School of Arts and Sciences

Message From The Dean

On behalf of the faculty and staff, am pleased that you are visiting the School of Arts and Sciences webpage at Virginia Union University.

Interim Dean, Dr. Gerard McShepard

Please rest assured that our academic programs have been designed by scholars who are experts in their various academic fields. The overall intention of our entire curriculum is to provide the students with contemporary learning experiences that will enhance their opportunity to function and serve in an ever changing and challenging global environment. We continue to seek new ways of improving our pedagogy and other learning strategies and we are convinced that you will appreciate our efforts here at Virginia Union University.

The School of Arts and Sciences is the largest academic unit at the university. It consists of ten academic departments including, Computer Information Systems and Computer Science, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Fine Arts, History and Political Science, Languages and Literature, Mass Communications, Mathematics, Natural Science, Social Work, and Psychology. Graduates from the School of Arts and Sciences may receive the Baccalaureate of Arts Degree in any of these academic departments. We also offer minors in many related areas. Our Social Work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and students graduating from this program receive a Baccalaureate degree in Social Work (BSW). The School of Arts & Sciences collaborates with the Evelyn Reid Syphax School of Education and Interdisciplinary Studies to offer additional academic preparation for students desirous of teaching Biology, Chemistry, English, History/Social Studies, and Mathematics in secondary schools.

As you navigate the curriculum at Virginia Union University, we hope that you would also find time to participate in the many civic organizations on campus. We encourage you to become a well-rounded student. Therefore, consider such academic organizations as the Political Science Club, the Model United Nations, the Pre-Law Society, the Social Work Club, the Christian Club, and the Spanish Club and others depending on your area of study. Biology, Chemistry and Natural Science majors have a variety of internships with medical schools as well as research institutions. Social work majors will have the opportunity to gain valuable work-related field instruction through participation in the senior practicum during their senior year. Political science/public administration majors may participate in civic engagement activities such as tutoring in the public schools, volunteering for non-profit organizations that serve low-income and at-risk children, participating in the legislative Black Caucus, and in voter registration. Mass communication majors have a variety of internships with television stations, the newspaper, and magazines.

Because of the large variety of our academic offerings, your career options are limitless. Your academic advisers will be able to guide you as you begin to make career choices. Many of our graduates currently serve as social workers, media personnel, policy developers and analyst, local, state and federal law makers, lawyers, musicians, Church leaders, veterinarians, pharmacists and some have even entered medical school to name a few. You will have the opportunity to study with others from many foreign countries with different cultural experiences. We consider such opportunity as exciting and edifying.

Please do not hesitate to stop by the dean’s office if you need to have answers to any questions regarding your studies at Virginia Union University. We wish you much success in your pursuit of academic excellence.

Gerard McShepard, Ph.D.,  Interim Dean
School of Arts and Sciences


The School of Arts and Sciences provides students with a broad liberal arts education, an environment for personal growth, and strong preparation in the chosen major. This combination prepares students to pursue graduate studies and to become highly competitive professionals and leaders in their communities. Our curriculum integrates understanding and celebration of African-American heritage while responding to the needs of the global 21st century society.


The major goals of the School of Arts and Sciences are to:

1.) Provide students experiences that enable them to face the opportunities and challenges of today’s changing world. 

2.) Prepare students to apply critical thinking skills in the classroom so they will be prepared to think, act, and relate to others in the larger contexts of the community, the nation, and the world. 

3.) Provide excellence in teaching and programming through a continuous improvement process that focuses on providing the best educational experiences for our students.

4.) Help students to explore future goals and opportunities for employment, careers, continued education, and graduate school.

Majors & Minors



  • English
  • Fine Arts
  • French
  • History
  • Music
  • Political Science
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish


Scholarships are available in Languages and Literature from the Kennedy Foundation for the Arts, and in Political Science from the Julian Bond Foundation. Please see your academic advisor for specific requirements to apply for these scholarships.

The George Powell Scholarship for Academic Achievement in the Sciences or Mathematics- Established by Dr. Angela T. Powell, Class of 1985 in honor of her father, who attended and taught at VUU for a junior or senior student majoring in biology, chemistry, natural science or math to help defray the cost of applying to professional school

Virginia Union’s Community, Culture, Research Scholarship (CCR Scholars). A scholarship offered to academically talented students with financial need pursuing bachelor of science degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Natural Sciences. Click here to apply.

MSEIP Critical Thinking Through Technology

The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program (MSEIP) project addresses the growing shortage of qualified and competent STEM majors by strengthening course curricula through the infusion of critical thinking through technology (CTTT).  Virginia Union University, like partnering institutions, serves large minority and underrepresented populations.  The majority of students from VUU and the partnering institutions come from socially, economically, culturally and academic disadvantaged backgrounds, and qualify for the Pell Grant and other financial assistance.  Minorities, as well known from current statistics, represent only a minute fraction of the sparse population of qualified scientists, engineers, doctors, etc. in our country.  Thus, the STEM programs at VUU and these institutions provide a national advantage to potential STEM majors through easy accessibility and other similar factors.  Through the MSEIP grant, faculty participants in the workshops were able to develop resource manuals for their courses that utilized critical thinking and teaching methodology to address the critical thinking abilities of the STEM students at VUU.