The College of Humanities and Sciences was organized in 1966 (then the School of Arts and Sciences) as a combination of several existing departments at Richmond Professional Institute: Biology, Chemistry, English, Foreign Languages, and History and Political Science. The departments of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Mathematical Sciences, Physics, Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology, and Political Science were developed or added subsequently.
Arts and Sciences began its first graduate programs in 1969 with master’s programs in psychology and sociology. Master’s programs in biology and mathematical sciences and a doctoral program in clinical psychology were soon to follow in 1971. In 1974, English/English education began a master’s program offered cooperatively by the Department of English and the Division of Teacher Education of the School of Education. In that same year the graduate program in chemistry, a cooperative venture between the departments of Chemistry on the Monroe Park Campus and Pharmaceutical Chemistry on the MCV Campus, was transferred administratively to the School of Arts and Sciences. Beginning in 1976, a master’s degree was created in mass communications, while in 1978, a doctoral program in social policy and social work started in cooperation between the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the School of Social Work.
In July 1981, the School of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Mass Communications were organized into the College of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Mass Communications. The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing commenced in 1983 followed by the M.S. in Physics in 1984. Three years later, the Department of Mathematical Sciences established the M.S. in Computer Science program, and finally, a master’s degree in history was initiated in 1994 through the Department of History.
Effective July 1, 1994, the departments of Criminal Justice, Public Administration and Urban Studies joined the college from the dissolved School of Community and Public Affairs. Each department brought to the college both master’s and post-baccalaureate certificate programs within their disciplines. The Public Administration program was merged with the Political Science program to form the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. The Ph.D. in Public Administration program was initially incorporated into the newly merged department and now resides in the Center for Public Policy.