI 2111), University Singers (MUSI 1113), Opera Workshop Ensemble (MUSI 1119), Chamber Music Ensemble (MUSI 2112), or Band (MUSI 1111) each semester in residence. Keyboard majors are required to participate in one ensemble and may be assigned accompanying duties.

Choral Activities: Music majors with an emphasis in voice must participate in Schola Cantorum (MUSI 2111) or University Singers (MUSI 1113) each semester.  Students may register for Opera Workshop Ensemble (MUSI 1119) as available or required by degree plan.

Instrumental Activities: Music majors with an emphasis in instrumental music must participate in the Chamber Music Ensemble (MUSI 2112), Band (MUSI 1111) or, with permission, select another ensemble each semester.

All music scholarship students must fulfill the following criteria to maintain eligibility for the financial award:  1) enrollment as a full-time student pursuing a Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, or Bachelor of Arts degree, 2) maintain an overall GPA of 2.5 for all courses taken at HBU, 3) enrollment each semester in an ensemble (except Clinical Teaching semester), 4) enrollment in at least 12 credit hours per semester, and 5) earn a grade of B or higher in applied lessons.  Music majors who switch from the major in music to the minor or another degree will no longer be eligible for music scholarships. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Keyboard Proficiency

All music majors must be enrolled in keyboard studies until the minimum requirements for keyboard proficiency (MUSI 0002)  as set forth in the current Department of Music Handbook have been met and the examination has been passed. In certain instances, students who have passed a keyboard proficiency examination may be permitted to waive further keyboard studies. This examination shall be administered regularly at the end of each semester and at other times as required. The keyboard proficiency examination must be completed before student teaching, internship, or presentation of senior recital. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Sophomore Review Examination

The purpose of the Sophomore Review (MUSI 0003) is to assess the progress made by each music major during his or her first two years of study. Students will enroll in MUSI 0003 at the end of the fourth semester (after earning about 60 semester hours of applicable music credit toward their degree) and be concurrently enrolled in MUSI 2323 Theory IV and MUSI 2023 Theory IV Lab. Transfer students with 60 hours or more of transfer credit must take the Sophomore Review Examination at the end of their first semester after being admitted to the Department of Music. It consists of four parts: 1) A well-written essay regarding their choice of major and career path; 2) A student performance in a Department of Music Forum; 3) An interview with Sophomore Review Committee; 4) performance of a self-prepared selection on their jury. Each student will have a maximum of two attempts to pass all sections of Sophomore Review (pass / fail grade). As the required “gateway” course to all upper level (MUSI 3000 and 4000) courses, failure to pass all four parts of MUSI 0003 after two attempts will require the student to consider an alternative major degree program with the only option of a minor in music. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Jury Examinations In Music

Every student enrolled in a private applied music course will be required to take a jury examination at the end of each semester of study. The jury will consist of the members of the faculty in the student’s major field of performance. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Student Forum and Concert Attendance Requirement

All music majors enrolled as full-time students (12 or more credit hours) must register every semester for and pass at least six semesters of MUSI 0001, Forum Recital Attendance. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

Student Recital Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music students and the Bachelor in Music Education (BME) students are required to perform one recital of 30 minutes duration (MUSI 3090). All other Bachelor of Music students are required to perform both performance (MUSI 3090) and senior (MUSI 4090) recitals. Please refer to the current Department of Music Handbook for further details.

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Bachelor of Music Education (BME) in Vocal/Keyboard Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Music Education (BME) in Instrumental Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Music (BM) in Vocal Performance Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Music (BM) in Piano Performance Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Music (BM) in Organ Performance Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Music (BM) in Music Theatre Requirements
[PDF]Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Music Requirements
[PDF]Minor in Music Requirements

Graduate Programs

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The HBU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing is a Christian-based, 45-hour low-residency program with specialization in the areas of poetry and fiction. The MFA is a terminal degree, and the primary goal of our graduate education in creative writing is professional excellence.  Students are equipped to produce and revise graduate-level creative work in 15 hours of rigorous writing workshops and 6 hours of one-on-one thesis instruction. Students also acquire a theoretical and practical understanding of their disciplines through classes on techniques and methods in which students study canonical works of literature as models of creative excellence.

The MFA degree is offered in an accelerated low-residency model, designed to meet the needs of today’s students, while emphasizing a strong commitment to excellence in craft, analysis, and creativity. Every January and May, students and faculty gather either at HBU’s campus or for a writers’ retreat in cities like Galveston or Austin. Each of the residencies feature workshops and extensive interaction with notable authors and screenwriters serving as guest instructors, as well as ongoing mentorship from HBU’s exceptional full-time writing faculty. Between residencies, students work from home, maintaining connections with their cohort through online workshops and ongoing coursework.

[PDF]Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Degree Requirements

Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting

The HBU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Screenwriting is a 48-hour terminal degree offered in a low-residency model that prepares students to write professionally for film, television, and new media. With a focus on small workshops, the MFA in Screenwriting challenges students to develop a compelling cinematic voice and style, coupled with a clear understanding of business realities within the industry. Students are also introduced to related fields of expertise, including marketing, interactive media, and new technologies.

