Majors & Minors
Young Harris College is a private, liberal arts institution in the beautiful mountains of northeast Georgia. We’re ready to challenge you and support you on an educational adventure with rare, innovative programs such as outdoor leadership and business and public policy. From biology to music, we have your field of study covered.
Baccalaureate Degree Programs (A-Z)
- Business and Public Policy
- Communication Studies (Human Communication)
- Communication Studies (Media Communication)
- Creative Writing
- Education (Early Childhood Education P-5)
- Education (Middle Grades Education 4-8)
- Environmental Science
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- Music Education with Choral Emphasis (P-12)
- Music Education with Instrumental Emphasis (P-12)
- Outdoor Leadership
- Religious Studies
- Theatre (Musical Theatre)
Contact: Ted Whisenhunt
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art is designed to train students, within a liberal arts context, to engage in a variety of professional arts environments and, if desired, prepare them to advance successfully into graduate programs in art. Upon completion of the degree, students will demonstrate skill in their concentration at a high level, successfully engage in art making on both a conceptual and technical level and demonstrate skill in the utilization of tools, equipment, media and technology related to the artists and stylistic periods throughout art history and communicate about them effectively. Students holding the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art will be equipped with intellectual tools of enduring usefulness as they continue their lifelong journey of learning and personal growth.
Contact: Dr. Paul Arnold
The Bachelor of Science degree in Biology provides a scientific curriculum within the context of liberal arts that encourages students to think critically and actively participate in the exploration of the biological sciences. Through course instruction, mentored research and presentation and field study, students hone their scientific investigative skills and develop a knowledge base to prepare them for graduate school, professional school or for a fulfilling career.
Young Harris College is located in one of the finest outdoor laboratories anywhere on earth. Many consider the Southern Appalachian region to possess more biodiversity than any region in the Eastern United States. For example, a hiking trail runs from YHC to the top of the highest mountain in Georgia, home to Georgia’s only cloud forest. Developing a reputation for cutting-edge research that benefits the environment, YHC has capitalized on this location through programs like the YHC Hemlock Project and the YHC Beekeeping Institute.
Contact: Dr. Nathan Gray
The Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Public Policy provides an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares students for careers or graduate study in business, government, law or related disciplines. Young Harris College is one of the first colleges to offer this cutting-edge, innovative program at the undergraduate level.
The College has a rich tradition of developing leaders in business and public affairs, many of whom are involved with this program. Zell Miller, former Georgia governor and U.S. senator, as well as a graduate of Young Harris, is a member of the College faculty. Cathy Cox, former state legislator and Georgia secretary of state, currently serves as the College President and will teach in the program.
Contact: Dr. Linda Jones
The Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry delves into a study of matter at or near the molecular or atomic level. Although it is a very broad field, chemistry encompasses the properties of matter and transformations and interactions that occur with both matter and energy through chemical reactions. Chemists are also concerned with atomic structure and how the nature of that structure dictates the interactions of molecules and compounds. Almost all scientific disciplines, including biology, physics and engineering, require a good working knowledge of chemistry in order to understand fundamental concepts. Science students at YHC are strongly encouraged to take General Chemistry as early as possible. Chemists can seek careers in labs involved with medical chemistry, food chemistry, environmental chemistry, petroleum chemistry and many other commercial or government laboratories. Many chemists teach at the high school or college level or choose to enter medical school and pursue a career in healthcare.
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Hallett
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies prepares students to enter specific communication contexts such as electronic media/broadcasting, journalism, media psychology, advertising, interpersonal/intercultural/health counseling, organizational consulting or training, marketing and public relations. It also supplies a broad background of information and develops skills needed for areas such as law, ministry and public service. The program offers stimulation of debates and discussions of current issues, as well as informative and entertaining media programming. Students in the Human Communication concentration will be exposed to the personal, social, group-related, cultural, organizational, verbal and nonverbal aspects of human communication. Within the Human Communication concentration students will learn how to think critically about their own and other’s communicative behaviors; how social constraints affect thoughts, feelings and actions communicatively; and how the above influence the production and interpretation of communicative messages in the complex contexts of human communication.
Contact: Dr. Jennifer Hallett
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies prepares students to enter specific communication contexts such as electronic media/broadcasting, journalism, media psychology, advertising, interpersonal/intercultural/health counseling, organizational consulting or training, marketing and public relations. It also supplies a broad background of information and develops skills needed for areas such as law, ministry and public service. The program offers stimulation of debates and discussions of current issues, as well as informative and entertaining media programming. Students in the Media Communication concentration are exposed to the social, legal, organizational, political, and technological issues surrounding the modern media environment. Within the Media Communication concentration, students learn how to think critically about media messages; how the media might affect thoughts, feelings, and actions; and how media messages are produced and distributed.
