Jun 23, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin 
2017-2018 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences

Neva Specht, Dean
Dru Henson, Associate Dean
Jennifer Burris, Associate Dean


The College of Arts & Sciences at Appalachian State University is home to 16 academic departments, two academic programs, two centers and one residential college spanning the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. The college is dedicated to providing instruction and research essential to the University’s mission and seeks to cultivate the habits of inquiry, learning and service among all its constituents.

Department of Anthropology


Timothy Smith, Chair



Center for Appalachian Studies


William Schumann, Center Director

Dave Wood, Graduate Program Director

The Culture and Music concentration focuses on scholarship and research in the social sciences, humanities, and fine and applied arts, seeking to deepen understanding of the Appalachian socio-cultural and historical experience. The concentration also focuses on scholarly treatment of regional music traditions, including ballads, shape-note songs, traditional string bands, bluegrass, gospel, and country, including the African-American as well as European-American traditions.

The Sustainability in Appalachia concentration is based on applied research and interdisciplinary course work spanning the social and natural sciences as well as the humanities. It provides a foundation for those students who seek to meet the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. For students interested in Appalachian and other highland and rural peoples, as well as other peoples threatened by the results of unsustainable practices and patterns, this course of study provides the background in the search for sustainable solutions.


Master of Arts

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Minor


Appalachian Studies

Department of Biology


Zack Murrell, Interim Chair 

Ece Karatan, Graduate Program Director

The graduate program is designed to prepare men and women for competitive careers and continued training in the field of biology. Our students graduate with the scientific skills for careers in environmental, biomedical, and educational fields and with foundational training for further education at the doctoral and professional levels. The program provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of broad fields and disciplines in biology while also allowing specialization in an area of their choice. In recent years, the Graduate Program in Biology has been twice named the Outstanding Graduate Program at Appalachian State University, and our graduate students routinely compete for and are awarded grants or scholarships for their proposed and ongoing research. The quality of thesis research conducted by biology graduate students is regularly recognized by the university, and our students often receive thesis awards from the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies.


Master of Science



General Science

Department of Chemistry


Claudia Cartaya-Marin, Chair



Department of Computer Science


Rahman Tashakkori, Chair

James Fenwick, Jr., Graduate Program Director

The Computer Science MS program is for students who would like to advance beyond the undergraduate level of professional competence or to prepare for future doctoral study. The curriculum includes a balance between theory and applications and is built upon a set of core courses that cover the breadth of the fundamental areas of computer science. Through an appropriate selection of concentration electives students engage a depth of study in a specialization of the discipline. The program normally can be completed in two years with the appropriate undergraduate education or work experience.


Master of Science


Computer Science

Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies


Mark Nunes, Chair

Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies


Sushmita Chatterjee, Program Director

The certificate allows students to seek training at the graduate level in women’s studies and get formal recognition for completing this training successfully.

The graduate minor allows students to engage in 9 hours of study at the graduate level in Gender Women’s and Sexuality Studies and to earn a minor that complements their graduate studies.


Graduate Certificate

Graduate Minor


Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies

Interdisciplinary Studies

Department of English


Carl Eby, Chair

Susan Staub, Graduate Program Director

Bret Zawilski, Director of Graduate Certificate

Jessie Blackburn, Advisor of Graduate Certificate

NOTE: For every master’s program, students should plan a Program of Study with the Graduate Advisor in English during the first semester after enrollment. In all cases, a student must complete 24 hours in English on their program of study.


Master of Arts

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Minor



Rhetoric & Composition

Department of Geography and Planning


Kathleen Schroeder, Chair

Baker Perry, Graduate Program Director

The graduate degree programs in Geography are designed to provide students with a broad range of academic and professional options. Foundations of the programs include preparing students for: 1) Ph.D. work in geography or planning, and 2) professional opportunities in applied geography and planning.

Past graduates have found jobs working in fields such as: geographic information science, environmental analysis and policy development, transportation planning, urban planning, satellite image analysis, cartography, regional planning and sustainable development, economic development, and land resource management.

Faculty and students are actively engaged in research investigating: climate change, biome change, GIS applications (viticulture; flood modeling; property valuation; visualization), globalization processes, economic development, community development, transportation and land use, precipitation climatology, mountain environments, and natural hazards.

