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Message from the Dean

Welcome to the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. Whether you are current students, prospective students, parents, alumni, or friends, I hope you will find this information useful in learning more about AddRan College as well as the liberal arts and the important role they play in educating our future leaders. If you plan to visit TCU, we encourage you to visit our departments to talk with an advisor or stop by our offices.

Historical Background

The AddRan College of Liberal Arts is named after Addison and Randolph Clark, the two brothers who started the AddRan Male and Female College in Thorp Springs, Texas in 1873. The college was one of the first institutions of higher education west of the Mississippi River to be coeducational. The name of the college was changed to AddRan Christian University in 1889 and relocated to Waco, Texas in 1895. The name was again changed to Texas Christian University in 1902, and moved to its current location in Fort Worth, Texas in 1910. We are very proud of our name and our historical legacy to Addison and Randolph Clark. The AddRan name graced the college that included the humanities, social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and engineering for many years. In 2000, that large collection was divided with AddRan College retaining the humanities and social science departments. In 2008, our name was changed to the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

About AddRan College

AddRan College is one of the largest and most broadly based academic units at TCU. It is composed of 10 departments including Criminal Justice, Economics, English, History and Geography, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Religion, Sociology and Anthropology, and Spanish. The Air Force and Army ROTC programs are also part of our college. The Center for Texas Studies, the Institute for Critical and Creative Expression, and the Institute for Urban Living and Innovation provide a variety of instructional and scholarly activities and programs for the entire TCU community.

On average, we have approximately 1100 students majoring in the liberal arts. These students select from 19 different degree plan options offered at the undergraduate level. Students can also select from a number of interdisciplinary minors such as Asian Studies, Latino/Latina Studies, British Studies, and Classical Studies. A major in the liberal arts can also be combined with a minor in general business, education, communications, or another of TCU’s fine professional programs. Graduate degrees are available in the Departments of English and History and Geography.

In AddRan College students have the opportunity to learn from and work with outstanding teachers. We have about 140 full-time faculty who follow a teacher-scholar model dedicated to providing high quality learning experiences both in and outside the classroom. Many AddRan faculty are nationally or internationally recognized in their respective disciplines and use their research and creative activity to inform their teaching and infuse in our students the excitement and satisfaction that comes from critical inquiry.

AddRan Facilities

In January, 2010, most of our departments and offices moved into the Clarence and Kerry Scharbauer Hall, a new 74,000 square foot building. Scharbauer Hall also houses the John V. Roach Honors College. This new facility provides state-of-the-art classrooms, team rooms for student interaction, a New Media Writing lab, a language acquisition laboratory, computer classrooms, a debate chamber, and a special classroom for physical anthropology and artifact storage. Reed Hall, one of the three original buildings on the TCU campus has been completely renovated and houses the Center for Texas Studies and the department of English and the Department of History and Geography.

Career Opportunities in Liberal Arts

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from prospective students is “What can I do with a degree in the liberal arts?” My answer—just about anything you want.  Career options are as varied and diverse as the liberal arts themselves. Our graduates have satisfying and rewarding jobs in law enforcement, public policy, government service, banking and finance, and environmental protection, to name a few.

The reason for this diversity is partly explained by the intrinsic value of a liberal arts degree. It helps students to critically analyze and creatively solve problems and to integrate and synthesize information from a variety of sources to better formulate arguments. Students are introduced to the power of ideas and become sensitive to cultural values and social organizations and learn to appreciate the diversity and complexity of our knowledge-based global economy. A liberal arts degree provides students with a strong foundation for life-long learning and enables them to be flexible and adaptable in a rapidly changing world.

Two recently conducted surveys further speak to the importance and utility of a liberal arts degree. In 2007, the Association of American Colleges and Universities surveyed employers and found that 70% of the participants indicated that more emphasis should be placed on the knowledge and abilities associated with a liberal arts education. In 2008, the executive search firm of Spencer Stuart conducted a survey on the educational background of the Standard and Poor’s Top 500 Chief Executive Officers and found that 20% of this elite group had undergraduate majors in the liberal arts. I hope this brief overview gives you a better understanding of what could await you upon graduation.

Closing Message

Two of the most important questions prospective students will have to answer are where will I attend college and in what subject will I major. I hope that as you ponder these questions you will give serious thought to Texas Christian University and the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, where you will explore a world of ideas as you get ready for the rest of your life.

Dr. Andrew Schoolmaster, Dean, AddRan College of Liberal Arts