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2020-2021 Undergraduate Catalog
(adopted October 19, 2016)
Arkansas Tech University: where students succeed, innovation thrives, and communities flourish.
(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.
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 Union 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 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 8 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, was completed in 2016. The Brown Building provides 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 Multi-sports Complex opened in 2018 and offers instructional facilities in a large open turf field with a state of the art conference room. 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 affairs, student government, 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.
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 140 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; and audio lab; 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.
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 in 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 graduated with the degree of bachelor of science, as did 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 a 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.
General Education Goals
The general education curriculum is designed to provide a foundation for knowledge common to educated people and to develop the capacity for an individual to expand that knowledge over his or her lifetime.
Students who have completed the general education curriculum at Arkansas Tech University will be able to:
- Communicate effectively
- Think critically
- Develop ethical perspectives
- Apply scientific and quantitative reasoning
- Apply the value of the arts and humanities
- Practice Civic Engagement
Programs of Study
In carrying out its mission, the University offers programs of study leading to associate and baccalaureate degrees in the areas listed below. Graduate level degrees can be found in the Graduate Catalog.
College of Arts and Humanities
Creative Writing Education
Criminal Justice and Criminology
Criminal Justice (A.S.)
Cultural and Geospatial Studies
Drama and Speech Education
Fine Arts (BA)
Fine Arts (BFA)
Foreign Language Education
Game and Interactive Media Design
General Education (A.A.)
Ozark-Ouachita Studies (A.S.)
Social Studies Education
College of Business
College of Education
College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Computer Science Education
Emergency Administration and Management
Information Technology (A.A.S.)
Nuclear Technology (A.S.N.T.)
Recreation and Park Administration
College of eTech
College of Natural and Health Sciences
Fisheries and Wildlife Science
Health Information Management
Life Science Education
Medical Laboratory Science