Harriot College is the largest college at ECU with over 16 departments and more than 50 undergraduate majors. We provide you with a well-rounded, diverse education in the arts and sciences.
Impact our world and create solutions to help our Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability
Challenge yourself to understand issues and policies surrounding Social Justice and Diversity
Navigate our world to find common ground through Culture and Communication.
Explore, research, and discover how to change the face of Technology and Medicine.
While there are no specific “pre-med” or “pre-law” majors, we offer a variety of majors and minors that can help you on those career paths. See our Medical related options and our Law related options for more information.
See below for undergraduate major descriptions.
African and African American Studies – (Bachelor of Arts) is an interdisciplinary degree that provides students with a broad perspective on the values of racial and ethnic diversity. This major includes sociopolitical, religious, and historical perspectives related to African peoples, both in Africa as well as throughout the complex and diverse diasporic communities of North America and the Atlantic world. The program draws from a broad range of disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts.
Anthropology – (Bachelor of Arts) is the study of people and their cultures, both in the past and present, and consists of three subfields: biological anthropology, archaeology, and cultural anthropology. Biological anthropologists discover when and why humans appeared on earth, analyze how they have changed biologically over time, and apply their research methods to forensic analyses. Archaeologists excavate the remains of past societies to discover how people lived in the past and work to conserve artifacts and display them in museum settings. Cultural anthropologists use participant observation to immerse themselves in other cultures to understand why people think and behave differently.
Applied Atmospheric Science – The Applied Atmospheric Science (Bachelor of Science) degree prepares students to apply knowledge of weather and climate, meteorological observations, and forecasting to the societal challenges of natural hazards and climate change. Students learn the latest geospatial technologies, such as geographic information systems and cartographic design, and will apply them to understanding coastal hazards, severe weather, and hydrology. The Geography Department maintains two state-of-the-art weather stations to monitor weather and climate variables in the heart of the city and at a remote field site.
Art Histories – The Art Histories (Bachelor of Art) major is part of the Multidisciplinary Studies Program, and it spans two Colleges (Thomas Harriot College of Art & Sciences / College of Fine Arts & Communications). The degree provides students with multiple disciplinary vantage points that address visually diverse cultural production and their dissemination. The Art Histories program focuses on deepening one’s understanding of contemporary global worlds, and is taught by a faculty of experienced teachers and published scholars. Our courses lay a foundation in critical cultural awareness that prepare students to pursue a range of careers in teaching, museum studies, the heritage industries, community art pursuits or other non-profit organizations—as well as public service, law, communications, or archival work.
Biochemistry – The Biochemistry degree is designed for students seeking careers in a variety of fields including health professions, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and research. The curriculum has a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, calculus and physics. We offer two concentrations one in chemistry that focuses on the structural aspects and one in biology that emphasizes the molecular aspects of biochemistry. Students are strongly encouraged to carry out undergraduate research projects in biochemistry for which they can earn course credit.
Biology – The Biology department offers both a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degree. The bachelor of science degree is designed for students seeking career opportunities in health, industry, business, academia, research, or governmental and non-governmental organizations; or advancement into professional and graduate programs. The bachelor of art degree prepare students for careers in education, industry, public health, and environmental monitoring. Both degrees provide a broad-based biological background with increased hand-on experience. The bachelor of art degree includes foreign language proficiency and enough flexibility for students to tailor their curriculum in key areas to facilitate career development in the STEM field.
Chemistry – The Chemistry (Bachelor of Arts or Science) degree provides a flexible major designed to provide the student with a broad education in chemistry appropriate for further study in a wide range of fields, such as business, medicine, pharmacy, and law. The curriculum, in conjunction with two semesters of laboratory-based biology courses, satisfies the course requirements for application to most US medical schools. The BA chemistry degree, compared to the BS degree, requires fewer chemistry and math courses, as well as a lower level of physics, but adds the University requirement of four levels of foreign language. The BS chemistry degree differs from the BA degree in that it is more rigorous; more courses are required not only in chemistry, but in mathematics and physics as well. The BS degree in chemistry is the appropriate program for students considering advanced degree programs in chemistry, biochemistry, and other related fields or a professional career in chemistry.
