Department of Liberal Studies

The Department of Liberal Studies offers an interdisciplinary undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Maritime Studies, as well as a Bachelor of Science University Studies degree in Maritime Public Policy and Communication.  The mission of the Department of Liberal Studies is to provide a robust intellectual foundation for students pursuing occupational and leadership roles in areas such as government, communication, business, non-governmental organizations, public policy, journalism, archeology and anthropology, museums and archives, professional diving, and preparation for graduate studies and law school.
Liberal Studies students participate in a variety of national programs such as the Model United Nations, and unique international educational opportunities around the world are frequently available through courses offered in the Texas A&M University Study Abroad Programs Office.  
With faculty maintaining research agendas in a variety of disciplines including politics, history, mass media and communication, English, popular culture, archeology, philosophy, museum studies, anthropology, genocide studies, African-American studies, and mathematics, Liberal Studies builds within students enhanced critical thinking and strong communication skills, while emphasizing the critical nature of multicultural thinking and collaboration in a global economy.

The Department of Liberal Studies provides the skills necessary for students to:

  • Lead others through critical thinking, multi-dimensional problem solving, and issue advocacy;
  • Be competitive in a multicultural world increasingly interested in college graduates with interdisciplinary backgrounds;
  • Inform public policy creation and decision-making from both the governmental and business perspectives;
  • Earn internships in areas such as politics, law and legal affairs, communication, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and museum management;
  • Prepare for graduate school and law school opportunities.
  • Understand the inalienable connections between liberal education, freedom, and democracy. 

DIVE 250 SCUBA Diving I

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Fundamental academic knowledge and practical application of SCUBA diving practices and theory; introduction to diving tables and diving physiology.
Prerequisite: Must complete a medical statement showing no contraindications to diving, or have a recreational SCUBA diver's physical examination.

DIVE 251 SCUBA Diving II

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Methods to promote safe, self-reliant diving and improve the diver's comfort, coordination and strength in the water; to build competency in dive planning and organization.
Prerequisite: Must complete a medical statement showing no contraindications to diving, or have a recreational SCUBA diver's physical examination; open water certification from a nationally recognized agency; Divers Alert Network (DAN) insurance or equivalent.

DIVE 330 Rescue Diving

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Relates skills necessary to perform basic life support, administer dive first aid, evacuate victim, assist and rescue other divers in water; illustrate proper dive planning; practice accident prevention and effective accident management.
Prerequisites: Must complete a medical statement showing no contraindications to diving, or have a recreational SCUBA diver's physical examination; certification as a SDI SCUBA diver or equivalent; Divers Alert Network (DAN) diving accident insurance or equivalent.

DIVE 331 Alternative Diving Technology

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Illustrates the realities of operating in the scientific, public safety and military diving disciplines; practice real world training scenarios involving multiple aspects of each of the three fields.
Prerequisites: Must complete a medical statement showing no contraindications to diving, or have a recreational SCUBA diver's physical examination (or AAUS physical if rating with AAUS); certification as an Advanced and Rescue Diver or equivalent; Divers Alert Network (DAN) diving accident insurance or equivalent; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

DIVE 357 Dive Leadership – Divemaster

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Examines divemaster-level dive knowledge, dive leadership theory and application, presentations skills, physical diving skills, logistics and planning, and operational execution; develops a multi-environment capable diving leader.
Prerequisites: Must complete a medical statement showing no contraindications to diving, or have a recreational SCUBA diver's physical examination; certification as a SDI Advanced SCUBA Diver and SDI SCUBA Rescue Diver or equivalent; 60 varied dives logged; current certifications in First Aid, CPR and Emergency Oxygen Administration; Divers Alert Network (DAN) diving accident insurance (or equivalent); junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

DIVE 457 Dive Leadership – Instructor

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Apply effective methods to teach skin and SCUBA diving in compliance with training agency instructional standards; evaluate instructional level dive knowledge, water skills and presentation performance in accordance with training agency teaching standards.
Prerequisites: Recreational SCUBA diver’s medical evaluation; certification as a SCUBA divemaster or equivalent; 100 varied dives logged; current certification in First Aid, CPR and Emergency Oxygen Administration; Divers Alert Network (DAN) diving accident insurance or equivalent; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 101 Connections

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

A first year experience seminar to explore the connections between academics disciplines to develop creative and critical thinking strategies which will increase abilities to implement solutions, refine information literacy skills, and identify the resoursces available for a successful transition from high school to the university environment. Prerequsites: None.

MAST 265 Elissa Sail Taining I

Credits 3. 1 Lecture Hour. 6 Lab Hours.

Elissa Sail Training I. Fundamentals of seamanship on a late 19th century square-rigged sailing vessel. Students will learn to both sail and care for the 1877 barque ELISSA, operated by the Texas Seaport Museum. Lectures on maritime life supplement physical activity.
Prerequisite: Department approval.

MAST 266 Elissa Sail Taining II

Credits 3. 1 Lecture Hour. 7 Lab Hours.

