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About CAHSS, Departments & Research Centers

At the heart of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences are its faculty members – committed, effective teachers and productive, award-winning scholars whose creative energy drives the college forward. Faculty members regularly win prestigious fellowships, awards and research grants from such organizations as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Fulbright Scholars Program, and they have been awarded some of the most important honors and distinctions in their own disciplines.

Recent examples include:

The NIH granted $1.4 million to the Center for Aging Studies for diabetes research.

The NEH is generously supporting “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for
Civil Rights,” a signature exhibit of the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture. The full exhibit
was featured at the Smithsonian and four other museums, and a version of it is traveling to
dozens of locations across the country as part of NEH on the Road.

The NSF granted $1.8 million geography and environmental science faculty to develop an online
infrastructure for scientists who study land change.

Articles and books published by faculty members in the college put them at the forefront of their fields – not just in the United States but also around the world – and the arts departments and centers have also won national and international recognition for their creative activities. For example, our public policy researchers hold a top 10 ranking in the most recent Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. Our undergraduate, as well as our graduate, students also are involved in significant published research under the mentorship of our faculty. Students also edit the UMBC Review, our undergraduate research journal.

Our faculty are highly-involved in their fields, and in addition to their intellectual achievements, are
noted for their civic contributions. They include the president of the Society of Civil War Historians,
curator of a national exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement, and researchers who have informed debate
on the Dream Act in Maryland by generating an economic impact analysis. CAHSS faculty work to share their expertise, research and artworks with the public. Our faculty have recently been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, TIME, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Prospect, The New Republic, and Scientific American, on news sites such as the Huffington Post, SalonSlate and PolitiFact, and on national and local NPR programs such as “Tell Me More,” “The Signal” and “Morning Edition.”

CAHSS encourages and enables faculty to work across disciplines in both research and teaching.
Recently, for example, Michele Osherow, an associate professor of English, and Manil Suri, a professor
of mathematics, teamed up to teach “Mathematics and What It Means to Be Human.” They wrote about their experiences teaching the class in a three part series in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Many of the college’s research centers also are designed around interdisciplinary work, including the:

Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education
Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture
Dresher Center for the Humanities
Center for Aging Studies
Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research
Imaging Research Center 

See a full list of departments, programs and centers, and more CAHSS highlights.

Exceptional Education

UMBC’s undergraduate students go on to graduate and professional study at the highest rate among
institutions in the University System of Maryland, and they go to programs in some of the most
distinguished universities in this country and abroad.

CAHSS not only provides a broad range of traditional majors, but also an increasing number of
interdisciplinary majors. For example, Asian Studies launched in 2011 and integrates American studies;
gender and women’s studies; modern languages, linguistics and intercultural communication; visual arts; English; political science; economics; history; music and philosophy.

CAHSS faculty, programs and students also engage in a number of initiatives focusing on research and
scholarly achievement by undergraduate students. Our students are active participants in UMBC’s an
annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day.  And CAHSS undergraduates, along with graduate students, are heavily involved in the research and creative work produced by a number of the centers. At the Imaging Research Center, for example, Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher, artist-in-residence and a political cartoonist for The Economist, advises students in the university’s Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program. Under Kal’s guidance, the students blog for and run USDemocrazy – a popular political news site for students.

Undergraduate Research & Scholarship links:
Undergraduate Research @ UMBC
Sondheim Public Affairs Scholars Program
Humanities Scholars Program
Linehan Artists Scholars Program
UMBC Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

In 2011-12, CAHSS’s wide array of graduate programs produced 290 master’s and 33 doctoral degrees. Beyond popular Ph.D. programs in Public Policy, Psychology, and a growing program in Geographic and Environmental Systems, UMBC CAHSS offers innovative interdisciplinary programs such as an intercampus program in Gerontology with University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture (LLC),  which features curricular input from eight diverse departments. In addition to rigorous coursework and research opportunities, the graduate faculty provide professional mentoring and skills training through master’s degree and graduate certificate programs in areas such as emergency health services (EHS), geographic information systems (GIS), imaging and digital arts (IMDA) and teaching English for speakers of other languages (TESOL). See the full list of UMBC Graduate Programs to learn more.