2017-2018 Graduate Catalog

University Vision Statement
(adopted October 19, 2016)

Arkansas Tech University: where students succeed, innovation thrives, and communities flourish.

University Mission Statement
(adopted October 19, 2016)

Arkansas Tech University is dedicated to student success, access, and excellence as a responsive campus community providing opportunities for progressive intellectual development and civic engagement. Embracing and expanding upon its technological traditions, Tech inspires and empowers members of the community to achieve their goals while striving for the betterment of Arkansas, the nation, and the world.

Graduate College Vision & Mission Statement
(adopted January 2014)

The vision of the Graduate College of Arkansas Tech University is to empower students through advanced degrees to meet the demands of a global society through intellectual inquiry, scholarly attainment, artistic endeavors and creative pursuits within and across disciplines.

The mission of the Graduate College of Arkansas Tech University is to encourage a diversity of ideas in a climate of academic freedom and integrity. Advanced degrees are designed to complement and enhance undergraduate programs. The Graduate College is an advocate for graduate study and seeks partnership with other entities to accomplish our goals more efficiently. The Graduate College serves to nurture and preserve academic excellence by taking the lead in shaping policy and assisting faculty in guiding and mentoring graduate students in becoming accomplished and ethical scholars, researchers and practitioners in their disciplines.


The Campus

Arkansas Tech University, with its spacious 516-acre campus, is located on the northern edge of the city of Russellville. This growing community, with a population of approximately 28,000, is ideally situated between the mountains of the Ozark National Forest to the north and those of the Ouachita National Forest to the south. It is midway between the state’s two largest population centers, Fort Smith, 85 miles to the west, and Little Rock, 75 miles to the east. Interstate Highway 40 passes just north of the campus and connects these two cities.

In addition, Russellville is the crossroads of activity for State Highways 7, 22, 64, and 124. The historic natural crossing of the Arkansas River at Dardanelle is four miles to the south. The navigable river forms a 36,600 acre lake with 315 miles of shoreline behind a lock and dam located just southwest of the city. The Missouri Pacific Railroad passes through the city and parallels the river between Little Rock and Fort Smith.

Russellville is the county seat of Pope County. Historic Dwight Mission, established by the American Board of Foreign Missions among the Cherokee Indians in 1821, was located a short distance west of Arkansas Tech University on Illinois Bayou, where that stream is now crossed by Highway 64. Descendants of Cephas Washburn, the intrepid missionary who founded the mission and named it for Timothy Dwight of Yale, live in Russellville at the present time.

Arkansas Tech University is in the center of an area experiencing vigorous industrial development as evidenced by the growth of local industry and the number of national concerns locating plants in the area. Arkansas Nuclear One, the first nuclear power plant completed in the Southwest, and a second nuclear power unit have been constructed near Russellville by Entergy, thus assuring continued industrial growth. Headquarters for District 9 of the Arkansas Highway Department and for the Ozark – St. Francis National Forests are located in Russellville. The McClellan – Kerr Navigation Project is having a significant effect upon the development of the area. The impoundment of the Arkansas River has formed Lake Dardanelle which borders the west edge of the campus. Poultry, cattle, soybeans, cotton, and lumber are the principal money crops in the area served by Arkansas Tech University.

All instructional programs at Arkansas Tech University are taught in buildings which have been specifically designed or modified to complement the projected instructional tasks. The Corley Building, expanded in 2009, provides instructional space and state of the art laboratories for engineering, computer science, and mathematics.  McEver Hall, renovated and expanded in 2010, provides specialized classrooms and labs for Biological and Physical Sciences. Norman Hall, which was completed in 2007, houses the Department of Art and contains a gallery and specialized classrooms. Rothwell Hall houses Academic Advising, College of Business offices and classrooms, a trading room with a live Stock Market Ticker and Video Display Wall, and the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. Rothwell Hall was not only completed in Arkansas Tech’s 100th year of operation (2009), but is also Tech’s 100th building. Construction of the Brown Building, named in honor of former Arkansas Tech University president Dr. Robert Charles Brown and his wife, Jill Lestage Brown, will be completed in 2016. The Brown Building will provide classroom and conference room space for the university as well as office space for operating areas such as admissions, registrar, student accounts, financial aid, payroll, budget, human resources and the university's federally-funded TRIO programs - Upward Bound and Student Support Services.

In addition to instructional programs, the Physical Plant of Arkansas Tech University provides space for varsity and intramural recreational activities, and the University farm. 

Arkansas Tech University has several resources which lend themselves to serving the cultural and recreational needs of the University and surrounding community. The John E. Tucker Coliseum complements the instructional program by providing a setting for concerts, conventions, and sporting events. The Witherspoon Arts and Humanities Building has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 742. The L.L. “Doc” Bryan Student Services Center constitutes the main facility for student services, student government, publications, and indoor recreational activities. The Arkansas Tech Museum, located in the Techionery Building, contains exhibits on Arkansas Tech history; museum lectures and events address cultural needs on the campus and in the community, and offer opportunities for students in the Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Department to become involved in interpretive activities.

