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College of Arts and Sciences

With an education from Washburn University’s College of Arts and Sciences, you can enrich your life and prepare to become an active citizen in your local community as well as our global society. You’ll learn how to think, how to ask questions, and how to pursue and evaluate answers. And above all, you’ll gain the skills it takes to find success, both in your career and your life.

With 19 departments and 70 degree programs, you can find a path that will lead to a career you love. No matter what program you choose, you’ll find challenging curriculum and a supportive learning environment designed to help you get the most out of your education. Our faculty will engage you in the classroom, guide you as you complete your education, and prepare you for the future you envision.

Click below to learn more about the program that interests you:


Expand your worldview and explore your creativity in the Art program at Washburn University. Here, you’ll find specialized studios with tools, equipment and facilities to support beginning, intermediate and advanced work in all disciplines. You’ll also enjoy strong research support and visual arts resources through the Mabee Library and the Mulvane Art Museum. Plus, your education will be enriched with travel assistance available, exhibition opportunities and career-oriented internships.


With Washburn University’s Biology program, you can gain a strong foundation in the field of science and prepare to find success in your future academic or professional pursuits. Curriculum in this program is designed to address the diverse interests of today’s student population. Many of our students go on to enter professional schools, such as medical, dental, veterinary and pharmacy schools. Others choose to pursue advanced degrees in subdisciplines like genetics, anatomy, physiology, botany, ecology, zoology and more.


At Washburn University, you can choose from a variety of Chemistry programs, each of which provides you with modern instrumentation and the opportunity to collaborate with faculty in undergraduate research. Courses in this program are designed to help you build an understanding of scientific chemical principles as you prepare for graduate work, employment in private or public laboratories, teaching, or medicine and health related professional fields. We offer a variety of tutoring sessions for Chemistry students, as well as a Chemistry Club to enrich the lives of majors in this discipline.

Communication Studies

With a curriculum that focuses on the in-depth study of human communication, Washburn University’s Communication Studies program provides marketable skills for the 21st century, as well as a foundation for graduate school and lifelong learning strategies. Faculty in this program foster students’ progress by utilizing student-centered instruction, coaching competitive academic teams, sponsoring student clubs and organizations, and engaging in collaboration, research and professional development.

Computer Information Sciences

Prepare for a career in software development, networking, database management or a variety of other fields in the Computer Information Sciences program at Washburn University. You’ll learn from knowledgeable professors and even have the chance to work on published research projects. We also have numerous internships available in the Topeka area, allowing you to make professional connections in your field and gain valuable job experience.


The Department of Education at Washburn University is committed to preparing outstanding future educators to effectively teach and lead in a variety of learning contexts. We offer initial teaching licenses and teaching licenses after the completion of a baccalaureate degree. We also offer graduate level degrees that lead to teaching licenses, as well as degree-only graduate programs. From early childhood to secondary education and beyond, we can prepare you to teach in a variety of settings and become an agent of change within the academic environment.


At Washburn University’s English Department, we make it our mission to provide our students with critical reading and writing skills for their personal and professional futures. By majoring in English, you will gain skills that will serve you well in all occupations and professions. Choose from three areas of emphasis: Literature, Writing or Education, the latter of which prepares teacher candidates to teach English/language arts in grades 6 through 12. Whichever emphasis you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in challenging and exciting projects of your own choosing.


If you want to be a key player in high-tech crime investigation and help ensure justice is served, consider the Forensics program at Washburn University. Offered in partnership with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, our Forensics programs offer access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment through the KBI Forensic Science Center. You’ll learn directly from KBI experts who guest lecture or serve as adjunct instructors. You can also gain valuable experience through a KBI internship, and learn new skills in the Washburn Forensics Laboratory. Choose from the following programs:

  • Digital Forensics

    Learn to preserve, extract and analyze digital evidence in Washburn University’s Computer Information Science program with a concentration in Digital Forensics. Courses in this program cover software development, networking and database management, among other key subjects. Upon completion of the program, you can seek employment in fields like law enforcement, finance and software development.

