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College of Arts & LettersUndergraduate Programs

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African American & African Studies (B.A./B.S.)

The African American and African Studies (AAST) program offers the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. The program is designed to give students an essential core of basic knowledge and analytical skills, while providing an opportunity to specialize in one of two emphasis areas: African American Studies or African Studies.


Applied Language Studies (English, B.A.)

The Applied Language Studies (APLS) concentration focuses on the scientific study of language, with an emphasis on using linguistics to address real-world problems. Through the APLS curriculum, students learn the basic structural features that comprise all languages. Students at ODU who choose the B.A. or Minor in English with an APLS emphasis explore the influence of language on society by examining its use in authentic contexts. The scope of APLS also allows students to investigate first language acquisition and second language learning; social, regional, and global language varieties; discourse and conversation analysis; language and gender; the origins and development of the English language; and cross-cultural communication differences.


Art Education (B.A.)

The Art Education program offers instruction in the theory and practical aspects of teaching art from kindergarten through high school in a variety of settings. The B.A. in Art Education focuses on studio arts, art history and professional education course work. Practical hands on learning in schools, museums, and cultural institutions provide students with the necessary skills needed to be successful Art Educators. Students also explore past and current issues in Art Education and ways in which political, social, and cultural viewpoints influence Art Educational practice and policy. Old Dominion University’s B.A. in Art Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the Virginia Department of Education, and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).


Art History (B.A.)

The study of the history of art promotes visual and cultural literacy, critical and independent thinking, and advanced research and communication skills. ODU offers a BA in Art History, as well as a minor in Art History. The major and minor in Art History is designed to effectively function as a stand-alone major/minor, while also complementing other majors/minors within the Art Department, College of Arts and Letters and across the University. After a survey of world art from ancient to contemporary, students take a series of tiered courses in three broad periods of art—Ancient to Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern and Contemporary—that allows students to build their skills in research and writing. Advanced majors may take courses in their areas of interest, pursue internships at museums and other cultural venues, and conduct independent research with faculty advisors. The art history program of study culminates with the writing of an original senior thesis or capstone project.


Asian Studies (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies seeks to promote an expanded awareness and understanding of the nations and cultures of Asia, to support and encourage research on Asia, and to make available resources to enable better understanding and more effective interaction between organizations and individuals in the Hampton Roads area and those in Asia. The Institute of Asian Studies initiates and coordinates the development and operation of special programs, and administers a major in Asian Studies. It also explores and maintains cooperative relationships with higher education institutions and other organizations within the United States and throughout Asia in order to enhance Asian Studies programs in this university and region.


Communication (B.A./B.S.)

Communication is one of the fastest growing majors in the College of Arts and Letters. Our emphasis areas within the program produce creative, culturally aware, highly effective, communicators. Our student-centered approach is a synthesis of theoretical and applied learning providing a dynamic, conceptual grounding for lifelong learning and career flexibility.


Creative Writing (English, B.A.)

When a poem or lyric moves you, how does it make you feel what you’re feeling? When a story scares you, what’s happening on the level of structure and syntax to usher you toward surprise? In the creative writing emphasis, students won’t only read and write, they’ll learn the very mechanics of prose and poetry, in order to be able to reproduce the effects of literature they love. During their course of study they’ll read and interpret the work of contemporary writers, study the history and conventions of various genres, attend literary readings, and share their prose and poetry with classmates. The creative writing emphasis offers concentrated study in the practice and craft of writing as a creative art. Students will study the art and craft of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, and take workshops devoted to one or more of those three genres. Students in this emphasis will develop the skills of critical thinking, creative problem solving, close reading, editing, and logical analysis.


Criminal Justice (B.A./B.S.)

Undergraduate students may earn a  Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. While earning their bachelor's, students majoring in criminal justice have the chance to earn departmental honors. The departmental honors program is designed to provide undergraduate students who are excelling in their studies an opportunity for more advanced studies in their major field, including the opportunity to work independently with department faculty.


Cybercrime (Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S.)

The cybercrime major prepares students for occupations in law enforcement and information technology. Students in the cybercrime program will be required to developed strong written and verbal communication skills, as well as skills in mathematics and logic. Students will take courses in criminology, cybersecurity, and information technology. Through these courses they will learn about technology-related criminal justice issues, including cyberlaws and computer crime investigations. They will also acquire the technical skills that employers ask for, including knowledge of cybersecurity, digital forensics, computer networking, and common programming languages like Java and C+.


Cybersecurity (B.S.)