Contact: Dr. Chelsea Rathburn
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Creative Writing provides innovative instruction in the theory and practice of writing poetry and prose. Since writing and reading are inextricably linked, the Creative Writing major offers a strong foundation in literature as well as courses in the form and theory of poetry, fiction, nonfiction and dramatic writing. Students will join an active community of writers, learning to write and revise creative pieces with an aim of publication, analyzing published model texts, and responding to the works of peers. Students will leave YHC prepared for graduate study in the discipline or work in a variety of fields that value strong writing, creativity and analytical skills. Students will also have gained the tools to continue writing and refining their creative work on their own outside of the classroom.
Early Childhood Education Contact: Dr. Mark Brunner, (706) 379-5101
Middle Grades Education Contact: Dr. Sharon Jackson, (706) 379-5240
Secondary Certifications and Post-Baccalaureate Programs Contact: Dr. Karynne Kleine, (706) 379-5214
The Teacher Preparation Program at Young Harris College allows students to pursue an exciting career as an education professional. Candidates will gain skills and knowledge necessary to become a successful educator and engage in diverse aspects of education both in the classroom and the field.The strong liberal arts foundation at Young Harris College provides both breadth and depth for the knowledge base of content taught by well-credentialed and experienced faculty. Strong partnerships with local schools ensure outstanding field and clinical options emphasizing the personal touch of individual interaction with all students.
In addition to the three degree with certification programs, Young Harris College offers four additional initial certification programs for students already completing bachelor’s level degrees, as well as post-baccalaureate certification programs that provide students who already have a bachelor or higher degree the skills, knowledge and experience needed to begin a successful career as a teacher.
The unit and all programs are fully accredited by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Georgia is an active member of the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) and has signed the Interstate Agreement with all other states and jurisdictions for all certificate types. This means that Georgia has certification reciprocity with all other states which allows for certification produced through Young Harris College’s programs to be extended nationally.
Contact: Dr. Amanda Lawrence
The Bachelor of Arts degree in English program prepares students to read literature in depth, understand its cultural context, and write about it thoughtfully. The major prepares students for graduate study in English and related disciplines, and helps them to develop skills essential to a variety of professions, including close analysis of difficult texts, advanced research methods and the art of persuasive writing. Students will study masterpieces of American, British and World literature through survey courses as well as special topics courses in narrow fields of literary study that relate to our faculty members’ scholarly interests. Students will learn how to read and analyze literary works, how to engage in dialogue with literary theory and criticism and how to produce arguments that are not just obvious or correct, but offer critical insight.
Contact: Dr. Paul Arnold
Students who pursue the Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science are prepared to meet the environmental challenges facing our world today. Knowledgable faculty members focus on helping students understand the natural science components of these issues by fostering an appreciation for the social and economic factors involved as well as training them in the technical skills required to compete in this expanding job market. This degree also prepares students who choose to further their education in graduate or professional schools in order to better meet the global problems associated with climate change, use of natural resources, and protection of the environment.
Contact: Dr. Thomas Stearns
The Bachelor of Arts degree in History educates students in all aspects of the historical process. Within the framework of liberal arts, Young Harris College historians will become vigorous contributors to historical knowledge—producing accurate, compelling, and revealing narratives of real significance. The academic discipline presents an unmatched opportunity for scholars to find and explain the human condition. A history degree is flexible and far-ranging, and serves to prepare individuals for service in various fields such as law, teaching, historical archives, museums, government, business, public service, journalism and medicine.
Contact: Dr. Keith DeFoor
The Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Discover Degree) offers students the opportunity to pursue their academic and professional interests by combining three areas of concentration from the liberal arts and/or professional disciplines. Discover Degree templates provide possible combinations of courses for degree programs that can apply to unique career goals. This multifaceted approach, which embraces the spirit of Liberal Arts education, allows students to choose the best combination in order to meet the demands of a changing, contemporary job market. Built on a progressive core curriculum, the Discover Degree also allows students to propose their own program of study. Through interrelated coursework, undergraduate research, and other curricular opportunities, students develop critical thinking, investigative, communicative, and analytical skills that will benefit them in life and in their future careers.
Contact: Dr. Chris Sass
The Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics is designed to encourage students to think critically, to develop quantitative analytical reasoning, to understand mathematical thought and knowledge, to develop the ability to use this understanding to produce and communicate mathematics and to apply these skills in graduate degree programs in mathematics and/or careers requiring expertise in mathematics. Students will also develop skills essential to a variety of professions including economics, engineering, finance, chemistry, physics, genetics, ecology, actuarial science, bioinformatics, medicine, law, software design and statistics and computer science.
Contact: Dr. Edwin Calloway
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music prepares musician-scholars for a variety of music-related careers as well as graduate study in music or other fields. Young Harris College has a tradition of producing leaders in the fields of music, including notable alumni and country music singers Ronnie Milsap and Trisha Yearwood. The College has also produced many music educators and church musicians.
Young Harris College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Music education is widely recognized for its ability to stimulate intellectual capacity and, therefore, can provide excellent preparation for medical school, law school and numerous other fields.
