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School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Ted Ritter is the Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. Prior to this appointment as Dean, Ritter served as a Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Political Science.

“Dr. Ritter is committed to the success of our students and VUU,” Dr. Hakim J. Lucas, President and CEO stated. “His forward-thinking strategies will continue to help expand our academic programs and provide the rigor and career preparation that our students need and deserve.”

Ritter is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Political Science. He is a former prosecutor and served five years as the Executive Coordinator of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Council. Ritter says has used that experience “to help create a Pre-Law program at VUU and hopes to see the program grow.” Prior to working at VUU, Ritter was a faculty member at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and the University of Richmond.

“As the largest of the academic schools, Arts and Sciences can be the nucleus for new programs and expanded opportunities,” Ritter said. “I look forward to working with our outstanding faculty in revising and updating our curriculum, increasing the application and receipt of additional grant funds, enhancing programs to foster greater retention, and increasing graduation rates.”

Currently the School of Arts and Sciences houses ten Departments that comprise academic disciplines including Biology, Chemistry, Criminal Justice, English, Fine Arts, French, History, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Mass Communications, Math, Computer Information Systems and Cyber Security. In addition to these academic departments, the School also contains the Military Science (ROTC) program and the new Hezekiah Walker Center for Sacred Music.

Despite this number of programs in the School, Ritter says the future will bring new and enhanced programs for students. “Dr. Lucas has announced a vision for Arts and Sciences that includes the creation of a College of Arts and Sciences that will provide for additional Schools to be created under the Arts and Sciences banner,” Ritter stated. “These include a School of Allied Health, a School of Policy, Law and Social Justice, the School of Humanities and Fine Arts, an expanded and reimagined School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and the recently launched School of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.”

“I am excited about the opportunities for Arts and Sciences,” Ritter said. “Dr. Lucas has a bold vision for the future of Virginia Union and our faculty and students will be at the forefront of creating a university that is truly Best in Class.”

Mission

The School of Arts and Science is designed to provide a highly selective liberal arts program. It seeks to attract a student body of high promise and ability from throughout the United States and the international community. Its mission is to engage in significant and innovative research, scholarship, and creative expression in the humanities, natural sciences, technology and social sciences; to offer distinguished, well-taught programs of undergraduate and graduate education in the liberal arts and sciences; and to foster service to society overall.

Vision

The School of Arts and Sciences is a place where dreams are shaped, relationships created and excellence achieved.

Values

The School of Arts and Sciences is committed to these values:

  • Access: We believe education should be available to all who seek it.
  • Collaboration: We value teamwork, joint responsibility and ownership.
  • Community: We are dedicated to serving the educational needs of our community.
  • Social Justice: We believe all people are entitled to the basic benefits and burdens of society, including education, public services, healthcare, protection of the environment and equality under the law.
  • Diversity: We respect the rights and perspectives of the diverse populations, who live, learn and work in our community.
  • Excellence: We strive for the highest quality in all our programs and services.
  • Integrity: We believe in honesty, transparency and trustworthiness in all our practices.
  • Internationalization: We value a global perspective and respect cultural diversity.
  • Learning: We develop an interactive, creative and learner-centered environment that supports student success.

Goals

  1. Promote student engagement, learning, and achievement.
  2. Integrate and institutionalize diversity and globalism throughout the School.
  3. Build valuable relationships and establish a meaningful presence within Virginia Union University’s communities.
  4. Achieve sustainability in human resources, operations, research, teaching and learning

Majors & Minors

MAJORS

MINORS

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

Scholarships

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.