This program prepares graduates with the skills necessary to protect computer systems, networks, and online data from attack and compromise. Throughout the program, students will learn to troubleshoot and to identify potential security lapses through classroom instruction, hands-on computer lab sessions and opportunities to participate in research projects. Courses focus primarily on computer science, computer engineering and engineering management, information technology and decision science, information assurance, wireless networking, criminal justice, philosophy and psychology. Students will learn how to collect forensic evidence in prosecution of cybercrime or maintenance of network security.


Dance (Theatre & Dance, B.A.)

The Old Dominion University Dance Program engages students in a dynamic and transformative process of dance training, fostering curiosity, imagination, versatility and innovation. Through interdisciplinary learning, scholarly research and engagement with local and global communities, students experience dance on many levels helping them to think critically and live creatively as dance artists.


Dance Education (Theatre & Dance, B.A.)

The Old Dominion University Dance Program engages students in a dynamic and transformative process of dance training, fostering curiosity, imagination, versatility and innovation. Through interdisciplinary learning, scholarly research and engagement with local and global communities, students experience dance on many levels helping them to think critically and live creatively as dance artists.


English with Teaching Licensure (B.A.)

This program leads to eligibility for teacher licensure in Virginia. Licensure in English prepares students for a full range of secondary school teaching assignments. The program is accredited by the State of Virginia; in addition, Virginia has licensure reciprocity agreements with thirty other states, should the student leave Virginia. The program combines the usual requirements of a college major and minor. Students take courses in the English department (ENGL) of the College of Arts and Letters and Teaching and Learning department of the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies. Students receive a Bachelor of Arts in English. Graduates of our program have been recognized for their teaching across the Hampton Roads schools.


Fine Arts (B.F.A.)

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) is a professional degree that focuses on intensive creative work in the following visual arts majors: 3D Media & Materials Studies, Graphic Design, Painting & Drawing, and Photography & Print Media. The B.F.A. does not have a freshman entrance portfolio review for admission. Students who are pursuing the B.F.A. degree must consult with the Art Department's Chief Departmental Advisor before or during their first semester at ODU. Students are expected to begin their art studio foundations coursework in their first year of study.


French (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

Whether studying French as preparation for studying and working in a French-speaking country, this program offers both curricular and extracurricular means to meet your goals. Though a broad range of offerings and opportunities, this program encourages students to work not only toward proficiency in the French language, but to learn about the culture, history, literature, politics, and geography of the French-speaking world.


French with Teaching Licensure (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

The mission of the French with Teaching Licensure program is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to teach French within the Pre-K through Grade 12 environment. This program is designed for prospective teachers and offers both curricular and extracurricular means to meet your goals. Through a broad range of offerings and opportunities, this program encourages students to work not only toward proficiency in the French language, but to learn about the culture, history, literature, politics, and geography of the French-speaking world.


Game Studies & Design (B.S.)

ODU’s Game Design, Development, and Criticism degree is an interdisciplinary major that allows students to specialize in game programming or game design while also learning game scholarship. Our program features a fundamentally entrepreneurial and multiperspectival approach to game studies and gaming, one that is designed to not only teach students the core principles of game development, design, and scholarship, but also to help them understand how to adapt these principles in response to changes in technology, the market, or culture. In doing so, this degree aims to prepare students for careers in both the mainstream and independent gaming industry, in the growing academic field of game studies, or in any number of other related fields.


Geographic Information Systems (Geography, B.S.)

Welcome to the Geography Program at Old Dominion University! With eight full time faculty and one hundred majors, we are a vibrant community specializing in the study of a variety of fields of study, including Geographic Information Science (GIS), Environmental Geography, Human Geography, Regional Geography and Geography Education. Students can specialize in one or more of these areas. ODU Geography graduates work in a variety of fields and places, both in the public and private sector in Hampton Roads, throughout Virginia and around the world. Recent graduates have worked at places as diverse as the International Atomic Energy Agency, NASA, National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Google Maps, local planning agencies, and as K-12 educators. In addition, many of our students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees at universities across the country.


Geography (B.A./B.S.)

In Geography, the department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees. The geography program is designed to give students a broad base of geographical training and an understanding of human-environment interrelationships.


German (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

With this degree, you will achieve practical and culture-based proficiency in German through studying German literature, philosophy, film, art, and news as well as related fields such as history, politics, economics, and the arts. We offer a great variety of curricular and extracurricular means to meet your academic, professional, and personal goals—whether studying German language and culture in preparation for learning and working in a German-speaking country or for your major or double-major.


German with Teaching Licensure (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

The mission of the German with Teaching Licensure program is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to teach German within the Pre-K through Grade 12 environment. This program is designed for prospective teachers and offers a great variety of curricular and extracurricular means to meet your professional goals. With this degree, you will achieve practical and culture-based proficiency in German through studying German literature, philosophy, film, art, and news as well as related fields such as history, politics, economics, and the arts.


