Liberal Studies

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Liberal Studies program is to provide a curriculum responsive to the individual's instructional choices and the institution's liberal arts capabilities. The B.A. with a major in Liberal Studies provides individualized study in a select range of upper level liberal arts courses and fosters students' ability to think critically and constructively in relation to their self-chosen academic goals. While this degree allows students to propose their own programs of upper-level study, it broadens their academic perspectives by emphasizing interdisciplinary as a method of comprehension. Successful applications for the program should identify multi-dimensional fields of study as majors, for example, interdisciplinary studies, comparative studies, cultural studies, media studies, security studies, etc, in place of traditional majors. This degree is primarily valuable for non-traditional students and for students whose research interests lead them into genuinely interdisciplinary fields of study.

Program Goals

By sponsoring interdisciplinary studies programs in relation to individual goals, the Liberal Studies program works to realize the following objectives:

* Promote comparative as well as critical and creative reasoning skills in higher level studies

* Provide students with programs to master the interdisciplinary expansions of modern disciplinary studies

* Produce graduates adept at recognizing and dealing effectively in work environments characterized more by synthetic structures, patterns of diffusion and ambiguity than by line-item applications of theory to practice

* Stimulate interest in area studies, problem-centered research, and interdisciplinary communication

* Promote a learning environment where inquiry is enhanced rather than limited by disciplinary specialization

* Promote interdisciplinary programs of study that prepare students who pursue graduate studies with adequate foundations for comparative studies and individual research


Students who graduate with a B.A. in Liberal Studies should...

* Think independently and develop ideas reflectively from the resources of liberal arts studies

* Create an intellectually satisfying and effective synthesis between their stated interests and their formal study

* Be accurate and informed about the subject-matters of their major and minor coursework and capable interpreters of themes and issues associated with these areas of concentration

* Know how to conduct research in databases related to their major and minor studies

* Be able to communicate effectively, including writing thematically clear, well supported papers and developing connected thought patterns in discussion

* Understand the historical context and global perspectives, including value as well as factual orderings, that gives coherence or consistency to the curriculum they have studied

* Be capable of transforming the interests that formed their individual curricula of study into lifelong patterns of inquiry and social and vocational development

* Think critically on the basis of their own experiences and be able to convey to others the connection between human interests and knowledge

Academic Standards for the Liberal Studies Program

Students can declare a major in liberal studies as early as the end of their freshman year, but they must submit an application after having earned 45 credit hours of college level work in order to be admitted into the program. The application consists of a statement of academic interests and goals, a program of study for achieving them, and an attached essay that explains and justifies these choices. Where a curriculum of interdisciplinary study exists, as in Security Studies, the program of study must satisfy its requirements. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required for admission as well as graduation, and majors must earn a "C" or better in all courses included in the major and the minor fields of study. Once the program of study is approved, changes may be made to it but must be approved by the advisor. Prerequisites for courses listed in the program of study may satisfy general education or elective requirements, but must in any case be met. All students must earn at least 30 USCB hours after they are admitted to the program, and a minimum of 120 accredited hours of coursework satisfying general education and program requirements, electives, and approved upper-division major and minor requirements must be presented to earn the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies.

Liberal Studies