  • Forensic Anthropology

    Washburn University’s Anthropology program with a concentration in Forensics include courses in anthropology, biology, chemistry and statistics. This program includes hands-on training in our state-of-the-art lab and outdoor site, preparing you for a wide range of careers. If you want to work in the criminal justice field, you can pursue work as a forensic crime scene specialist or criminalist. Outside of criminal justice, you can potentially work in culture resource management, or for museums or state historical societies.

  • Forensic Chemical Science

    Prepare for a career in forensics or the graduate school program of your choice in the Forensic Chemical Science program at Washburn University. Courses in this program cover chemistry, biology, physics, calculus, statistics, communications, forensic anthropology and crime scene investigation. You’ll have access to cutting-edge laboratory equipment and perform hands-on experiments with the latest scientific instruments as you prepare for the future you want.

  • Forensic Investigation

    Newly available in the Fall 2016 semester, Washburn University’s Forensic Investigation program can prepare you for your desired career in the criminal justice field. Courses in this program include Crime & Justice in America, Applied Criminology, Homicide Investigations, Criminal Procedure & Evidence and Criminal Law. You’ll also have the chance to complete an internship in forensic sciences, which allows you to apply your new knowledge and skills in a real-world environment and make important connections in your field.


With small class sizes, courses focused in U.S. and world history, and close interaction with professors, Washburn University’s Department of History provides a clear map to mastery of the field. Plus, we can help you take your history education outside the classroom by coordinating internships with local historical agencies and institutions, such as the Kansas State Historical Society, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and more. You’ll also complete a capstone experience that allows you to engage with primary sources to produce a comprehensive research paper.


Study physical activity as well as human movement and its impact on health, society and quality of life in the Kinesiology program at Washburn University. In this program, you’ll be immersed in comprehensive professional preparation programs as you prepare to deal with the challenges of working in areas like health promotion and fitness, cardiac rehabilitation, sports administration, injury prevention and care, and public school teaching. In addition, you’ll be exposed to leadership, research and educational service opportunities through participation in internships, clinical placements, student teaching and volunteerism.

Mass Media

Prepare for a career in a variety of creative and media fields in the Mass Media degree program at Washburn University. Curriculum in this program covers topics like creative advertising, film and video, public relations and contemporary journalism, giving you multimedia skills you need to pursue work in traditional and new media industries, including independent entrepreneurial enterprises. Experienced professors teach all mass media classes, placing strong emphasis on individualized attention and real-world experience.

Mathematics and Statistics

In Washburn University’s Mathematics and Statistics program, you can explore the field of mathematics and prepare for a career that suits your interests and talents. Here, you can choose from three specialties: Pure Mathematics, Mathematics Secondary Education and Actuarial Science. No matter which program you choose, you’ll obtain a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics in terms of content, problem solving, analytical skills and abstract mathematical reasoning.

Modern Languages

If you enjoy traveling and exploring other cultures, consider the Modern Languages program at Washburn University. Here, we are committed to communication, diversity and global awareness, as well as helping you develop a better understanding of your own culture and language. No matter what language you choose to study, you can prepare for an internationalized world and open doors in business, journalism, nursing, criminal justice, social work or other fields – plus, you can combine a career with the excitement of international travel.


For those drawn to the beauty and art in music, Washburn University’s Department of Music offers a variety of degree programs designed to help you further your education and pursue your passion. Receive professional instruction from performing artists and hone your craft and perfect your performance skills. Washburn also offers a variety of world-class performance and learning facilities, including the Garvey Fine Arts Center, Elliot Hill White Concert Hall, a Music Technology Lab, and an additional, soon-to-be-built recital hall.

Philosophy and Religious Studies

Washburn University’s Philosophy Department offers two majors: Philosophy and Religious Studies. Each program provides a solid base while also offering a foundation for graduate or professional studies. Class sizes are kept small in these programs, and courses are typically taught by people who hold Ph.D. degrees and have many years of teaching experience. Both of these programs offer a basis for lifelong critical thinking, as well as opportunities to engage in research and scholarly activities.

Physics and Astronomy

The Physics and Astronomy Department at Washburn University specializes in computational physics research, with a wide range of applications, from the dynamics of neutron stars to how life on Earth is affected by radiation from space. Beyond the knowledge you’ll gain in your chosen program, you’ll also acquire the tools to learn anything, preparing you to succeed in a variety of jobs, from engineering to technical writing to practicing law.