Classics and Classical Studies – The Classics and Classical Studies (Bachelor of Arts) major introduces students to the study of the civilizations of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Mediterranean world. The study of classical civilizations offers a sound foundation for understanding the modern world and is a good preparation for careers in law or further study in a wide range of disciplines such as philosophy or literary studies. Students may choose the BA in multidisciplinary studies to major in classics or classical civilization. The program offers four years of Latin and classical Greek, as well as courses on classical archaeology, art history, history, literature, philosophy, and religion.
Community and Regional Planning – The Community and Regional Planning degree is designed to prepare students for careers in community, regional, environmental, and coastal planning. Students will complete core courses in theory, legislation, and techniques, as well as acquire computer skills in the application of geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, quantitative analysis, and design in planning. Two senior capstone classes include a Studio and a Practicum. Students will complete one of two emphases: “Community Planning and Development” or “Coastal Planning and Development.” A minor or two planning-related concentrations are also expected. Students can earn academic credits for internships.
Criminal Justice and Criminology – The Criminal Justice and Criminology degree program provides students with the critical thinking skills that prepare them to become the next generation of criminal justice leaders. Upon graduation, our students accept positions in local, state, and federal agencies across the United States and abroad or continue their education in graduate or law school. Some graduates work in government, and others are employed in corrections, probation, parole, juvenile justice, law enforcement, and other justice-related fields. In their final semester, students have the opportunity to complete an internship with a criminal justice organization. This experiential learning opportunity enables students to bridge theoretical classroom knowledge with real-world applications. Among the range of options available are state highway patrols, victim advocacy organizations, legal firms, crime scene investigation units, county sheriff’s offices, criminal courts, juvenile justice programs, and more.“
Economics – (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) degree provides graduates the foundation for understanding the forces that cause growth in living standards, recessions, and inflation. The major will provide a solid liberal arts degree that will help students in the ever-changing career world. The BS degree offers two options: an applied concentration for a wide range of careers in business or government, and a quantitative option that prepares you for graduate study in economics or finance. Graduates have found employment in banking, brokerage, business management, and government agencies. Economics also provides a foundation for further graduate training in professional and graduate schools.
English – The English (Bachelor of Arts) degree provides students a solid foundation of reading, writing, and analytical skills. Students have the flexibility to choose courses from among the range of fields that make up English today: literature, creative writing, multicultural and transnational literature, technical and professional communication, linguistics, rhetoric and composition, folklore, and film studies. Students become strong writers and critical thinkers with the skills to succeed in many different career fields. Graduates have gone on to careers in government, business, law, the non-profit sector, healthcare, journalism, library science, higher education, teaching, and social work, among many others.
Environmental Studies – (Bachelor of Science) Environmental Studies is a concentration in the Multidisciplinary Studies program. It is one of the fastest growing majors in the US. This concentration is provides students with a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues across multiple disciplines and perspectives. Students who successfully complete this concentration will provide students with the skills and knowledge to pursue a variety of high-paying, in-demand careers to address the world’s most pressing environmental concerns. The ultimate career path depends greatly on individual student’s interests, skills, and values.
Foreign Languages and Literatures – The (Bachelor of Arts) degree offers concentrations in Classical Studies, French, French education, German, German education, Global Studies, Hispanic Studies, and Hispanic Studies education. This major develops proficiency in the language and culture. Students study culture, film, history, literature, translation, and business communication to prepare for their desired career or postgraduate study. The education concentrations prepares students to teach French (K–12 licensure) in public and private schools. This degree offers students a combination of courses in language, literature, culture, linguistics, second language teaching methodology, and education with an internship experience.
Geographic Information Science and Technology – The Geographic Information Science and Technology (Bachelor of Science) degree prepares students to understand how modern civilization consumes ever-increasing amounts of geospatial data, such as satellite imagery, GPS (global positioning system), and survey features, maps, charts, and real-time locational data. Creating information out of this torrent of data requires broad education and technical skills. This major provides students this cutting-edge combination of skills and knowledge and opens the doors to numerous career opportunities.
