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Virginia Tech Historical Data Book, Section 4.2:
Departments and Curricula


The first academic departments, in the sense the term is known today, were called "courses." They were listed in the 1872 catalog as: English Language and Literature, Ancient Languages, Modern Languages, Moral Philosophy, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Mineralogy, Geology, Botany, Zoology, Agriculture, and Mechanical. Moral Philosophy included psychology, ethics, and political economy. Natural Philosophy included chemical physics and descriptive and mathematical astronomy. Agriculture consisted of lectures on the selection, breeding, food, shelter, use, nature, and management of farm animals; dairy farming; soils; plants; landscape gardening; floriculture; farm economics; and building materials. Mechanical included mechanical drawing, mechanical engineering, machinery, and steam engines.

Accounting - Bookkeeping courses offered as early as 1872; Bookkeeping and Phonography Department in 1890; courses in advanced accounting offered since 1930. Department lineage: curriculum in Business Administration Dept. (1939-61); Accounting Dept. (1961-).

Administration and Educational Services - Division, offering graduate work, established in College of Education (1971- ).

Aerospace and Ocean Engineering - Aeronautics course established in 1929. Department lineage: Aeronautics (1942-44); Aeronautical Engineering (1944-61); Aerospace Engineering (1961-72); Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (1972- ).

Aerospace Studies - Air science courses begun in 1946 with introduction of Air Force ROTC program. Courses taught in Military Science and Tactics Dept. (1946-51). Department lineage: Military and Air Science and Tactics (1951-55); Military and Air Science (1955-62); Air Science (1962-64); Aerospace Studies (1964- ).

Agricultural Economics - Courses established in 1921. Department lineage: Agricultural Economics (1924-29); Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (1929-33); Agricultural Economics (1933-40); Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology, and Statistics (1946-48); Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (1948-65); Agricultural Economics (1965- ).

Agricultural Education - Curriculum lineage: Agricultural Education Dept. (1918-36); curriculum in Vocational Education Dept. (1936-65); in Education Dept. (1965-71); in Division of Vocational-Technical Education (1971- ).

Agricultural Engineering - Courses offered as early as 1912. Department lineage: Agricultural Engineering (1919- )

Agronomy - Courses pertaining to agronomy offered since 1872. Department lineage: Agronomy (1907- ).

Animal Science - Courses pertaining to animal science offered since 1872. Department lineage: Animal Husbandry (1908-63); Animal Science (1963- ).

Architecture - Courses in architectural drawing and architecture were listed as early as the 1873-74 catalog. Curriculum lineage: Architectural Engineering Dept. (1928-47); Architecture Dept. (1947-63); curriculum in College of Architecture (1964- ).

Art - Various types of art (drawing) courses offered since 1872. Curriculum lineage: Art (1967- ).

Biochemistry and Nutrition - Department awarded only graduate degrees until undergraduate biochemistry curriculum was established in 1968. Courses were offered under Agricultural Chemistry until 1952. Department lineage: Biochemistry and Nutrition (1952- ).

Biology - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: Biology (1891-1926); divided into Botany and Plant Pathology Dept. and Zoology and Animal Pathology Dept. (1926-35); Biology (1935- ).

Building Construction - Curriculum lineage: option under Architecture Dept. (1947-63); curriculum in College of Architecture (1964- ).

Business Administration - Courses in practical business offered since 1881. Department formerly included accounting (1939-61) and economics and history (1957-61) curricula; has also presented degree programs in business administration (1927-67); public administration (1962- ); and finance, general business, management, and marketing (1968- ). Department lineage: Business Administration (1924- ).

Business Education - Curriculum lineage: in Vocational Education Dept. (1950-65); in Education Dept. (1965-71); in Division of Vocational-Technical Education (1971- ).

Ceramic Engineering - Curriculum lineage: Ceramic Engineering Dept. (1928-64); curriculum in Metals and Ceramic Engineering Dept. (1964-71); in Division of Minerals Engineering (1971- ).

Chemical Engineering - Department lineage: curriculum in School of Applied Sciences (1912-19); Chemical Engineering Dept. (1919-29); Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (1929-35); Chemical Engineering (1935- ).

Chemistry - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: General and Analytical Chemistry (1873-83); Chemistry and Metallurgy (1883-87); Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy (1887-91); General Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology (1891-1901); General and Industrial Chemistry (1901-02); Geology, Mineralogy, and Organic Chemistry (1902-03); General Chemistry (1903-04); Chemistry (1904-29); Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (1929-35); Chemistry (1935- ).

Civil Engineering - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: Civil Engineering (1886-90); Mathematics and Civil Engineering (1890-94); Civil Engineering (1894-1969); Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering (1969-70); Civil Engineering (1970- ).

Clothing, Textiles, and Related Art - Courses offered in Home Economic Dept. (1921-60). Department lineage: Clothing, Textiles, and Related Art (1960- ).

Computer Science - Courses offered since 1968. Department lineage: Computer Science (1970- ).

Curriculum and Instruction - Division established in College of Education (1971- ).