Graphic Design (Fine Arts, B.F.A.)

The Graphic Design program provides a sequenced curriculum structured to prepare students for successful transition into professional practice, designing communications for a wide range of traditional and digital delivery. Further, the program provides a solid foundation of traditional art experiences and design practices to build students’ ability to create dynamic visual designs. The design curriculum stresses essential competencies in conceptual problem solving, analysis and articulation, aesthetics, design theory, productivity, and the application of technology, all necessary for advanced exploration and entry into professional practice. The elective coursework provides students with concentrated study in specific specializations within design, which gives students the opportunity to craft their career goals by choosing among a range of print and digital deliveries. Graduating portfolios represent a rich experience in print design, branding, packaging, interactive media, advertising, typography, and image making. Students graduating from the program pursue careers in graphic design studios and advertising agencies throughout the country, or continue their education in M.F.A. programs.


History (B.A.)

The Department of History offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that prepares students broadly for modern careers in business, government, and teaching, or for graduate study in history, law, library science, business, or education. The Department's academic offerings reflect the diversity of the faculty, and students are encouraged to sample broadly the course offerings.


History with Licensure in History/Social Sciences (B.A.)

The Department of History offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that prepares students broadly for modern careers in business, government, and teaching, or for graduate study in history, law, library science, business, or education. The Department's academic offerings reflect the diversity of the faculty, and students are encouraged to sample broadly the course offerings.


Individualized Integrative Studies (Interdisciplinary Studies, B.A./B.S.)

IDS Individualized Studies Program majors design their own degrees based on majors that are offered at other universities, career research, and consultation with academic experts. It is an alternative for students who may be interested in emerging fields of study, or whose interests do not fit neatly within the requirements of a traditional department.


International Studies (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (BAIS) is an interdisciplinary program that offers students a chance to explore the interrelations among nations and peoples and to study world affairs from a variety of perspectives. Students have considerable flexibility to structure their academic programs to meet their particular needs and interests or to focus in a variety of geographical or topical fields. Courses can be chosen from a large number of disciplines including history, geography, political science, anthropology, economics, philosophy, languages, communication and women's studies.


Journalism (English, B.A.)

This concentration within the English program prepares students for a range of careers in journalism, public relations, media, and more. Students are encouraged to learn and utilize a wide variety of skills across multiple media. There are multiple media outlets where students can publish work, including the Mace & Crown, WODU, and HerCampus. Graduates will be prepared for numerous careers. The program culminates in a B.A. in English.


Leadership (Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S.)

The Leadership major is a flexible academic degree that focuses on characteristics and skills necessary to lead in organizational and social contexts, and emphasizes ethical leadership, legal issues, written and oral communication skills. A goal of this program is to facilitate adult students to complete their degree and as such, there is inherent flexibility in transferring existing credit. A second goal is to provide a valuable program for traditional students who plan to hold leadership positions in a variety of fields.


Literature (English, B.A.)

The B.A. in English Literature Emphasis adds expertise in interpreting literary and other creative cultural texts to the grounding in all aspects of English Studies provided by the core requirements for the B.A. in English.


Music (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in Music allows students to specialize in music within a broad liberal arts degree program. Students may select 18 credit hours of upper-level music courses or may choose an emphasis in either music history, music theory or jazz areas. Students planning on graduate study in music theory, history, or jazz should consider this program.


Music - Emphasis in Sound Recording Technology (B.Mus.)

Students pursuing the Bachelor of Music with Emphasis in Sound Recording Technology degree will have hands-on experience with state-of-the-art existing and emerging technology, and thorough grounding in the fundamentals of the theory, the practice, and the artistry involved in live sound, sound recording, and music production. Through field-specific coursework, students will gain an understanding of the inner workings of the recording and audio industry and marketplace. The program's hands-on experience focuses on the mastery of musical skills as well as the practical, technical, and business aspects and will provide an excellent level of preparation to pursue a career in the field.


Music Composition (B.Mus.)

The ODU Bachelor of Music in Composition program focuses on the development of composition, analysis and computer skills and is based on a comprehensive study of the theoretical background of music from all periods and various cultures. Do you have musical ideas but struggle to communicate them to others? Do you want to learn how to quickly get your musical ideas in a form that can be played by musicians? Are you fascinated with how music makes a game or movie come alive?


Music Education (B.Mus.)