Geography – (Bachelor of Science) This major prepares students for careers by developing a set of skills and a global perspective to help solve environmental and social issues. The curriculum covers issues of globalization and the intersection of social and environmental issues. Students also have the opportunity to gain valuable internship experience with state and city government and the private sector, working on community development, hazards impacts, coastal issues, and other topics. The degree provides students the skills you’ll need to help you build a dynamic career solving social and environmental issues.
Geology – The Geology (Bachelor of Science) major educates students about the wide range of external and internal geological processes that shape the world we live in. Majors study topics such as rocks, minerals, rivers, beaches, volcanoes, glaciers, earthquakes, plate tectonics, groundwater, global climate change, soils, and sediments. Using a wide variety of tools and techniques, students learn how geologists investigate environmental hazards such as earthquakes, landslides, floods, hurricanes, beach erosion, volcanic eruptions, water pollution, and toxic chemical spills, the impact of changes in climate and sea level change on the environment and on human populations, the availability of mineral, energy, and water resources, the history of the earth and its inhabitants, and many other exciting topics.
History – The History (Bachelor of Arts) program prepares students for challenging and exciting careers in teaching, policy analysis, politics, public service, public relations, communications, and research, writing, and editing. Graduates have found employment in schools, government agencies, international and non-profit agencies, museums, archives, and historic sites. History has long been recognized as one of the ideal undergraduate preparations for careers in law, journalism, public policy, business, and public history.
International Studies International Studies is a multidisciplinary major that provides students the opportunity to become more familiar with the social, political, cultural, and economic issues of importance for living, working and competing in our increasingly globalized society. Students complete core international studies courses and a regional or substantive concentration meant to prepare them for internationally-focused careers in their area of interest. Majors are encouraged to study available modern language offerings and take advantage of study abroad opportunities.
Mathematics – The Mathematics (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) degree prepares students for successful careers in many diverse and rewarding areas, such as teaching at all levels, accounting and finance, computer software, sales and marketing, and many more. Students in the BA program can choose from two concentrations: mathematics or statistics. The BA requires fewer math courses than the BS, freeing up more options for study. This allows students to study outside fields of interest other than mathematics by choosing to “double major”, utilizing free electives, or adding a minor to diversify. The degree is also excellent preparation for professional programs such as law, business, and the health sciences.
Neuroscience – Neuroscience (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) is offered as a concentration in the Multidisciplinary Studies Program. It is designed to provide students with a diverse array of knowledge about brain organization and function through learning across the STEM (biology, chemistry, neuroscience, physics), social science (psychology), and humanities (philosophy) disciplines. The major is also designed to provide students with actual research experience by having them supervised by faculty with expertise in many specialized neuroscientific fields across the main campus, Brody School of Medicine, and the Allied Health Sciences. A large majority of the courses in the curriculum are pre‐requisites for graduate programs and/or medical schools. Upon completion of this concentration, students may be better equipped to pursue admission into graduate programs, medical schools, and a variety of health/biomedical institutions that offer advanced degrees or certifications. Successful completion of this concentration may also translate into a career in neuroscience, psychology, medicine, and many other health/biomedical fields.
Philosophy – (Bachelor of Arts) critically examines fundamental beliefs. Philosophy majors explore answers to ultimate questions about human existence and critically examine the ethical and moral dimensions of life. Philosophical study develops the understanding and intellectual abilities essential for life in general. For students who intend to specialize in law or other professions requiring a broad knowledge base and a high level of critical-thinking skill, the philosophy major provides a foundation for continuing to develop the knowledge and skill required to continue growing as a broadly educated person while advancing in one’s area of specialization
Physics – Physics (Bachelor of Science) is the foundation of the sciences, exploring all scales from the entire universe and the largest galaxies to the smallest particles. Our physics program presents challenging, innovative, and exciting career opportunities. We have options designed for students who want to apply physics to other areas as well as students who want to go on graduate study and become physicists. Our students gain the knowledge, experience, and training they need to succeed in globally competitive science careers.
