History and Objectives
Facilities and Services
Performing Music Groups
Performing Theatre and Dance Groups
Awards and Scholarships
Special Services and Programs
Degrees and Programs Offered
Academic Policies and Procedures
Recognition of Academic Achievement
Department and Program Requirements
Administrative Officers and Faculty
What is now the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) was originally the entire University. Until the late 1800s, a university education consisted of studies in the liberal arts: the arts and humanities, natural and social sciences, and mathematics. The gradual addition of professional education to the curriculum brought about the creation in 1873 of the separate Department of Academic Instruction and Department of Professional Education. To relieve the president of increasingly heavy duties, a dean was appointed in 1906 for the Department of Academic Instruction, which in 1910 became known as the College of Arts and Sciences. From 1910 to 1928, the dean of the College was also the dean of the University. While the expanding functions of the University clearly have been reflected in the growth of professional schools, the College of Arts and Sciences also has expanded the scope and depth of its offerings. It now provides about half of the class hours of instruction on campus.
The particular objective of liberal education, as distinguished from professional education, is to help each student prepare for life in the cultural setting in which he or she will practice a vocation or profession. To do this, a liberal education must provide opportunities for students to acquire as much factual knowledge as possible about the realities and potentialities of this broader world, to learn to think about these facts and to evaluate them, and to learn to direct their own private and public lives in accordance with the knowledge and the discrimination they have developed. To provide this kind of education is the special responsibility of the College of Arts and Sciences of The University of Alabama, as it is of liberal arts colleges everywhere. The College offers opportunities for this kind of education to its own students and to the students of other divisions of the University.
Another phase of instruction provided by the College comprises those courses that prepare the student for professional courses in other divisions of the University. Specific preprofessional programs are offered to prepare students for admission to schools of medicine, dentistry, and law. College of Arts and Sciences students who plan to become high-school teachers choose courses in the College of Education to obtain Class B Secondary Professional Certificates.