Arkansas Tech University’s Lake Point Conference Center is located west of Russellville and is nestled on Lake Dardanelle in a beautiful wooded setting and offers private guest rooms, elegant and casual food service, unique amenities and spectacular views from every building. Lake Point Conference Center can accommodate a wide variety of meetings, training, conferences, retreats, as well as business and social functions.

The Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center opened in June 1999. The facility is an architectural landmark which signaled a new era of library service at Arkansas Tech University. Some of its features are group study rooms of various sizes; more than 130 general use computer workstations configured for a variety of student needs; networked access to databases and electronic reference resources; a reference desk dedicated to assistance and instruction in information search and retrieval processes; two help desks for technology-related problems; a distance learning classroom; a large conference room equipped with audiovisual support; instructional computer labs; a music/multimedia computer lab; copiers and scanners; networked printing with 200 free pages per semester for students; access to the campus wireless network with your own mobile device; comfortable reading areas with great views; and well-designed furniture throughout the building’s open floor plan. 

Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center houses more than 1,225,000 items, including: 175,000 print volumes; 900,000 microforms; 120,000 government documents; 16,000 multimedia items; and 700 periodical subscriptions. Among these holdings are extensive backfiles of journals and newspapers. Photocopiers and microform reader-printers are available at several locations in the library. The library is a member of AMIGOS, a regional broker of international bibliographic data and information services. Over 150 electronic databases covering most subjects are accessible from the library and over the Internet through the Tech homepage at http://library.atu.edu. Assistance in the retrieval and use of materials is provided by seven professional librarians, ten paraprofessional staff, and a number of part-time employees. Librarian-mediated instruction and online searches are provided on request. Materials not available in the library may be requested through our interlibrary loan system, normally at no charge. The Library is the publisher of the retrospective Arkansas Gazette Index.

Pendergraft Library is open 97 hours per week except between semesters and during holidays. The state-of-the-art facility includes a variety of computer labs (both open use and instructional), a music/multimedia lab, two distance learning classrooms, a large conference room, five breakout/meeting rooms, ten group study rooms, satellite downlink, cable TV connections, 135 publicly accessible computers, 132 lab computers, about 400 data drops for laptop computers, and access to the Tech wireless network.


Arkansas Tech University was created by an act of the Arkansas General Assembly in 1909. Under the provisions of this Act, the state was divided into four Agricultural School Districts. Boards of Trustees were appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate, and appropriations were made for the erection of buildings and employment of a faculty for a district agricultural school in each of the four districts.

Twenty counties of northwestern Arkansas were designated as the Second District. Governor Donaghey appointed W. U. Balkman, J. R. Williams, H. S. Mobley, A. D. Shinn, and O. P. Nixon as a Board of Trustees for the Second District Agricultural School. Several towns made efforts to have the school located in their area. After considering all proposals, the Board of Trustees decided to locate it at Russellville, which had made an offer of a tract of 400 acres of land adjoining the city limits and a cash bonus of several thousand dollars.

The school opened its doors for students in the fall of 1910. The first class to graduate from the school was the high school class of 1912. In 1921-22, a freshman year of college work was offered, in 1922-23 a second year, in 1923-24 a third year, and in 1924-25 a fourth year. The General Assembly in 1925 changed the name from the Second District Agricultural School to Arkansas Polytechnic College with power to grant degrees. The class of 1925 was graduated with the degree of bachelor of science, as was the class of 1926. The effort to maintain a four-year high school and a four-year college proved beyond the resources of the institution at that time, and it became a junior college in the fall of 1927. The four years of secondary work were dropped, one year at a time, and the last high school class was the class of 1929.

Changing and increasing demands for college education in Arkansas caused the Board of Trustees in 1948 to convert the college from a junior college to a degree-granting institution. In 1948-49 the college offered the third year of college work, and in 1949-50 the fourth year, with the first baccalaureate degrees awarded at the end of the 1949-50 spring semester. A graduate program leading to the degree of master of education was established in 1976. Graduate courses were first offered by Arkansas Tech in the summer of 1975.

In accordance with an act of the Arkansas General Assembly and by the authority of the State of Arkansas Board of Higher Education, the name of Arkansas Polytechnic College was changed to Arkansas Tech University, effective July 9, 1976.

