Academic Areas

Academic Areas

Discover more information about the vast number of academic programs and degree options in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Arts and Humanities

Architecture, Urban Planning + Design

Department Overview

Whether you want to design buildings, plan sustainable communities or study responsible urban development, UMKC’s Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design offers a broad range of educational experiences to help you become a highly sought-after professional.Our faculty are directly engaged with Kansas City’s successful professionals and vibrant arts scene.

You’ll develop contacts with practicing architects and urban planners/designers and find solutions to real-world needs — opportunities few other universities can offer.

Majors

Architectural Studies
Urban Planning + Design
Urban Studies

Visit the Architecture, Urban Planning + Design site.

Art and Art History

Department Overview

An art and art history degree opens the door to a wide variety of career opportunities: graphic designer, art educator, fashion designer and photographer. It also provides a solid foundation for post-graduate study. As an art student, you’ll experience a wide range of traditional and digital studio courses that build technical skills and develop creative expression.

Faculty are nationally recognized artists, historians, educators and curators. Dynamic educational opportunities, such as significant gallery exhibitions and visiting artist and scholar lectures, provide interesting and fun ways to supplement your classroom experience. And our established relationship with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art provides access to original works of art, curatorial expertise and internships.

Majors

Art Education
Art History
Studio Art

Visit the Art and Art History site.

Communication Studies

Department Overview

A degree in communication studies will give you tremendous flexibility in making a career choice. You’ll leave with the professional skills required to build careers in broadcasting, social media, public relations, reporting, law or graduate programs.

Take advantage of fully equipped film, video and radio production facilities and editing suites. We offer excellent opportunities for you to get real-world experience before graduation. You can intern in a state-of-the-art television or radio studio, at a public relations or advertising firm, in a corporate communications office or with a professional sports team.

Majors

Comm Studies: Film & Media Arts
Comm Studies: Interpersonal & Public Communications
Comm Studies: Journalism & Mass Communications

Visit the Communication Studies site.

English Language and Literature

Department Overview

With a degree in English, you’ll develop the ability to think critically and imaginatively, conduct research and write with accuracy and clarity — preparing yourself for a variety of opportunities and career paths.

A great complement to our majors are minors in manuscript, print culture and editing, which offer real-world experiences through campus and community internships in publishing and marketing.

Many of our graduates have become project and human resource managers. Several go to professional schools of law and medicine or complete graduate study in business, English, library science, archival work and education.

Majors

English: Classics, Medieval and Early Modern Literature
English: Creative Writing
English: Language and Rhetoric
English: Literature

Visit the English Language and Literature site.

Foreign Languages and Literatures

Department Overview

Knowledge of a second language can provide you with unique job-related skills for an edge in today’s competitive job market — opening the door to a world of opportunities and cultures.

Our full-time faculty brings a range of expertise and experience to the program. They have lived and studied extensively in their discipline and respective countries, and all are scholars with international reputations in their fields.

Advanced students study abroad and graduates take advantage of international teaching and research internships. Language instruction is also offered in Arabic, Ancient Greek, Italian and Latin.

Majors

Emphasis: Classical Languages and Culture
Emphasis: French Language and Literature
Emphasis: German Language and Literature
Emphasis: Spanish Language and Literature

Visit the Foreign Languages and Literatures site.

Philosophy

Department Overview

We teach general reasoning and problem-solving skills that are highly valued by employers. Philosophy is an excellent path to graduate school, as philosophy majors typically obtain higher test scores than other majors on the GMAT, LSAT and GRE. Many of our graduates have been placed in top-tier law schools and graduate programs, have held political offices and lead for-profit as well as not-for-profit enterprises.

Majors

Philosophy

Visit the Philosophy site.

Theatre

Department Overview

U.S. News & World Report has ranked our department among the top graduate theatre training programs in the country. You’ll obtain a solid artistic and academic background and have the opportunity to learn by doing. Our graduates have the foundation needed to explore and acquire the knowledge and techniques to thrive in today’s demanding world of theatre.

You will have numerous opportunities to work with professional companies, including The Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of America’s outstanding professional theatres, located on the UMKC campus.

Majors

Interest Area: General
Interest Area: Performance
Interest Area: Design/Technical

Visit the Theatre site.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Criminal Justice and Criminology

Department Overview

Whether you’re interested in pursuing a career in the judicial system or law enforcement, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology provides you with the knowledge and analytical skills to serve as tomorrow’s leaders.

Faculty have active research agendas and partner with local criminal justice agencies. This increases your access to criminal justice professionals, leading to internships, field experiences, service learning opportunities and employment upon graduation. Our graduates work in law enforcement, court settings, corrections, social service agencies and advocacy. Many choose to attend law school or a graduate program.

Majors

Criminal Justice and Criminology

Visit the Criminal Justice and Criminology site.

Economics

Department Overview

As an economics major, you will be trained to understand how financial markets work and government policy influences U.S. and global economics. Economists analyze how limited resources are identified, analyzed and managed. You will explore the trends that are transforming our economy and changing the world in which we live.

Our faculty provide expert testimony and advice to governments in the U.S. and around the world. UMKC is home to the Center for Economic Information, a regional powerhouse for urban policymakers. The department is also home to “New Economic Perspectives,” one of the world’s top-ranked economic blogs.