The MFA degree is offered in an accelerated low-residency model, designed to meet the needs of today’s students, while emphasizing a strong commitment to excellence in craft, analysis, and creativity. Every January and May, students and faculty gather either at HBU’s campus or for a writers’ retreat in cities like Galveston or Austin. Each of the residencies feature workshops and extensive interaction with notable authors and screenwriters serving as guest instructors, as well as ongoing mentorship from HBU’s exceptional full-time writing faculty. Between residencies, students work from home, maintaining connections with their cohort through online workshops and ongoing coursework.

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Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting Degree Requirements

Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts

The HBU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a Christian-based, two-year studio program with specialization in the areas of two-dimensional studies (painting, drawing, printmaking) and three-dimensional studies (sculpture, ceramics). MFA candidates accepted into the program are offered a studio space, teaching assistant experience as well as scholarships for study. The Department of Visual Art, housed in the School of Fine Arts is located in the University Academic Center, a 44,000 square foot state of the art facility, which possesses fully equipped labs in printmaking, painting, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture as well as working studios for its full time art faculty. This fusion of artist faculty members making art on campus fosters a closer creative community and an opportunity for graduates to fully engage with their faculty team.

The facilities also include a Contemporary Art Gallery and a Fine Arts Museum that allow MFA candidates to examine aspects of art history as well as contemporary art production.  The faculty of the MFA consist of outstanding, nationally recognized artists as well as frequent guest artists who are invited to campus to work with the students.  In addition to studio courses, graduate seminars in Writing in the Arts, Gallery and Museum Practices, and Thesis/Portfolio Development, along with a sequence of four Art History courses, round out the MFA curriculum.   

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Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts Requirements

The Honors College

The mission of the HBU Honors College is to provide students with an interdisciplinary curriculum rooted in the Christian faith that cultivates knowledge, character, and wisdom by examining the great works of Western civilization and exploring timeless questions.

The Honors College provides a unique general education core curriculum in the liberal arts, social and natural sciences for exceptional undergraduates.  It fosters curiosity and creativity, challenges students to grow intellectually, socially and spiritually, and inspires life-long learning.

Students in the Honors College examine the great works of Western civilization and hone their reading, writing and critical thinking skills through spirited discussions with their peers and distinguished faculty.  Some courses are taught by a team of professors so that students learn from various perspectives and recognize the interconnectedness of all knowledge.

Honors College classes are taught in a seminar setting and are structured to include co-curricular activities including symposia, roundtables, undergraduate research, service learning projects, and broad exposure to cultural and learning opportunities in Houston and beyond.  Honors Scholars are encouraged to participate in additional learning experiences including study abroad programs, the National Honors College convention, and others.

Admission to the Honors College is by application only. There are no minimum SAT, ACT, or GPA requirements to apply to the Honors College, but students who have been admitted to the Honors College in recent years have had an average SAT score of 1280 (which is equivalent to an average ACT score of 29) and an average high School GPA of 3.6. (The SAT score includes only the critical reading and mathematics scores.) Because the ideal Honors College candidate is a well-rounded individual who excels in a diversity of fields, strong applications to the Honors College usually include two letters of recommendation (one academic, one character) and evidence of leadership experience and service to the church and community.

Only students accepted into the Honors College may take Honors College courses.  The Honors Scholars do not take the complete complement of Liberal Arts Core Curriculum courses since the Honors College curriculum meets the general education requirements of the University.  In addition, students must complete the University mandated competencies (see below).  The Honors curriculum does not constitute a major but does provide the foundation courses for any undergraduate degree offered by the University.

Honors College students are required to complete the Honors Core (43 hours) plus all university mandated competencies.  Students who leave the Honors College prior to completing the Honors core will be required to meet the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum requirements not met by analogous courses in the Honors College core curriculum.  The Liberal Arts Core Curriculum courses do not meet the Honors College core requirements and may not be substituted for Honors classes.

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Honors College (Core Only) Requirements

The Academy

In keeping with HBU’s Ten Pillars, the Academy extends the challenges and rewards of university classes to exceptional high school students, providing them with the opportunity to earn transferable college credit through a flexible yet rigorous curriculum founded on great works of Western civilization. The Academy’s approach is straightforward yet challenging, seamlessly integrating university standards and credits into a rich and rewarding high school experience.

Academy students are trained to learn directly from primary sources, using class time to engage with their professor and classmates as they seek increased understanding of the text at hand. By emphasizing reading, writing, and critical thinking, the Academy seeks to cultivate skills that transcend academic disciplines and are both applicable and necessary for all college majors and career paths.

All Academy classes are taught by dedicated Christian faculty who value the interdisciplinary nature of the Academy’s curriculum. Class sizes are kept intentionally small in order to foster deep, lasting relationships among faculty members and students. Academy faculty invite students to approach each text from a place of Christian charity and authority.

The Academy offers classes on the campus of Houston Baptist University and on the campuses of our partner schools. Classes offered on the campuses of our partner schools are limited to students enrolled at those schools.

Additional benefits of the Academy include:

  • Unique two-semester courses designed specifically for the Academy
  • The opportunity to enroll in select traditional university classes at HBU at the low Academy tuition rate (reserved for high school juniors and seniors and subject to dean’s approval)
  • Automatic acceptance into HBU’s Honors College upon admission to HBU, with Academy faculty recommendation