Arkansas Tech has consistently adjusted its scope to accommodate immediate and future needs. In 1985 the institution reorganized its programs into the Schools of Business, Education, Liberal and Fine Arts, Physical and Life Sciences, and Systems Science. In 1997, the School of Community Education and Professional Development was established. As part of ongoing efforts in strategic planning and recognition of the growth and scope of the institution and its programs, the schools were renamed in 2009: College of Business, College of Education, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Applied Sciences, and College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach. In 2013, the College of Applied Sciences was renamed the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In 2015, the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach was renamed the College of eTech.

In July of 2014, Arkansas Tech University was granted a change in role and scope and permission to begin offering a Doctor of Education degree in school leadership. In May of 2015, the Higher Learning Commission, a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, granted accreditation for the Arkansas Tech Doctor of Education degree.


The purpose of the graduate program is to provide graduate education opportunities in professional education, sciences, technology, and the liberal arts to anyone who seeks, and who is eligible for admission to the University.

Arkansas Tech University currently offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Liberal Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Engineering, and Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership.

The University has an interest in meeting the professional growth and advancement needs of certified teachers and professionals in the service region. The Master of Education includes majors in Educational Leadership; Special Education K-12; Instructional Technology; School Counseling and Leadership; and Teaching, Learning and Leadership.  The Doctor of Education includes a major in Educational Leadership.

The Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership focuses on scholar/practitioner involved in field-based action research in order to apply new knowledge and skills at work.

The Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership prepares school leaders for district level leadership positions and leads to district level licensure in Arkansas.

The Master of Liberal Arts offers major concentrations in Communications, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences. It is designed to serve the graduate education needs not only of certified teachers, but of anyone interested in the post-baccalaureate study of the liberal arts, including professionals with specialized undergraduate backgrounds.

The Master of Arts in English, English with a TESL option, History, Teaching, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) provide for more specialized study for students interested in these areas. It will also prepare those students interested in pursuing their doctorate.

The Master of Arts in Multi-Media Journalism offers professionals the opportunity to study journalism as impacted by the growth of technology.

The Master of Science in College Student Personnel is a two-year, practitioner-oriented program, philosophically based in college student development and university administration. It is designed to prepare thoughtful, compassionate, first-line student and university service administrators armed with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to begin a career in the variety of settings in which such services are needed. These include, but are not limited to, admissions counseling, advising, financial aid, orientation, housing, student programming, alumni affairs, and development.

The Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security offers a specialized program both for existing career professionals in the discipline and for those seeking the diverse employment opportunities available in this evolving career field.

The Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Science offers a research-based program for those interested in the areas of fisheries and wildlife, and also serves in preparation for those pursuing the doctorate.

The Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) is a specialized program of study to serve the increasing workforce needs in the area of health information technology. The curriculum utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to include health care delivery concepts coupled with information technology in a changing environment.

The Master of Science in Information Technology provides for education in technology information management. This program has two options: (1) Computer-Based Instructional Technology in educational settings and (2) Information Technology in business settings.

The Master of Science in Psychology program is designed to provide advanced students with sufficient breadth and depth to function in a variety of professional environments.

The Master of Science in Applied Sociology program is designed to provide advanced students with sufficient breadth and depth to function in a variety of professional environments. While emphasis is placed on research and Sociological Principles, a concentrated effort is also made to establish the foundation necessary for application.

The Master of Science in Strength and Conditioning Studies is designed to provide graduate level instruction in the theory and science of strength and conditioning. The 33 hour program is designed to meet the needs of coaches, physical educators, physical therapists, athletic trainers, and others interested in the fitness profession. Upon completion of this degree, students may pursue certifications such as the Personal Trainer or Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

The Master of Engineering program is designed to provide for advanced study and opportunities in project management and team leader positions. The Master of Engineering has concentration areas in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to provide advanced study for nurses in the area of administration & emergency management.


Philosophy of Graduate Program

Arkansas Tech University holds to the principle that graduate-level scholarship should be based on highly developed habits of critical judgment, independent thinking, creative initiative, and disciplined inquiry. Successful completion of the graduate program signifies that the student has acquired the research skills of an independent scholar, with expertise in a particular field of study.

The student admitted to graduate study at Arkansas Tech University should not expect to acquire these skills and to achieve this expertise through classroom and laboratory instruction alone; rather, the student should expect to draw upon independent resources to collect, organize, and synthesize research data and information in order to achieve scholarly expertise in the chosen field of study. Graduate study, then, aids the student to acquire the skills needed to identify important problems, to establish modes of inquiry, to formulate proposed solutions, and to communicate the interpretation of scholarly and research analysis.

Administration of Graduate Program

The graduate program is administered by the Graduate College Dean who is directly responsible to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Policies governing the graduate program are developed by the Graduate Council; matters pertaining to the graduate teacher education program are reviewed and approved by the Teacher Education Council before being presented to the Graduate Council. Policies are then approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, President of the University, and the Board of Trustees.

While every effort will be made to conform to catalog announcements, the University reserves the right to adapt its program as may be necessary.