The Department also offers graduate certificates in Planning and in GIScience for students interested in gaining proficiency in those areas without completing an entire degree. A third graduate certificate program in Climate Change has just be added starting Fall 2017. Completion of the certificate does not guarantee admission into the MA degree program.


Master of Arts

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Minor


Community & Regional Planning


Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences


William Anderson, Chair



Department of Government and Justice Studies


Phillip Ardoin, Chair

Graduate programs in the department are supervised by the departmental chair, the individual graduate program directors, and the graduate committee.

Political Science


Rene Scherlen, Graduate Program Director

Tatyana Ruseva, Graduate Program Director

The Master of Arts program in political science is designed to prepare students for careers in a variety of government, educational, and private settings, and for further graduate work at the doctoral level. Students in our program may choose from one of three concentrations: American Government, Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis or International Relations/Comparative Politics. Our enrollment over the last 10 years has fluctuated between 15-20 students. With a student/faculty ratio of 3 to 1, we are able to provide our students with the individual attention they expect and deserve. While we have two basic curriculums, the interests and aspirations of our students are quite diverse and therefore we allow each student, in consultation with the Program Director, to develop a program of study which meets his or her unique interests and aspirations.

The American Government concentration promotes student understanding of the institutions of American Politics and the behavior of the public and political actors.

The Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis concentration promotes a multidisciplinary curriculum and provides students with the hard skills necessary for conducting analyses of environmental policy issues.

The International Relations/Comparative Politics concentration promotes student understanding of world politics and U.S. interactions with other nations.

While the issue content of each concentration varies, all three curriculums provide students with the methodological and analytic skills necessary for further graduate work at the doctoral level and careers in government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Public Administration


Mark Bradbury, Graduate Program Director

Kathryn Webb Farley, Graduate Certificate Director

Location of Program: This program is offered on campus in Boone in the format described in this Bulletin. Off-campus cohorts are started periodically, and follow a part-time extended program format. For information on upcoming off-campus cohorts, please contact the Office of Distance Education: distance.appstate.edu.

The MPA program is designed to ensure that students become proficient in the knowledge, skills and ethical values needed to become effective managers of public sector agencies (on the federal, state, and local levels) and not-for-profit organizations. Our graduates serve as town and county managers, economic developers, agency directors, and are employed in leadership roles in public safety and nongovernmental agencies. Over 400 graduates have completed the MPA degree at Appalachian since its inception in 1988.

Students in the MPA program are required to choose one of the following open concentrations:

  • Administration of Justice Concentration (279D): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for administrative/management positions in a variety of law enforcement, court, and correctional agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
  • Not-for-Profit Management Concentration (279F): This concentration is designed to prepare individuals for management and policy positions in governmental and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Public Management Concentration (279B): This concentration is designed to allow individuals to develop a program to suit specific needs in such areas as budget analyst, personnel administration, etc., or to prepare students with a generalist background in public administration.
  • Town, City and County Management Concentration (279C): This concentration is designed to prepare persons for managerial roles in towns, cities, and county governments or in organizations and agencies related to towns and counties.


Master of Arts

Master of Public Administration

Graduate Certificate


Criminal Justice

Political Science

Public Administration

Department of History


James Goff, Chair

Judkin Browning, Graduate Program Director


Master of Arts

Graduate Minor



Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures


James Fogelquist, Chair

Beverly Moser, Graduate Program Director

The Romance Languages degree programs provide graduate course work targeted toward the following professional populations:

  • Certificate: students holding a baccalaureate degree in the language or a closely related field and a master’s degree who seek the credentials needed for teaching college-level French or Spanish.
  • MA (K-12 Teaching): teachers who hold or are eligible to hold the NC “A” certification and seek Master (M) Level Licensure, pursue continued state certification, and prepare to seek national board certification.
  • MA (College Teaching): students holding a baccalaureate degree in the language or a closely related field who are preparing for teaching and/or to work with international populations at the college level.
  • The programs strive to strengthen existing language skills through continued development of target language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing, to enhance students’ knowledge of the target culture, to develop a functional research capability and teaching skills, and to support practical experiences in using and teaching the target language.

Students entering the programs must:

  • provide a writing sample in the target language (an original essay, personal statement, academic paper, undergraduate portfolio);
  • prepare, under the supervision of a language professor on campus or elsewhere, an audiocassette where they respond orally in the target language to a series of questions;
  • demonstrate credit for at least two literature courses and two culture courses taken at the undergraduate level.

