Department of Arts and Humanities

The Department of Arts and Humanities provides students a liberal arts education with a strong professional focus, preparing them to succeed in a wide variety of career fields. We train students to research, assimilate, analyze, and synthesize information; to appreciate a wide variety of perspectives; and to define and solve complex problems. Students in the media arts are prepared for professional careers as creative thinkers and problem-solvers.

We offer small classes with personal attention from professors who are published, have experience in the field, and are award-winning scholars and media professionals. Courses for English majors focus on literature, language, rhetoric, philosophy, and professional and creative writing. Courses for Media Arts majors emphasize the importance of professional competency in the selected field, media literacy and the development of critical thinking and media-making.

The department is committed to creating a vibrant and supportive scholarly and creative community that welcomes all students and encourages them to reach and to surpass their educational, professional, and personal goals.

The English program prepares students for productive, engaged lives in a global environment by developing their abilities to produce and analyze texts in a variety of media. Students learn to creatively, critically, and ethically evaluate information as it is presented in different cultural and intercultural contexts. We celebrate student presentations and publications through RUNE, our student-led creative writing magazine, and our Creepy Conference held each October. Our English program has a proven track record of preparing students for graduate school and law school; also, our alumni thrive in diverse career paths including publishing, management, education, technical writing, editing, advertising, public relations, and filmmaking.

Media Arts students are provided with ample opportunities for engaged learning, focusing on a multidisciplinary approach to the use of tools and technologies. Internships are included in every concentration of the major, and faculty members assist students in charting pathways to professional careers through research, publishing, and editing opportunities, creating strong resumes prior to graduation. Also, Wheatley Center offers studios and computer labs for design, photography, lighting, drawing, printmaking, and 3D modeling, as well as a wood shop and metal shop, and a gallery to display student work. The Academic Media Center is fully equipped with a television studio, high definition video and audio equipment, and editing stations. 

Our English Studies Graduates...

  • are pursuing rewarding careers with Fortune 500 companies and local corporations:  Bayer (Communications Consultant), Nova Chemicals (Marketing Communication Specialist), Heinz (Accounts Manager), Robert Morris University (Admissions)
  • have created their own consulting companies (Comma Girl II Inc.)
  • are published authors (for example, the novel Then Stirs the Feeling Infinite)
  • have taught overseas (Korea and Japan)
  • have been hired to teach at the university level (Assistant Professor of Feminist and Gender Studies at Colorado College, part-time faculty at Robert Morris University and Duquesne)
  • have been accepted to graduate schools and law school (Trinity University in Dublin, University of Purdue, Ohio University, University of Pittsburgh)

Our English Education Graduates...

  • are presenting at national conferences (National Council of Teachers of English)
  • are winning awards (Penn-Trafford's students, taught and mentored by a RMU grad, won $25,000 for their energy-conservation videos)
  • are teaching in variety of schools (Pittsburgh Public Schools, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School, PA Cyber Charter School, Mount Lebanon Public School, etc.)
  • are working as librarians (Peters Township Public Library, Moon Township Public Library)
  • have obtained full-time positions locally after working as long-term subs and full-time out-of-state positions as Secondary English teachers
Program Title Degree Availability
Academic Program - Undergraduate
Cinema and Photography B.F.A. or B.A. B.A. or B.F.A. Available - On Campus
English B.A. (English Studies) B.A. Available - On Campus
Graphic Design B.F.A or B.A. B.A. or B.F.A. Available - On Campus
Professional Writing B.A. B.A. Available - On Campus
UX/UI Design B.A. B.A. Available - On Campus

Department Head

Pinson, Heather
Heather Pinson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Arts
Specialties: Jazz, aesthetics and interdisciplinary arts, race theory
412-397-6463 phone
412-397-6468 fax
Wheatley Center 215