Majors

Emphasis: General
Emphasis: Money and Finance
Emphasis: Political Economy
Emphasis: Urban Economic Development

Visit the Economics site.

History

Department Overview

At UMKC, the study of history is much more than names and dates — it is a major that is as engaging as it is rewarding. Our goal is to give you an understanding of the complex world around them as well as the marketable skills needed to navigate that world.

In our HistoryMakers program, we partner with civic, cultural and political organizations throughout the city, giving you valuable hands-on training in historic preservation, community organizing and public programming. Graduates have gone on to business, politics, law school and fully funded graduate school programs in the humanities and social sciences.

Majors

History

Visit the History site.

Political Science

Department Overview

UMKC Political Science majors have pursued careers in law, politics, government, journalism, teaching and international affairs. Our graduates practice law at prestigious Kansas City firms, have started their own political consulting businesses and have served as field representatives for major candidates, including Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill. The UMKC Political Science department provides opportunities to complete internships in Kansas City, Jefferson City and Washington, D.C., to engage in collaborate research with faculty and to study abroad. UMKC Political Science has a proven record of providing students with the education and experiences that will serve them well in a wide range of careers.

Majors

Political Science

Visit the Political Science site.

Psychology

Department Overview

Our department is known for its foundation in experimental and applied psychological science, with strengths in health psychology and cognitive neuroscience. You’ll find that your classmates in psychology may have a wide variety of academic interests, including health and human services, medicine and business.

We have several nationally renowned faculty members who are recognized for research on obesity, HIV, multiple sclerosis, aging, addictions and serious mental illness. We also offer opportunities for you to engage with faculty and other students, including an active Psychology Club and Psi Chi, the Psychology National Honor Society. Our graduates have become counselors, social workers, researchers, physicians and licensed clinical psychologists.

Majors

Psychology

Visit the Psychology

School of Social Work

Department Overview

The UMKC Master of Social Work Program prepares you with knowledge, values and skills to work across a broad array of settings with diverse people. This social work perspective looks not only at individual thoughts, feelings and actions but also at the social environment as a primary arena for opportunities for change. Social workers are committed to care-centered practice, community-building and social justice.

UMKC’s advanced generalist curriculum is based on core professional competencies in the following areas: social work practice theory, organizations and leadership, community-building and social action, research and evaluation and professional development. Many field placement opportunities in the community have been established for you.

Majors

Master of Social Work

Visit the School of Social Work site.

Sociology

Department Overview

Our department is deeply committed to helping you realize their potential and to cultivating a profound appreciation for their experiences as social beings. You will learn not what to think but rather how to think about social life and problems. This skill prepares graduates for a wide range of careers in fields such as the nonprofit social service sector, public policy, law, journalism, business and academic social sciences. You’ll have the opportunity to actively participate in internships that build civic and career bridges for the future.

Majors

Sociology
Emphasis: Cultural Anthropology

Visit the Sociology site.

Natural and Physical Sciences

Chemistry

Department Overview

Chemistry is central to the development of new medicines and materials, the understanding of biological processes on a molecular level and many important global issues of today including the environment and energy. You will receive cutting-edge undergraduate research opportunities with expert faculty; exposure to theory, experiment/observation and simulation; and have numerous connections to career opportunities within Kansas City, throughout the country and abroad.

A degree in chemistry is excellent preparation for the professional schools of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy. UMKC chemistry graduates have gone to nationally recognized graduate and professional programs in chemistry, biochemistry, medical, dental, veterinary, law and pharmacy.

Majors

Chemistry

Visit the Chemistry site.

Geosciences

Department Overview

Our department is known for its diverse faculty with international vision and research interests. Our courses on Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, environmental modeling, field methods, geo-archeology, volcanology, geochemistry, global climate change, and biogeography address various topics of geospatial methodology and environmental issues.

The U.S. Department of Labor ranks geosciences as one of the greatest employment needs for the next 15 years. We pride ourselves on being located in a city that has been a leader in the fields of geospatial technologies and geotechnical engineering. We also offer an emphasis in urban environmental geosciences, as well as unique opportunities for internships, undergraduate research and interdisciplinary work.

Majors

Geology
Geography
Environmental Studies

Visit the Geosciences site.

Mathematics and Statistics

Department Overview

Mathematics and statistics majors are at the leading edge of knowledge, providing important new insights into technology and business. At UMKC, you gain the transferable skills necessary to analyze and problem solve. We offer real-world opportunities for you to learn to think logically and outside the box. Graduates have gone on to careers in government, education and research, and a mathematics degree opens the door to prestigious graduate programs.

Majors

Mathematics and Statistics

Visit the Mathematics and Statistics site.

Physics and Astronomy

Department Overview

We have ample undergraduate research opportunities in which you are paid to participate in scientific investigations. Join faculty in research and use national facilities, research labs and institutions, such as supercomputers from the National Science Foundation for running computationally intensive simulations.

These opportunities are the reasons our alumni succeed and become renowned in their fields. Our students have gone on to graduate school or professional programs in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and law.

Majors

Physics
Emphasis: Astronomy
Emphasis: General

Visit the Physics and Astronomy site.