Dual Certification (K-12) in French and Spanish: With approval from the departmental chair, teachers seeking dual certification in French and Spanish may develop a program of study containing 18 semester hours of course work in French and 18 semester hours in Spanish.

Students with Undergraduate Deficiencies: Graduate students who do not have adequate undergraduate credits may begin graduate study, IF, at the same time, they are completing the required undergraduate hours to fulfill the prerequisites and/or distribution regarding coursework in literature and culture. Students whose language proficiency is inadequate may be required to take appropriate courses prior to being recommended for Admission to Candidacy.

Study Abroad: Candidates for the MA are strongly encouraged to arrange a study abroad program of at least six weeks’ duration during the course of their studies. Students participating in established graduate-level programs abroad are encouraged to discuss course transfer requirements in advance with the advisor and the program director.


Master of Arts

Graduate Certificate

Graduate Minor



Languages, Literatures, & Cultures


Department of Mathematical Sciences


Eric Marland, Chair

Ross Gosky, Graduate Program Co-Director

Holly Hirst, Graduate Program Co-Director

This program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing a rigorous graduate program in mathematics with the added benefit of gaining hands-on training and experience with teaching. It can qualify students for advanced teacher licensure in high school mathematics, prepare students for community college teaching positions, or serve as excellent preparation for doctoral programs in mathematics or mathematics education.

Students pursue one or both of two concentrations.

Concentration in College Teaching - Designed for students who are interested in teaching mathematics at the college level. The course of study follows the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges (AMATYC) guidelines for faculty preparation, in addition to allowing students to complete a rigorous core of graduate level mathematics.

Concentration in Secondary Teaching - Designed for students who are interested in furthering their secondary school teaching credentials. The course of study follows the North Carolina guidelines for advanced (M) licensure in mathematics, as well as CAEP accreditation guidelines on the preparation of master’s level mathematics high school teachers.


Master of Arts




Department of Philosophy and Religion


Kevin Schilbrack, Chair


Graduate Minor



Religious Studies

Department of Physics and Astronomy


Michael Briley, Chair

Brad Johnson, Graduate Program Director

The MS program is designed to prepare individuals for technical careers in industrial, governmental, and independent laboratories as well as for teaching positions at the community college level. It may also serve as an intermediate step for those who later elect to pursue a Ph.D. in applied physics, engineering physics, engineering, nanoscience, material science or a related area.

Graduate students will choose a research area of Applied Physics, Atmospheric Physics, Biophysics and Optical Sciences, Nanoscience, Electronics Instrumentation, Optics Instrumentation, or Astronomical Instrumentation and Observations.

The concentration in Systems and Laboratory Automation is a more traditional MS program that contains thesis and non-thesis options. The other concentrations are professional science master’s (PSM) concentration, which require a core of business and communications courses (12 semester hours). The PSM concentrations do not have a thesis option, but require an internship.


Master of Science

Graduate Minor




Department of Psychology


Rose Mary Webb, Chair

Twila Wingrove, Program Director for Psychology, Experimental Concentration

Denise Martz, Interim Program Director for Psychology, Clinical Concentration

Timothy Huelsman, Program Director for Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management

Pamela Kidder-Ashley, Program Director for School Psychology

Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management: The Department of Psychology participates jointly with the Department of Management to offer an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology & Human Resource Management. This interdisciplinary M.A. degree is designed to equip students with advanced specialized training in human resource management. Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge of theories, methods, and research findings and to acquire skills in applying this knowledge to organizational activities such as employee recruitment, selection, motivation, training and development, and performance appraisal. The program consists of 51 semester hours that include required course work in both the Psychology Department and the Management Department. Either an internship or a thesis is required.

Psychology: The Master of Arts in Psychology has two concentrations: Clinical and Experimental.

Note: The Master of Arts Program in Psychology will be not be considering students for the clinical concentration beginning in Fall 2018 as our faculty awaits potential approval of a PsyD program from the UNC system.