Political Science and Public Administration

Study governments, public policies and political behavior at Washburn University. Our Political Science and Public Administration Department can prepare you to change the way public policy affects and changes your life, the life of your community and the world in which you live. Whether you choose to study Political Science or Public Administration, you can gain a level of expertise and cognition necessary to find success in either the public and/or non-profit sectors of American society.


Your path toward a career in the dental field starts at Washburn University. Our Pre-Dental program is offered within the Biology Department and offers comprehensive curriculum designed to prepare you to find success. We have a proven track record in preparing our students to succeed, as well as a high acceptance rate for students applying to professional schools.


Washburn University is cooperating with four-year engineering institutions to offer a Pre-Engineering program designed to prepare students for success in the field. In this program, you can choose an area of engineering that interests you, and select a wide range of engineering courses and additional electives. Students in this program enroll at Washburn to study for two to three years, and then transfer to the four-year engineering institution where they complete the requirements for their Bachelor of Science degree.


The Pre-Law program at Washburn University can help you earn admission to the law school of your choice and prepare you for the rigors of studying law. Washburn offers a free diagnostic LSAT in both the fall and spring semesters, offering you individualized consultation sessions so you can learn how to improve your score. Washburn also utilizes a number of faculty to advise Pre-Law students, rather than administrators located outside common Pre-Law fields of study. In addition, Washburn is one of only a few colleges in Kansas to compete in the National Mock Trial competition – our Mock Trial teams have a strong regional and national presence and reputation.

Pre-Med (Biology)

Prepare to apply to medical school and seek success in your chosen field with an education from Washburn University. Our Pre-Med requirements for Biology majors are recommended by the University of Kansas School of Medicine and include courses like Human Physiology, Human Anatomy, General Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Developmental Biology, Immunology and more.

Pre-Med (Chemistry)

At Washburn University, you can gain the skills and knowledge medical schools are looking for in our Chemistry program. Pre-Med requirements for Chemistry majors are recommended by the University of Kansas School of Medicine and include courses like Medical Ethics, Biochemistry, General Zoology, Human Anatomy, Microbiology, General Genetics, Developmental Biology, Histology and more.


Study the biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences on how we think, feel, and act at Washburn University. Our Psychology program features small class sizes and numerous opportunities for conducting research and completing internships. You’ll also have the chance to participate in a Washburn Transformational Experience, which allows you to apply your passions to a leadership role, a study abroad experience, a community service opportunity, or a scholarly or creative endeavor. Comprehensive Psychology curriculum will help you develop a scientific understanding of behavior as you prepare to help others and become an informed member of society.

Sociology and Anthropology

The Washburn University Department of Sociology and Anthropology features dedicated faculty and offers one-on-one interaction and mentoring to help you toward graduate school and/or the career of your choice. We offer active learning opportunities and rigorous curriculum designed to successfully participate in a 21st century world. Our Bachelor’s degree program graduates have gone on to teach ESL classes around the world, as well as work with police departments, city planning organizations, museums, state historical societies, community groups, state agencies and more.


Immerse yourself in the arts with a Theatre major from Washburn University. Our renowned Theatre department puts on a wide range of productions at the Andrew J. and Georgia Neese Gray Theatre each year – recent selections include Into the Woods, Mauritius, The Nether and This Is Our Youth. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre consists of 40 credit hours in Theatre and 9 hours or correlate courses in English, in addition to the general requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences. Required courses include Voice, Diction and Interpretation, Stagecraft, Set Design, Costume Design and more.

Why Washburn?

Affordable Education

More than $70 million in financial aid is available to students annually, plus $7.9 million in university scholarships and flexible in-state tuition rates.

Vibrant Campus Life

Choose from more than 100 on-campus clubs and organizations, plus a vast array of cultural and recreational opportunities both on campus and in the Topeka community.

A Vision for the Future

Our master plan includes improved facilities, a new School of Law, library renovations and a wide range of other initiatives designed to improve your Washburn experience.