Students completing the Bachelor of Music, Music Education degree will be recommended for the appropriate license to teach music in the public schools. Concentrations are available in vocal or instrumental music for grades PreK-12. Music Education graduates that complete the approved teacher education program (including the Teacher Candidate Internship) are eligible for teaching licensure from the Virginia Department of Education, which is reciprocal in 47 states. The ODU Bachelor of Music, Music Education degree program provides comprehensive preparation for the pre-service music educator. Multiple observation, practicum and internship field experiences allow the student to build upon the superb pedagogical, applied and ensemble performance foundation required throughout the curriculum.


Music Performance (B.Mus.)

The ODU Bachelor of Music in Performance degree prepares students for the high level of musicianship and professionalism expected in multiple genres of music. Its emphasis focuses on developing individual musicianship through applied music lessons, solo performance and participation in a variety of ensembles along with a foundation in music theory and history. Vocal and Instrumental Areas Include: Brass, Guitar, Keyboard, Percussion, Strings, Voice, Woodwinds.


Painting & Drawing (Fine Arts, B.F.A.)

The Painting and Drawing program supports the investigation of various methods, forms and histories of painting and drawing in addition to the spaces these modes occupy in the contemporary sphere. Students begin their studies with a thorough grounding in the skills required to successfully engage the traditions and contemporary practices of painting and drawing. Initial coursework provides students strong technical, perceptual and visualization skills through a comprehensive and rigorous Foundations and Studio Core curriculum; gaining material handling competencies of both painting and drawing media. Intermediate coursework includes a review and expansion of these competencies with exploration into the expressive potential of painting and drawing through thematically-driven projects. Advanced coursework provides students the tools to develop individual bodies of work exploring individualized preferred concepts, subject matter, techniques, and media.


Philosophy (B.A.)

This program is designed to give students a solid grounding in the history of philosophy, and an ability to analyze arguments proposed in serious discussions of any subject. ODU offers three tracks: general, political and legal studies, and religious studies. The political and legal studies concentration is aimed at students interested in social and political philosophy, particularly those planning to attend law school. The religious studies concentration is designed for students looking to understand the role of religion in human culture and to expand their cultural competency. Students can also choose to minor in religious studies.


Photography & Print Media (Fine Arts, B.F.A.)

The Photography and Print Media major is a unique combination of reproducible media and concept-driven art practice. This pairing provides students with the ability to experiment across disciplines or to concentrate mainly in photography or print media. Each student will develop an individual program of courses that meets their interests. In photography, students will gain a broad understanding of contemporary photography and its applications in today's world. From digital to analog, students will become well versed in technique as well as contemporary theory. Classes focus on darkroom, digital editing and studio lighting along with learning how to develop their own unique voice as a photographer and artist. In print media, students have the opportunity to learn a wide range of print techniques and strategies. Every major image reproduction technology, from woodblock printing to large-format inkjet prints, is available to students. Print technique, history, and theory are brought together in guiding students' creative work and artistic development.


Political & Legal Studies (Philosophy, B.A.)

This program is designed to give students a solid grounding in the history of philosophy and an ability to analyze arguments proposed in serious discussions of any subject. The political and legal studies concentration is aimed at students interested in social and political philosophy, particularly those planning to attend law school.


Political Science (B.A./B.S.)

The political science program at ODU focuses on the study of the state, government, and politics in the domestic and international realms. It is designed to give students an essential core of knowledge, and to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills. Students have the opportunity to study American politics, Virginia state and local politics, public law, international relations, and comparative politics. Both the B.A. and B.S. degrees are offered. The B.A. emphasizes complementary preparation in a foreign language through the intermediate level. The B.S. emphasizes development of quantitative research and data analysis skills.


Professional Communication (Communication, B.S.)

Communication is one of the fastest growing majors in the College of Arts and Letters. Our emphasis area of Professional Communication within the Bachelor of program produces creative, culturally aware, highly effective, communicators well suited for the organizational environment. Our student-centered approach is a synthesis of theoretical and applied learning providing a dynamic, conceptual grounding for lifelong learning and career flexibility.


Professional Writing (Interdisciplinary Studies, B.S.)

Management professionals throughout the country state that the number one need for organizations in the twenty-first century will be professionals with communication skills. Organizations ranging from engineering and technical operations, to human services are looking for people who can communicate effectively. Old Dominion University designed its Bachelor of Science in Professional Writing to meet this need by preparing individuals to excel in any professional business environment.


Religious Studies (Philosophy, B.A.)

This program is designed to provide students with a solid grounding in the history of philosophy and the ability to analyze arguments proposed in serious discussions of any subject. This concentration is designed for students looking to understand the role of religion in human culture and to expand their cultural competency. Students may also choose to minor in religious studies.


Sociology (B.A./B.S.)

