College of Arts & Sciences

About Us

Join us in welcoming our new 2016-2017 Department Chairs

Tiffany Gilbert (English Department) is an associate professor in the Department of English. She arrived in Wilmington in 2006 after a lectureship in the Studies in Women and Gender Program at the University of Virginia, where she earned her doctorate in 2005. She received her BA in English at The College of William and Mary in 1993 and her MA in English at Clemson University in 1997. At UNCW, she teaches courses in twentieth- and twenty-first century American literature, film, and culture. Dr. Gilbert has published articles in the areas of opera, American suburbia, and on British and Irish film. Her current project focuses on Italian actress Anna Magnani and her partnership with playwright Tennessee Williams in the films The Rose Tattoo (1955) and The Fugitive Kind (1960).  

Dylan McNamara (Physics and Physical Oceanography Department) received his M.S. degree in Physics from San Diego State University and his Ph.D. in Oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD.  After completing his Ph.D., Dr. McNamara was a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University in the Earth and Ocean Sciences Division before joining the faculty at UNCW in 2008.  Dr. McNamara has broad research interests with publications in many fields including; Optics, Coastal Science, Coral Reef Ecology, Chaos Theory, and Environmental Economics.  His expertise lies in Complex Systems Analysis, Numerical Modeling, and Nonlinear Forecasting.  Dr. McNamara has received grants to support his research from the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the North Carolina Sea Grant.

Katherine Montwieler (Women's Studies Resource Center) directs the Women’s Studies and Resource Center at UNCW.  An associate professor of English, she has also served as chair, assistant chair, and literary studies coordinator of the English Department.  She routinely teaches classes in nineteenth-century and contemporary literature, focusing on constructions of gender and sexuality.  In addition to teaching classes in women’s and gender studies, Dr. Montwieler has taught for the Honors Program, the North Carolina Humanities Council, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.  She is currently teaching a class on women’s historical fiction in the Cornerstone Learning Communities program and is working on essays on Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Letitia Elizabeth Landon.  She has recently published articles on Edgar Allan Poe, Elizabeth Strout, and Charlotte Brontë.  

David Gessner (Creative Writing Department) is the author of the New York Times bestseller, All the Wild That Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner and the American West, and eight other books including Return of the Osprey, Sick of Nature, My Green Manifesto, and The Tarball Chronicles. He has published essays in many magazines, including Outside Magazine and the New York Times Magazine, and has won the John Burroughs Award for Best Nature Essay, a Pushcart Prize, inclusion in Best American Nonrequired Reading, and the Association for Study of Literature and the Environment’s award for best book of creative writing in 2011-12. At UNCW Gessner founded the department’s award-winning literary journal, Ecotone. And in January of 2016 he served as the host of the National Geographic Explorer television show, Call of the Wild, which explored how our constant use of screens is damaging our brains and how nature can be restorative.  

Lynn Wood Mollenauer (History Department) received her PhD from Northwestern University and has been teaching at UNCW since 2000. She is a cultural historian specializing in the history of France between the Renaissance and the Revolution. Her teaching and research reflect her interest in the complex interconnections between science, magic, and religion. She is currently working on a book project that examines the wonder drugs that circulated throughout Europe during the early modern era, including bezoar stones, potable gold, and compounds of precious gems.

The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately three quarters of the university’s academic credits. Ours is a comprehensive arts & sciences college comprising the arts, the humanities, the mathematical and natural sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences.

UNCW's other academic units include three professional schools (the Cameron School of Businessthe College of Health and Human Services, and the Watson College of Education), and the Graduate School. The University College provides academic advising to UNCW undergraduates from the time of their admission until they declare their major, usually in the sophomore year.

Undergraduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences 

The College’s twenty-five departments and programs offer a variety of undergraduate majors leading to the Bachelor of Arts, the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Music, and the Bachelor of Science. The College also offers a full complement of minors, including interdisciplinary minors such as  African-American studiesAsian studiesforensic scienceLatin American studies,  Native American studiesWomen's and Gender Studies,and Forensics among others. 

Many special undergraduate offerings are available, including the following:

Applied learning is a hallmark of the student experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each of the College’s departments requires an applied learning experience as a part of the curriculum for its undergraduate majors. Examples include faculty-directed research, internships, service learning, and capstone courses and projects, all of which challenge students to integrate various stands of knowledge and to apply that knowledge to broader, real-world or real disciplinary situations. Through applied learning, students in the college gain direct hands-on experience with the skills of their major fields as an essential part of their preparation for life and career. For more information, please visit the College's Applied Learning web page

In addition to its undergraduate major and minor programs, the College is chiefly responsible for the curriculum that comprises the university’s University Studies Program, through which all UNCW undergraduates gain a foundation in the liberal arts and develop the transferable skills essential for life in the twenty-first century. The College strives in its undergraduate programs and in its University Study offerings to nurture creative thinking, intellectual curiosity, and academic integrity in students while providing them with a solid foundation of knowledge in their chosen fields. Upon completion of their undergraduate studies, College of Arts and Sciences students will have the necessary preparation for rewarding careers, advanced study, effective citizenship, and meaningful lives.

Graduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences 

Many of the College’s departments also offer graduate programs. Graduate degrees awarded include the Master of Arts, the Master of Fine Arts, the Master of Public Administration, the Master of Science, and the Doctor of Philosophy in marine biology. In addition, the Graduate Liberal Studies program offers a personalized curriculum of interdisciplinary study leading to the Master of Arts in liberal studies. The College also collaborates with the Watson School of Education to offer the Master of Arts in Teaching degree, and offers the Master of Science in computer science and information systems in cooperation with the Cameron School of Business. Post-baccalaureate certificates in applied statistics, environmental studies, and Hispanic studies are available.

Graduate programs in the college are designed to develop intellectual competence and to prepare the student for careers in business, industry, government, teaching, or for further study at the doctoral level.

For more complete descriptions of academic programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, please visit the College's departmental websites. For specific degree requirements, consult the university’s Undergraduate and Graduate Catalogues

Check out the recent edition of the CAS Newsletter