Dairy Science - Courses pertaining to dairying offered since 1872. Department lineage: Dairying (1906-09); Dairy Husbandry (1909-55); Dairy Science (1955- ).

Distributive Education - Curriculum lineage: Vocational Education for Joint Coordinators curriculum in Vocational Education Dept. (1954-59); Distributive Education curriculum in Vocational Education Dept. (1959-65); in Education Dept. (1965-71); in Division of Vocation-Technical Education (1971- ).

Economics - Department lineage: English and Economics (1904-05); History and Economics (1905-16); Economics and Political Science (1916-17); Economics and History (1924-57); curriculum in Business Administration Dept. (1957-61); Economics (1961- ).

Electrical Engineering - Department lineage: Physics and Electrical Engineering (1892-98); Electrical Engineering (1898- ).

Elementary Education - Curriculum in Education Dept. (1968-71); in Division of Curriculum and Instruction (1971- ).

Engineering Science and Mechanics - Courses in field of applied mechanics offered as early as 1891. Department lineage: Experimental Engineering (1908-14); Applied Mechanics and Experimental Engineering (1914-32); Applied Mechanics (1932-60); Engineering Mechanics (1960-72); Engineering Science and Mechanics (1972- ).

English - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: English Language and Literature (1872-83); English Language, Literature, and Criticism (1883-87); English and Latin (1887-91); English, History, and Political Economy (1891-98); English, History, and Spanish (1898-1902); English and Spanish (1902-03); English and Political Economy (1903-04); English and Economics (1904-05); English (1905-58); English and Foreign Languages (1958-65); English (1965- ).

Entomology - Department lineage: Botany and Entomology Dept., Agricultural Experiment Station (1889-91); Horticulture, Entomology, and Mycology (1891-1902); Mycology and Entomology (1902-04); present department formed from Biology Dept. in 1959. Entomology (1959- ).

Finance - (See Business Administration.)

Food Science and Technology - Department lineage: Food Science and Technology (1968- ).

Foreign Languages - Courses offered since 1872. Since 1970 degree programs have been specifically in French, German, or Spanish. Non-degree courses also offered in Russian and Latin. Department lineage: Latin (1873-87); English and Latin (1887-91); English, History, and Spanish (1898-1902); English and Spanish (1902-03); Modern Languages and Latin (1915-20); Foreign Languages (1920-58); English and Foreign Languages (1958-65); Foreign Languages (1965- ).

Forestry and Wildlife - Courses offered in Biology Dept. before 1959. Department lineage: Forestry and Wildlife (1959- ).

French - (See Foreign Languages.)

General Business - (See Business Administration.)

Geological Sciences - Degrees awarded in Geology (1910- ) and Geophysics (1959- ). Department lineage: Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy (1887-91); General Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Geology (1891-1901); Mineralogy (1901-02); Geology, Mineralogy, and Organic Chemistry (1902-03); Geology and Mineralogy (1903-07); Applied Geology (1907-20); Geology (1920-55); Geological Sciences (1955- ).

Geology - (See Geological Sciences).

Geophysics - (See Geological Sciences).

German - (See Foreign Languages).

Health and Physical Education - Curriculum lineage: Physical Education Dept. (1921-29); Physical and Health Education (1929-35); Athletics and Physical Health (1935-51); Physical and Health Education (1951-65); Health and Physical Education (1965-71); curriculum in Division of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (1971- ).

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation - Division established in College of Education (1971- ).

History - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: English, History, and Political Economy (1891-98); English, History, and Spanish (1898-1902); History (1902-06); History and Economics (1906-16); Economics and History (1924-57); courses listed in Business Administration Dept. (1957-61); History and Political Science (1961-65); History (1965- ).

Home Economics Education - Courses first offered in 1921 in Home Econmics Dept. Curriculum moved from College of Home Economics to Division of Vocational-Technical Education, College of Education (1971- ).

Horticulture - Courses in floriculture first offered in 1872. Department lineage: Horticulture, Entomology, and Mycology (1891- 1902); Horticulture (1902- ).

Human Nutrition and Foods - Courses offered in Home Economics Dept. (1921-60). Department lineage: Foods and Nutrition (1960-63); Human Nutrition and Foods (1963- ).

Industrial Arts Education- Curriculum lineage: curriculum in Vocational Education Dept. (1946-65); in Education Dept. (1965-71); in Division of Vocational-Technical Education (1971- ).

Industrial Engineering and Operations Research - Department lineage: Commercial Engineering (1920-29); Industrial Engineering (1929-70); Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (1970- ).

International Studies - Curriculum lineage: interdisciplinary curriculum in College of Arts and Sciences (1968- ).

Landscape Architecture - Curriculum established in College of Architecture (1970- ).

Management - (See Business Administration).

Management, Housing, and Family Development - Courses in field offered in Home Economics Dept. (1921-60). Department lineage: Management, Housing, and Family Development (1969- ).

Marketing Management - (See Business Administration).