The primary purpose of the Clinical concentration is to prepare the student to function competently in a variety of applied psychological, medical or integrative health care settings by developing evidence-based clinical skills. Through a program of course work, research training, and strong experiential learning requirements (practica and an internship), students develop multiple applied competencies, including diagnostic interviewing, cognitive and personality assessment, and prevention and intervention skills (e.g., psychotherapy, behavioral medicine, community level). Using a scientist-practitioner model, graduates are prepared for professional practice with eligibility for licensure as Licensed Psychological Associates in North Carolina, and are also prepared to pursue doctoral training.

The primary purpose of the Experimental concentration is to provide a sound program of intensive course work and independent research beyond the bachelor’s degree, based on a mentoring model with student - faculty academic and research relationships as a central component. Upon completion of this program, the student is prepared to pursue various scientific and applied activities. Most students choose to pursue doctoral work at other institutions.

School Psychology: The School Psychology program has been approved by the National Association of School Psychologists since 1991. Our program provides learning experiences grounded in the scientist-practitioner model that enable our students to become well-rounded, effective school psychologists. Our graduates are prepared to work with diverse populations in a variety of education-related settings and to practice competently, ethically, and from a scientific perspective in the major domains of school psychology practice, including consultation, assessment, prevention, intervention, training, diversity, home-school collaboration, and applied research. The program consists of 72 semester hours and requires three years of full-time study, including a year-long, full-time internship and completion of the PRAXIS-II exam in School Psychology. Upon successful completion of all program requirements, graduates earn Master of Arts and Specialist in School Psychology degrees and are eligible for licensure by the NC Department of Public Instruction as Level II School Psychologists and for the Nationally Certified School Psychologist credential; they also may apply for NC licensure as Licensed Psychological Associates.

For more information about the programs offered, please refer to: http://psych.appstate.edu/students/graduate


Dual Degree Programs

Master of Arts



Department of Sociology


Amy Dellinger Page, Chair


Bradley Nash, Jr., Graduate Program Director

The Gerontology program prepares students for careers requiring graduate-level knowledge and skills in the field of aging. The program emphasizes knowledge about the psychological, sociological, and biological processes of normal aging as they affect the diverse and rapidly growing population of older adults in the state and the nation. Theory, research and professional career preparation are emphasized, as is knowledge and understanding of public policies implemented through federal and state programs.

Students are encouraged to develop their own unique aging-related area of specialization. (Recent creative examples include the aging of the inmate population and the growth of eating disorders among middle-aged women.) Faculty assist students with their research, which can lead to conference presentations and/or publications.

The Graduate Certificate can be completed in either one or two years. It is designed to develop or supplement aging-related knowledge and skills for (1) students in other master’s degree programs; (2) students “testing the waters”, that is, who are considering but do not yet want to commit to a master’s degree program; (3) employees who desire a Gerontology credential, but who do not want or need a master’s degree; (4) others with a personal or professional interest in aging and elders.

Graduates of the Graduate Certificate program have found jobs in both the public and private sectors, ranging from direct work with older persons to managerial/administrative positions. The program is approved by the NC Division of Health Service Regulation to offer the Administrator-in-Training Program for students who want to obtain assisted living facility administrator licensure.

The Graduate Certificate program can be completed 100% online so students can schedule coursework and assignments around their job, family and other obligations. There is no requirement to be logged on at a particular day or time, nor is there any online course requirement to come to the main campus. Other elective courses are offered only on campus.


Bradley Nash, Graduate Program Director

The Graduate Certificate in Sociology is designed to provide a solid post-baccalaureate foundation in Sociology. The six required courses:

  • comprise the basis of a master’s degree in Sociology, and
  • qualify Certificate recipients who also hold a master’s degree in a field other than sociology to teach Sociology courses in most colleges and universities nationwide.

The curriculum provides graduate-level expertise for teaching the most common Sociology courses (Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Marriage and Family). It also develops expertise in other standard Sociology sub-disciplines that are useful per se and that will enhance the teaching of Sociology (Sociological Theory, Research Methods, Social Stratification).

The Graduate Certificate in Sociology is 100% on-line and asynchronous, so students can schedule coursework and assignments around their job, family and other obligations. There is no requirement to be logged on at a particular day or time, nor is there any requirement to come to the main campus.

By taking two courses per semester (Summer, Fall and Spring), the Graduate Certificate in Sociology can be completed in one calendar year. The program is cohort based, each cohort commencing in the Summer term.


Graduate Certificate