Consult your academic advisor and/or the HPU Catalog for specific degree requirements.


The Department of English serves all students enrolled at HPU. Students in general-education English courses will become adept at using information technology and at developing research skills, will improve their vital language skills and will enrich their appreciation of the beauty and value of our literary heritage. English majors and minors will further build and refine these cognitive and affective skills. Please visit our department website to learn more about our program.

Criminal Justice, Social Work and Sociology

To prepare majors in the field of criminal justice, emphasis will be placed on the roles of policing, courts, laws and correctional systems at the local, state, federal and international levels. Sociological and psychological perspectives of offenders, victims and professionals who interact in the criminal justice system will be explored and reviewed. Students taking introductory level courses in criminal justice will be able to understand the operations of the criminal justice system in social interaction as well as on an individual basis.

The social work program prepares students for entry-level positions in social work in a variety of social agencies including public, nonprofit, private, Christian-based and government. Upon graduation, students are also prepared for professional licensure in Texas. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the Council on Social Work Education. Check out these links to the Council on Social Work Education, CSWE, and the National Association of Social Workers, NASW. View the Mission Statement and goals of the social work program and the Howard Payne University Baccalaureate Social Work Program Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes.

The purpose of the sociology program is to expose students’ practical training to a number of areas of sociological inquiry, equipping them for a wide range of careers in which a knowledge of the structure, organization and processes of human society within a global perspective is essential for successful future leadership based on Christian values.

History and Government

The history program seeks to study the development of human life over time. The study of history provides students with the skills required to seek knowledge, analyze complex issues and present conclusions in a clear and thoughtful manner.

The political science program is designed to introduce the students to the basic tenets of politics; to provide the opportunities to gain practical research experience using contemporary techniques of political analysis; to help the students gain a better perspective of the American political system in an international context; and to provide academic training for such professional fields as law, policy research, teaching, journalism, management and government service.

The study of geography is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the spatial relationship between humans and the physical environment and how that environment affects society, economics, politics and culture.

Spanish and Hispanic Studies

The Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies at Howard Payne offers students a well-rounded, enriching Christian education with regard to the Spanish language and Hispanic literature and culture. Currently the department offers a Spanish minor that will combine well with any major offered at Howard Payne.

Psychology and Family Studies

Psychology is a multifaceted discipline that seeks to better understand the nature of human behavior. Students studying psychology at HPU will have opportunities to explore the foundational content domains of psychology, develop their skills in conducting and evaluating psychological research and learn how to evaluate the important theories and presuppositions in psychology from a Christian worldview.

Family studies focuses on the development of individual, couple and family wellness across the lifespan. Particular attention is given to the interactions among individuals, families, communities and cultures. The family studies degree is designed to prepare students for professional careers in a variety of human service areas including, but not limited to, child and family services, community mental health, consumer affairs, county and state extension, child life specialists, family life and parent education, marriage education and enrichment, youth services and gerontological services. The program also prepares students for leadership roles in churches, schools and communities; for effective functioning in marital and family roles; and for graduate education in counseling and family-related fields.

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