Elissa Sail Training II. Sailing and crewmanship on the 1877 barque ELISSA, operated by the Texas Seaport Museum. Includes sail training at sea.
Prerequisite: MAST 265.

MAST 285 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours.

Credit Individually supervised research or advanced study on restricted area not covered in regular courses.

MAST 289 Special Topics

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Lecture Hours.

Credit Selected topics in a identified area of maritime studies. May be repeated for credit.

MAST 320 Introduction to Museums and Conservation

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 3 Lab Hours.

Introduction to basic issues related to the conservation, curation, management and presentation of museum collections. Emphasis placed on archaeology and historical collections, or other collections with cultural significance. Basic conservation techniques for materials as well as proper care and store of collections. Museum planning and exhibit design will be discussed.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 321 Industrial Diving Orientation

Credits 3. 2 Lecture Hours. 2 Lab Hours.

Illustrates the realities of operating in the scientific, commercial and military diving disciplines; practice real world training scenarios involving multiple aspects of each of the three fields.

MAST 333 Viking Archaeology and Norse Mythology

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Overview of Viking Age (ca. 800 to 1100 C.E.) in Northern Europe; topics include Norse seafaring, world-view, society, archaeology, religion and cosmology as know from the archaeological and literary record.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classificaiton or approval of instructor.

MAST 336 Maritime Foreign Policy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Strategies used by governments to guide international actions; objectives of state leaders in decision making; sources, processes, objectives and outcomes of maritime policy choices.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 345 Texas Maritime Culture and History

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

The coastal peoples, maritime history and culture of the Texas Gulf Coast ranging from pre-historic times to the present day; geography's influence on exploration, resources utilization, development and inland access; Texas ports historic and modern; shipwreck sites and historical texts; La Salle's La Belle, Texas Navy, Mexican War logistics; Civil War Naval actions, Texas Fisheries, tourism and recreation.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification.

MAST 350 A History of Wooden Ship Construction

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

This course is designed to give undergraduate students an overview of ship construction and possible cultural factors that may influence how a shipwright builds a vessel.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and ANTH 316 or ANTH 318.

MAST 352 Crafts of the Maritime World

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

An exploration of various crafts, skills and aesthetic/design used in and supporting the maritime world; hands-on activities and practical experience of various skills and processes, using traditional tools required to put a ship to sea; from carpentry to rope-making, sewing canvas sails to making blocks.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.

MAST 354 Ancient Egyptian Seafaring

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Archaeology, iconography and written records of ancient Egypt as they relate to local and international trade by land, river and sea, beginning in Neolithic times (c. 5000 B.C.) to the end of the New Kingdom (c. 1069 B.C.).
Prerequisites: ANTH 316; junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 371 Archaeology of the Pacific

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Overview of the archaeology, history and cultures of the Pacific Rim; emphasizing the cultures of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 411 International Maritime Culture

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Strategies used in the exploitation of marine, coastal, and island habitats throughout human evolutionary history and the variety and complexity of adaptations in such environments. Classes will be devoted to lectures and group discussions with occasional slide or movie presentations.
Prerequisites: ANTH 201 or GEOG 201. Senior Classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 425 Thesis and Technical Writing

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Rhetorical techniques for professional expository prose; intertextual argumentation and analysis.
Prerequisite: Junior classification.

MAST 441 Maritime Piracy

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Research of social, economic, political and cultural aspects of piracy from ancient to modern times; presentation of findings; understanding modern perception of pirates through modern art, literature and movies.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.

MAST 480 Honors Seminar in Service Learning

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

Opportunities for community service through active community participation; includes structured time for reflection; use of skills and knowledge in real-life situations; extend learning beyond the classroom; foster a sense of caring for others.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification or permission from the instructor and must be a member of the Honors Program.

MAST 481 Seminar in Maritime Studies

Credit 1. 1 Lecture Hour.

This course is intended to provide students with the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a particular issue, event, period, or people in maritime studies.
Prerequisite: This one-credit hour course is open to senior maritime studies majors or approval of instructor.

MAST 484 Undergraduate Internship

Credits 0 to 6. 0 to 6 Other Hours.

Supervised study in a research or teaching laboratory remote from TAMUG. Student involvement is to consist of real-life learning or research, teaching, management, or a combination of these.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 485 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours.

Individually supervised research or advanced study on restricted area not covered in regular courses.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 489 Special Topics

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours.

Selected topics in a identified area of maritime studies. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.

MAST 491 Research in Maritime Studies

Credits 0 to 4. 0 to 4 Other Hours.

Research conducted under the direction of faculty member in Maritime Studies. May be repeated 2 times for credit. Please see academic advisor in department. Registration in multiple sections of this course is possible within a given semester provided that the per semester credit hour limit is not exceeded.
Prerequisites: Junior or senior classification and approval of instructor.

MAST 493 Maritime Studies Travel Experience

Credits 1 to 6. 1 to 6 Lecture Hours.

Combination of classroom and travel emphasizing cultural, archaeological, political and historical aspects of maritime humanities related topics. May be taken two times for credit.
Prerequisite: Junior or senior classification or approval of instructor.