Contact: Dr. John Wayman
The Bachelor of Music Education degree, Choral Emphasis, provides students with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to begin successful careers as music teachers in public and private schools. The curriculum includes a strong emphasis on scholarship, performance, teaching skills and field experiences within the context of a liberal arts education. Strong partnerships with area schools ensure outstanding field and clinical experiences, and degree candidates work closely with experienced instructors in both the music and education departments. Diction for the Singer and Vocal Pedagogy are advanced courses featured in the choral emphasis. The degree leads to preschool through grade 12 (P-12) teacher certification by the State of Georgia.
Contact: Dr. John Wayman
The Bachelor of Music Education degree, Instrumental Emphasis, provides students with the skills, knowledge and experiences needed to begin successful careers as music teachers in public and private schools. The curriculum includes a strong emphasis on scholarship, performance, teaching skills and field experiences within the context of a liberal arts education. Strong partnerships with area schools ensure outstanding field and clinical experiences, and degree candidates work closely with experienced instructors in both the music and education departments. Arranging and Marching Band Techniques are advanced courses featured in the instrumental emphasis. The degree leads to preschool through grade 12 (P-12) teacher certification by the State of Georgia.
Contact: Rob Dussler
The Bachelor of Science degree in Outdoor Leadership provides students with an innovative curriculum rooted in the philosophical, historical and theoretical foundations of experiential education. In the spirit of the liberal arts, students engage in a comprehensive educational experience that emphasizes a holistic approach to learning and development. Students benefit from a learning environment located in the southern Appalachian Mountains, ideally situated between the Chattahoochee, Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests. The access to premiere rivers, trails and rock faces is immediate. Students integrate theory and application through classroom and field experiences that utilize the campus resources and the wilderness areas surrounding the College. Graduates of the program are competent, ethical leaders who are prepared to provide effective, environmentally sound, outdoor education programs in a variety of social service settings.
Contact: Dr. Joe Tiu
The Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology provides students with the opportunity to learn about human mental processes and behavior. A major in psychology is well-suited for those who wish to learn more about themselves and others. The psychology program at Young Harris College focuses on scientific knowledge, explaining why people think and act the way they do. The curriculum includes areas of study like developmental, abnormal, learning and biological psychology.
Contact: Dr. Eric Dickman
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies educates, empowers and inspires students in all aspects of religion, providing them with the opportunity to explore diverse expressions of humankind’s understanding of the sacred. Understanding the histories, beliefs, practices and scriptures of different religions equips students to better understand themselves and those around them. Religious Studies also provides students’ opportunities for personal growth within their faith traditions and spiritual development. Through comparison, students come to understand better their own spirituality. Graduates demonstrate critical reading and thinking skills and an acute social consciousness that empowers them for success in a wide variety of graduate programs and careers.
Contact: Dr. Diana Santiago
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish is designed to provide preparation in the language, literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. Students will achieve a level of proficiency in Spanish adequate for both academic and professional purposes. The major focuses on the development of the speaking, reading, listening and writing skills in order to facilitate the student's ability to converse in Spanish on non-specialized and everyday life topics, as well as to read and understand Spanish in specialized fields. The program will also enable students to achieve cultural awareness and understanding of the Hispanic world through the study of major fictional and nonfictional works both in Peninsular and Latin American culture. Knowledge of Spanish is a valuable asset in a wide range of careers such as journalism, international business, education, law and health care.
Contact: Chris Crawford
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre trains students, within a liberal arts context, in all phases of the theatre and prepares them to advance successfully into graduate programs in theatre. Students will demonstrate a developed range of practical acting skills at a high artistic level, the ability to operate effectively as a theatre technician in a production setting, a developed range of practical design skills at a high artistic level and an understanding of the history and literature of theatre and the ability to communicate about it thoughtfully. In addition to careers in the entertainment industry, an undergraduate theatre education is excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers including education, law, design and business.
Contact: Chris Crawford
Contact: Jeff Bauman
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with a concentration in musical theatre trains students, within a liberal arts context, in all phases of musical theatre and, if desired, to prepare them to advance successfully into graduate programs in musical theatre. Students will demonstrate a developed range of practical acting skills at a high artistic level, the ability to operate effectively as a theatre technician in a production setting, skill in vocal music performance at a high artistic level, the ability to self-teach a piece of music in their principal performance area, a developed range of musical theatre dance skills at a high artistic level and an understanding of the history and literature of theatre and the ability to communicate about it thoughtfully. In addition to careers in the entertainment industry, undergraduate musical theatre education is excellent preparation for a wide variety of careers including education, law, design and business.
- Early Childhood Education (P-5)
- Middle Grades Education (4-8)
- Music Education with Choral or Instrumental Emphasis (P-12)
- English Education (6-12)
- History Education (6-12)
- Mathematics Education (6-12)
- Broad Field Science Education (6-12)
Click here to find out more about secondary certifications and post-baccaluareate certification programs at YHC.
- Appalachian Studies and Community Engagement
- Business and Public Policy
- Communication Studies
- Popular Culture
- Religious Studies
- Sport Studies
For more information about the above programs, contact the Office of the Registrar.