College of Arts and Sciences - Eric C. Apfelstadt, Ph.D., dean

Contact information

College of Arts and Sciences
5000 Abbey Way SE, OM 329
Lacey, WA 98503-7500

Eric Apfelstadt, dean

Aaron Coby, associate dean

Laura Hoff, executive assistant

Kimberly Wilson, administrative assistant

Dean's message

Welcome to the website of the College of Arts and Sciences, the largest and most diverse of the University's academic units! Our courses provide the solid foundation on which all Saint Martin's bachelor’s degrees are built. They satisfy general education requirements, count toward major and minor program requirements, and provide mind-opening (sometimes even mind-blowing) opportunities to earn elective credits toward graduation. In all cases, they help Saint Martin's University deliver on its promise to provide its students with a strong liberal arts education.

The college's programs in the arts and humanities deal with what is distinctively human—artistic expression, philosophical thought, the use and study of language. Our science and mathematics programs emphasize critical analysis, logical problem solving, and collaborative skills that are fundamental to existence in the contemporary world. Our programs in the social sciences are concerned with the development of human society, human behavior, the nature of social institutions and roles, and the ideas that have shaped human life. The college recently launched a Bachelor of Social Work program, which applies these lessons in a concrete way, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which similarly prepares its students to lead and succeed in the nation's increasingly complex health care environment. Our new interdisciplinary Communication Studies program uses critical and cultural studies to understand the central role of communication in society, with a focus on social justice. There is also a new minor program devoted entirely to Social Justice.

I am especially proud of the outstanding faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. They are worthy stewards of the institution’s Catholic Benedictine heritage. Their commitment to their students' growth and success and the time and care they devote to helping each student realize her or his full potential are hallmarks of a Saint Martin’s education. Highly qualified in their fields of expertise, they regularly conceive new courses and reconceive familiar ones, keeping the adventure of teaching and learning fresh for their students and themselves. Many of our faculty members go to great lengths to support undergraduate research and to involve students in their own scholarly projects. In the past year, Arts and Sciences faculty members have won Fulbright Teaching and Research Awards, outstanding book prizes, billets in competitive national seminars, and invitations to address high-profile national and international gatherings. They have represented the University impressively in settings around the world, while always returning, in full force and colorful regalia, to celebrate our students’ successful graduation each May.

A learning community is ultimately defined by the effort, character and achievements of its students. For nearly 120 years, Saint Martin's has produced graduates competent in knowledge, capable of making sound moral and ethical decisions, and committed to acting responsibly in service to their community. Reason, faith, service and community continue to form the cornerstones of the educational experience in the College of Arts and Sciences. Whether you major or minor in one of our programs, take courses to satisfy general education requirements, or study an elective subject for the sheer delight of learning about it, you should expect to emerge more willing and able to think critically, achieve academically, act ethically, and serve society well—to be at once more self-aware and self-confident, more culturally and environmentally sensitive, and more appreciative and respectful of diversity in both the local and global communities—to be better prepared to continue on a path of lifelong learning and personal and professional success.

I invite you to explore this website. Please contact me or any member of our faculty and staff for more information about the courses, programs and opportunities provided by the College of Arts and Sciences. We’ll be delighted to talk with you about your goals, our strengths, and how they may come together to provide you with a valuable, unforgettable, uniquely Saint Martin's education.


Eric C. Apfelstadt, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

College of Arts and Sciences