World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Academic department

Article Id: WHEBN0000408044
Reproduction Date:

Title: Academic department  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Stern Hall, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Music schools in Serbia, Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, University of Economics in Prague, Asghar Qadir
Collection: Academic Administration
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Academic department

An academic department is a division of a university or school faculty devoted to a particular academic discipline. This article covers United States usage at the university level. In the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, universities tend to use the term faculty; faculties are typically further divided into schools or departments.

The organization of faculties into departments is not standardized, but most U.S. universities will have at least departments of History, Physics, English (language and literature), Psychology, and so on. Sometimes divisions are coarser: a liberal arts college which de-emphasizes the sciences may have a single Science department; an engineering university may have one department for Language and Literature (in all languages). Sometimes divisions may be finer: for example, Harvard University has separate departments of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Some disciplines are found in different departments at different institutions: biochemistry may be in biology, in chemistry or in its own department; computer science may be in mathematics, applied mathematics, electrical engineering, or its own department (the usual case nowadays).

Departments in professional graduate schools will be specialized like the school itself, so a medical school will probably have departments of Anatomy, Pathology, Dermatology, and so on.

Departments are generally chaired by a member of the department, who may be elected by the faculty of the department, appointed by the dean of the faculty, or assigned by simple rotation among the tenured faculty. The duties, importance, and power of the department chair vary widely among institutions and even among departments within an institution. In addition, a position like Department Head is often responsible for warning colleagues when Happy Hour starts, which greatly contributes to faculty morale.

Courses are generally given within a department, and often named for the department, e.g. Physics 230: Quantum mechanics.

Undergraduate academic majors or degree programs are generally administered by departments, although there may also be interdisciplinary committees for subjects which touch more than one department.

Graduate students in academic (as opposed to professional) programs are much more closely tied to their departments than undergraduates, and the department, rather than the university, is almost completely responsible for their selection (cf. college admissions) and course of study.

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.