Undergraduate students may earn a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science with a major in sociology, sociology with an emphasis in social welfare, or criminal justice. While earning their Bachelors, students majoring in criminal justice or sociology have the chance to earn departmental honors. The departmental honors program is designed to provide undergraduate students who are excelling in their studies an opportunity for more advanced studies in their major field including the opportunity to work independently with department faculty.


Spanish (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

In today's job market, the study of Spanish offers some real advantages. There are over 400 million native speakers. It's the second most commonly spoken language in the U.S. and fourth in the world. It's the primary language from Latin America to Spain to the territory of Puerto Rico and the official language of the United Nations, the European Union, and the Organization of American States. There's an increasing presence in the demographics and popular culture of the United States, particularly in the fast-growing states of the Sun Belt. Also, it is considered to be the most beneficial second language for a native speaker of English. Consequently, Old Dominion's Spanish program curriculum is designed to appeal to a wide range of interests and to prepare students for a variety of professions. Knowledge of Spanish also complements such fields as economics, government, history, engineering, and computer science. No matter what their future careers students find that Spanish Studies, as part of a liberal arts education, enriches their professional and personal lives.


Spanish with Teaching Licensure (World Languages & Cultures, B.A.)

The mission of the Spanish with Teaching Licensure program is to prepare students with the knowledge and skills needed to teach Spanish within the Pre-K through Grade 12 environment. This program is designed for prospective teachers and offers a great variety of curricular and extracurricular means to meet your professional goals. With this degree, you will achieve practical and culture-based proficiency in Spanish through studying Spanish literature, philosophy, film, art, and news as well as related fields such as history, politics, economics, and the arts.


Strategic Communication (Communication, B.A.)

Strategic Communication is a concentration intended to help you use your knowledge of communication and apply it to make a difference in a business and in your community. Students work hands-on with organizations to design and shape their approach to communication, from social media campaigns to event design. We focus on nonprofit organizations, but classes also cover for-profit companies and the skills learned easily transition into jobs with almost any company in the world.


Studio Art (B.A.)

The Department of Art at ODU offers courses in drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and 3D media.


Technical Writing (English, B.A.)

The Technical Writing Concentration in English is designed to prepare a student for a wide range of workplace opportunities. Through a focus on the fundamentals of communicating through writing and visuals, students in the Technical Writing Concentration are exposed to writing a wide range of document types for various audiences in a variety of contexts. Included in many courses are client- and case-based writing projects that provide real-world or real-world equivalent experience.


Theatre (Theatre & Dance, B.A.)

The Theatre Major is for students who want to explore every aspect of theatre -- from acting to producing to designing. If your goal is to work as a director, producer or dramaturg, this is for you. You'll develop a well-rounded understanding of the what, how and why of theatre. The best candidates for our performance emphasis are ready to take artistic risks, support the ensemble, and be leaders in the ODU Theatre community. Performance students commit to performing as a member of ODURep and completing the rigorous sequence of classes. Senior students may be eligible for internships at the Virginia Stage Company, Norfolk's Equity company.


Theatre Education (Theatre & Dance, B.A.)

The Theatre Education Major at ODU integrates theatre arts and education in the classroom, in the community, and on the stage. Part of our mission is to use the power of theatre to shape society and to change lives. We see education as the tool with which our students create the future.


Three-Dimensional Media & Material Studies (Fine Arts, B.F.A.)

In keeping with the Art Department's mission of empowering students to become visually critical thinkers through their creative practice, the 3D Media and Material Studies major focuses on making as a form of thinking through technical mastery of both traditional craftsmanship and emerging technologies. Students are also exposed to the expanding range of working three-dimensional studio practice, including performance and installation and time-based art. Through immersion in a research and process-oriented curriculum, students develop a range of transferable skills and a body of work reflecting artistic maturity, material proficiency, and conceptual development.


Women's Studies (B.A./B.S.)

Women’s Studies is an international discipline that focuses on gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, nation, and language as a means of understanding social systems and making meaningful contributions to a range of fields. Through a feminist perspective, women’s studies looks at how gender organizes and divides the world, and how individuals can make a difference for women and girls, along with wider human rights and environmental causes.


World Cultural Studies (B.A.)

The World Cultural Studies concentration is a humanities-based program designed to address global issues and expand students’ and professionals’ career opportunities. Graduates become valuable assets in a rapidly globalizing workforce by demonstrating the ability to effectively and creatively work and think across cultures and disciplines. This concentration prepares students to communicate effectively through training in intercultural understanding and fluency. Students learn to navigate cultural codes that take into account local, national, and global identities, to demonstrate adaptive leadership skills, and to facilitate global collaboration in solving worldwide challenges.