Political Science – Political Science (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) majors study politics, government and law in America and other countries, as well as war, peace, globalization, and ways to diagnose and solve policy problems. Students who major in political science acquire skills in writing, communications, and analysis that are critical to a liberal arts education. Many different career paths can be followed, including government, business, finance, law, military service, journalism, political campaigns, and policy analysis. Recent graduates have found employment in all of these fields and many more.
Professional Writing and Informational Design – The Professional Writing and Information Design (Bachelor of Science) program prepares students for careers in writing and designing information for industry, science, technology, engineering, government, and health contexts; editing and publishing; user experience and usability; information design, documentation, content creation, and document management. Professional communication and information specialists bridge the gap between subject matter experts (e.g., scientists and engineers) and those who must understand or implement their ideas. These information professionals are in demand by social media and web development companies; computer software and hardware companies; consumer electronics distributors; the pharmaceutical, medical, financial services industries; government agencies to name a few.
Psychology – Psychology (Bachelor of Arts) program provides a flexible major designed to provide the student with a broad education in psychology. The program focuses on psychology as the scientific study of behavior and mental processes and fosters the development of critical thinking skills as well as an understanding of research methods and statistics. These skills can benefit students in the job market as well as those who plan to pursue graduate level study in psychology or related disciplines. Employment opportunities are available in a variety of areas such as residential counseling, social services case management, child care, sales, human resources, and market research.
Religious Studies (Bachelor of Arts), a multidisciplinary degree, helps students to think critically about religion as a historical and cultural phenomenon. Courses are taught by professors from a variety of disciplinary perspectives employing diverse scholarly approaches to their inquiries about religion, including those developed within the fields of anthropology, archaeology, art, history, literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. The program is nonsectarian and neither excludes nor promotes any religious tradition.
Russian Studies (Bachelor of Arts) is a multidisciplinary major that provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of Russia from both historical and contemporary perspective. Our innovative interdisciplinary approach designed for the 21-st century global economy integrates the study of Russian language with area studies in humanities, social sciences, and fine arts, making our program distinctive in the UNC system and eastern United States. The quality of our instruction, advising and mentoring can be measured by the success of our students in gaining graduate admissions to leading research universities, and their achievements in undergraduate research funding, including a U.S. Fulbright grants, a Phi Kappa Phi Award of Excellence, and URCA awards.
Security Studies – The Multidisciplinary Studies: Security Studies program provides students an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and addressing the diverse domestic and international threats to U.S. security. These threats may be posed by natural disasters or by man, whether through governments or non-state actors such as terrorist groups. The program is designed to enable students to evaluate and develop responses to those threats at the international, national, state, and local levels. The program will also increase student understanding of the response activities and coordination required to meet the challenges posed by such threats. Building the analytical and writing skills that are in high demand in security-related professions is emphasized in the courses that are included in the curriculum.
Sociology – The Sociology (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) degree is designed to develop a broad liberal arts perspective on the nature and diversity of societies and groups, while developing foreign language skills. It is also designed for students interested in people, families, work settings, legal systems, and social and organizational problems. Students have flexibility in developing a specific course of study, which will prepare them for the type of employment or advanced degree to which they plan to strive. Graduates of the bachelor of arts program frequently go on to jobs in social service agencies, business, research, and nonprofit organizations. Language skills make these graduates highly marketable. Graduates of the program pursue jobs within the criminal justice system, social service agencies, business, research, and nonprofit organizations. Many students continue graduate study in fields such as sociology or law.
Transformative Texts – The Multidisciplinary Studies: Transformative Texts will help student learn that the best way to attain knowledge (and not just information or training) is to read and discuss original texts in a community of readers. Students will learn to read, think, argue, and write analytically on such questions as what is the nature of love and hate? What does it mean to be human? What makes an individual action, law, institution, or civilization ethical or unethical? What makes a culture democratic? Students will consider qualities of human and nonhuman nature, the relationships between them, and the lessons that literature, history, philosophy, and the sciences may teach us about human behavior and forms of society and economy, technology and ecology.