Materials Engineering Science - Doctoral level curriculum established in 1964 jointly with metallurgical and chemical engineering.

Mathematics - Department lineage: Mathematics (1872-91); Mathematics and Civil Engineering (1891-94); Mathematics (1894-97); Mathematics and Physics (1897-1904); Mathematics (1904- ).

Mathematics Education - Curriculum in Mathematics Dept., with cooperation of education (1968- ).

Mechanical Engineering - Courses offered since 1872. Department lineage: Technology (1874-81); Mechanical (1881-83); Physics and Mechanics (1883-91); Mechanical Engineering (1891- ).

Metallurgical Engineering - Curriculum lineage: Chemistry and Metallurgy Dept. (1883-87); in General and Industrial Chemistry Dept. (1901-03); Metallurgy and Industrial Chemistry (1903-06); Metallurgy and Metallography (1906-20); Metallurgy (1920-24); Metallurgy and Metallography (1924-40); Metallurgy (1940-55); Metallurgical Engineering (1955-64); curriculum in Metals and Ceramic Engineering (1964-71); in Division of Minerals Engineering (1971- ).

Military Science - Military tactics courses offered since 1872. Army ROTC instruction offered since 1917. Department lineage: Military (1883-91); Military Science and Tactics (1891-51); Military and Air Science and Tactics (1951-55); Military and Air Science (1955-62); Military Science (1962- ).

Mineral Engineering - Division established 1971, combining Metals and Ceramic Engineering Dept. and Mining Engineering Dept. (1971- ).

Mining Engineering - Mineralogy courses offered since 1872. Curriculum lineage: courses in Chemistry and Metallurgy Dept. (1883-87); Chemistry, Geology, and Mineralogy (1901-02); Geology, Mineralogy, and Organic Chemistry (1902-03); Geology and Mineralogy (1903-07); Mines (1907-08); Mining Engineering (1909-71); curriculum in Division of Minerals Engineering (1971- ).

Nuclear Science - Nuclear engineering physics graduate program offered since 1956; undergraduate curriculum in Nuclear Engineering Science administered by Physics Dept. (1968- ).

Performing Arts and Communications - Course in music first offered in 1965; courses in theatre arts first offered in 1967; speech first offered in 1970; communications first offered in 1971; minor in theatre arts begun in 1968; degree-granting curriculum in theatre arts begun in 1970. Department lineage: Performing Arts and Communications (1970- ).

Philosophy and Religion - Courses in moral philosophy taught as early as 1872. Religion courses first offered in 1954. Department lineage: Philosophy and Religion (1955- ).

Physics - Courses offered as early as 1872. Department lineage: Physics and Mechanics (1883-91); Physics and Electrical Engineering (1891-93); Mathematics and Physics (1898-1904); Physics (1904- ).

Plant Pathology and Physiology - Department lineage: Mycology, Bacteriology, and Plant Pathology (1908-19); Bacteriology and Plant Pathology (1919-25); Botany and Plant Pathology (1925-36); courses in Biology Dept. (1936-49); Plant Pathology and Physiology (1949- ).

Political Science - Courses in political economy offered since 1875. Department lineage: English, History, and Political Economy (1891-98); courses in English, History, and Spanish (1898-1902); in History (1902-06); in History and Economics (1906-16); in Economics and History (1924-57); in Business Administration (1957-61); History and Political Science (1961-65); Political Science (1965- ).

Poultry Science - Department lineage: Poultry Husbandry (1921-62); Poultry Science (1962- ).

Public Administration - (See Business Administration.)

Psychology - Courses offered in Vocational Education Dept. until 1965. Department lineage: Psychology and Sociology (1965-68); Psychology (1968- ).

Secondary Education - Teacher education programs in several areas of secondary education were established in 1963 in the Vocational Education Department. Curriculum established in Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Education (1971- ).

Sociology - Courses in the field of rural sociology were offered as early as 1872. Department lineage: Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (1929-33); courses in Agricultural Economics Dept. (1933-40); Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (1940-46); Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology, and Statistics (1946-48); Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology (1948-65); Psychology and Sociology (1965-68); Sociology (1968- ).

Spanish - (See Foreign Languages).

Statistics - Courses offered since 1946. Department lineage: Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology, and Statistics (1946-49); Statistics (1949- ).

Theatre Arts - (See Performing Arts and Communications.)

Urban Affairs - Courses first offered in 1970; curriculum offered (1970- ).

Veterinary Science - Department lineage: Veterinary Science (1891-1926); Zoology and Animal Pathology (1926-35); courses in Biology Dept. (1935-59); Veterinary Science (1959- ).

Vocational Industrial Education - Curriculum lineage: industrial education in Agricultural Education Dept. (1921-39); trade and industrial education in Vocational Education Dept. (1956-59); industrial education in Vocational Education (1959-61); vocational industrial education in Vocational Education (1961-65); in Education Dept. (1965-71); in Division of Vocational-Technical Education (1971- ).

Vocational and Technical Education - Division established in College of Education (1971- ).

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